The Truth About VoIP - Page 2

Part 2 – by Jim McNally

Continued from page 1

The Trunk Replacement business is even more lucrative. If your customer has an office with 15 phone lines today, and you want to leave their existing PBX Phone System in place, but replace the Phone Company lines with VoIP trunks, you need to sell them 15 trunks, right? That's what they expect. And at a price of $25 per trunk per month, that's $375 per month verses the $675 they pay today at $45 per month per trunk to the Phone Company (with fees and taxes). That's a pretty good deal. Except that they really only need 1 DID trunk ($3 per month) and 15 “trunks” worth of Termination minutes ($10 x 15 = $150 per month). For a total of $153 per month.

But where will the other “phone lines” come from? Don't we need the other 14 “lines” to plug into their PBX? Yes, we do, but we can create them locally in the same piece of equipment that will interface between their PBX and the Internet. Called an IAD, or Integrated Access Device, it has the hardware and software to talk to our VoIP trunks on the Internet side, and produce physical phone lines on the PBX side. These “phone lines” are all handled and connected as needed, but they don't have to have actual phone numbers assigned to them – the connections are just built on the fly by the IAD. One call or 15, each physical line will ring or pick up a connection. In reality they are just extensions off the IAD, and the PBX doesn't care, as long as the line rings or it can get a dial tone.

So in the end we can use VoIP and an IAD to replace the 15 Phone Company lines with one VoIP trunk and the IAD will make the rest happen. And IADs aren't all that expensive – 4 port ones cost about $150, 24 port ones run about $1000. We can add as many as we need to get as many phone ports as we need. And we can add them in future as well if you need even more ports for your growing business.

This brings up another advantage of VoIP systems over older phone PBXs – scalability. If you have a PBX today, unless it was designed to be able to handle thousands of extensions (phones on people's desks) it will have a maximum number of extensions it can handle. 8, 16 and 48 are popular numbers. If your needs outgrow the number of extensions your PBX can handle, you have to throw it away and buy a new one, including all the phones on everyone's desks. This is a very successful form of planned obsolescence, and has kept the Business Telephone industry going for many years. Older systems are also proprietary: Nortel phones can't work on a Mitel PBX, etc. so once you buy you're stuck with that manufacturer.

But with VoIP, you can start out with one VoIP phone on your desk, and keep adding them by the thousands (and from different manufacturers) as you need them. The old ones can stay forever, and the new VoIP phones generally cost less than half what older style PBX phones would cost, not even counting upgrading the PBX controller, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. So VoIP gets rid of the planned obsolescence of the phone system, gives you more features, and costs less for the hardware and for the phone service. What could be better?

Continued from The Truth About VoIP - Part 2 - page 1

The Truth About VoIP - Three part article series
The Truth About VoIP - Part 1
The Truth About VoIP - Part 2
The Truth About VoIP - Part 3