Budget is Always a Concern
Costs to implement VoIP depend on a number of factors. As with most things you buy, there are a lot of variables that you consider, some add to the price and some don’t. The goal should be to get what you want the first time.
It’s frustrating when you buy something and feel regret later because you didn’t get what was on your list. As an example of this, why did you purchase the car you drive now? Did you choose the absolute cheapest car available? Probably not – likely you wanted air conditioning, power windows and maybe even remote start. These items add to the cost of building and buying a car.
Options Impact Price
VoIP has some options you may need and the price can vary based on your specific business requirements. Phones in Pittsburgh don’t cost more or less than other areas, but the price for professional services in larger metropolitan areas usually carries a premium. Among the things you need to consider when figuring the costs:
- What type of phones do you need? (e.g., high quality conference phones, color touch screen, etc.)
- What optional features do you need?
- Is your existing data network ready for VoIP or will you have to add hardware?
- Will you use existing cabling or install all new wiring?
- Does the router you will be using prioritize voice?
- Is your system going to be on-site or hosted in the cloud?
Ongoing Operating Expenses
In all of the above you’ll still need to keep in mind that you have to maintain your equipment. So the ongoing operating expenses can be higher for some equipment than others. Optional features that add to the cost of purchasing and maintaining a phone system include:
- Call recording
- Automatic call distribution (placing callers into a queue to hold for the next available agent)
- Call history and cost reporting systems
- Voicemail transcription to text
- CRM integration such as Salesforce
Adding It Up
All of the above can create swings in the price of your phone system. As a general gauge, prices for on-site systems range from as little as $300 per phone to more than $1,000 with the majority being somewhere in between that range. Multiply the total number of phones x the estimated cost per phone. A company requiring 40 phones x $500 should budget $20k or so for the system.
For hosted VoIP phones, Basic SIP phones such as Yealink or Grandstream phones can be well under $100 per phone, with cloud service being a monthly fee. Some companies will include a very basic phone in their hosted phone service bundle at no additional charge. But as you know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so the monthly cost per phone extension tends to be higher when you get a “free” phone – in the $40 per month range with a 36 month contract.