Choosing the right voice path for your business: On-premise vs. cloud-based voice

On-Premise PBX on premise phone system



• Cost – higher upfront costs and set-up fee. Above certain threshold it might be cheaper to own equipment than pay a monthly fee, but servicing and maintenance can get expensive. When using only basic call features with >25 phones per store, total cost of ownership is less over 5-year period
• Scalability – purchase phones to expand (in addition to any licensing required). PBX needs to be able to accommodate growth and possibility of complexity with added features
• Failover – if issue with PBX in store, calling is affected and potentially down until PBX can be repaired via service contract
• Features – find Me / Follow Me feature requires adding a mobility server to each PBX – can become expensive
• Presence, tablet/mobile apps for wireless calling can be added– usually works together with Find Me / Follow Me for seamless use across devices
• Maintenance – managed services contract (with phone vendor) required for software patching and maintenance to ensure security and uptime
• Changes to system settings require PBX in store to be adjusted on-site by phone vendor or internal IT team
• Can leverage traditional phone company service (PRI) for inbound/outbound calling, or SIP trunks over the internet > PRI is not affected by quality or busyness of internet connection
• Handsets do not contain a lot of features/functionality – providers push users to use the desktop application



Hosted PBXcloud



• Cost – usually low upfront costs, monthly fee per user. Typically low total cost of ownership as hosted provider takes care of server configuration, maintenance and software patching
• Scalability – purchased or leased IP phones added to service plan, picking and canceling numbers and moving phone system is easy and quick
• Failover – calls can be rerouted to cell phones if issue with SIP trunk quality, power at store or catastrophic event. Safeguards at off-site facility includes back up power sources, geographic redundancy of data centers, active-active failover of servers, etc.
• Features – can integrate into CRM for advanced customer analytics
• Can integrate contact center-life features for advanced call routing or call analytics for advanced reporting
• Dedicated internet bandwidth required to maintain high call quality of SIP trunks
• Tablet/mobile app allows users to make/receive phone calls from app over wifi/cellular connections
• Presence allows users to see who is available and on the phone within store
• Find Me / Follow Me feature included – will ring desk phone, tablet, cell phone all at once or in order
• Maintenance – no managed services contract required – provider performs software patching, maintenance, upgrades of PBX in the cloud
• Changes to system settings performed through online portal for remote management
• Handsets do not contain a lot of features/functionality – providers push users to use desktop/mobile app








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