Hi I'm Jason (^jsa) Citel's Community manager. Citel’s Portico TVA enables enterprises to connect existing voice infrastructure to a new VoIP platform, saving up to 70% over other VoIP migration alternatives.
Or to connect remote offices to an existing PBX look at Citel's EXTenders.
My last few blogs have discussed some of the reasons to look at using Citel’s Portico TVA to SIP enable legacy handsets, be they digital, Centrex or analog when you migrate to VoIP. I posed the question last time if you even need to use an IP phone when you do the move and gave a case for skipping that product completely. There are some significant direct cost savings should you decide to retain your legacy handsets when moving to IP telephony but there are also a number of intangible costs that many people tend to disregard to their detriment in their evaluation
The most intangible cost is environmental, a growing concern that all of us have to address. If you are only going to go the “rip and replace” direction until your employees are ready to move to softphones or use one of the many other multipurpose devices (remember BYOD) for their calling what happens to the IP phone?
IP phones tend to be built with disposal in mind. Most are not as well built as the old desk phone you have on your desk that may have been around for decades and will only have a limited life. What happens to those orphan phones? In the past desk phones were made to last and many have years of service and usability left. There used to be a very large remanufacturing industry built up around phones but there are so many used phones out there now the market is failing due to over-supply. The mantra of the 1990’s of Reuse, Reduce, Recycle has been replaced by Recycle, Recycle, Recycle but again there is a cost to that process and a limited demand for the ground up pellets that results. If you reuse your existing phones there is an environmental benefit that cannot be quantified.
Although a tangible cost, the book value of existing handsets are still one of those costs that many people forget to build into the migration cost equation. Due to accounting methodologies applied by many companies those same legacy phones may still have some value on corporate books and a move to IP phones could result in a write off of the corresponding amount on the books. You still have to write off any remaining investment in the PBX but as many of those are End of Life already that write off has to happen no matter what you do.
There are two other intangible costs that are often forgotten when looking atVoIP migration; the cost of disrupting the workforce as changes are made to the telephony system and the cost of training people on new phones.
Many people ask what disruption. Well, if the migration occurs during downtime, the “rip and replace” process is not an issue. But when do you find that downtime. I know of one instance where new cabling for the new IP phones was to be run on a holiday weekend only for the union involved refusing to work on a holiday weekend. For that entity, they operated on a 24/7 basis (think of a hospital as an example) and had real trouble making time available for changes without affecting day to day operations. For some universities upgrading cabling and installing PoE switches can only be done as part of campus wide renovations that can stretch over a five to seven year period. Operational cost savings can be delayed for years under a scaled in implementation. Not an issue when using existing equipment on a new VoIP platform.
The last intangible cost is training employees. These days there is so much education already occurring on the job that having to learn how to use a new phone is for many companies a step too far. I have been amazed by the number of people I have spoken to who are delaying VoIP migration because they do not want to have to teach their employees how to use a new phone. Maybe short sighted but a fact of life.