The ongoing price rises of traditional telecoms services continues this month, with BT increasing its retail and wholesale costs on Care levels, i.e. the line fault support costs, which will affect business users who invariably pay for these services to ensure response within a pre-agreed time.

Furthermore the costs from BT Openreach to telecoms resellers of transferring lines has also increased, thus putting further pressure on pricing to end users.

VOIP Switchover

There is a clear plan of increasing traditional service and call costs to full VOIP switchover in 2025 and businesses would be wise to consider their options sooner rather than later because not only will their costs rise but there is a significant opportunity cost of not moving to more cost effective technology with the added qualitative benefits that can bring. The shock of moving from a reducing cost environment over the last 20-30 years to one of increasing costs will come to many as a nasty un-budgeted surprise and may well affect an organisation’s opportunity to invest in other technology. Slow adopters of communications developments may find themselves at a distinct disadvantage to their peers who may be communicating much more efficiently with their competitors or even clients.

Contractual Challenges

Furthermore we are seeing significant contractual challenges in existing supply arrangements which require a high degree of work to achieve transparency and subsequent control in order that businesses do not unwittingly find themselves rolling over into uncommercial costly contracts for a further period. The pitfalls and issues such as unforeseen exit charges on both existing and new services are just one of the areas to which close attention needs to be paid.

Total Cost of Ownership

The final points we have for businesses are that firstly not all VOIP and SIP connectivity is equal, we are no longer dealing with ubiquitous ISDN technology, and secondly are they able to properly benchmark the Total Cost of Ownership going forwards, for example what are all the new cost components involved, where are the savings achieved and what is the availability and cost impact of additional features that could be made available?

How ERA can help

My view is that most businesses would do well to get expert help in the transition process, not just for the knowledge but also in taking the strain off the internal resource that is required to properly assess and implement. This is where the full strength of ERA can support your organisation. For more information on how we can help, contact us today.

About the Author: Nigel Rosehill

Nigel Rosehill is one of ERA’s longest serving consultants with 21 years experience in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland, developing a significant knowledge of how to tackle complex and challenging procurement assignments within the Communications area of expenditure, in which he specialises.