Hopefully by now, your small business has realized the myriad benefits of a VoIP phone system and has installed one to meet your communication and collaboration needs. However, no two VoIP telephone systems are the same, as each offering comes with its own set of unique value propositions and pain points. In particular, one of the biggest decisions that you will likely have to make is whether your SMB is better suited for an on-premise business phone system or one that is remotely hosted in the cloud.
What’s the difference between the two?
Basically, what sets the two models apart is where the support infrastructure is located. Although business VoIP is supported through the Internet, any office phone system requires some back-end hardware to function properly. As its name suggests, with on-premise solutions the servers and other related pieces of equipment rest on site at your business. Of the two options, this is the one that you’re likely more familiar with.
In comparison, cloud-based phone solutions put all of this equipment away from company headquarters and into a remote facility (often a data center) that can be located hundreds of miles away. This is just one of the many uses of cloud computing, and this has quickly become one of the most talked-about IT trends of the past few years.
Of the two, which one is right for me?
Now, here’s where things become a little tricky. No one system is considered universally better than the other one, as it all depends on your company’s unique needs and circumstances.
Let’s start with the cloud. One of its major value propositions is that it allows you to offload costs related to equipment procurement and maintenance to someone else, and these savings can be especially key for smaller businesses. Plus, because everything is centered around the Internet, you can access any aspect of your office phone system from anywhere, even when you’re away from headquarters. However, the cloud does have some downsides, including that a high-bandwidth connection is needed at all times to use it and it is not always as secure as an on-premise offering.
In comparison, because all of the equipment and support infrastructure is on site, you may be able to better guarantee the safety and security of your office phone system. For business in highly regulated industries, this can be an especially noteworthy selling point. In addition, on-premise solutions allow you to more easily customize your system per your organization’s unique needs. On the flip side, this kind of configuration requires you to buy lots of hardware up front and keep people on staff to fix it should anything go awry.
At the end of the day, deciding between an on-premise business phone service and one that’s hosted in the cloud all comes down to your company’s needs. Some companies may okay paying more in order to have more granular control, while others would rather gain convenience and decrease costs at the expense of direct oversight. The key here is to thoroughly consider what’s best for you and your team before implementing business VoIP. To learn more about the different offerings, contact a Fonality sales representative today.