Moving to an IP-PBX (private brand exchange) business phone system is a positive step for any business. Still, it comes with one substantial decision to make: does the company take full ownership of its PBX on-site or delegate hosting to a third party?
When considering a move to an IP-PBX (private branch exchange) business phone system, businesses must decide whether to host the PBX on-site or delegate the hosting to a third party. This decision can have significant implications for the organization’s operations and overall cost structure. Let’s simplify the debate between hosted and on-site PBX options.
Hosted PBX, also known as cloud-based or virtual PBX, involves outsourcing the hosting and maintenance of the phone system to a third-party service provider. Here are some key points to consider:
a. Scalability: Hosted PBX offers scalability, allowing businesses to easily add or remove phone lines and features as needed. The service provider manages the infrastructure and can quickly adapt to changing business requirements.
b. Cost: Hosted PBX typically operates on a subscription-based model, where businesses pay a monthly fee per user or phone line. This eliminates the need for upfront capital expenditure on hardware and infrastructure. However, the long-term costs can accumulate over time.
c. Maintenance and Upgrades: With a hosted solution, the service provider handles system maintenance, upgrades, and security patches. This reduces the burden on the business’s IT staff, as they can focus on other core activities.
d. Reliability and Disaster Recovery: Hosted PBX providers often have redundant infrastructure and data centers, offering high reliability and built-in disaster recovery capabilities. In the event of an outage or disaster, calls can be automatically rerouted to backup systems.
On-site PBX refers to hosting the phone system infrastructure within the business premises. Here are some key considerations for an on-site PBX:
a. Control and Customization: With an on-site PBX, businesses have complete control over their phone system. They can customize features, integrations, and configurations to suit their specific needs. This level of control can be advantageous for businesses with unique requirements or stringent compliance regulations.
b. Upfront Investment: Setting up an on-site PBX requires upfront investment in hardware, software, and infrastructure. This includes purchasing or leasing PBX equipment, investing in server hardware, and ensuring adequate network connectivity and security. These upfront costs can be significant.
c. Maintenance and Upgrades: Businesses are responsible for maintaining and upgrading their on-site PBX. This involves managing hardware, software updates, security patches, and troubleshooting any technical issues. It requires a skilled IT staff or dedicated resources.
d. Scalability: On-site PBX systems may have limitations on scalability, depending on the capacity of the hardware and infrastructure. Expanding or reducing the phone system capacity can involve additional costs and complexity.
In summary, choosing between a hosted or on-site PBX depends on factors such as scalability needs, cost considerations, control requirements, and IT resources. Hosted PBX offers flexibility, scalability, and reduced maintenance, but involves ongoing subscription costs. On the other hand, an on-site PBX provides complete control and customization but requires upfront investment, maintenance, and the availability of skilled IT resources. Organizations should carefully evaluate their specific needs and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
Check the infographic for a comparison of the two.
This infographic was created by Orla Forrest, a marketing executive at Irish Telecom.
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