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Is Cloud Based VoIP Best for Your Business?

Published on 06 August 13
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Is Cloud Based VoIP Best for Your Business? - Image 1

Hosted or Cloud based VoIP VS. Premise based VoIP
This seems to be a hot topic for a lot of businesses today and the answer is relatively simple, but for the sake of argument letâs discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each. Also, letâs take a minute to pause and realize that analogue phones are still an option and sometimes the best option for companies who have to contend with a weak ISP or frequent power outages. This is probably something that VoIP companies wouldn't necessarily want me to bring up, but the truth is that I have actually witnessed that scenario firsthand and think it is worth mentioning. It is possible to get analogue phones with VoIP capabilities and that is really the best choice.
Reliability and Functionality:
These factors will depend primarily on the team of IT professionals managing your VoIP system, whether that be on premise or hosted off-site. Do you already have employees who are capable of managing a VoIP server? Will you need to hire a technology expert? Communication is the foundation of most businesses. If communication with clients is not running smoothly, the business suffers. A cloud based VoIp system is intrinsically best in regard to reliability and functionality because it will be managed by IT specialists. Your service will be hosted in a location that is dedicated to keeping you up and running with redundancy efforts, power protection as well as resources for disaster recovery far superior to what most small businesses can provide. Additionally these VoIP companies who provide cloud hosting will keep you up to date with all of the latest features, software and firmware.
Features and Benefits:
Having room for change and expansion in a businesses technology services is vital to the longevity of the organization. If you have an on premise VoIP server, over time your choices will become limited. While it may give you an artificial sense of comfort to have your own VoIP server in your server closet, there is a very static nature to this hardware. With hosted service, you will have greater business agility because you are not locked into a long-term commitment with a specific vendor or equipment that will quickly become legacy. Also cloud VoIP solutions make it easy to meet temporary or unexpected requirements, open a new location or even add seats to you current set-up. Just make sure that you shop around and really understand what benefits the VoIP company you choose to go with offers. Like any technology hosting service, they are not all created equally and you will have to do your due diligence to get the service you need.
Cost and Affordability:
This can be difficult to determine because there are unknown factors that exist in both hosted and premise based scenarios. You can avoid having ongoing equipment maintenance costs for cloud based VoIP because you donât have to own the equipment. On the flip side your VoIP company does have the potential to increase your monthly service fees. However your initial setup costs will definitely be lower because you donât have to purchase and install your own VoIP server. Ultimately this becomes a wash because you donât know the extent of long-term maintenance you will need in the case of having your own server or what kind of fee increases may exist with a VoIP hosting company.
Security:
Six to one half a dozen to the other is the answer in most cases. Some people are afraid of cloud based anything. Some people may feel that their information is more secure with premise based VoIP, they need to understand that it is not. The equipment is still performing the same IP based functions and your information will be out there regardless of the hosting location.
The Verdict:
Unless your organization is in the business of servicing IT infrastructure or has a dedicated IT team, it really doesnât make a whole lot of sense to have premise based VoIP. For example, NASA might want to have and maintain their VoIP service internally. Obviously, my position is that a hosted or Cloud based VoIP system is more often the best choice for most businesses. There will of course always be exceptions to that rule, however, they are few and far between.





Is Cloud Based VoIP Best for Your Business? - Image 1

Hosted or Cloud based VoIP VS. Premise based VoIP

This seems to be a hot topic for a lot of businesses today and the answer is relatively simple, but for the sake of argument letâs discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each. Also, letâs take a minute to pause and realize that analogue phones are still an option and sometimes the best option for companies who have to contend with a weak ISP or frequent power outages. This is probably something that VoIP companies wouldn't necessarily want me to bring up, but the truth is that I have actually witnessed that scenario firsthand and think it is worth mentioning. It is possible to get analogue phones with VoIP capabilities and that is really the best choice.

Reliability and Functionality:

These factors will depend primarily on the team of IT professionals managing your VoIP system, whether that be on premise or hosted off-site. Do you already have employees who are capable of managing a VoIP server? Will you need to hire a technology expert? Communication is the foundation of most businesses. If communication with clients is not running smoothly, the business suffers. A cloud based VoIp system is intrinsically best in regard to reliability and functionality because it will be managed by IT specialists. Your service will be hosted in a location that is dedicated to keeping you up and running with redundancy efforts, power protection as well as resources for disaster recovery far superior to what most small businesses can provide. Additionally these VoIP companies who provide cloud hosting will keep you up to date with all of the latest features, software and firmware.

Features and Benefits:

Having room for change and expansion in a businesses technology services is vital to the longevity of the organization. If you have an on premise VoIP server, over time your choices will become limited. While it may give you an artificial sense of comfort to have your own VoIP server in your server closet, there is a very static nature to this hardware. With hosted service, you will have greater business agility because you are not locked into a long-term commitment with a specific vendor or equipment that will quickly become legacy. Also cloud VoIP solutions make it easy to meet temporary or unexpected requirements, open a new location or even add seats to you current set-up. Just make sure that you shop around and really understand what benefits the VoIP company you choose to go with offers. Like any technology hosting service, they are not all created equally and you will have to do your due diligence to get the service you need.

Cost and Affordability:

This can be difficult to determine because there are unknown factors that exist in both hosted and premise based scenarios. You can avoid having ongoing equipment maintenance costs for cloud based VoIP because you donât have to own the equipment. On the flip side your VoIP company does have the potential to increase your monthly service fees. However your initial setup costs will definitely be lower because you donât have to purchase and install your own VoIP server. Ultimately this becomes a wash because you donât know the extent of long-term maintenance you will need in the case of having your own server or what kind of fee increases may exist with a VoIP hosting company.

Security:

Six to one half a dozen to the other is the answer in most cases. Some people are afraid of cloud based anything. Some people may feel that their information is more secure with premise based VoIP, they need to understand that it is not. The equipment is still performing the same IP based functions and your information will be out there regardless of the hosting location.

The Verdict:

Unless your organization is in the business of servicing IT infrastructure or has a dedicated IT team, it really doesnât make a whole lot of sense to have premise based VoIP. For example, NASA might want to have and maintain their VoIP service internally. Obviously, my position is that a hosted or Cloud based VoIP system is more often the best choice for most businesses. There will of course always be exceptions to that rule, however, they are few and far between.

This blog is listed under Cloud Computing and Telecommunications Community

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