Business Phone Systems Featured Article

Why a Premise-based IP PBX System Is Still Relevant




March 12, 2014


By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

You’re in charge of choosing a phone system for your office, but the terms and descriptions don’t make much sense. There’s premise-based IP PBX (News - Alert), virtual PBX, hosted phone systems galore; so what do you choose and why is it a good choice for your business?

Right now, we’re seeing a lot of “cloud” systems or “hosted” systems, which is really just taking all of the equipment you’d need for a telephone system and moving it to the ether. In a hosted phone system model, there are no operating, maintenance or upgrading costs to worry about. Hosted phone systems allow businesses the ability to be flexible, regardless of size.

It is obvious that the initial and setup costs for a hosted solution will be lower than for an on-premises solution. But it isn’t necessarily so clear where long-term operating costs end up taking the overall cost equation. The variables that come into play include the lifetime of equipment, how rapidly technological change will outdate existing equipment and the ease-of-use and flexibility of the solution in question.

It’s a good option for companies that need flexibility and no up-front investment in equipment, but even though we are in an era of the cloud, premise-based PBX systems are still relevant and a good idea for some.

Premise-based means potentially lowered ongoing costs and no risk of fee increases. You also have complete control and flexibility over the system, but the downside to that is you have to manage every complexity yourself. On premises also means you really do have control over every detail. An easy-to-use solution with careful management will give you a solution that matches your needs better than anything else can.

On-premises phone systems are geared toward the enterprise-level business because of bigger budgets, space and overall functionality control. For the SMB market, it is more likely that a hosted phone system solution is the choice, but there are exceptions. An organization that is changing rapidly, has a high turnover or that can’t afford the evaluation and management overhead of picking a customer premise system is still going to find a hosted solution a good fit.

A business that needs tight control and flexibility, and for whom an integrated telephony solution is a mission-critical business application, is going to want to have a solution they own and operate on their premises in order to truly deliver for its employees and customers.

Companies like ShoreTel (News - Alert) offer both options for companies in need of choices. Its premise-based IP PBX helps to streamline work for admins and includes application integration for integral business processes, like CRM and analytics. Its cloud-based VoIP offering is designed for those businesses that do not want to or can’t run their own systems. With ample features to maximize productivity, the choice is top for the SMB or enterprise business looking to simplify their system.

Hosted or premise-based, the bottom line is that a solid business phone system is what will keep companies at maximum efficiency while keeping costs down. 


Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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