Hosted Solutions – Hosted Solutions may cost more than you think

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If you are thinking about swapping your phone system, on-site server and document store or both to a hosted solution, please call us on 01242621641 as we may be able to save you money by changing the IT equipment in your office but we strongly recommend you read the following carefully as you may have overlooked some of the points raised.

Hosted PBX

There are many pros and cons for a hosted phone system and an on-site phone system, but we have found most of the discussions revolve around the cost of the systems. To highlight the differences, we though we'd compare a hosted pbx with one of our on-site phone systems over a 5 year period.

This is what another supplier says about their hosted PBX system:

"These days your business telephone system needs to be cost-effective and flexible. You can scale handsets up or down as you need them and with voicemail, call forwarding and free site to site calls all included, its ideal for start ups, growing businesses and multiple locations.

Best of all, it's less than half the cost of many other systems."

They then go on to say:

"Whereas typically even a small telephone system can cost thousands of pounds. The only capital expenditure is the cost of the phones, maybe a Power over Ethernet switch, and a small remote project management/configuration fee. The initial equipment and engineering cost compared with a telephone system is a reduction of 64%.

...includes free features that are normally extra on standard phone systems including:

  • Conference Bridge
  • Multi site connectivity
  • Auto Attendant
  • Voicemail to email and email alert"

We can provide you with a Draytek phone system that will give you the options of a multi-layered Auto Attendant, Voicemail to Email, multi-site connectivity with free calls between sites, conferencing and remote / home workers for less than £500. They also require you to have a dedicated broadband connection from them - we don't because we think, in most cases, VoIP will work with your existing infrastructure.

How the numbers comapare

The comparison table below is based on a Draytek phone system, using your own infrastructure and does not include on-going costs.

Other Supplier Our Solution
Circuit Connection £426.00 £0.00
System Cost £0.00 £400.00
Handset Cost (6 phones) £420.00 £330.00
PoE Switch £100 £100
Configuration £180.00 £600.00 including installation & training
Total £1,126.00 £1,430.00

The biggest on-going cost of a hosted PBX is the cost per-user of about £5-6 per month. Using the example system above, we can provide each of the users with a DDI for £6 per month in total. The comparison table below shows the on-going costs over a 5 year period and doesn't include call charges.

Other Supplier Our Solution
Cost per Year £432.00 £272.00
Over 5 years £2,160.00 £1,360.00

In terms of on-going costs, our solution breaks down to £3.78 per user per month and a saving of £800 over 5 years.

Other Considerations

Cost is not the only consideration you should be thinking about. If they had a problem and / or you lost your internet connection or experinced issues with it, you would lose all your telephony - you wouldn't be able to call the person sat on the next desk or in the next office. The well-documented Sony Playstation Network hack resulted in it being down for 10 days, how long could your business survive without any telephones?

Please call us on 01242 621641 for more details or for a quote tailored to your requirements

Hosted / Virtual Desktop

There are many pros and cons for a hosted desktop / email and the more traditional on-site solution, but most of the discussions that companies have revolve around giving people the ability to work from anywhere and reducing the overall IT costs.

We've looked at what a few hosted desktop / virtual desktop suppliers say and found that most of them compare their costs against having an expensive on-site server and support. One supplier says:

"Reduce your IT costs – no need for expensive IT hardware, anti-virus software, licence renewals and external IT support. Savings of up to 50% over a three-year period can easily be achieved. Save on energy bills and reduce your carbon replacing a PC with a Thin Client.
We will become your outsourced IT department and you will no longer have to worry about software updates, replacing outdated hardware and dealing with day-to-day IT issues."

We may be able to save you money just by changing the equipment in your office and / or the software you use, while still maintaining compatibility with Microsoft Office without having to move everything to the cloud.

We thought we'd do a cost comparison of our solution with a hosted / virtual desktop over a 3 year period with 6 users.

How the numbers compare

The comparison table below is based on our Server Replacement solution, including off-site backup and you opting to swap all your existing PCs with Thin Clients.

Hosted Desktop Our Solution
Replacing old PCs £1500.00 N/A
Replacing Server N/A £0.00
Setup Costs £200.00 £600.00
Total £1,700.00 £600.00

The biggest on-going cost of a hosted desktop is the cost per-user of about £25 per month. Using the example system above, usually with extra charges for software, backups, etc. The comparison table below shows the on-going costs per month and the only additional cost for the hosted desktop is Microsoft Office for 6 users and assumes that you already have a standard internet connection in the first year.

Hosted Desktop Our Solution
6 Users £150.00 £0.00
MS Office for 6 users £30.00 £0.00 (MS Office equivalent)
Internet Connection £190.00 £50.00 (Our estimated cost of your existing internet connection)
Total Monthly Cost £370.00 £50.00
Monthly Cost per User £61.67 69p

There is already a significant cost saving using our solution, just in the first year! The comparison table below shows the on-going costs over a 3 year period:

Their Solution Our Solution
Year 1 £4,440.00 £600.00
Over 3 years £13,320.00 £2,070.00

You can still have the benefits of a hosted / virtual desktop with our solution while saving £11,250 over 3 years.

Other Considerations

Like a hosted phone system, it relies on you having a working internet connection so you can log onto your desktop so if you experience issues with the internet connection or you lose your internet connection you may not be able to access any of your data.

This has further implications with the user experience - each user needs a high-bandwidth connection to their servers in order to maintain good performance, any issue with your internet connection may result in users experiencing lagging and get frustrated when things don't work as they are used to. This is the reason why their internet connection charges are higher than you might expect.

When you move things to the cloud you stop 'owning' your data in the sense that you are reliant on a 3rd party looking after your data, including backups, etc. There have been many high profile hacks, most notably eBay and Amazon recently and the well-documented Sony Playstation Network hack - how well would your business cope if your hosted desktop supplier suffered a similar data breach and some of your sensitive documents were leaked to your competitors or you lost access to everything for 10 days?

Our solution allows you to maintain 100% control of your data, while offering flexible backup options with almost instant restoration of data should the worst happen and doesn't rely on an expensive internet connection for you to access your data, with options of how much of the Cloud you want to integrate into your business.

We can set up and support your business through the transistion to the cloud and beyond. Call us on 01242 621641 for further information or for a quote tailored to your requirments.