Cloudy Thinking…


Want to save Tens of Thousands of dollars?


Read on and we’ll show you how…Really!


There is a new and popular trend these days. It’s phone systems in the cloud. The only problem is … it’s not new at all. And the only reason it’s so popular is because it’s being pushed hard by companies who know where the easy money is.  It may be new to some young IT kid because they haven’t experienced this, but the truth is “cloud “telephone systems or “hosted” has been around since the Telecommunications Act of 1934. Back in those days it was illegal to own your own phone system and you could only lease from the Phone company that was served by a big Central Office for a per phone monthly charge. Sounds familiar?


What’s wrong with that, you ask? After all, it worked just fine in 1934, right? Well, it worked just fine for the Bell operating companies who became the largest and most profitable companies in the world doing it. But I don’t disparage them for their success. No, there are good reasons why after the Judge Green decision of 1974 companies rushed to buy their own systems. Those reasons are still valid today. The truth is, renting your phones, or “hosting” as its popularly called, makes about as much sense as renting light bulbs from the electric company, or renting your stove from the Gas man.


First, you have no control over your costs.  Sure you may base costs on a five year plan, (we’ll show you why they like the five year comparison so much…later), but who’s to say they won’t raise their rates six weeks from now? Or what if they raise rates a year from now? With a purchased system, even if it’s leased, those costs are fixed. Electronics is a growth industry and equipment and software get cheaper all the time. But here is a dirty little secret, if hosted providers lower their rates, they won’t tell you. They keep it a secret and bill your original rate.  Meanwhile, phone lines get more and more expensive, so what’s to say yours won’t too?


Second, you have one source of supply and whatever feature set they decide to provide. They charge per seat license for every Voice Mail box and Computer / Telephone integration feature. Customers who do a quick phone count and multiply by a “seat license” cost, can be shocked at the price after adding simple features like Voice Mail and forwarding. Those who have owned their own systems and migrate to the cloud, typically pay more, while at the same time, downgrade the number of phones and feature sets. 


Third, in the end you own your equipment. You have written off the cost as a capital expenditure and no longer pay lease payments. And yet, unlike Hosted solutions, your system will still function for years after making the last payment. If you’re an NEC user for instance, the system you have now often has been in operation for fifteen years or more.  When you compare a Hosted system with monthly lease payments, they aren’t that staggeringly different. The difference is after the fifth year. If you kept this new system as long as you have your old one, the cost of hosting as compared to buying through a five year lease would be over a quarter of a million dollars. That is, assuming, the hosted company didn’t raise rates in those twenty years.  A quarter of a million dollars…do you see why the Bell Operating Companies and companies now, like hosted? And why everybody ran away from it as fast as they could, in the seventies?


Lastly let’s talk about business value. Sure everybody has a cell phone, and they have a lot of features. But an office without a phone on the desk is just a room. Furthermore, many offices have a central number posted everywhere and it’s answered by a receptionist who screens the call and sends it to the appropriate person. You can’t do that on cell phones. The trick is to enhance your phone system to interact with cell phones. Many phone systems will receive a call, transfer to a phone and then forward to a cell phone. But the NEC will allow much more. Say you are in court, or closing a big deal? You can set status with your computer or your cell phone. You can set it to go to voice mail and get an email when you get a voice mail. You can open the email and listen to the message, save it, forward it to another person or call the calling person back. You can have it forward to a cell phone after either ringing your office or ring your office and cell at the same time. If you get it on your cell, most systems end there. The NEC will allow you to transfer back to another person in your office! Just a while ago, the biggest treat to buying a new car was the sound system. It would, for the first time, integrate with your cell phone, becoming a surround sound speakerphone, and integrate with navigation apps on your phone and play music and playlists saved on your phone. It was the biggest bonus in buying a new car.


In the same way, we want to make the interaction between your Business phone system and your cell phones a hook that is a happy bonus for your co-workers, and keep your co-workers faithfully anchored to your organization because they don’t want to lose the features that make them so much more productive and profitable than they would be without your integrated system.


We need to talk about a realistic station count and pre-field your site to go forward.


P.S. You want to be on the cutting edge not the bleeding edge of technology!



Don’t get lost in the cloud,