Steve and Larry agree: Voice over IP has markedly brought down long-distance rates, and is alive and well in private and corporate backbones.We also agree that VoIP is now being accepted as more than "cheap long-distance." We're seeing enterprise telecom managers look at VoIP a bit more strategically.VoIP can't claim all the responsibility for much lower rates. Certainly an oversupply of fiber capacity in long-distance routes has contributed to lower rates. Even before the acceptance of VoIP we had seen rates drop to dime-a-minute and then to nickel-a-minute rates targeted at the mass consumer. And now Steve can get 3.9 cents a minute of domestic long distance from his Sam's Club prepaid calling card. (We're willing to bet that the 3.9 cents per minute prepaid service is probably using VoIP in the core.)But what was once the softer "strategic" side of the business case for VoIP is turning into some real numbers. For example, one telecom manager recently reported that by integrating his e-mail and phone directories on the desktop and enabling "click to talk," he was saving his users about an hour a week.An hour a week might not seem like much, but over the course of a year an hour a day adds up to another full workweek per employee. An hour a week of added employee productivity saves much more than the difference between a nickel a minute and 3.9 cents per minute for most enterprises.So, when you add up VoIP advantages, make sure you look at the minutes AND the weeks AND the years.