Buying a VoIP phone system is quite challenging. One critical decision you will have to make is to choose which is better for your business: a hosted PBX solution or a premise-based one. Knowing the benefits and potential problems that come with using either a cloud-based or an on-premise system will help you choose the right package to ensure success of business operations and get the best value for your investment.
An on-premise PBX is more expensive during installation due to the purchase of softphones, handsets and routers, as well as hiring a team of IT experts to ensure correct management of PBX system.
On the contrary, a hosted PBX system eliminates the need for routers and a dedicated IT team, since your provider will be the one responsible for the operation of your new system. Clearly, cloud-based phone system has cost advantage over on-premise PBX.
Over time, services cost more than equipment. However, it is often forgotten after the initial purchase of an on-premise solution. With this type of system, you will have to deal with support and maintenance costs, along with employee resources dedicated to operate your PBX system.
With a hosted service, operation, maintenance and upgrades are built into your package, freeing up employees to focus more on other matters of the business. There’s no need to pay for extra services for the upkeep of the system and for redeployment of staff to manage your IP PBX solution.
There are costs to consider in both solutions when planning on expanding. Adding more phones to an on-premise system is as simple as buying more IP phones, unless there’s any kind of licensing required.
With a hosted solution, however, additional IP phone are bought and added to your service plan, which may require longer turn-around time. Expect also an increase on monthly fee, just like on-premise solutions. But the good thing is that, unlike on-premise PBX, you won’t have to deal with the risks and complexities of managing a bigger system; you have the experts to do it all for you.
It is in this part where the major consideration lies. With hosted system, you give up the control of the system to your provider, and you’re only given a handful of configurations to decide on your own. However, as mentioned, you can free yourself and your organization from dealing with complex IT management, giving you more time and manpower to focus on other matters. You may have to pay for a monthly subscription, but being relieved from IT responsibilities could boost business profits in the long run.
An on-premise IP PBX solution will give you full control over every little detail of your system. When armed with the right information, you can create a phone system that perfectly suits your business’ evolving needs.
Knowing, understanding and weighing the pros and cons for both hosted and on-premise IP PBX systems, you’ll be able to determine the right system based on the set-up of your organization and the risks you’re willing to take. Businesses will benefit from one over the other, so it’s just a matter of making comparisons before deciding which one to integrate in your existing infrastructure.