“How much will VoIP cost my business?”
This is one of the first questions many prospective clients want to know when they call our company.
Although this is a very difficult question to answer because there are so many considerations, I will try to do my best here to explain some general pricing guidelines.
The purchase of a VoIP Phone is much like the purchase of a vehicle or other mission-critical equipment. With so many options available, price ranges can vary drastically. Just as a Toyota Hilux can start around 30k with just a basic package, it can quickly cost over 50k once you add your essential items such as 4-wheel drive, 4 doors vs two, and a steel top canopy then jump up to 60k+ when you upgrade to all-leather interior, chrome finishes, alloy wheels, dual exhaust and built-in GPS system etc, etc…
These same principles typically apply to the purchase of a VoIP phone system. Understanding that you are going to have to use your VoIP Phone System every day makes picking the right system with the right features critical to ensure maximum performance, minimum maintenance and above all ease of use. For this reason, most of the businesses we deal with elect to get the VoIP Phone
system that will offer them the best performance in the long run. Unfortunately, there are some businesses which only focus on the initial costs with the goal of finding the “cheapest” hardware and installation services available. This approach sacrifices performance, reliability, and peace of mind, which inevitably leads to regret and seeking an alternative solution.
If you continue to read below, you will begin to understand the wider considerations that need to be made when choosing your VoIP Phone System. Now that you hopefully understand the vehicle analogy, I will list some of the most common “add-ons” that can be found in the purchase of a VoIP Phone System.
Note: While it is standard practice to sell VoIP Phone Systems with some of the ‘add-ons’ seen below as package deals it’s important to realize that no company should sell you a package without first evaluating your current infrastructure and goals. ( See 7 Questions to Ask A VoIP Sales Person Before You Buy – for more on this) We do this through a comprehensive free assessment.
1. Decision for a Cloud or On-Premise VoIP Phone System
2. Installation / Set-Up Costs
3. Types of Desk Phones
4. Software Phones (Softphones/ Smart Phone Apps)
5. Wireless or Wired Headsets
6. Secure Remote Extensions
7. High-Quality Broadband Connection
8. VoIP Grade Broadband Router
9. VoIP Grade Network Switch
10. VoIP Grade Wireless Access Points
11. Data Cabling
12. Reporting Features
13. Software Integrations
As you can see, there are many ‘add-ons’ available, and the extent to which you add them to your VoIP package really depends on your existing infrastructure and what you are looking to achieve with your new VoIP system.
Now, all these ‘add-ons’ can roughly be broken up into two parts:
1. Upfront Costs
Upfront costs are all the costs which you may incur when setting up your VoIP phone system for the first time. The extent of your upfront costs will be determined by your existing infrastructure and what you are looking to achieve with VoIP.
First off, your existing infrastructure: (If you are unsure what some of these terms mean or why you might need them, download our VoIP guide which discusses each of these bullets in detail)
- Is your broadband sufficient? Take the broadband test here to find out if its suitable to run VoIP. If it isn’t suitable you may need to upgrade your connection to fibre, UFB or HSNS.
- Is your data cabling sufficient? If you don’t have CAT6e you might need to re-wire. This cost really depends on the extent of the rewire it starts around $350 including labor and can go up to $50,000 for larger offices.
- Do you have a VoIP grade router? If not, upgrading can be as little as $200 or as much as $5000 depending on the size and requirements of your business.
- Do you have a network switch? If not this may set you back around $250 for an entry level switch ranging to over $2,100 for larger switches.
- Do you have suitable Wireless Access Points? These can start at no additional cost (e.g if we have provided you with a Wireless Broadband Router) to $2,000 + depending on coverage area and environment.
Second, what you are looking to achieve with VoIP: (Again, see our VoIP guide for a more comprehensive discussion on this)
- Are you wanting it in the cloud or on-premise? An entry-level on-premise VoIP phone system can cost as little as $350 for up to 20 extensions as a one-time cost, whereas a Cloud VoIP phone system is billed monthly.
- What type of desk phone do you want and how many phones? Phones start from around $80 handset for the most basic phones right up to $1,200 per handset for advanced features.
- Do you want wired or wireless headsets? High quality wired headsets start from $118 per headset with the full-featured wireless options up to $720 per headset.
- Do you want the ability to have softphones? Our systems have this built in but other systems can charge you an increased set up fee for this service.
- Do you want secure remote extensions? Additional setup costs could range from $50 per VoIP Phone to $500 if more extensive work is required.
- Do you want any reporting features? If this is not built into the telephone system you have chosen this may be an extra cost.
- Do you want any software integrations? Linking your phone system into your CRM software or other systems may be built into the telephone software you have chosen or it may require a custom setup or API which can be expensive.
Based on what your answers are to the above questions your VoIP provider will calculate the installation and set up costs for your system. The way this is calculated differs greatly from provider to provider but you can expect between $50 – $500 per phone. At Real IT we insist on total transparency with this cost. We always explain to our customers exactly what makes up the installation and set up fee and even give customers the opportunity for self-install or 3rd party install where required.
Make sure your provider is not hiding costs and gives you the flexibility to ensure your VoIP system is deployed in budget.
2. Ongoing Costs
The system you choose and how well you want it supported and maintained is what determines your on-going costs. More on this in our VoIP Guide.
- If you had to upgrade your broadband connection( as discussed above) you will need to pay for the connection, if your VoIP provider can provide you with an internet connection like we do, you can simplify this cost. Most connections start at around $85 per month but can go up to $1000 depending on the location and requirements.
- Depending on your call usage requirements you will need to pay for a calling bundle per month. Ours start at $69 per month. You can view our calling packages here.
- If your provider does not have the softphone function built in, like we do, you are looking at between $10-$30 per softphone per month.
- If you chose a cloud-based VoIP phone system then you are looking at around $350 per month or more on an on-going basis.
- If you chose an on-premise system, we would recommend some on-going maintenance and support, this cost really depends on the complexity and size of the system.
Of course, there is more than one way to manage the costs of a VoIP phone system and many of our clients prefer to include all their costs (upfront and recurring into one monthly fee. We use Flexi-rent to achieve this for our clients. From experience, we can say that when you compare the overall monthly cost to have the hardware with Flexirent and your the monthly services with Real IT, it comes out considerably cheaper than the $70 per month per phone that other installation companies are offering.
So don’t forget to crunch the numbers! Or, get us to crunch them for you with our free assessment. You can find out more about the assessment here. Or just call us direct on +64 9 950 3749