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What Unified Communications Costs

December 06, 2018

While UC has one-time, up-front costs, it also features opportunities for great savings.

When you’re assessing the total impact of an investment in unified communications, you need to consider the one-time, up-front costs versus the savings you can realize over time. The initial expense depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your business, your preference for cloud versus on-premise options, potential subscription costs, and which components and add-on services you choose to optimize the impact on your business. What else influences the costs of UC?

  • Your business plan. It may influence the cost of adopting unified communications versus maintaining your existing system. For example, if you’re using a PBX system now and contemplating regional expansion, local growth, or even just a move to new office space, you’re already looking at upcoming installation expenses. How do those compare with the investment needed to upgrade to unified communications?
  • Inherent savings. While upkeep on the old systems generally meant you needed to pay for an annual maintenance contract, cloud providers assume that responsibility and cost in the new solutions. “They need to maintain the cloud,” says Eric Hyman, director of product marketing for Comcast Business. “To stay competitive, service providers are constantly enhancing features and moving to an environment where you get collaboration, mobility, and other features. With Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), you’re relying on the cloud service provider to build that interoperability.”
  • Long-term savings. The potential to recoup the initial investment reflects the practicality of what a unified communications solution replaces and what tasks it takes off your plate permanently. For example, you no longer have to manage or maintain the PBX or the server. You no longer need the space to house them. Your electricity bill should be reduced. And while the staffing element is more difficult to quantify, you may find that being on the cutting edge of communication and collaboration helps you to attract and retain forward-thinking employees.

“We’re not adding any more to people’s bills by giving them this,” says Chris Ross, executive director of UCaaS at Comcast Business Services. “They’re paying for a service already. They’re getting the support infrastructure. They’re getting the back end that’s already there. We’re just enabling these features on top of it for no additional cost. So, you’re getting a much greater quality.”

Read the Unified Communications: Making the Business Case guide to learn more about the factors that impact the cost of unified communications for your business.

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