How Much Does Cloud-Hosted Calling Cost?

When businesses are looking at their options for upgrading or replacing their phone systems, cloud-hosted platforms are an increasingly popular choice.

Webex Calling cost
One of the main reasons businesses move their call systems to the cloud is for predictable pricing. How much cloud-hosted calling will cost your company does depend on a few factors.

Businesses who use cloud-hosted calling enjoy benefits like not needing additional physical infrastructure, the ability to make calls anywhere with an internet connection, and various other options as needed.

However, one of the most attractive features of cloud-hosted calling is the price. Businesses who go with a cloud-hosted platform will have a lower upfront cost and predictable monthly fees. 

How much your company will spend on this collaboration option depends on a few factors:

  1. What licensing agreement you choose
  2. What IntelePeer plan you choose
  3. What phones you choose
  4. How much implementation assistance you require

While there are lots of options for cloud-hosted calling, as a Cisco partner, The KR Group primarily implements Cisco Webex Calling for our customers, so our cost discussion will use this as a reference. However, in general, most other cloud-hosted calling platforms have a similar cost.

What licensing agreement will you choose?

All cloud-hosted calling platforms have different tiers of licenses. Webex Calling breaks their licenses into three groups.

1.    Enterprise agreement

With enterprise agreements, all of your users are considered “knowledge workers,” which is Cisco’s term for employees who require communication access.

With an enterprise agreement license, each user will have access to the full suite of telephony and PBX features. This includes extension dialing, call routing, music on hold, call conferencing, voicemail with email integration, etc.

Additionally, enterprise agreements allow you up to 25% growth over the term of the annual contract. When you renew your contract, your bill will be adjusted to accommodate the growth.

Your agreement also comes with up to 50% common area licenses, free of subscription fees. If you have 500 knowledge workers, you are entitled to have up to 250 additional phones in common areas such as conference rooms, break rooms, and lobbies.

Because of how this tier factors in the common area licensing for the other phones in your company, you will need a minimum of 250 users to purchase it.

If you do choose enterprise licenses, you’ll pay $20.50 per user/per month.

2.    Named-user agreement

For businesses that don’t meet the 250 user minimum or want licensing options based on the type of workers they have, named user agreements give you options.

The two tiers of named-user agreements are:

A.   Basic users

This tier gives users all of Cisco’s Webex Calling PBX features, but they are limited to a single device.

These users also have access to the free version of Webex Teams. This gives these users the ability to join Webex Meetings, but not the ability to host meetings.

Basic user licenses cost $12.75 per user per month.

B. Enterprise

This tier gives users all telephony features and all Webex features (Teams, Meetings, Calling). Users can also use their licenses on multiple devices.

These licenses cost $19.75 per user per month.

3.    Workspace licenses

A less talked about option is a workspace or common area licenses.

These licenses are used for basic dial-tone with a limited set of calling features. They’re commonly used for break rooms, lobbies, and conference rooms.

As we already mentioned some of these licenses are including in an enterprise agreement. However, you can purchase additional licenses for $9 per phone per month.

What IntelePeer plan will you choose?

Along with purchasing licenses, if you go with Webex Calling for cloud-hosted collaboration, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee for the actual dial tone and direct inward dialing (DID) with IntelePeer.

This is similar to paying a company for your phone number and service, separate from your phone. You must have this or the phone won’t be able to call anything besides other phones within your company.

Most customers are satisfied with IntelePeer’s base plan, which costs $8.95 per user (regardless of the Cisco license option) per month, but more advanced plans will have a higher cost.

If you look into other cloud-hosted calling options, you will notice their licenses cost more. However, other companies include DID within their plan. When you add Webex licenses and IntelePeer licenses together, the price is similar to other cloud-hosted calling platforms.

What phones will you choose?

Another cost you’ll need to consider when implementing a cloud-hosted calling system – or any call system for that matter – is the phones you’ll use to make calls.

Your company has a few choices when it comes to this area of your cloud collaboration system:

1.    You can forgo physical phones.

One of the benefits of Webex Calling is you can use an app on your desktop or a physical phone to make audio calls.

This means you can leverage existing technology you have and avoid what is oftentimes the most expensive portion of a cloud-hosted calling deployment.

It also gives your users the ability to take their business phones with them anywhere.

For the best audio quality using this option, we recommend you look into reliable headsets, which are still less expensive than desk phones.

2.    You can purchase desk phones

The traditional option of desk phones is still a popular option for many businesses.

Each cloud-hosted calling platform has its own list of compatible phones. For Webex Calling, that list is restricted to the 7800 and 8800 series.

Cisco’s most basic desk phone, a single-line handset, starts at around $150. The price can quickly increase to $1,000 or more for a phone with call monitoring, video, and Bluetooth capabilities.

3.    You can purchase video phones

If you want to enable your users to make video calls from designated video phones, there are many options.

Webex Calling cost
One of your options for a video phone is the Cisco 8845.

For video conferencing, Cisco offers camera kits to allow entire conference rooms to have video. These options, shown here at list price, include:

How much labor will you require?

With Webex Calling, deployment is less extensive than an on-premises alternative, but there is still some labor involved.

With an on-premises solution, you can expect at least 60 hours of labor, but for your IT consulting company to deploy a cloud-hosted solution it will take less than half the time.

Primarily labor is used to set up users and devices, but since generally there is no server or gateway infrastructure to set up, you’re able to save some time and money when it comes to labor.

The cost of labor will vary depending on who is doing the deployment, but since there is less labor involved, in general, you can expect a 50 to 75% savings compared to an on-premises deployment.

What can you expect to pay for Webex Calling?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a flat rate for Webex Calling or even a simple equation to help you know exactly how much you’ll spend.

However, we can help you estimate how much you’ll pay. 

If you know what licenses you need – plus IntelePeer licenses – you can multiply that cost by the number of users you need to license.

If you know what phones you want (browse our e-Commerce site to see your options) you can add those up to know how much you’ll spend on hardware.

Outside of the licensing and phones for your Webex Calling system, you’ll also pay for any labor required by your IT consulting company to get your phones up and running.

To get a more comprehensive overview of what Webex Calling entails, download our free infographic

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