From finance to the tech team, when you invest in a communications upgrade, everyone wants to know what it’s going to cost. You may be discussing upfront costs, ongoing costs, or total cost of ownership, but as you talk with different providers, you may struggle to get a clear picture of unified communications pricing.
Even if you’re early in the consideration and selection process, there may be a lot of pressure to quantify the savings you can expect with unified communications. And then there are questions around hosting: does it save even more money if you choose a hosted version versus an on-site unified communications solution?
Here are five factors that play the biggest role in determining your unified communications pricing:
Number of Users
One of the benefits of unified communications is that you will only pay for the number of users you need. Depending on the provider, a per-user cost of around $60 is a safe estimate if your team already has laptops, smartphones, and any other necessary user device. Because the provider houses and maintains any hardware and software for the solution when you choose hosted unified communications, your monthly costs will include these factors.
Hardware and Software
If you’re choosing an on-site unified communications solution, expect to spend more than $70,000 on hardware and software. This expense is generally the biggest motivator companies have for shifting their communications solution to the cloud. In this case, the provider pays for, manages, and maintains the session border controller (SBC).
These are considered ongoing costs and include the hourly wages of maintenance personnel, plus the additional hardware maintenance costs. Maintenance may also include hardware upgrades in order to stay current with software requirements. These costs can vary, but $150 per user, per year is a good estimate.
When investing in unified communications, it can seem like the IT requirements will just fold into the daily responsibilities of your existing team. Even though your IT team may have supported your on-site phone branch exchange (PBX), the demands for unified communications may be much higher. This puts a drag on everything else your IT department is trying to accomplish, which is another reason many companies opt for hosted unified communications.
When you choose hosted unified communications, you can scale up or down as needed with just a few clicks. When you have an on-site solution, you may need to plan ahead for expanded user capacity. This can include additional hardware, network upgrades, and additional IT staff hours.
If you’re trying to get a clear read on unified communications pricing, it’s evident that making a decision between on-site and hosted will make a significant difference in your planning. To examine these and other choices related to unified communications, contact us at Proper Connections.