Maximize Your Company’s Telecom Usage

Your company’s telecom and networking charges can consume a large part of your budget – as much as one third. That’s a pretty large chunk. Then add in what you are paying for an employee benefits program and you now have a budget that makes you wonder where all the money went.

I have seen a lot of companies turn a blind eye to their telecom expenses and take the, “Oh well, what can one do?” approach.

There are reasons why they do this. The biggest is that no one in the company has time to take on the task of identifying areas of savings. I have seen many times where someone in a business is assigned the task but something else with a higher priority comes along and the telecom file gets shelved yet again.

When they do address the situation they face the problem of where to begin. One of the biggest areas to look at is how your telephone services are being provisioned; in other words, how the voice traffic gets to and from your phones.

If your company has a separate line for each employee and it comes from the telephone company’s central office, you are on a Centrex-based.

Any company or business with more than 15 employees, each with their own line, can save money. Instead of having individual lines for everybody, you can have what is called a PRI, or Primary Rate Interface. It is a protocol designed to allow digital transmission of voice and data over ordinary telephone copper wires, resulting in better quality and higher speeds than available with analog systems.

There are two large advantages to this technology. One is that a single channel can support four or five phones, thereby, cutting down significantly on the number of lines needed.

Clair Callaghan, owner of CableTec Communications Systems says, “PRIs permit direct inward dialing (your own number) and caller line ID without requiring individual lines for everyone. It can be a tremendous way to save on costs.”

It’s based on the fact that not everybody is on the phone at once. It’s just a matter of getting the ratio right based on usage so you never get a busy signal.

The other advantage is that there are many more features that can be utilized without having to pay extra for each one.

John Campbell is a Strategic-Partner with Schooley Mitchell Telecom Consultants.  To find out more about John visit his wepage at