5 Factors that Influence Unified Communications Solutions Pricing

5 Factors that Influence Unified Communications Solutions Pricing

Business owners and technology leaders like to know their costs for the year ahead. When adopting new technology, it is important to be able to predict what the corresponding spend will be. This is why we at Atlantech Online provide all cost information up front and don't hide any fees in the details. No one wants to be blindsided by the cost of their unified communications solution.

If you're new to unified communications, you may not know all the factors that could influence cost, and the last thing you want is to overpay for unified communications (UC) features you don't want, need or use.

Many factors impact the pricing of your unified communications solution. UC solutions should provide features that solve your business needs, and the price should reflect that.

While the actual costs depend on your unified communications provider, we can give you an idea of what will impact your price tag. In this article, we will review how and why these five factors will affect your unified communication solutions pricing. 

Variables that Impact Unified Communications Solutions Pricing

The costs of unified communication solutions, also known as UCaaS or UC systems, can be divided into three categories:

  • Upfront costs
  • Ongoing costs
  • Total cost of ownership

These three categories apply to any type of unified communication solutions, including cloud-based and on-site solutions. Let’s discuss the five factors that impact upfront costs, ongoing costs, and total cost of ownership for cloud-based and on-site UC solutions.

Cloud-Based Unified Communications Pricing Factors

1. Number of Users

For cloud-based UC solutions, the pricing is relatively simple. It comes down to one question: how many users do you need?

Once you have your user seats set up, there are no required hardware costs if your team already has desktop or laptop computers and mobile devices such as a Droid or iPhone. The simplicity and security of choosing a cloud-based UC solution are why so many companies are switching over from an premise-based system. On-site unified communication solutions also require software, but that is just one piece of the puzzle. In addition to paying for software seats for on-site systems, there are many factors to consider and expensive upgrades to make over time.

Software costs are considered an ongoing cost because most cloud-based UC solutions have little to no upfront fees. One of the best parts about cloud-based solutions is that when your team grows, you simply add more users. The software scales with you, and there is no need to increase maintenance or upgrade on-site hardware. A cloud-based UC solution costs range from $30 to upwards of $60 per user per month and vary depending on your provider and user needs.

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On-Site Unified Communications Pricing Factors

2. Hardware & Software Costs

For on-site UC systems, hardware is usually the most expensive cost. Between hardware, software licenses, infrastructure, installation, and endpoint setup, you could be looking at a price tag upwards of $70,000. These costs are considered upfront and ongoing costs because software licenses need to be renewed and on-site systems need to be upgraded over time.

This large cost is one of the biggest reasons why companies switch from on-site to the cloud. Why should you own and operate Session Border Controllers. In the Hosted solution, you carrier manages and maintains the SBC. A common argument in the industry is that you’re still paying for software either way, except one way, it’s basically the only cost. In addition to these hardware and software costs, you may find yourself needing add-on services like:

  • Email services
  • Video conferencing
  • Directory services
  • VoIP/voice calling
  • Data management
  • Softphone capabilities

3. Maintenance Costs

Maintaining and repairing on-site hardware is considered an ongoing cost. The hourly wages of the maintenance and repair professionals, along with the additional maintenance hardware costs, are a recurring expense as long as you have an on-site system. 

Maintenance costs may also include necessary hardware upgrades to stay updated with software advancements. This cost varies greatly, but public quotes have ranged around $150 per user per year.

4. IT Costs

Maintaining an on-site system incurs more costs than just repair. Many companies have direct and indirect costs when it comes to on-site UC hardware. Direct costs include maintaining an immediate on-site staff that monitors the hardware and your data center. Additionally, employing on-demand staff requires onboarding and hourly costs.

To get around these costs, some companies try to include their on-site unified communication system as a part of the regular IT staff’s responsibility. This can lead to lower productivity rates for your everyday IT tickets, networking issues, endpoint issues, and other system upgrades. IT costs are an ongoing expense that ranges depending on the hourly rates of your IT professionals, and the indirect cost of lower productivity for resolving tickets that may affect your whole company.

5. Potential Long Term Costs

Scalability is something that growing companies need to take into consideration when choosing a UC solution. As your company grows and your technological needs change, your UC solution should be instantly scalable at a low cost. 

For on-site solutions, this is usually a large expense because your company needs to add additional hardware. Expanding your hardware for scalability incurs other upfront and ongoing costs such as new endpoint setup, network upgrades, new hardware costs, additional IT staff hours, and more. 

Scaling an on-site system can cost tens of thousands of dollars because you’re repeating the initial installation process, just on a smaller scale. Scaling an on-site system also requires a certain amount of physical space within your facility, so you may find yourself upgrading your real estate property to accommodate on-site hardware.

In addition to scalability, on-site UC solutions require security to protect your hardware against malicious intent. Without on-site security, your hardware may be at risk for tampering, malware, and theft. The benefit of having your own security is the added assurance that your on-site operations are being handled. The alternative is choosing a cloud solution provider that meets your security needs.

Get a Quote for Cloud-Based Unified Communications Solutions

Unified communication solutions help improve your organization’s ability to communicate effectively, with over 75% of UCaaS users reporting increased productivity levels.

You deserve to pay for only what you need and have access to the most reliable, cost-effective unified communications technology in the industry. 

Now is the time to get a quote for your own cloud-based unified communication solution and see what all the buzz is about. Atlantech Online can give you a personalized quote for you to compare to your current costs, and see if cloud-based unified communication is right for you.

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Tom Collins
Post by Tom Collins
August 4, 2021
Tom is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.