Kudos to companies such as Grandstream, MegaPath, and Netsuite for offering and to Rich Tehrani in his blog for raising and promoting what will turn out to be a much more effective 'cash for clunkers' campaign: turning in old legacy PSTN/TDM equipment and obsolete premises-based solutions for IP and where appropriate hosted tools and recycling them to avoid e-waste.
The cash for clunkers in the comm industry will arguably be more effective in that this one doesn't involve governments, subsidies, and kowtowing to special interests. The Sierra Club has criticized what had started out to be a well-intentioned program into 'support for gas guzzlers'. Money allocated for this program has arguably come at the expense of more efficient mass transit. While there has been stimulus money to build new systems, agencies are being starved to buy vehicles and operating funds to provide services.
In contrast going to software-based IP and hosted means less goods that have to be manufactured from raw resources that must be extracted and processed, and lowered transportation costs and the consequent environmental consequences at all stages. Smaller computing footprints means less space to heat and cool and land wasted.
NetSuite cites a recent impact study by Greenspace that demonstrated that the average NetSuite customer reduces its electricity bill by $10,000 per year after switching from an on premise system. In aggregate, the NetSuite platform saved NetSuite customers more than $61 million in energy bills in 2008, eliminating the output of nearly 423,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Rich in his blog has announced there is an official cash for phone system clunkers web page which will have links to important references such as ITEXPO West (Sept.1-3 in Los Angeles) "which is the global gathering place for all things IP communications" and "is the equivalent of an automotive supermarket (yes, communications in this case) where you can meet with all the vendors who save you money by replacing your old equipment. In many cases they can replace the "clunker" with something which is hosted meaning zero CAPEX costs.
Rich mentioned Grandstream's Cash for PSTN clunker program that they implemented with MegaPath. MegaPath is running a promo in which they will offer a $250 dollar credit for VARS or End users who purchase Grandstream's PBX.
Hosted and IP solutions also make telework more feasible both functionally and costwise, which means fewer air-killing/land-eating/energy-draining commute trips. Fewer and shorter trips results in a longer vehicle lifespan and less need for vehicles. Isn't that assurredly a better way than the current automotive program to reduce environmental damage from cars, trucks, and vans?
Rich pointed out another key benefit from this program: increased ability to save money on conference calls with this new technology. That means you do not have to make as many business trips, thereby avoiding car, plane, bus, and train emissions, and cutting down on the demand for greenspace destroying and must-be-maintained infrastructure that also results in more air, land, and water waste.
"In the auto industry you get a "cash for clunkers" offer once in a lifetime," says Rich. "In the telecom space we do it every day."
See you at ITEXPO West!