phone system

Cloud phone vs traditional on-premise phone systems

There are a lot of things that contact centers today have to stay abreast of, especially if they want to stand out in a crowded marketspace (not to mention simply surviving)! One particular example would be that of their choice of phone systems.

With today’s reliance on the internet and the emergence of remote work possibilities, contact centers have to make the vital decision of whether they should take their operations to the cloud, or keep it on premise. But what are the differences here and are they worth it?

What are on-premise and cloud phone systems?

Before we go into what makes them different from each other, it would help to understand fully how each phone system works. Only then can we really help you make the right decision!

On-Premise Phone System (PBX)

An on-premise cloud phone system is one that is permanently situated on your business’ physical address. This entails software being installed on local servers, PBX machines, and computers. As a standard rule, these traditional PBXs require lines to be run on site, require a technician to manually install them, and even require constant maintenance.

Cloud Phone (PBX)

As the name would suggest, a cloud phone is one that resides on the cloud. Sold as a software as a service (SaaS), cloud phone solutions are software that are installed and hosted on a service provider’s servers. They usually only require internet connection and a web browser to operate. They don’t require special hardware to operate, and even run on the same internet connection you already have.

Major differences of these two phone systems

  1. Hardware
    The easiest and most notable difference between an on-premise PBX and a cloud phone. With the latter, you need to have physical hardware onsite. This requires installation and maintenance, both of which will cost you extra money. Cloud phone systems, on the other hand, require none of these.
  2. Maintenance and upkeep
    With a cloud phone system, the software is installed on your local computer but is hosted from your service provider’s servers. The same goes for updates, upgrades, and any other service that you require. An on-premise PBX, on the other hand, requires a technician to come over and do the upgrades or repairs necessary.
  3. Costs
    As the prior differences have laid out, physical hardware accrues more costs in the long run. Cloud phone systems are cheaper overall, with subscription plans available for contact centers of every size. On-premise PBXs generally run on legacy devices that, though still being maintained, are getting more expensive.
  4. Mobility
    Cloud phone systems offer the unique benefit of being capable of running on a web browser. So if your company is one that is exploring remote work options for your team, this might be your best bet. There’s no hardware to lug around, and all you need is your computer and a stable internet connection.
  5. Reliability and durability
    If you’re reading this, you probably have had some experience with traditional phone systems. Though they’ve proven to be pretty durable, they are still susceptible to breakage in the long run. And when they do, they’ll require maintenance–or possibly even replacement. Cloud phone systems on the other hand are as reliable as your everyday computer. They don’t require a lot of resources to run, and don’t eat up a lot of space.

How to make a decision

If you’re in the contact center industry, you’re probably thinking of the best ways your organization can grow and save money at the same time. With that in mind, try asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Are you okay with paying installation and maintenance fees for physical hardware?
  2. Do you prefer to run your operations on a web browser?
  3. Do you have remote workers in your team?
  4. How adaptable is your contact center to change?
  5. Is your contact center growing?
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