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The days of buying a phone system and using it for 8-12 years without any mandatory maintenance or license fees are over, or are they?  It depends, it can vary greatly from product to product so you need to do your research.  Some products have no recurring fees, take for instance the Toshiba CIX platform.  The Toshiba product offers free software upgrades and has no recurring license fees…on the core system.  Even Toshiba, who has one of the best warranty and product support plans on the market, has started to institute some recurring support fees on add on applications.  The best practice when investigating a VoIP system is to look at all costs over a 5 year period allowing you to examine the true cost of ownership.  This analysis should include possible changes in dial-tone and other carrier services that you can make because of the increased capabilities of your new VoIP system.  So what should be in this analysis?

Capital cost of hardware

Data network upgrades (if required)

Annual software maintenance

Annual parts and labor maintenance

Annual licensing

Cost of growth to add new users

Monthly cost of phone service and data connections


Submitted by Ryan Shorts.  Warwick Communications is a voice and data company with offices in Cleveland and North Canton, Oh.  Warwicks product mix includes VoIP telephone systems, digital telephone systems, IT services, and carrier services.

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