One of the key advantages of communications delivered over broadband using Software as a Service (SaaS) is that they operate on an IP network. IP networks are a means to reduce costs by replacing expensive ISDN and leased line connections with SIP trunks operating over broadband connections.
ISDN2 forces the business to buy two channels at a time. ISDN30 forces them to buy a minimum of 8, and a maximum of 30. If you have 30 and you want 31, you’ll have to pay for 38 channels (30 + 8). SIP Trunks delivered over broadband connections can provide any number of channels, in increments of one. The only limit is your bandwidth. Over the past few years, broadband prices have fallen through the floor. Over the same period, ISDN prices have stayed broadly unchanged.
If the business connectivity is delivered by renting ISDN lines, you’re probably paying more than you need. SIP Trunking allows you to take advantage of falling broadband connectivity costs. With ISDN, if you need to add another ISDN circuit, you may need an additional ISDN line card for your telephone switch. The cost of these, including additional licenses, can set you back about £1600, plus installation charges. With IP, adding new trunks doesn’t require additional hardware.
But IP network connections over broadband provide more than just cost savings. Applications previously only viable for large businesses, due to cost considerations, can be made available to small and mid size businesses, as a service, when they need them. Use of IP based communications delivered to the business over broadband using the internet gives the option for establishing virtual private network communications between sites. This, in turn, allows free business calls between offices and makes it easy for businesses to run a single dialling plan across many offices and to transfer calls between offices at no cost to the business.
In addition, there are service providers today who will provide Business phone services FREE OF CHARGE. There are no set-up fees. No monthly connection charges. No maintenance fees. No hidden costs! There is no requirement for you to purchase any other items. You will pay only for the calls you make at the service provider’s competitive call tariffs. The service will work with all broadband services. If you are in an area with high congestion on the network and you have a low bandwidth line, then the voice quality may be affected. However, in our experience, this service works to deliver business quality voice over the majority of UK lines.
Not only are businesses paying less for their communications but they are getting more! For small businesses with their own telephone switch, failure of the switch or line means failure of the communications in the business. Delivering communications as a service means that redundancy, resilience and security is handled by the service provider which reduces risk and removes maintenance costs from the business. It also means that all businesses can have the same high standards of resilience and redundancy previously only affordable for the large enterprise.
Of course, in a market with many new start-up operators offering services, this is one of the main areas of differentiation and it is necessary for the business to select their service provider with a eye to the level of security and resilience provided.
Broadband services bring a wide range of services and cost saving options for business communications within easy reach. As these services are adopted by businesses, the demand on broadband networks will inevitably grow, which means Digital Britain is going to be increasingly hungry for broadband services. Today, with the uptake gaining steadily, there is sufficient bandwidth to deliver good quality services over the existing broadband without impact on services quality.
But the plan “to work towards a nationwide high-speed broadband network by 2016” needs to be kept high on the government agenda as, when more businesses begin to recognise the benefits of these new services, they are likely to escalate the demand for high bandwidth quality broadband for business.