Choosing between different phone systems isn’t as easy as it may seem. With so many options out there, you may find yourself overwhelmed with choosing the tool that will keep your team communicating most efficiently. The choice of hosted vs. On-premise can be particularly puzzling, as they are two of the most popular choices for business phone service today. Below, we’ll give you a detailed guide to understand what each one does and the key differences between the two so you can have an easier time making an informed decision.
Defining On-Premise Phone Systems
On-premise phone systems, also known as Private Branch Exchange (PBX), are phone systems that are physically located within an organization’s premises. They consist of hardware and software components installed and maintained on-site. Many companies continue to prefer an on-premise phone system, either a new one or as a replacement system.
How On-Premise Systems Work
On-premise phone systems operate using physical hardware, including servers, phone lines, and handsets, all located within the company’s facility. Calls are routed through the organization’s private network, allowing full control over the system’s configuration and functionality.
Advantages of On-Premise Phone Systems
- Control and Customization: One of the primary advantages of on-premise systems is their level of control. Businesses have the freedom to customize features, call routing, and configurations to suit their specific needs.
- Privacy and Security: With an on-premise system, sensitive call data remains within the organization’s network, providing an extra layer of privacy and security.
- Reliability: On-premise systems can be more reliable in unstable internet connections since they don’t rely on external internet service providers for call quality.
Potential Drawbacks of On-Premise Phone Systems
- High Initial Costs: Setting up on-premise systems typically involves significant upfront costs, including hardware, installation, and maintenance.
- Maintenance Complexity: Organizations are responsible for maintaining and updating the hardware and software components, which can be complicated and time-consuming.
- Limited Scalability: Expanding or upgrading on-premise systems can be challenging and costly, making them less suitable for growing businesses.
Defining Hosted Phone Systems
A hosted or cloud phone system is a business phone setup that works via an internet connection and is hosted in the cloud by a third-party vendor. Instead of relying on on-premise hardware, these systems use the internet to connect users.
How Hosted Systems Differ from On-Premise Systems
When comparing Hosted vs. on-premise phone systems, there are several notable differences. For starters, hosted systems, like NTouchTel.com’s RVA VoIP4U, service, rely on off-site servers maintained by a service provider, whereas on-premise systems have physical hardware on the organization’s premises.
Furthermore, with hosted systems, the service provider handles maintenance, updates, and troubleshooting, and they are often more scalable, making it easy for businesses to add or remove lines as opposed to on-premise, where there is a more complex process to do so. It’s also important to notice that hosted systems typically have a subscription-based pricing model, eliminating the high upfront costs associated with on-premise systems.
Advantages of Hosted Phone Systems
When assessing hosted vs. on-premises phone systems, it can be easy to think about all the positives of having complete control over your phone system and opt for an on-premises option. However, there are many benefits to hosted phone systems as well. The following advantages are amplified even more when you work with a great provider like NTouchTel.com. Their RVA VoIP4U service is packed full of not only these advantages, but so many more that can boost your business to the next level.
- Cost-Efficiency: Hosted systems are cost-effective due to their subscription model, reducing initial expenses and providing predictable monthly costs. Companies can save up to 60 percent on phone and fax costs by using hosted phone systems.
- Scalability: Businesses can scale their phone systems up or down to accommodate growth or changing needs.
- Low Maintenance: Service providers handle maintenance and updates, freeing valuable IT resources.
- Remote Accessibility: Hosted systems enable employees to make and receive calls from anywhere via the internet, promoting remote work flexibility. This is particularly important today, as 70 percent of employees work at least one day of the week remotely.
Potential Limitations of Hosted Phone Systems
- Internet Dependency: Hosted systems rely on a stable internet connection, so interruptions or slow connections can affect call quality.
- Limited Control: Businesses may have less control over customization and configurations than on-premise systems.
- Subscription Costs: Over time, subscription costs can add up, potentially exceeding some businesses’ initial investment in an on-premise system.
Which is Best for Your Business?
When deciding between hosted vs. on-premise phone systems, businesses need to consider their needs to make an informed decision. However, here are a few things you should remember to know which is best for your business.
- Budget: Consider your budget constraints, including upfront costs and ongoing expenses. Hosted systems often have lower initial costs, while on-premise systems may require a larger initial investment.
- Size and Growth: Assess the size of your organization and its growth projections. Hosted systems are more scalable and adaptable for businesses with fluctuating needs.
- Maintenance Resources: Take into account your IT resources and capabilities. Hosted systems are typically easier to maintain since service providers handle most technical aspects.
- Reliability: Consider the reliability of your internet connection. Hosted systems depend on a stable internet connection, while on-premise phones aren’t; however, hosted can still be more reliable in terms of downtime.
Need Help Finding the Best Solution for You?
Take the next big leap by seeking professional advice or diving into the world of advanced phone solutions with NTouchTel.com. Our team of experts is ready to help you find the answer between hosted vs. on-premise phone systems to determine which will make your business thrive. Give us a call and get started today!