When it’s time to upgrade communications technology, moving to the cloud is an obvious choice. Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) promises feature-rich, scalable solutions at a fraction of the cost of a private branch exchange (PBX). But some companies end up paying more, not less. UCaaS pricing usually puts companies in a better position, but only if you’re educated about what you’re getting and at what cost.
Early into the evaluation process, you will notice a common theme across UCaaS pricing conversations. UCaaS solutions promise the following:
- You have the ability to trade a capital investment for a monthly, subscription-based pay model that can be categorized as operating expenses.
- You are charged only for the number of users accessing the solution, and only for the features they use.
- You have the option to scale up and down as business demands.
- You get inclusive pricing that allows you the comfort of knowing that upgrades, hardware, and maintenance are all included.
These promises are all accurate, and they can deliver measurable savings. But companies need to watch for a few areas where pricing can become inflated and they end up with a higher invoice than anticipated:
Your contract may include minimum user numbers that could be based on inaccurate or overestimated legacy phone use.
The contract includes payment for features that are only required by a small percentage of your staff.
These may be a third-party service necessary to complete your installation, service management, or additional fees for design, training, or installation.
Timing of Contract Date
If your charges commence on your contract date but implementation takes place over several months, you may be paying invoices without usable communications services.
In order to get the promised price, you find out at contract time that you must pay for several years’ worth of services up front in order to qualify. This may threaten your ability to categorize your investment as a monthly expense.
While every technology investment can come with a few surprises, here are three ways to protect your budget and anticipate or protect against the possibility of additional items on your invoice for UCaaS pricing:
- Choose a provider that will provide a contract enabling you to increase or decrease users. Make sure you are not committed to a major contract extension each time your needs change.
- Implement an onboarding strategy that limits invoicing to when services actually begin. Do not accept a contract that begins billing you before implementation, because you need your provider to be motivated to complete your transition to UCaaS.
- Survey users carefully before you begin your transition to get an accurate count on the number of users your contract should include.
Ultimately, the right UCaaS pricing gets you the features that allow you to expand productivity and collaboration while reducing your costs. And having a technology partner with extensive experience in UCaaS can help. Contact us at Proper Connections to get started on your UCaaS migration.