Outsourcing means that you pay specialists to do some or all of the tasks you need to accomplish during the course of a project. This may be a one-time task, such as assessing what the voice quality would be on your current data network, or it may be an ongoing task, such as managing your WAN or managing and monitoring your VoIP applications. The advantages of VoIP outsourcing lie in the areas of cost, quality, speed, and innovation.
One area of cost savings stems from opportunity costs. Small businesses should be the world-class specialists in what they do. Because they don't have access to the know-how, technologies, capital, economies of scale, and other resources of large companies, they must increase their leverage in their area of expertise. The managers in a small organization should not get so bogged down in running the network and the telephone system that they are unable to focus on building the business. Herb Kelleher, CEO of Southwest Airlines, observes that "People who are in the business full time can do it better and cheaper." You should be able to do your job better than anyone else; VoIP outsourcers should be expert in their chosen field. It may be worthwhile to seriously consider outsourcing all the things that are really keeping you from growing your organization profitably.
Another area of potential cost savings opens up when you avoid the in-house costs of mastering the skills necessary to deploy and manage a VoIP system well. The potential costs for even a modest pilot were described in the previous chapter. Can some of those costs be borne by specialists in those topics?
A team already experienced in VoIP deployment and management should perform these tasks much faster and with higher quality than could your team if it is performing these tasks for the first time. VoIP is a business-critical network application. Do you want experienced professionals, bound by a contractual obligation, to get it right, doing it for youor do you think you can get it right the first time? Although this book has already provided a significant amount of advice for doing it yourself, every installation is unique.
Presumably, a team that is already expert in VoIP will have seen many different network topologies and deployment variations, which should help it to quickly find creative solutions to any obstacles encountered in your network. When you outsource, you are more likely to benefit from the latest innovations in the field.