Making the Switch to VOIP Green

While a lot of hype is being made about being carbon-neutral. IT projects are some of the most difficult to manage with ecology in mind. So difficult in fact that many VOIP solution providers just focus on the positive savings and performance of new systems, ignoring their impact. So, what green initiatives do new Open and Proprietary VOIP Systems offer and what are the drawbacks?


  • Telecommuting
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Survivability
  • Flexibility

  • Waste Produced by Previous System
  • Energy Consumption

Energy consumption falls in both categories. Though Open Systems can make use of newer, greener servers if companies are willing to pay the extra money, servers generally are much more power hungry than the old key systems were. On top of that, replacing old key systems creates waste.

Despite those drawbacks, key systems have to be replaced at some point. Holding on to them as long as possible is great, but not always the best option. Especially when one considers the opportunities offered, the most effective being telecommuting.

According to, 83.35% of Hoosiers in Indianapolis spend on average 25.9 minutes for a one-way commute on their own. That means telecommuting just one day a week could help save over 117 gallons of gas per individual over the course of a year. That is roughly 5 to 6 barrels of crude oil saved by one person.

The next factors are not always an option for proprietary systems, but Open systems can utilize the most energy efficient servers available at the time from any producer to help limit energy consumption. Another benefit for Open systems is that they can sometimes be incorporated into the current network without new servers at all; leveraging current resources to do more.

The same is true of survivability. Open systems can use any SIP enabled device, which means replacing your voice system doesn’t mean a completely new set of handsets and equipment like proprietary systems.

Finally there is the flexibility factor. Open systems can mean mixing and matching hardware, switching to softphones, or transferring parts of the system to new locations without major changes in the voice server itself. That type of ease of use has really never been seen before in traditional PBX.

Check out Indiana’s page on e-waste recycling at here for proper procedures and up to date information on recycling old systems in state. And no matter which state your company is replacing the system in, always try to use state-certified recyclers when available.