On-Site vs. Hosted VoIP: There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Answer

September 17, 2017

There is no doubt that VoIP is beneficial to most businesses. VoIP offers flexibility, scalability, security, and cost-savings in an increasingly mobile and data-heavy world. The decision many businesses face is whether to keep their VoIP in-house or in the cloud.

VoIP_News gives us 5 points to consider when making that choice:

1. Cost Savings

Investment in a new phone system is a costly decision for businesses. For organizations with a limited implementation budget, cloud-based VoIP carries the benefit of reduced upfront costs. Regardless of whether your business decides to host on-premise or in the cloud, you will still need to pay for handsets and routing at the time of implementation.

However, cloud-based VoIP does not require organizations to make any infrastructure investments. Ultimately, the initial cost input into cloud-based VoIP will be lower than on-premise. Lifetime total cost of ownership may exceed on-premise costs, but this factor can vary significantly depending on how quickly your business grows, your vendor’s agreement and pricing, and other criteria.

2. Accessibility and Management

When organizations enter into a VoIP agreement with a cloud-based vendor, they’re agreeing to outsource accessibility. Should their phone system go down, they are dependent on their vendor to fix it and restore voice connectivity. Depending on the vendor you choose, this can be a benefit or a risk. For small businesses without extensive on-staff IT talent, outsourcing accessibility and management may be the only option.

A hosted cloud vendor will naturally be a “key partner” in your business. Third-party reliance is a given for business customers of cloud-based VoIP services. Selecting a vendor with excellent service and uptime guarantees is critical to ensuring the VoIP experience you need. If you are struggling with vendor selection, read our article 7 Tips To Help You Navigate 500+ Hosted Phone Providers.

3. Security

Any technology vendor has the potential to increase your organization’s information security risks. While your organization can maintain full control over your cybercrime protection with an on-premise solution, you are outsourcing your voice security if you select cloud-based VoIP. This factor shouldn’t disqualify hosted VoIP from consideration. Instead, for current and prospective cloud-based VoIP clients, it should prompt a frank discussion with their vendors about information security practices and promises.

4. Easy Expansion

Purchasing cloud-based VoIP services does carry the significant benefit of simple scalability. If your business needs to add a handful of new lines for new hires, your in-house infrastructure won’t limit you. In most cases, scaling your phone lines up or down will be as simple as updating your agreement with your cloud-based VoIP vendor.

While your organization will need to purchase additional hardware to support new phone lines, expensive infrastructure upgrades won’t be a factor even if you grow very quickly. The majority of hosted VoIP vendors simply bill clients on a per-line basis each month.

5. Quality

When it comes to quality concerns, there is no real winner between on-premise and cloud-based VoIP. Both solutions can offer absolutely stellar voice call quality, and other implementations can sound terrible. Regardless of which option you choose, quality can be improved with the adequate definition of business requirements, the right hardware and internet connection, and regular testing.

Each business needs to find the solution that works best for them. Let CTG help you weigh the costs and benefits of all of your VoIP options. CTG is carrier / provider agnostic; We will take care in assessing your current infrastructure and work with you to determine the ideal deployment for the future. CTG supports clients from network design to implementation, post-installation support and remediation. One phone call to make for all your technology!

Download our VoIP Readiness Checklist to help you understand your VoIP needs.