HOSTED VOIP TELEPHONE SYSTEMS

PRO’S AND CONS USING A HOSTED TELEPHONE SYSTEM

There are many factors in choosing whether you want to have an external host for your PBX or keep it in-house. Which choice is right for you?

We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of hosted versus on-premise solutions in each case:

WHO IS IN FULL CONTROL OF YOUT TELEPHONE COMMUNICATIONS?

Control is a tricky issue and how do you decide between a hosted or on-site communication solution. Some organizations prefer to keep control as much as possible internally. Other organizations want to outsource as much as possible to keep internal focus on core business – even if that decision ends up costing them more.

Hosted IP-PBX

Pros: Let your network supplier take away the hassles of you’re on site communications

Cons: Let’s face reality – your service provider has the actual control – you don’t.

On-premise IP-PBX

Pros: You really do have control over every detail of your PBX.

Cons: You have control you have to manage it.

Cost

In the long run this is more of a wash than you might expect. It is obvious from the outset that the initial and setup costs for a hosted solution will be lower than for an on-premises solution. But it isn’t necessarily so clear where long term operating costs end up taking the overall cost equation. The variables that come into play include the lifetime of equipment, how rapidly technological change will outdate existing equipment and the ease-of-use and flexibility of the solution in question.

Hosted IP-PBX

Pros: Lower setup cost, no maintenance costs

Cons: Potentially higher ongoing service provider costs

On-premise IP-PBX

Pros: Potentially lower ongoing costs, no risk of fee increases

Cons: Higher setup costs, unknown long-term maintenance costs

Future Expansion

The potential for future expansion is more a matter of control and timeframe than of locking yourself into some kind of limitation. Both on-premise and hosted IP-PBX solutions leave you room for expansion and growth. Both will incur higher costs along with growth at a rate that should reduce your overall per-seat cost but will still mean a higher total bill. Both have the potential for allowing big jumps in future expansion. The difference is that with a hosted provider you eliminate some of the risk and difficulty but at the cost of a potentially longer turn-around time and possibly losing some flexibility.

Hosted IP-PBX

Pros: Your provider shoulders all the risk, work and complexity

Cons: Your provider may not be able to make changes as quickly as you could yourself and may not be able to precisely match your needs.

On-premise IP-PBX

Pros: You have complete control and flexibility – you can even switch solutions or mix-and-match.

Cons: Every expansion increases the complexity you have to manage yourself.

Flexibility

While there are differences for an organization between a hosted and on-premise solution in this regard, they are more to do with timing. Any reputable hosted solution will be prepared to work with you to add the features you need and require and will also be prepared to become more flexible as market needs arise. But there is disadvantage for someone using the hosted solution. It will always be a common solution for all the provider’s customers and it will take the service provider longer to implement it than you could do yourself with an on-premise solution.

Hosted IP-PBX

Pros: Service provider may have more resources to implement a solution you could not afford to do just for yourself.

Cons: Slowness to adapt and reluctance to adapt for a single customer.

On-premise IP-PBX

Pros: You can do what you want with your equipment – the ultimate flexibility.

Cons: You may not have enough resources to do complex, expensive or difficult things where a service provider might be able to do them for its hundreds of customers more easily.

Range of Features/Options

The same issues arise with features and options as they do with flexibility – if you own the solution you will always have the ability to add more features and options – for a price. But spreading the cost across thousands of customers makes it easier for a large provider to add features at a lower cost. While true, however, this is a smokescreen in this case. The actual individual solution matters far more in this area than specifically whether it is a hosted or on-premise solution. Your business has a required set of features, a desired set of features, a nice-to-have set of features and you don’t care about the rest. If the solution offers it, that will outweigh whether it is hosted or on-premise.

Hosted IP-PBX

Pros: Only one thing matters – does it have the feature set you want.

Cons: Ditto

On-premise IP-PBX

Pros: Only one thing matters – does it have the feature set you want.

Cons: Ditto

 

On April 27th, 2012, posted in: Uncategorized by paul
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