No matter how solid a business is doing, there is no doubt that saving a buck is in their best interest. Of course, saving money should not come at the expense of customer service or reputation, so telecommunications is usually not the first place money saving opportunities are explored. Most companies have email communications available, but there are many customers who cannot or will not utilize them. For those people, it is important for the company to offer some kind of telephone service for customer care and concern, or risk losing valuable business.
Many companies are having troubles keeping up these days, and while it is unsurprising that small companies are having troubles affording the rising costs of long distance service on top of all the costs of equipment and up-keep, even larger companies are having trouble these days. The need to continue offering good products or services at a fair price while still earning a profit is important to every business- if they say otherwise, they are probably lying. Many companies have turned to outsourcing many of their telecommunication needs to foreign countries that handle incoming and outgoing calls on a freelance basis by contract with the assigning company. In this case, the freelance company would handle the cost of equipment and upkeep themselves, rather than the assigning business. But some companies would rather handle their own calls, or at least, keep their calls more localized. For them, voice over IP systems may offer an affordable, viable option over the traditional phone company.
Initial outlay for equipment and training should be factored into the numbers when a company is investigating changing from PSTN to VOIP. Equipment can include the actual phones themselves, plus any connections that may need to be made or upgraded. VOIP only works with a high-speed broadband Internet connection, so if that upgrading will also need to be addressed, they must factor that cost in as well. The more equipment needing to be bought, the less the margin of savings will be for the first year. Training should be fairly minimal, as the systems are generally quite straightforward. Courses can be given to employees right on the computer, eliminating the need for a huge conference room or overtime pay.
There are disadvantages to VOIP to consider, including a need for at least some form of back-up communication in case of a power failure. The company also needs to make sure that they are in the right location for voice over IP to even work — if there is not a broadband connection, then VOIP will not work.