Moore County will reduce its telephone service fees by nearly half while shifting to a more secure, off-site VOIP (voice over internet protocol) phone system.
During Tuesday’s business meeting, the County Commissioners approved a request submitted by IT Director Chris Butts to contract with True IP Solutions. The projected first year cost is $129,000 then will reduce to a $62,000 annual fee in following years.
That is a substantial cost savings over the county’s current phone system which runs about $110,000 annually and requires an update in equipment expected to cost around $300,000.
“That is not necessary if we change to this vendor because equipment costs are built-in to the contract. And it gives us better redundancy on the phone system we have right now,” Butts said.
The new VOIP system requires an internet connection to operate, which Butts said, “if there is a weakness in the system, that would be the one.” The county’s internet service has a primary and backup connection and, Butts added, has only been compromised once during a six-hour power outage as a result of tropical storms.
Butts said the new system provides additional benefits through its wireless connection features. For instance, county office telephones can be transported to other locations, such as to another county facility or even the employee’s home if needed.
The VOIP system also includes a call-recording option which he anticipates each department will adopt policies for this use.
Most importantly, the new phone system will provide heightened security from a potential cyber attack. Butts explained the county’s greatest cyber risk is a malicious email that slips through existing security standards in place.
“This will make us stronger,” Butts said. “We will not be less vulnerable, but the security of the phone system will be safer. This project does not affect whether we are attacked but, from a security standpoint, moving the phone system off-site is more secure. It is a better security option.”