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, which 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