Market musings

What is the Real Cost of Telephone System Maintenance?

by Sasha Viasasha
November 28, 2017

It can be a challenge to ascertain the total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) of a professional PBX system. Many costs arise unexpectedly based on a variety of factors, such as uneven growth and software integrations on your network.

2017 study estimated the average business telephone maintenance costs for a typical PBX system to be around $7,200 per year, not including the repair or replacement of desk phone hardware. Handsets were estimated at $200 per unit, but those costs also vary significantly based on the make and mode of your phones.

The most common telephone system maintenance costs

  • You may periodically need a phone expert for SIP reconfiguration or PRI adjustments throughout the year. There’s a wide range in how much small businesses pay to local PSTN providers for setting up and modifying settings of trunk lines/bonded T1 lines that connect your PBX to the outside world. 
  • If you have on on-premise PBX, updating features, services and adding lines is extra. Features are always changing and new technology like HD Voice and VoLTE change what customers and business partners expect from your phone system.
  • You may have to pay third party vendors to access services that your phone system doesn’t have, such as a mobile platform to mask personal cell numbers on outgoing calls, mobile security platforms, and call analytics. If your PBX doesn’t have essential communication features like these built-in, include them in your telephone maintenance costs.
  • There are costs associated with updating you PBX every time employees join, leave, or move to a new location. The costs are not only technological. There are productivity issues and opportunity costs related to workers who aren’t able to contact each other easily.
  • Glitches with your long distance number or toll-free line are also common and these costs should be included under maintenance.

The hidden costs of telephone system maintenance 

It can be very difficult to predict some expenses, because the rate of innovation rapidly changes consumer expectations. Expensive on-site hardware takes time and dedicated IT resource to reconfigure, while hosted solutions can harbor inflexible terms, and charge expensive fees for updates and add-ons. The hardware model of office phone systems is being supplanted with software as a service and mobile deployments, which can reduce your expenses significantly.  

Doing more with less

Most small businesses don’t need all the extra features associated with a full-scale PBX deployment, yet providers persist in bundling all that into their generic service agreements. Small businesses at the growth stage just need a reliable phone system that does a few things well, such as :

  • Assigns a central phone number for the business that can be picked up by various team members.
  • Defaults to an AI assistant when no one is available to answer the call.
  • Keeps a dynamic company directory updated in real time that can be accessed anywhere, anytime.
  • Tracks missed calls and keeps a log of which ones got a return call by which team member.
  • Delivers excellence in a voice quality, not the echoes, buzzes and dropped calls that still plague VoIP.
  • Is extremely affordable for cash-conscious companies.
  • Is simple enough to install and maintain without any help from technical talent.
  • Allows easy conference calling and on touch call transferring.

All of those features can be packed into a virtual PBX, turning employee mobile phones into a next-generation business phone network.

Before this holiday season kicks your business activity into high gear, take a moment to evaluate which expenses you can reduce or leave behind in the year ahead. In 2018, you could eliminate up to 88.62% of the cost of your business phone system by upgrading to Spoke. Spoke is a virtual PBX application that turns your employee mobile phones into a business phone system platform for growing companies. You can port over an existing business line or choose a DDI go completely mobile. 

Calculating your own TCO and ROI

How much could you save with Spoke? Find out by using our TCO/ROI calculator for a printable breakdown of average PBX costs compared to Spoke, including a field to add in your own telephone maintenance costs. 

Spoke takes your communications beyond the office and out into the world – where business happens. With Spoke, you can condense all of the power of massive servers, configuration scripts, wires, and trunk lines into a tiny mobile device that goes with you everywhere. Virtual PBX systems like Spoke function exactly like their old office-bound counterparts and be managed from an app on your home screen. An intuitive interface with smart directories, geo-routing and extension dialing make it easy to manage your entire business from your smartphone.

Say goodbye to telephone system maintenance and its costs

Spoke uses advanced analytics and AI to transform the telecom experience to get more calls made and answered. We believe the future is 100% mobile and Spoke can be the bridge to take you there. To learn more about Spoke and the next generation voice UX, sign up for an interactive demo. Start now and you can transform your mobile phone or business phone line into a smart office phone system, with much lower maintenance costs, in 2018.