Robin Gareiss
Robin Gareiss is president and founder of Nemertes Research, where she oversees research product development, conducts primary research, and advises...
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Robin Gareiss | October 07, 2010 |


VOIP Savings Come in All Forms; Business Case Evaluation is Imperative

VOIP Savings Come in All Forms; Business Case Evaluation is Imperative No two companies are alike, so IT leaders must insist on a comprehensive business case tailored to their specific business.

No two companies are alike, so IT leaders must insist on a comprehensive business case tailored to their specific business.

All those finance and spreadsheet junkies out there know there comes a time in building a business case when results from all the calculations start putting a smile on your face.

In this economy, it's more important that ever to build a solid business case to protect your project. In 2010, 77% of companies report flat or decreasing IT budgets (down from 86% in 2009, but still....) So when the budget axe looms, make sure you can document why it shouldn't fall--at least not on the VOIP project.

The most compelling way to make that happen is by using compelling figures from a business case. In our research, we have found several key areas that can show cost savings. Obviously, these all vary, depending on the specifics of your rollout--and you must balance them with the implementation, capital, and operational costs of the project.

The savings side of the equation includes the following:

Cabling--In greenfield rollouts, you can reduce the number of Ethernet connections per desktop to one or two, down from three to four. The average cabling cost per drop (including installation and materials) is $170. Even reducing the number of drops by one results in $850,000 savings for a 5,000-person office.

Capital (hardphone vs. softphone)--Increasingly, companies are adopting softphones as a replacement for IP hardphones. Nearly 70% of organizations are increasing their adoption of softphones, and only 18% of companies have no plans for any softphones. Considering that the average company spends between $200 and $400 for each IP hardphone, on average, the softphone movement can help decrease one of the most--and in some cases, the most--expensive part of a VOIP implementation. Softphones typically cost $50 to $150 per license, plus another $50 for a USB headset.

In-house conferencing--Some organizations have found huge cost savings by bucking the latest trend of selective outsourcing. By bringing audio- and Web-conferencing servers in house, you may save some significant dollars by reducing monthly conferencing costs. Putting an average number on this one is difficult because it depends on how extensive your conferencing costs are and what percentage of those calls can come in house. This savings generally applies to large, global organizations that have sizable global conferencing requirements—and that also has an internal staff that can manage the servers.


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