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Weighing Your Options Before Your Phone System Lease Is Up

by John Ciarlone on May 15, 2014

phone system leasing

One of the best things about leasing telecommunications equipment through Hummingbird is the flexibility it gives you in your upgrade options. Unlike the irrevocable investment of a hardware purchase, leasing equipment gives you the ability to change your hardware roadmap as needed.

As one of the west coast's pioneers in leased telecommunications hardware, we've been working to give you the most possible options. In today's fast-changing business environment, that can allow you to stay ahead of the upgrade game, embracing new technologies while your competitors are still struggling to keep up.

Short on time? Download our free guide to buying a new phone system. 

meraki communicationsExploring The Options Available for Phone System Leasing

Generally speaking, once you're on a lease, you have four potential options:

1 - During the lease period, you can almost always swap your existing equipment and apply it towards a new lease on newer hardware.

2 - At the end of the lease, you've paid for the equipment and can keep it as an investment, free and clear.

3 - Alternately, the equipment can then be traded in towards credit on upgrades or a reduction on a new lease.

4 - Or, should financial troubles occur, leases can usually be extended to give you more flexibility in your monthly payments.

Obviously, no one wants to deal with number 4 if they can help it, so we'll talk about the other choices instead. However, it's still useful to know that the option is there, should it become necessary.

The Virtues Of A Consistent Upgrade Cycle

The benefits of leasing in a modern technological environment go beyond simple budgeting. It can create a new IT environment where the hardware itself can be treated as a "service," with upgrades coming whenever they're needed.

Without the "investment" part of a capital investment, you're left with the possibility of a fluid network, one with predictable monthly service costs. If a new technology hits the market six months after you upgrade your systems, you aren't out the cost of the old hardware.

Just trade it in for better, while paying the monthly service fees.

Further, you'll always have Hummingbird's expert staff at your back, ready to assist with upgrades or technical challenges as they arise. That's also included in the monthly fee, and can significantly reduce your ongoing IT manpower costs.

This creates a budget-friendly solution to the technical challenges of the years ahead: Rather than trying to predict the future and purchase hardware that might still be useful five years down the line, remove those worries entirely.

Holding Onto Leased Hardware

Of course, the other option here is to keep your telecommunications hardware after the lease period ends.

This is best for companies that have standardized on a single architecture - such as the ADTRAN AOS environment - and want to re-purpose hardware as it becomes depreciated. The switch that started as the backbone of a small company's VoIP system could move to a secondary role as they expand, such as switching a single department.

Cisco Refresh This also allows your leasing fees to translate into actual capital investment, which may or may not be beneficial to your tax situation. (It's complex; ask your accountant.)

There's also something to be said for consistency: Continual upgrades often require continual re-training, and may induce burnout among employees who are constantly called on to learn new systems. On the other hand, well-designed Unified Communications environments specifically avoid this with a standardized interface.

What Direction Will Your Lease Take You?

The questions of leasing vs owning, and how often to trade in hardware, are unavoidably complicated. There isn't a clear-cut guideline to follow, and it often depends greatly on a company's finances as well as their future plans.

However, Hummingbird is here to help sort through your options. If you're considering phone system or other telecommunications upgrades, but aren't sure which options will bring the best ROI, just contact us with your questions!


Topics: Adtran Phone Systems, Phone Systems

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