Once your small business has made the decision to join countless others in implementing a PBX service for your business communications, there is one choice remaining. Should my business choose a hosted option or host our own?
To assist you in answering this question, the following article will outline the differences between a managed PBX service and an on-premise service.
What Is A Cloud PBX Service?
First, some basic information on what a cloud PBX service is. A cloud PBX service is a form of VoIP communication that is hosted by a third party service provider on an Internet server, or in the “cloud”. Cloud PBX uses VoIP communications technology to operate your communication system over the Internet as opposed to using analog copper wires found in traditional phone systems to transmit call data. This is best suited for small business because they can now operate large, complex call networks online instead of having to pay large sums to provide traditional wiring infrastructure. Using a VoIP network also frees businesses from paying exorbitant fees associated with traditional telephony providers. Cloud PBX services are used by small businesses to compete with much larger corporations in terms of their communications network and the image they are able to present to customers.
Comparing Cloud Based PBX Services To On-premise Services
The following is a rundown of the most relevant criteria used to decide on whether to use cloud based or on-premise PBX in your business.
Both PBX services are capable of offering the same features for your business. The difference is that hosted or cloud based PBX services often charge extra for advanced features such as IVR, call centers and advanced conferencing. It all depends on price. Is it cheaper to pay for the infrastructure and maintenance costs of hosting your own system or to pay a service provider to host it for you? Decide on which features your business requires and go from there.
Upfront Infrastructure Costs
If you are considering hosting your own system then you will be responsible for buying the necessary hardware, installing it, configuring the system for your business and then maintaining it down the road. If your business is pressed for available floor space and doesn’t employ a dedicated IT staff capable of handling a communication system, then going the hosted route may be a better option. A managed PBX service means that there is no infrastructure, setup or maintenance responsibility resting on the shoulders of your business.
Total Cost Of Ownership
The total cost of ownership of a VoIP communications system is far more cost effective than a traditional analog telephone system. The differences in cost when comparing a hosted vs. on-premise option depend on the size and structure of your business. You will either be paying monthly charges, or large upfront investments.
When choosing a VoIP communication system, your business is investing in the most scalable communication option available. VoIP systems are much more scalable than traditional landline systems. Important considerations are the required degree of scalability and the amount of locations that must be outfitted with the system. If your business volume is volatile, or you have multiple locations, this will add many costs to an on-premise system. Employing a managed PBX service means that any customization, upgrade or downgrade to your system only requires a simple phone call to your service provider.
In conclusion, unless your small business is relatively stable and employs it’s own IT staff, then signing up for a hosted PBX option is most likely the best decision. This is because it can keep costs low, and there is no up-front infrastructure purchase to make. If your business is ready to make the switch to a VoIP business communication system, get in touch with a service provider in your area and they will be more than happy to help you choose the best system for your business.