One of the biggest trends to emerge in our industry over the past few years is hosted or cloud phone systems. We’ll explain the major differences between a traditional on-premise based IP phone system and a newer hosted phone system, and the pros and cons for each. Brown IT Solutions can equip you with either.
There are many factors to take into account, but at the minimum, we try to assess the following questions during the initial fact-gathering process:
- How many phones?
- How many call paths?
- Need remote phones?
- Need soft phones?
- Have multiple locations?
- Want to integrate with CRM, Skype for Business or other applications?
- Need unified messaging?
- What is the existing infrastructure (e.g., wiring, switches, existing handsets, routers)?
- Who oversees IT: In-house staff or an outside managed service provider (MSP)?
What are you hoping to accomplish with a new phone system?
- Reduce costs
- Enhance employee productivity
- Improve customer experience
- Improve call routing
- Make it easier to do moves/adds/changes
At the end of the day, both premise-based and hosted voice solutions can address most of the requirements listed above.
So, what is the difference between these two types of voice solutions? A premise-based IP PBX means there is going to be an appliance in the closet somewhere in your office that connects your phone endpoints to the local area network (LAN). In a hosted voice solution, instead of having that appliance in the office closet, it is in a data center somewhere, a.k.a. the “cloud.”
Whichever option you decide is best for your business, Brown IT Solutions recommends 3CX. We are one of Michigan’s only preferred 3CX Partners and would love to chat with you about how 3CX can drastically change the way your business utilizes phone communication.