Many enterprises have been considering switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or unified communications (UC). While these technologies have grown, the industry has seen an upward shift in the pricing for plain old telephone service (POTS). Here are the main factors shaping this change:
The bundling of servers: Cable companies have been offering deals for years now that bundle internet, telephone, and cable for a low price, but this type of packaging is eating away at the main revenue sources of POTS suppliers. In addition, wireless providers are luring customers away from regular telephone service, and wireless phones now exceed the number of landlines in the residential market.
It’s not possible for most companies to make a complete shift: While enterprises are choosing UC solutions for many of their communications needs, there are certain systems that require POTS to function. Alarm systems, elevators, fax, and phone system backup are all often reliant on POTS and would require a heavy investment to be reconfigured.
Cloud services are largely disaster-proof: Enterprises are seeing the benefits of cloud services in the case of a fire or natural disaster. When phone lines are down, geographically diverse data centers and connectivity through VoIP keep enterprises with cloud-based communications operating smoothly.
The reliability: It’s hard to argue with a technology that requires you only to plug something into the wall and it works, every time. There are still potential outages during particularly bad storms, but POTS is highly reliable.
Despite the shift in communication methods, carriers for POTS still need to operate trucks, send out technical field agents, and maintain equipment, even as their customer base shrinks. The result is climbing prices for their existing customers. Here are the steps you need to take to adjust to these new prices:
- Cut the POTS lines that are no longer necessary for your business, or cannot be reconfigured to be handled by VoIP. You may need to take a full inventory of your phone lines to see how each one is assigned.
- Move all possible lines to an alternative technology, whether it’s VoIP or another possible way of handling communications.
- Negotiate a contract with the best price for as long as possible on the lines that cannot be moved to another technology. While you may never be able to move all systems away from POTS, extend your pricing as long as you can to provide cost savings.
Compass Solutions can evaluate your POTS to see where you can economize by moving to an alternative connection, then recommend a comprehensive communications and connectivity strategy. Contact us for an appointment.