Knowing how to choose between on-premises and hosted VoIP rests on understanding the pros and cons of each. This article outlines the top factors to consider.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems are increasingly popular. Yet when a business is making the move to a VoIP solution, you must weigh the pros and cons of two basic options — on-premises and hosted VoIP. This article highlights four key factors that could drive your decision.
Let’s be realistic. Cost is a factor in every business decision. Affordability is a key reason many businesses turn to VoIP phone systems in the first place.
Since using VoIP transports voice and data packets via the Internet, the business can reduce and consolidate its infrastructure. Additionally, streamlining voice, data, and broadband services with one provider can save on bills and long-distance costs.
Selecting an on-premise VoIP system is a lot like having a traditional phone system on-site. You will house hardware, IP phones, and other necessary equipment on site. This offers the same flexibility, scalability, and ease-of-use of hosted VoIP services, but your business is taking on responsibility for the hardware, technological maintenance, and keeping the system up-to-date and secure.
Hosted VoIP is a cloud-based solution, which means that a business can reduce resources invested in hardware and setting up and maintaining a traditional communications infrastructure. The service partner takes on upkeep, maintenance, and security. This will be accounted for in their fees, but at the same time, they are able to spread the costs out across several clients to benefit your business. Typically, you will be charged a monthly flat fee for unlimited use or a metered amount based on the actual number of lines and how much the service is used.
On-premise solutions are preferred by businesses with low expectations for change in the near future. While both types of VoIP are easily scalable, the on-premise version requires the bigger upfront investment. This can save money in the long run, but the ROI is likely better for a company with relatively stable communications needs. Yet, some companies do prefer on-premise VoIP to ensure their communications needs are met with the stability of service from on-site dedicated equipment.
Both VoIP solutions offer greater flexibility to scale up and down since it is only a matter of adding lines as needed. Yet hosted VoIP services also offer greater mobility. Since hosted VoIP systems are cloud-based, they offer end users access to their phone services anywhere from any VoIP-enabled device. There is no longer a need to purchase, install, and maintain expensive hardware on site — the entire phone system is hosted on a server that can be accessed for mobile or remote operations via the Internet.
At the same time, both VoIP phone systems offer the ability to scale up your phone system offerings to users as well. They typically come equipped with call control, call management, call training, and analytics features.
One main reason some businesses prefer hosted VoIP? They can skip the headache of installing, maintaining, and securing their own phone system. Without the capital to purchase a new phone system, or the resources to monitor and upgrade the technology, they look to a VoIP service provider to shoulder that burden for them. The hosting service provider may also have greater resources to implement flexibility features than your individual business budget would allow.
With a hosted VoIP solution, the provider takes on all of the risk, work, and complexity, therefore providing a service that is always up-to-date and secure. This can free up IT-related resources for other revenue generating tasks.
Of course, some businesses prefer to retain control of their systems. The on-premise solution then lets the business carefully manage its system to best match its needs. Yet it needs to service its own software updates and maintenance processes (or pay to outsource them).
Any size of business wanting to save money can benefit from a business VoIP phone solution. Review our comprehensive calculator to weigh the true total cost of ownership of an on-premise or hosted solution. Contact Evolve IP’s experts to ramp up your phone solutions today.