When looking to invest in a new phone system for your business—or any new technology really—there are three key factors in making your decision that translate into three questions:
- Features – What do I get?
- Cost – How much will it cost?
- Benefits – What impact will it have on our business?
If you’re considering moving your company’s phone system to the cloud and researching different options, you may be finding a lot of answers to your questions about features and benefits, but you’re probably not finding a whole lot of answers about what it costs.
We hope to help you out in that department by providing some insight on what it may look like to bring one of today’s most popular cloud-based phone solutions, ShoreTel Sky, to your business.
A Quick Note on Cloud Phone System Pricing
There’s a reason you don’t find a lot of general pricing for cloud-based phone systems: Costs vary (more on those variables below) based on your company’s unique setup and how many people you need to equip.
What you’ll find below is information to give you a better idea of what a cloud phone system costs. If you’re looking for an exact quote on what it will cost your business to get ShoreTel Sky, feel free to contact us and we’ll put together a customized quote for you so you’ll know exactly what ShoreTel Sky will cost for your business.
4 Main Expenses of a Cloud-Based Phone System
With a cloud-based phone system like ShoreTel Sky, you’re typically looking at four major line items:
1. Circuits (Monthly)
If you need to install circuits to accommodate your users, this will entail a monthly cost. That cost will be based on the number of circuits you need.
2. Services (Monthly)
The monthly charge for your phone services and managing your system will be the bulk of your bill. This is based primarily on the number of users you need to connect.
3. Installation (One Time)
This one-time charge for setup includes the cost of installing any needed circuits, along with additional support.
4. Phones (One Time or Rental)
Cloud-based phone systems require special phones, so you will need to invest in new phones for all your users.
A Few Things About the Costs Above
Keep these things in mind when looking at costs for the items above:
Installation support is imperative.
Being in the telecommunication industry for over 35 years, CRI has developed a very intensive process for a telephony implementation on a premise system. We understand all of the aspects of an installation—the stages, timeliness and milestones necessary in order to ensure a smooth transition.
While a cloud system is different in where the physical equipment resides, all of the steps still need to be completed in an orderly fashion to ensure a satisfactory cutover to a newer technology. We proudly offer a “CRI Start” implementation in conjunction with a “ShoreTel JumpStart” implementation to ensure the entire process exceeds our customers’ expectations.
Our installation process includes contract reviews, project management, site surveys, network readiness assessment, call flow and design configurations, optional feature verification, new circuit installation (if applicable), phone installation, cutover support, and end-user training.
How many circuits will you need?
Actual design and circuit configuration may vary depending on specific traffic needs, existing WAN, etc. A circuit is usually not required for implementations with less than 20 users—unless it is a high call volume location with a contact center application.
Typically if a single site has more than 20-25 users, we would recommend a dedicated circuit back to ShoreTel Sky. Other options may include multiple circuits, or even an MPLS connection to an existing MPLS network. Please feel free to contact us for more information on circuit needs.
Phone pricing can be a wildcard.
The cost of phones can vary greatly depending on the hardware you choose and any promotions that may be going on. For example, we are currently running a promotion at CRI where ShoreTel phones are provided free with ShoreTel Sky.
Variables That Can Influence ShoreTel Sky Pricing
As we mentioned above, ShoreTel Sky pricing is in no way a one-size-fits-all model. There are just too many variables involved in pricing.
Three of the key variables that can influence cost are:
- Number of Users
- Data Traffic/Volume
Here are a couple of additional variables that can change or add to the pricing of your cloud phone solution:
Add-Ons / Enhancements
These are bought on a per-user basis, and can be a big benefit to your business (depending on who will use the system and how they will use it). Some examples include:
- Scribe (voice to text transcription…voicemails sent to you via email)
- Contact Center
- E-Fax / Fax server
- CRM integration (Bullhorn, Salesforce, etc.)
Analog devices require an analog adapter and a profile on the system. Some examples of analog devices businesses may use:
- Fax machines
- Cordless phones
All these variables can be accounted for by having a professional come to your site and provide a customized quote.
Additional Cost-Saving Considerations When Moving Your Phone to the Cloud
Is the cloud a cheaper option than a premise-based phone solution? Sometimes, but not always. At least not when you look at the three- or five-year cost projections head to head.
However, there are a few other cost considerations when you’re moving from a premise-based phone solution to the cloud you should keep in mind:
- Unlike a premise-based solution (which you own and manage), there’s no staff required to manage a cloud-based solution and there’s no upfront capital expense. So you don’t have to worry about a capital expenditure and can just treat your phone system as an expense line item. This can be a significant spending reduction for your company.
- Depending on your current telecom setup and spend, there could be some cost justification by eliminating current circuits.
- From servers and data to applications and communications, more businesses are moving more processes to the cloud for flexibility, efficiency, and cost-saving purposes. If your business is migrating to the cloud, it makes sense to do the same for your phones.
Learn More, Get a Custom Quote
If you’re thinking about moving your business phone system to the cloud, cost is most likely a deciding factor. Hopefully, the information above gives you a better idea of how making the move will impact your budget.
To learn exactly how much it will cost to take your phone system to the cloud with ShoreTel Sky, request a free custom quote from CRI today by filling out the form below.
Request a ShoreTel Sky Quote
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