Thinking about the cost of a new phone system?

When discussing the cost phone systems, wiring and installation, purchasing the actual phones, the system itself (cabinet), programming, configuration testing, optional accessories, potential cost savings, gains from increased employee productivity, and costs to maintain quality and ensure reliability must all be considered.  Thankfully, there is great way to estimate it!  Read on…

Ultimately, how much you pay for a phone system will depend on which system you choose and the number of employees you have. Phone system costs are often best estimated as the total cost per employee or user.  Call the manufacturer and ask to locate a professional who is certified by the manufacturer to ensure your purchase is protected by warranty and your installer knows the system.  As the technology continues to become more complex, the last thing you want is your installer to use your site as his on-the-job training while you miss phone calls and business!

Average Phone System Costs

Again, keep in mind that while there are average phone costs, how much you will end up paying for a phone system is dependent upon the size of your office and the features you require.  Just like all other electronics purchases, a well-known brand name does not necessarily equate to a reliable product — an when your business relies on its phones, do not risk it with someone without a proven reputation you can personally verify.  In working with a company such as Phonewire, total costs can be significantly reduced by trade-in promotional offers or special manufacturer equipment bundles.  If your business has more than 50 employees, the cost of these phone systems may be less per employee, due to benefits of a volume purchase.

1. Pure-IP phone systems with enhanced Unified Communications features start at around $300-$600 for each phone, but there is also additional equipment, such as a server, switches, or gateways, and software licenses needed to make all those phones work so you will generally pay an average of $800 to $1200 per employee in total for all – depending on the technology needed and required installation labor for your exact desired solution and integration with existing IT systems. These systems promise many features, but usually those features are locked initially and require software license keys to enable those features.  Make sure you discuss exactly what functionality you can use immediately and what features you must pay later to “turn on”.  At this cutting-edge level, an annual maintenance agreement is usually proposed to make sure that all of the software which powers the phones and phone system are always kept up to date and bug free.

2. Most of the more-traditional KSU phone systems with optional Voice-over-IP capabilities such as SIP trunking and integration with mobile or home office “teleworkers” can cost anywhere from $250 to $500 per employee. Any specific features or integrations needed by your business will require play a major role in the pricing for this type of system and usually must be added as add-on options or licensed feature upgrades.

3. KSU-less systems — that is, phone systems which do not require a controller box in the back room connecting all the phones together —  like our AT&T SynJ wireless phone system, are usually the least expensive type of phone system because the only things you will be paying for are setup, installation, and the telephones themselves. Telephones for this type of system usually range from $100 to $200 per phone depending on the quantity bought at once.

Don’t Forget About Installation

The cost of installation is often included in the overall cost of a phone system, and, in some cases, installation fees can be just as costly. Phone systems, VoIP, and Unified Communications systems are very complex, and require professional expert installation, so paying installations fees will be necessary. Look for a company with a reputation in telecommunications who will provide a flat-fee installation bid.  Be suspicious if they are a young IT company trying to “expand” into telecommunications or quote you a per-hour installation rate as most businesses that primary provide IT services and install phone systems on-the-side may be learning the technology as-they-go and using your business as their “guinea pig” risking the financial success of your business on their lack of telecom knowledge.

Wiring costs are usually your second-greatest expense.  If you are building a new construction building, putting in more wiring before the framed walls are enclosed will always be less expensive than trying to add wiring later.  You may also be required to pay additional charges if your existing wiring is not compatible to your new phone system.

 

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