Trying to make a decision on purchasing a new communications platform? A cloud based (hosted) or a on site solution? At IPG we can provide both and strive to find the best technical solution along with the best ROI for your business.
Being in the industry for 30 years, I think there is more confusion with today's technology than I ever witnessed before. So I decided to create this page and hopefully bring some clarity for those of you who are in the market for a new phone system.
VOIP (VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL)
First by now you should be familiar with the term VOIP. Outside lines provided by FIOS,cable and most carriers are delivered to you via IP. The term IP can also be used internally within your office. This simply means your phone now uses a network connection locally.
If you are relocating to a new office and will be upgrading your wiring /network, IP internally is the way to go. It is a much cleaner installation and easier to manage.
If you are in need of a new system but are not looking to re wire or upgrade, then the digital system is the fit for you. There is no difference in features, functionality and phones. ITvendors do not understand the digital technology so they convince you on switching to IP. All outside IP services will work on digital systems and these digital systems can be both IP and digital together. This is one of my favorite solutions. Let's say you have a warehouse or areas without network cabling, these phones can be digital while other areas or off premise offices can be IP. The benefit to this is if you have any network failures your digital phones will still function. Remember when using IP phones you are running on your routers and switches.
HOSTED VS. ON -SITE:
In all cases when comparing on site to hosted, the hosted never can deliver the Total Cost Of Ownership on your equipment.
I myself became curious as to why people became so eager to double their monthly cost on their voice solution using hosted. I was told mainly because of annual service cost. But currently NEC onsite offers a 5 year warranty on their product. Hosted uses a 3rd party phone with a one year warranty from the phone manufacturer. These companies also do not guarantee versions,firmware and shelf life of these telephones.
A server based system located in a remote facility, delivering you dial tone,limited pbx functionality using a 3rd party SIP telephone for a monthly rental. It is a continous rental agreement with early termination fees and monthly seat cost that will slowly increase just like we witnessed with current cable providers.
Here are some of the hot topics we come across when implementing hosted along with clients that tried hosted.
HOSTED VERSE ON SITE FEATURES:
Both hosted and on site deliver similar features. You can work from home, use outlook to dial out and have call presence on your PC with both solutions. But in most cases the onsite delivers more detailed customization because the phones are proprietary to the system.
HIDDEN COST ON HOSTED PLATFORMS:
Most all hosted vendors deliver features ala carte at a monthly rental. Features commonly used such as auto attendant, music on hold, ring groups and line appearances can run as much as $4.00 a feature per month on top of the seat cost.
Hosted will require the full use of your existing network which will require POE switches upgrades, router programming and cat 5e wiring. These things in most occurrences are left for the buyer to arrange for and pay additional. Installation cost are usually not included as well.
MOTNHLY RENTAL COST:
While it is true that upfront cost associated with purely Hosted phone systems have slightly lower costt, in the long run, the cost of having a Hosted phone system far exceed the costs of other phone systems This is because you are paying a reocurring monthly fee associated with each and every extension (even extension you rarely use and faxes) while with a phone system, there are 0 reoccuring monthly fees.
CLICK HERE FOR A FINANCIAL SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON
CAPACITIES & RELIABILITY
It doesn't rake much to put up a server for hosting. I notice the amount of unrecognizable manufacturers and you have to think the reason people are offering hosted PBX's is as a business venture. They are going to increase for more profit, if they rent their PBX out to more users. As the server becomes congested, service is affected and you're dealing with potential failure. Remember these companies now control your telephone numbers,voice mails, access to your emails, recorded conversations and so on. Also take notice the trend on these providers either merging or selling off to a competitor.
Whatever you do decide, IPG can deliver both solutions. A new area of our business has become assisting clients holding the "cloud" when the boxes are dropped off. So many of these hosted suppliers do not offer any on site support or simple on site training. Like I mentioned before, installation cost are usually not in the quote.
If you have any questions or are in need of our services please feel free to contact me.