Hosted vs On-Premise Phone Systems
When it comes to upgrading a current business phone system or installing a brand-new system, there are multiple factors to consider. Or maybe a better statement is “when upgrading your current business phone system or installing a brand new one, have you considered HOW your company is communicating? Today you must consider many factors such as, how many users do I have and how are they communicating internally with each other and externally with your clients? How many locations do we have and do we often communicate between them? What is the quality and reliability of our LAN and WAN networks? What are the capabilities we need, beyond standard telephone features? What other products or applications or equipment are interconnected or relying on your phone system? These are just some of the questions to consider today. There are often many more. In today's business world, communication is still the backbone of most organizations, however, in today’s world, we are quickly adopting multiple ways to communicate. “As opposed to simply phoning your business, they may send you an email, a text message, a chat over the Internet or even reach out to you through Twitter or Facebook.” (Mitel)
They want to communicate in the method that best meets there need at the moment. For example, if your driving, you want to be able to call. At lunch, you may want to text or email. Need to have a conversation, or have questions, you want to call or chat why exploring answers on the web.
In today's business world Unified Communication is also Integrated Communication, and it can be done in varying degrees to meet the needs your business may have. Today most systems are either Premise-based (physical on-site system), virtualized (software applications, installed and located in your server on site, or off-site) or Hosted, also coined Cloud (software and services are provided externally as a service and deliver via the internet.) and of course even some time a varying degree of the above.
There are pros and cons to all these options, for example, Hosted PBX allows for more affordability, remote fixes and fewer maintenance costs, however, the cost per user may price this option out of budget, forced software upgrades, can cause challenges if integrated to other applications, and there can be issues when relying solely on Cloud-based PBX if there are internet outages. Also, you may find that relying strictly on a single internet connection may become detrimental to your business.
On-Premise, on the other hand, may be more expensive in the short term and may require maintenance contracts or periodic on-site support, but with remote support capabilities today, these costs can be far more cost effective over the life of the system and can provide a higher level of reliability. (“You typically must pay for it upfront, likely pay for installation as well, which should include the company checking out your network and connection to the outside world and configuring your phone numbers, and then there would be yearly maintenance costs, so you get upgrades and bug fixes. So, you have high upfront costs, and then you pay the maintenance fee" (Jim Machi 2019).
On-Premise does not have to require the public internet to run and in turn, may not be affected at all by the public internet status.
Virtualization is also becoming a viable option for many mid to large organizations, as it provides the ability to standardize on data hardware and software, provide greater redundancy, resiliency and reliable backup capabilities.
To add even more, consider a new trend that’s emerging, offering a hybrid solution of On-Premise along with Hosted to increase customer confidence.
Using both Hosted & On-Premise can remove the need for internet service as the system itself will drop back to On-Premise during an outage. "The Wildix MS Network creates a hybrid Cloud which uses the local resources and ensures the continuity of services even when encountering problems with Internet connection" (Ivan Michelazzi 2018). The system is easy to create and configure which will benefit any in house IT personnel as they will be able to manage multiple terminals and set each phone based on the needs of the employee. It also allows for built-in security protecting the business from any online threats. To review more detailed information on this service you can view their blog at https://blog.wildix.com/requirements-for-unified-communications-system/#more-23529.
All these options can be viable options, but choosing can be overwhelming.
Overall, the choice between On-Premise, Hosted, Virtual or a mixture of one or more is a decision that should be carefully considered based on your business. However, remember that you are not alone. With over 35 years of focus in the telecommunication business, we have the knowledge, certifications, and trained staff that can help you through the process of picking the best option for your business.
Mitel: “Get contact center agents multitasking with multimedia contact center” https://www.mitel.com/en-ca/blog/get-contact-center-agents-multitasking-with-multimedia
Jim Machi. “Pros & Cons of Hosted vs. On-Premise Phone Systems: Part 2.” Sangoma, Jim Machi, 19 Feb. 2019, www.sangoma.com/pros-cons-of-hosted-vs-on-premise-phone-systems-part-2/.
Michelazzi, Ivan. “Wildix Cloud Communications for Business.” Wildix, Wildix, 24 July 2018, www.wildix.com/voip-pbx-cloud