How to Save 50% on Business Telecom Costs
Most companies are paying too much for telephone and data connections because they donít know where the savings are.
By: John Shepler
Here we are exiting the economic recession and you may still be paying twice as much for your business telecom services as you could be. Need a quick and painless way to save money or get much more bandwidth for the same budget?
The Savings Can Exceed 50%
If you are anxious to start saving, get a cost savings evaluation right now and then come back to finish reading the rest of this article. I’m going to explain why a 50% savings is well within the realm of possibility for your company.
Where the Savings Are
Nearly every business buys two principal telecom services. These are telephone and broadband Internet. Larger companies, those with multiple locations, or companies in certain fields will also buy point to point or multi-point bandwidth to link two or more locations. Do you have telephone? Do you use the Internet? Do you have a private link to another location? If so, you have a cost savings opportunity.
Why The Savings Are Available
First, the telephone and networking industry has become more competitive, especially since federal deregulation of telecom services. There are a lot more players than there used to be and they’re all hungry to expand their customer base. That alone accounts for a major slide in long distance telephone rates and digital bandwidth prices. Did the price of a garden variety T1 line drop by half over the last few years? You bet it did.
Old Contracts, High Prices
This is part of the secret to cutting your telecom bill in half. Business telecom services, like T1, DS3, & OC3, are sold on a contractual basis for one, two or three years. You get the lowest prices with the longest contracts, so the three year contract is often the most attractive. You may or may not be contacted to sign another contract when that one expires. If not, your service doesn’t generally just switch off. You go on a month to month basis for as long as you keep paying your bill. Some companies have been paying the same rate for years and years and have given no attention to comparison shopping.
More Competition, Lower Prices
One reason is that when you bought your original service, there was only one game in town and that was the local telephone company. What you don’t realize is that during that time other competitive carriers have started serving your area, likely with lower prices. Unless one of their sales team happens to call, you probably won’t even know they’ve come to town. More service providers means more offerings and better pricing, but you have to know how to get in touch with them.
Step 1, Comparison Shop
The is the first way to get a dramatic cost savings. Do some comparison shopping. You still have to know where to find these carriers, who may or may not have an office in your location. You can try the Yellow Pages, but you’ll have to put in some time and effort to make the calls and compare the offers. Chances are, you’ll probably still miss some good opportunities.
The Broker Makes It Easy
The easier and faster way is to engage a telecom services broker who represents dozens of carriers. You pay the same rates you would if you hunted down the service provider yourself, but you don’t have to put forth the time and effort for comparison shopping. You’ll find that you get fast and friendly service from Telarus, Inc. for competitive telecom pricing. Just be prepared for a shock when you see the offers you’ve been missing.
New Services That Save Money
The other reason that major cost savings are available for the asking is that new types of services have proliferated in the last few years. Ethernet over Copper is now a major competitor with T1 lines. You can generally get twice the bandwidth for the same amount of money if this service is available for your location. If you have a T1 line but are only lightly using it for credit card verification, email and Web access, you can probably save half the monthly cost with 3G fixed wireless broadband. This service is available nationwide and, unlike T1, is practical for temporary business locations like holiday stores, construction sites and conventions.
SIP Trunking Offers Voice + Data
On the telephone side, that T1 line of yours could be doing double duty. SIP trunking and Integrated T1 combine business phone service and broadband Internet access on the same line. Unlike do it yourself VoIP, this is a carefully engineered solution that assures the quality of your telephone conversations regardless of what is happening on the computers or Internet.
Hosted PBX Avoids Capital Investment
Another recent telephone innovation is hosted PBX. Forget paying for all that telephone equipment and incoming lines. All of that is now handled in the cloud. You pay by the seat per month and your system is always functional and up to date with latest features. All you need in-house are IP telephones and a connection to your cloud provider.
MPLS For Multiple Locations
For business applications that need to link several locations or more across the country, MPLS networks can’t be beat. You’ll easily save that 50% cost if you’ve grown your network gradually by simply adding point to point lines as you need them.
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