Teams Calling and 3CX – per channel billing

When it comes to pricing for voice services there are two key models:

  • Per user pricing
  • Per channel pricing

Lightwire runs with per channel, and this blog is going to tell you why that results in a lower cost and more scalable solution for businesses.

Let’s start with definitions…

The per user model assigns a channel (a virtual phone line) to each user and your charges increase in a linear fashion as each new user is added.

The per channel model assumes a user to channel ratio of 4:1 (in cases where a call centre isn’t in play) and allows all users to share the channels provided.

per user vs per channel

Why per channel for voice?

Most businesses have a high proportion of employees that, while needing to be able to make and receive calls, are not big users of their phones.

Per user charges sound great until you realise you are paying for calls your staff aren’t making. That’s why Lightwire Teams Calling and 3CX services are based on how many simultaneous calls you can make. Every concurrent call uses a channel and users share channels. By sharing channels all users can enjoy their Unified Communications platform in the most cost effective manner.

The per channel model is a simple concept that makes the uptake cost significantly lower, especially for corporate and enterprise entities.

Some real numbers

Let’s have a look at how the per user model stack up against the per channel model based on 50 users on a 24 month term.

A quick search shows that the average Teams Calling with Direct Routing solution is around $25 per user, which would set you back $1,250 per month.

With a per channel model for 50 users you would need between 10 channels and 20 channels on average, with our 20 channel retail offering starting from $295 + GST per month – even accounting for some variable charges based on usage profiles, the savings are significant.

Per user vs per channel for voice solutions

Whether you’re looking a bundle plan or an unlimited option, the outcome is the same – the cost per user is significantly lower on a per channel basis.

Real time channel alerting

Working on a per channel basis means that you need to be sure you have the right number of channels available to be shared by your team. We have the tools to ensure you can plan and manage your capacity effectively.

Our customer portal, illume, provides real time insights and alerts on channel utilisation. With this feature, you will be able to check channel usage on your account instantly.

VoIP channel utilisation for voice services

The graph shows 3 lines:

  • The red line which represents 100% utilization
  • The orange line which represents 75% utilization
  • The blue line which shows the number of calls made over a 5-minute period which can be viewed both in a daily and monthly format.

Additionally, if you are on the 3CX service the graphs also include intra-3CX calls meaning it is very accurate across all service types.

You will receive an email once per 24 hours period if/when you hit 75% utilisation, and again when you hit 100%. We don’t want to spam you, so we have limited the number of times we will alert you to usage in a 24 hour period.

This functionality takes the guesswork out of managing your voice channel capacity and means you won’t be inadvertently turning away phone calls due to maxed out voice channels. It also means you won’t be overspending on unused channels.

Rapid response

To make our reporting and alerting functions truly useful, we back them with the ability to rapidly increase your channel count if required. SIP, Teams Calling and 3CX services can all have their channel allocation increased within 1 business day.

So, to wrap all of that up…

Per channel billing, backed by industry leading data driven insights, results in lower cost outcomes and greater profitability for our customers.

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