Not sure when, how and why to upgrade your communications solutions? We go through the ins and outs in this article.
Contracts around your communication solutions are often built to last five years, but did you know you can (and should) be upgrading your equipment before they’re over?
There are many advantages to upgrading your equipment regularly, including:
- Access to the latest technology
- Lower risk of your equipment needing expensive repairs
- Cost savings (from renegotiated contracts, amongst other things, which we go into in more detail below).
This gives you more value for money – you will pay the same, or even pay less, and have better, newer equipment.
In this article, we’re going to dive into the whens, whats and whys around upgrading your communication solutions.
WHEN SHOULD I UPGRADE MY EQUIPMENT?
When it comes to upgrading your communication solutions, you need to look where you are in your contract. When your contract has reached 70% maturity (i.e. year 3 of a 5 year agreement), it’s a good time to settle the old agreement and update it with new equipment.
This is a good time to do this because:
a) It’s about getting more reliable equipment to prevent repair issues
b) Lets you renegotiate rates
The above points are also why we recommend taking this approach! You can lower your rental AND get new equipment, making this a cost saving exercise. A five year contract with a negotiation at the three year mark also means you pay less interest than if you took a shorter contract from the get go. With a shorter agreement, the rental would escalate because it’s a short term and more costly affair, with a higher interest on CAPEX.
At GVSC, we try and look at the current spend and tailor-make a suitable solution for your needs. Our goal is to help you save money and therefore we approach it with an analytical eye: can you refinance, what will get you a lower interest rate, when does your equipment become vulnerable and need expensive repairs?
Our approach is to go the extra mile and when the contract is up for renewal, we step in and say, “This is what we can do for you”. I would love our customers to do the investigation with us, and we recommend people look at good deals and also things like reliability. In many businesses, car dealerships for example, telephones are the heart of the business – so although it’s crucial to get value for money, it’s also important to not just take the cheapest option that could damage your business in the long run. That’s why we look at alternate ways to save you money, without impacting the quality of the you get.
When we look at your contract, we take into consideration the current VOIP network, the finance agreement, and we look at all the necessary figures and pay that off as part and parcel of the deal. We try to stick to the same amount per month and even save when we can. A lot of business owners don’t have the time to do this savings analysis, but it’s something we take great pride in.
DID YOU KNOW? A lot of finance agreements are considered rental agreements, which means the finance house owns the equipment and they don’t give ownership to end users. This means you can carry on paying installments for old equipment! Ask yourself: at the end of the contract, are you obligated to buy the old equipment, or does it fall on the finance house? Understand your finance agreement.
WHAT SHOULD I UPGRADE?
You can upgrade your entire gamut of products, but some we particularly recommend keeping a beady eye on are those that are at the heart of the business and could do with a technology upgrade more regularly, namely:
- CCTV solutions
With regards to telephony there are always newer models and new approaches which could keep you at the head of the pack. In, for example, a car dealership, it would make a huge difference to upgrade by moving from an outdated switch board to a cloud-based solution. We also recommend adding in mobile applications which let staff access their phones as if they were in the office even when they’re out.
We would look at:
- Current VOIP supplier
- Upgrading models of phone
- Call rates
- Lowering rental costs
- When upgrading a handset, for example, you could get a more reliable solution with longer lifespan.
Your printer should absolutely be upgraded frequently as well. With newer models, and faster printers, your cost per copy (a critical measure) could come down considerably. Every two or three years you should be investigating the following: am I paying the right amount, are they looking after my needs, is this machine suitable for current business needs (for example, have volumes increased)? GVSC can analyse this information for you and help you get a lower cost per copy and a lower rental. Not a lot of organisations have the time to do this research.
Internet isn’t necessarily tied into a finance house, but it’s amazing the improvements you can have by critically re-evaluating the contract at the 70% mark. For example, different internet solutions might become available in your area, like fibre. You should also look at your ISP and what they’re offering. ISP capabilities change! In two years’ time, you could get a much higher speed and yet pay the same for it. Some ISPs will contact you proactively, but most do not.
CCTV solutions benefit from the same critical evaluation and will offer the same benefits down the line, with newer equipment and technology.
TIP When you get presented with a finance option, check the escalation on the monthly amount! Some of these are structured at 10% escalation (which looks nice in year 1, but at year 5…)
WHY UPGRADE? WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF NOT UPGRADING?
As we’ve mentioned above, upgrading lets you get newer technology for either the same cost, or a lower cost.
The main risk you face is if you have older equipment and you run into technical problems, you can end up paying hefty call out and support fees. If it’s new equipment you can go back to the maintenance agreement. We strongly recommend that you update your equipment regularly – you have to pay the fixed amount every month – why pay that and be stuck with old equipment?
I HAVE A CONTRACT AGREEMENT WITH ANOTHER COMPANY – WHAT THEN?
The great news is GVSC can help you consolidate and settle your contracts. Our process is to send an executive in to understand you and to put together a saving analysis and proposal based on your needs: how many computers are being used, how advanced your telephony solution needs to be, and so on.
Scenario: I’m changing my telephony solution to work with GVSC.
- Our GVSC executive would meet with you to understand your needs.
- Once we’ve worked through your papers, we would put together a savings analysis that we share with you.
- We would schedule the equipment installation.
- Once you’ve submitted your docs for number porting, we would port them from your current provider over to our network. You could be operational immediately.
- We then do the necessary programming. Generally, our savings on the monthly costs of the VOIP network can get as high 30% – 40%.
Upgrading your communication solution should be easy and painless, and has many benefits. One of them is the opportunity to consolidate all your communication solutions to one provider – you won’t need to manage multiple contracts, and will see big savings by working with someone who has your best interest at heart.