Free or Foe?

Free or Foe?

“How much is this going to cost me?” 

If telecommunications sales representatives had a dollar every time they heard that question from a lead, they would have enough money to never work again. However, it can be tricky to have a set price for solutions in the telecom industry because there is no one size fits all solution for all businesses.

A solution we have heard allows telecom resellers to ‘dodge’ costs when launching their business is free PBX softwares. Resellers believe they can avoid fees and start generating leads as soon as possible. Unfortunately, a ‘free’ PBX software can only last so long and may eventually cost you more. 

A previous blog post covered how non-paid PBX softwares are not entirely free. We discuss how once you invest in a solution, it is not easy to uproot it to another. Read how this PBX Tree Analogy is so Good, You WOOD Not Believe It and learn what we mean. (Now, are you picking up on the tree pun? 😏)

Before we get ahead of ourselves, what is a free PBX software?

FreePBX is an example of a free PBX software, “the world’s most popular open source IP PBX, gives users the tools to build a phone system tailored to their needs.” The software is free to download and equipped with all the basic elements needed to build an IP phone system. However, for additional features and functionality, users must pay. 

How is this possible? The power of non-paid PBX softwares comes from a global community of developers. They ensure the software remains highly compatible and customizable with all leading features. They say it’s scalable to build your business on a budget. But as companies begin to grow, they quickly outgrow the solution. 

Common Problems

As companies flourish, they quickly realize that they are held back by the lack of expandability of these platforms. If you are not an experienced developer, it is hard to take the open-source platform and add your own solutions. So, you are stuck waiting for the community of developers to do it for you.

Another problem we have heard users face is the support aspect. Although the solution is free, users can access support in three ways. 

  1. Post your question on a forum. The forum is typically very active; therefore, community members can receive responses quickly. Although, you will be troubleshooting the issue on your own.
  2. Visit a free PBX software wiki, where you can access full documentation, including installation, administration manuals, and troubleshooting techniques.
  3. Contact an external support provider and pay.

Last but not least is the purchase of upgraded licenses. A huge downside to non-paid PBX softwares, is that there are not many options for purchasing or upgrading licenses. For example, users can either choose to buy a 1-year or 25-year increment. There is a noticeable difference in price between the two! For many, that might not be an issue, but it could deter smaller or newer businesses.

These three common problems are extremely unfortunate because the beautiful part of selling telecommunication solutions is you do not need to be a developer! When you partner with an experienced provider, they do all the heavy lifting for you. Providers are equipped with teams of expert engineers ready to solve (and prevent) issues as they arise (before they occur). That way, you can focus on what you do best: selling. 

Why go the non-paid PBX software Route?

There are many reasons resellers choose to begin their telecommunications journey with a free PBX solution. 

  1. Avoid Monthly Fees
  2. Ownership of the Company 
  3. Easily Available
  4. It is Free 

Unfortunately, the word free stands for Freedom. The freedom of open source communication. There is no denying the four points mentioned above are attractive for a reseller entering the telecommunication industry. But did you know that many software manufacturers and cloud providers all offer freedom? Freedom to own your company, implement a perpetual pricing module, offer customizable solutions, and so much more? 

So, now what?

If you are asking for our advice, do it right first. Using a non-paid PBX software can only take you so far. When your customers start to demand more, you may find your back against the wall because you are not equipped to offer the latest features. To take your company to the next level and stay on par with the competition, you will need to re-root your customers to another platform with a new provider. 

The saying “You need to spend money to make money?” is prevalent in the telecommunications industry. The bargaining power of buyers is extremely high because there are so many vendors to choose from who offer similar features at different prices. 

Connect with our sales development team today, and get information on the best solution for your business. Partnering with Bicom Systems gives you access to exclusive content, materials, customizable solutions, and more! Ask us how you can build your brand’s way. 

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