The key with any analysis is to try to keep it simple and straightforward -- not make it a project in data collection and analysis paralysis.
As an overview, consider the following line items to include in the analysis to make it robust enough for approval, but not overkill.
Some of the opportunities for savings and potential benefits include:
IT / Telecommunication Cost Savings
- Reduced phone bills -- save up to 60% on current call costs by routing inter-office voice calls over data networks
- Reduction in old Centrex contracts -- which tend to be pricey
- Consolidation of calling plans and rate reductions
Increased Administrative and Support Productivity
- Convergence -- one network, one management means it is easier to direct solution
- Reduce moves, adds and changes -- as it is easier with an IP-based solution; changing hardware reconfiguration to plug and play; or simple software reconfigurations
Increased employee mobility and productivity
- Unified messaging -- voice mail, e-mail, fax
- Personal Assistant features like Find-Me/Follow-Me
- IP voice and video teleconferencing
Business capability and agility
- Virtual call centers
- Integrated applications
- Enhanced customer service-oriented applications
Costs to consider include:
VoIP central system hardware and software Phone set upgrades or replacements Network upgrades Managed services Implementation labor and services IT training User training Transport cost increases (T1 lines) Application development or integration Other change costs: write-downs, support increase initially, potential downtime
Potential risks to consider that might drive up costs or undermine benefits include:
Network readiness and upgrade investment underestimated due to poor readiness assessments and planning User adoption/training -- users do not adopt or use new features as expected IT capability and maturity -- IT staff is not productive; improvements do not occur as expected Quality of service (QoS) issues Security
To help you on this project, I recommend visiting the Alinean website for a free ROI analysis tool that includes a robust VoIP model.
Another suggestion would be to ask your service provider, and perhaps one or two alternative providers, to work with you to develop their own independent analysis. Although each vendor may have some bias or agenda, working with them to personalize the analysis and challenging various assumptions as well as looking at several different analyses, can help you in preparing your own presentation.
This was first published in May 2006