VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, is the ability to make phone calls over the Internet. While not a new technology, VoIP wasn’t really practical for many years due to the constraints of Internet technology. Nowadays though, VoIP is often a less expensive alternative to traditional phone systems found in the office. However, businesses still need to decide if they want a hosted PBX system, or if they want a premise-based system for their VoIP.
What’s The Difference?
The difference is that a premise-based system is actually on-site for a business, where a hosted system is somewhere out in the Cloud of the Internet. When the hardware is on-site that gives the company more control, and allows it to decide precisely how much of a network it needs and what features it has. On the other hand for those who simply want to purchase service without upkeeping the equipment or network themselves then buying service from a hosted VoIP server is easier.
Which is the Better Option?
There is no one winner in this particular technology debate; the question boils down to cost, time, control and involvement. For businesses who want to have the most amount of control over their VoIP network, and who feel comfortable investing the time and expertise to upkeep it to the standards it needs to be at, then a premise-based system should work just fine. If a business doesn’t want to put forth the time and effort to upkeep the equipment, manage the service, and is comfortable giving up control to an outside service provider, then a hosted PBX system is likely the better option.
Whichever choice a small business makes though, it’s important to examine the costs in terms of time, money, overhead, and upkeep. For instance, purchasing an on-site system might be more expensive up front, but over time it might end up being a great deal cheaper if a business can manage it. On the other hand if a business isn’t technologically inclined and doesn’t have the staff to keep the calls coming and going smoothly, letting a provider do the work might save more overall.