Which VoIP Phone System Fits Your Enterprise Best?
A Comparison of Hosted and On-Premises VoIP Phone Systems
Selecting a new phone system for your business may seem like an overwhelming task. However, analyzing several key points of comparison between hosted (off-site) phone systems and (on-site) on-premises systems can relieve the stress of this task and allow your enterprise to make an informed decision on moving forward with a new phone system solution – in just a short period of time. Obtaining answers to the following areas of assessment, and determining which aspects of these categories your enterprise can relate to, can turn your mountain of a task back into a molehill.
An obvious starting point in your phone system comparison is cost. A hosted/virtual/cloud PBX has a lower upfront cost, since there is no large capital expense required for a new physical system. It does, however, have a recurring charge, as it is billed as a monthly service. Therefore, your organization will want to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) when looking at this option, and be aware of the agreement in place for these services, as the monthly rate could increase in the future.
The purchase of an on-premises/on-site phone system almost always results in a large capital expense up front. And the initial cost of a new phone system could easily cost your company thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, in capital expenses. Furthermore, additional costs will be incurred for installation and network integration of the new phone system.
The exception to some of these costs might be if your company is contemplating some sort of hybrid option that merges your existing phone system with hosted PBX services. For instance, VoiceMaxx, a product from West Unified Communications Services, can be fully integrated with an existing IP or legacy TDM infrastructure where required – preserving investments already made in telephony infrastructure – thus providing a seamless enterprise-wide solution.
Flexibility and Scalability
When reviewing options for phone systems, there will likely be talk regarding which features are available and offered with each type of system. In terms of a hosted VoIP phone system, your company will want to ensure that it will have access to all currently available features, be able to add enhanced features to the current system, and can quickly and easily respond to the needs of growing or contracting organization size.
One viable option is VoiceMaxx, from West UC. VoiceMaxx is a suite of cloud-based, on–demand hosted VoIP services, including full PBX functionality, advanced enterprise and personal call management tools, and leading edge Unified Communications (UC) features.
With hosted systems like VoiceMaxx, onsite administrators have the flexibility of using self-service portals for handling Moves/Adds/Changes (MACs), while also receiving full service from a network operations center (NOC). These capabilities allow customers to either handle those changes themselves or to have the NOC take care of it, as they wish. And while on-site PBX phone systems can be programmed to add and remove features, they require that someone onsite has been trained with sufficient knowledge and understanding of the system, in order for it to be fully supported.
With hosted PBX systems, all maintenance and upgrades are performed by the hosting company. Typically, these changes and upgrades can be made remotely, so no on-site support staff is required. This can be an advantage for companies with limited on-premises IT staff. Furthermore, most hosted providers provide firmware and software upgrades.
On the flip side, maintenance and modifications to on-site systems require that a knowledgeable IT staff member reside on-site for any necessary changes. This may necessitate additional training for existing staff members or the expense of hiring experienced contractors for extension changes, firmware upgrades, and other such changes to the on-premises phone system.
These points of comparison are representative of the key areas to review when considering which VoIP phone system is right for your organization – hosted or on-premises. By identifying corporate needs for the phone system, and determining in each area above which category of phone system the organization tends to align itself with will make the daunting decision of selecting a new VoIP phone system seem like child’s play. Another way to ease the burden of this decision is by selecting a company that can offer enterprise phone systems tailored to your specific organization.
West UC offers both hosted and hybrid VoIP phone system solutions, with experts that partner with you to get your company a phone system that is customized to fit your business requirements, while simultaneously maximizing your organization’s onsite assets.