Thought Leadership piece with Paul Boyer, Managing Partner, Ancero
When we get a call from a small business about an aging, premises-based phone system, we can usually predict how that conversation will go. Although their system is still functioning, it doesn’t work well and breaks down on a regular basis. The downtime and aggravation are hurting productivity.
Companies are also frustrated by the lack of modern features, such as voicemail-to-email, voicemail-to-text and follow-me functionality, which are critical for remote workers. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve been trying to help as many small businesses as possible implement solutions for remote work without sacrificing productivity.
Five years ago, we had to educate people about the advantages of migrating to the cloud. Those days are long gone. Today, switching to a cloud phone system is an easy decision. When it comes right down to it, a hosted phone system can do everything a premises-based system can do.
Cost-Efficiency. Flexibility. Features.
Instead of purchasing system hardware, all features and services are accessed from the cloud and consumed “as a service” for a monthly fee, which includes support and management by the provider. There are no additional fees for features such as voicemail, conferencing, auto attendant, and “follow me,” which automatically forwards calls from a desk phone to a cell phone when working remotely. In addition to cost savings, only a cloud communications system can enable remote work from anywhere on multiple devices.
As many small businesses have learned in recent weeks, the ability to seamlessly shift employees to remote working, especially during a crisis, is critical to preventing costly downtime and meeting customer expectations.
At the end of the day, it just doesn’t make sense for a small business to install a premises-based system when a cloud communications system offers so much more. But many companies are often pleasantly surprised when they realize just how much of an upgrade the cloud provides.
$10,000 Cost Reduction – Per Month!
Ancero recently replaced an old phone system for a nonprofit with more than 100 locations. They had multiple business lines in every location and 350 in all, none of which were shared. In all likelihood, no more than 50-60 of those lines were ever used simultaneously. We knew their existing telephony costs would be outrageous.
Ancero deployed a cable broadband solution that provided connectivity and supported the Ancero Utility VoIP business phone system. By pooling call paths and sharing lines in a cloud VoIP solution, we were able to eliminate almost 200 CO trunks, or dedicated circuits, resulting in $5,000 in savings immediately. We also eliminated the monthly maintenance fee, which represented 10 percent of their monthly bill. Because all phone services and usage are included, we were able to reduce costs even further.
The client couldn’t believe they would save that much money, but we’ve been able to validate the cost savings since the cloud phone system was deployed.
No Upfront Costs, $500 in Savings Each Month
A small business was using a premises-based phone system that was almost 15 years old. The system has no modern features and the company was paying the provider about $5,500 per year for a service agreement. The industry standard in the premises-based universe is to charge 10-15 percent of the installation for maintenance of hardware and software. The average monthly cost for this company was more than $1,850 with usage.
Ancero replaced the entire premises-based system at no additional cost over existing spend. We eliminated 33 business lines by implementing Utility VoIP over existing connectivity, which produced $11,750 in annual savings, and the maintenance fee was eliminated. The monthly cost for a brand new, cloud phone system with new features is now $1,350, including usage and the cost of the phones. That’s $500 per month less than the old system.
The Future of Small Business Phone Systems Is in the Cloud
The business case for a cloud phone system is airtight – minimal upfront costs if any, the flexibility to work remotely from any location on any device, and advanced collaboration tools that allow your team to be more productive.