You may have heard one of the following terms banded around: Hosted telephone, cloud PBX, cloud telecoms or hosted phone system. These all refer to the new era of cloud based telecommunications or ‘hosted telephony’. Hosted telephony is quickly taking the market by storm, with rapid growth and cost benefits, a hosted telephone system is often the system of choice for smaller businesses. But what is it like compared to a traditional on-premise PBX or ‘telephone system’?
Round 1: Costing
A hosted phone system uses a cloud based platform to control your businesses calls. Much like a video or music streaming service, most of the bulk of the work is done in the cloud via an internet connection. With a hosted system, all you need is a phone to access this cloud. Because, as a posed to a traditntal on-premise PBX, there is no physical box on the wall, you may find hosted a more cost effective solution for your business. However, you should consider the cost of a good broadband setup in your cost as hosted requires a strong internet connection to make and receive calls.
Generally, the cost effectiveness of a system depends on your situation. If you’re making hundreds of calls a day, or you have more than 10 extensions, it becomes more cost effective to have an on-premise telephone system. However, if what you’re looking for is a simple, easy to use 1-10 extension system, then hosted will, most likely, be a cost effective solution for you.
Round 2: Robustness
One of the most important aspects of telecommunications is the robustness of your solution, i.e. can your solution withstand the number of calls it’s receiving and making. Hosted is a relatively new player in the telecoms market, but is fast gaining in popularity. As we mentioned before, a hosted system uses the internet to make and receive telephone calls, with a cloud based platform as its core. If you have a strong internet connection (we recommend a fibre to the cabinet or fibre to the premises connection) and you are not making a high volume of calls per day, then a hosted system will be robust enough to withstand your workload.
However, a traditional onsite telephone system is, in most cases, more robust. Physical hardware will almost always trump virtual software machines. Hardware from Commsplus is robust and secure. Our on-premise PBX’s have been designed to deal with strenuous workload and are tailored around your requirements, making them ideal for businesses who rely strongly on telephones and a robust telephony infrastructure.
Round 3: Scalability
Having a system that you can scale up is important. Nobody wants to be caught out down the line when your business expands – you need a system that can grow as you do. Scalability is really an interesting topic when comparing hosted to telephone system. With a hosted system, the only hardware you need is a phone to connect to your cloud phone system, so expansion is very easy – you just add more users and configure them as you wish. However, hosted can reach it’s limit fairly quickly. With broadband speed playing a factor in a hosted phone system, you should consider what the future has in store. If you’re thinking of adding 5 more users who will all make a high volume of calls, you should be sure that your broadband can handle the extra users.
Telephone systems are also equally scalable, with the ability to add more phones and extensions as required. A traditional on-premise PBX would typically have a maximum limit of phones, but expansion boxes can be added to create room for more as required. Because a telephone system is a piece of onsite hardware, it will not suffer as it scales. It does not depend on the internet for connection and so a telephone system is typically more scalable than hosted.
Round 4: Features
The feature set of both hosted telephony and telephone systems do differ. Hosted is a fairly new product and so the development of features is ongoing at a very fast pace, with manufactures and platforms eager to get as many features packed in as they can. Telephone systems have been around a long time. Over this time they have developed almost every feature you could imagine, and are constantly integrating new technologies such as AI and automation. For the most part, a traditional telephone system will have a more extensive feature set than a hosted system, because of the amount of time that the PBX has been around, however hosted is developing fast and is on track to match a traditional phone system’s feature set soon.
Round 5: Future proofing
It is of upmost importance to us that your telecoms are future proof. Not just for your business and its growth, but also for the technology and the world around us. Technology advances as such a pace that it often leaves old iterations behind quickly. This is why we ensure that our telephone systems we install are able to change and adapt with new technology, with software updates and new handsets. Our systems are kept as up to date as possible to keep them running into the future. The same can also be said for our hosted voice platform. With eve, our cloud based phone system, you can rest easy knowing that your comms are future proofed.