For many businesses, making the switch from a traditional phone system to a cloud solution isn’t an easy process. Wading through seemingly endless providers, technical jargon, system features, and pricing options makes it difficult to find a solution that fits the unique requirements for an organization’s short- and long-term objectives. Weighing the pros and cons of an on-premise solution versus an entirely hosted solution only complicates the process. What if you didn’t have to choose? What if there was a way to leverage the benefits of each in a hybrid model? Well, there is.
Before a decision can be made, it’s important to understand what each model entails.
On-Premise Phone System
As the name would imply, on-premise solutions are phone systems that are fully deployed and managed in-house. These systems are either owned or leased and can leverage VoIP for making, receiving, and routing calls. On-prem solutions are typically considered a capital expense (CAPEX) since they require a significant up-front purchase of servers, equipment, and additional hardware. With such a substantial financial investment required, this model works best for medium to large organizations that have the financial resources and personnel to support the model. On-prem phone systems offer the ability to customize the system and applications to fit specific requirements, but with no third-party involvement, the onus is on the organization to fully manage everything from design and deployment to upgrades and maintenance. Often the substantial financial investment, coupled with the internal demands to manage an on-prem system, prohibit the SMB from supporting this model. That’s where the cloud comes in.
Cloud Hosted Phone System
A cloud-hosted solution gives businesses with limited IT resources and smaller budgets the ability to enjoy all the benefits of a cloud solution without the high price tag. In this model, all the heavy lifting is done by a cloud provider that manages the infrastructure, hardware upgrades, software enhancements, and troubleshooting/repair tickets. Unlike an on-premise solution, the organization doesn’t need a lot of IT personnel to deploy a cloud solution. Cloud phone systems also offer some reprieve from the financial burden since they are structured as a subscription-based model. Companies leveraging a cloud provider can quickly scale up or down as the business grows, and the company only pays for what it needs regarding the number of seats and features. However, many of these solutions do not give users the opportunity for customization or data protection that on-prem solutions offer. So if that’s a requirement, a cloud solution might not be the right fit. Enter the hybrid model.
Hybrid Phone System
For those who are looking for all the flexibility of the cloud with the internal control of an on-prem solution, the hybrid model is becoming increasingly popular. The blended architecture of onsite and cloud solutions is a good option for those businesses that are not quite ready for a complete transition to the cloud but need the advanced features and functionality that a cloud solution brings to the table. The organization acquires the hardware necessary to maintain the communications platform, and the hosted provider allows it to leverage the platform across multiple locations through the cloud. Also, the user can fall back on the on-premise system if the hosted provider’s service goes down, providing redundancy in the event of a disaster or outage. Of course, the hybrid model does require both investments in on-site hardware while simultaneously paying for a hosted service, which results in a higher price tag that could be discouraging for smaller businesses.
In the end, there is a model that works for your business. You just need an expert like LanYap Networks to help you determine the best way to get there. Give us a call and let’s talk about which model best suits your situation.