Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cut Telecom Line Expenses, Not Lines

In this recessionary business climate, keeping the enterprise afloat may mean throwing every non-critical expense overboard. Soon the obvious fat disappears from the budget and managers start questioning line items once thought sacrosanct. Do you really need 10 phone lines or could everybody get by with 5? Take turns calling if you have to. What about that Internet connection? Do we really need that T1 line when those 56K modems are still boxed up in the back room?

Good grief. Cost cutting can easily go from savvy business practice to organizational nightmare when desperation sets in. It's best to start coming up with reasonable reductions before upper management gets a whiff of blood in the water and goes nuts. Think through the justification for each budgetary line item yourself and make changes you can take credit for, or at least have proposals in your back pocket.

Now here's the good news. If you can keep a cool head at least for a little while, you may be able to get the savings your business needs while maintaining the services you need to be at your most productive. The trick isn't just to slash and burn every telecom expense you come across. It's getting the same functionality for less money. You don't necessarily want to cut your lines, and with them your livelihood. You want to cut the expenses associated with those lines.

Most companies have two types of telecom line services: voice and data. Video, such as video conferencing, can fall into either the voice or data category depending on how it's implemented.

Lets start with voice services. Most businesses of any size have a PBX telephone system that manages their telco connections. There may be some room for cost savings here because of the way the system has grown. It usually starts with a few lines, adding another and another as the company need grows. Pretty soon you've got a dozen or two individual lines. Usage reports say you need them all or customers will start getting poor service and some of your employees will be cooling their heels while waiting to place a call. But you aren't necessarily married to the configuration you have today. By consolidating all those individual phone lines into one or two T1 PRI digital trunks, you'll have the same level of service but at a discount.

If you already made the move to T1 lines years ago, you might still be able to save. Competitive prices for T1 voice lines, including long distance rates, have plummeted in the last few years. By running a competitive service check you can find out if a simple change of provider could result in significant cost savings for the very same usage.

The same logic applies to your business Internet service. A T1 dedicated Internet line might now be priced at half what you paid when you signed a multi-year lease years ago.T1 prices are very favorable right now and you can make a good deal getting into a better contract. Once again, you keep the same functionality you have now but simply pay less.

You might also want to consider some newer technologies, such as MPLS networks or Metro Ethernet to interconnect multiple business locations. SIP trunking offers a way to get high quality voice and data service delivered on a single line service. All of these services have become readily available only in the last few years. If they work for your situation, you could find very substantial cost savings available for the asking.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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