Every Managed VoIP vendor will tell you that their system is the best, has the most bells and whistles and offers you and your company the best ROI in the business—which is exactly why evaluating VoIP solutions on a vendor-by-vendor basis is ineffective. When evaluating solutions vendor-by-vendor your evaluation is based on material created from the vendors, which lacks a certain amount of impartiality. It is also incredibly time consuming.
Another, more effective, method is a feature-based selection process that focuses on the specific abilities of specific solutions, and the ROI results they bring. To begin the feature-based selection process you need to break your Managed VoIP features into two categories: productivity-focused features and cost-reduction focused features.
The most obvious type of ROI associated with Managed VoIP solutions are savings via cost-reduction techniques and technologies. This savings includes the immediate long-distance savings and savings associated with reduction in expensive phone company lines. But there is also ROI from the steep decrease in the IT staff that are required to implement, monitor, upgrade, and fix telecommunications equipment and software. There are several Managed VoIP features that lead to significant ROI via cost reduction:
- Implementation, monitoring, automatic upgrades, and other man-power eliminating services.
- Monitoring tools that allow for a better allocation of resources.
- Savings on floor space, HVAC, electricity and insurance.
Gains in productivity is a far more difficult category to determine ROI with, as its ROI cannot necessarily be predictably measured like cost reduction can. Productivity gains are made by leveraging technologies that give companies a technological edge over their competition—this can be in areas of increased employee efficiency, increased customer satisfaction or high-tech managerial proficiencies. Features of Managed VoIP that contribute to productivity-derived ROI include:
- Service contacts that allow for more proactive IT projects.
- Remote gateways for multi-site setups.
- Remote user capabilities that allow for a more mobile workforce.
- Monitoring tools for management to ensure that their employees are as productive as possible.
- Secured uptime, generally 99.99% uptime.
- Continuity management and secured backup.
By examining the elements and features of productivity-derived ROI and cost-reduction-based ROI you can determine how to attain the highest return on your investment with your chosen Managed VoIP solution. And by using the reverse-evaluation method of selecting features, instead of vendors, you can save yourself time and help ensure that you aren't blindsided by ROI marketing fluff created by vendors.