Office telephone systems - buyer's guide

by John Tyreman, Mason Communications

The Oftel Small Business Task Force has developed this quick buyer's guide to help you get the best deal when buying or upgrading your telephone system.

Identify what your business telecoms needs are

To help potential suppliers to give you a firm quote, first assess:

Talk to at least three potential suppliers

It may sometimes appear cheaper to buy telecoms equipment, installation and maintenance services from separate suppliers but sorting out problems will be easier with one supplier and be more economical in the long run. Most providers of network services, except BT, will not provide equipment.

Ask potential suppliers:

Typical costs

It is difficult to provide accurate figures since system functionality, particularly with the advent of combined voice and data networks, varies so much. However as a rough guide typical installation and support costs for office telephone systems are given below. Remember to compare the full life cost of ownership (installation + maintenance + management service) with the cost of a managed Centrex type service (for the minimum contract period), taking into account the functionality of services on offer.

 

very small (<16 extensions)

small (24-32 extensions)

medium (>64 extensions)

equipment

GBP200-GBP1000

GBP5000-GBP10,000

GBP15,000-GBP30,000

installation

GBP300-GBP400 + extension
cabling (GBP60 per point)

GBP2000-GBP3000 + extension
cabling (GBP60 per point)

GBP5000-GBP8000 + extension
cabling (GBP60 per point)

maintenance

GBP200-GBP300 per annum

GBP400-GBP1000 per annum

GBP2000-GBP3500 per annum
(approx. 10-12% of capital value)

management

GBP200+ per annum

approx. GBP150 per hour

approx. GBP150 per hour

The following organisations may be able to help you to locate telecoms installers and maintainers in your area:

They may make a charge for this service.

Reviewed January 2011

last updated : 21/01/2011



See also our UK ICT Directory for supplier lists and links



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