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 The mantra of the 1990’s of Reuse, Reduce, Recycle has been replaced by Recycle, Recycle, Recycle but again there is a cost to that process and a limited demand for the ground up pellets that results.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.
There is so much talk about using Tablets and Smartphones in the office environment and how to incorporate employees’ own personal devices into the IT equation. There are so many options out there as to how to make a phone call that it is difficult to know which way to turn. While some companies are riding the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) to the office many are not. What to do!
Next time I will discuss the cost to the company and the environment of replacing your legacy handsets.
(Originally posted by Ian Gomm at http://citelblogs.com/2012/06/21/migrating-to-voip—keeping-upfront-costs-down.aspx)
I am constantly amazed by the number of emails I receive monthly providing rationale for why companies should move their phone service to some form of IP telephony.Having worked in the environment for a number of years one tends to forget that not everyone understands the benefits available to them for usingVoIP. A recent white paper I looked at stated that “there are business owners the world over who, for whatever reason, haven’t caught on to VoIP’s new status in the business world. They still remember a time years or even decades ago when Internet phone calls were a gimmick, unsupported by the bulk of users.” I still remember the poor service I got as a business with a local phone company over the PSTN but in those days that was just a part of doing business and was accepted and long forgotten. Why is that not the case with VoIP, especially as there are so many ways to ensure the service is better than ever before available?
Everyone discusses the cost savings available with VoIP, be it on monthly service charges, charges per call or the cost per service (call waiting, forwarding, caller ID, etc.) so why has not everyone already migrated to VoIP. The fact is that cost savings is not the only factor other than quality of service that is being looked at.
I speak with a lot of people about VoIP migration in my day to day activities. I have also spoken at numerous conferences and in conversations afterwards am fascinated by the number of people who are reluctant to change out their desk phones. There are so many changes in the business world these days, Cloud computing, Smartphones, Tablets, SaaS, Computers in general etc., that the standard office desk phone is one of the one few items remaining in the office that people have not had to change. It is an island of stability in an ever changing world. A lot of companies are saying no to migrating to VoIP because they don’t want to change.
Now, many of you are probably wondering why I am going on about remaining the same when this blog has highlighted some of the benefits of VoIP. Well that’s easy. You can still obtain the benefits of VoIP without changing out your phones. With Citel’s Portico TVA, you can SIP enable those existing legacy desk phones so that they can remain in place even when you move to VoIP. You can get the costs savings from VoIP without having to change anything on your users’ desks. You can set up the phones to do exactly what they did when tied to the PABX and the PSTN so your end users do not know that they are helping their businesses save money. In my next blog we will look at how those savings are magnified by adopting the Portico TVAas part of yourVoIP migration.
Citel is regularly adding new features to its award winning VoIP migration device, the Portico TVA, to help meet ongoing customer requests. With recent activity in Europe we have been working to increase the support for Alcatel handsets and that has resulted in support now for the Alcatel Reflex digital phones, models 4004 and 4020 to go along with the 4010 that was already supported.
We have enhanced the Conference/Transfer key general call control on entry level phones. The feature was not previously available on very basic handsets only on more complex units. After discussions with a hospital where there were a large number of basic handsets this feature was added to simplify phone procedures between hospital wards.
We have also added features to the System Setting menu within the devices web GUI to provide additional customization options for the administrator.
We continue to enhance the capabilities of the Portico TVA to make the user experience when a customer retains their legacy handsets when migrating to VoIP as easy and simple as possible.
For more information on the latest build see the full Product Information Bulletin at www.citel.com/Products/Resources/PIBs/Portico_TVA_5020_PIB.pdf.