Dave Thomson, European Marketing Manager, Customer Contact Solutions at Cisco says with the current threat of an economic slowdown, it has become even more important for businesses to justify their technology spend.
“So when it comes to replacing an ageing key or phone system with a state of the art IP-based phone system, it is imperative that the new system delivers some sort of business benefit, otherwise the investment is worthless.
The good news though, from Cisco’s own studies of its customer base, is that the hard cost savings achieved is usually in the 10-30% range, when compared with the old system. And this ignores the employee productivity and customer service benefits which usually accompany a move to IP.
However, the return on investment can be accelerated even further when the IP-based phone system is considered as part of a wider Unified Communications picture. With the network and IP Telephony in place, other more transformational applications can be added at a relatively small incremental cost – such as voicemail, video, collaboration, instant messaging, mobility, surveillance and security. These allow the business and employees to communicate and collaborate in completely new ways, but they can also be a key part of building the business case. For instance, a school recently came to Cisco to investigate an upgrade of their telephony system to IP, but the business case just didn’t stack up.
However when they added in video surveillance, all working over the same IP network and operated from the IP phones, the reduction in vandalism and insurance helped justify the investment. So our advice is don’t just think in terms of one telephone system replacing another telephone system. Think about the larger Unified Communications picture and use the network and IP Telephony as a foundation on which to build a new business model to address the needs of 21st century employees and customers.”