You’ve probably heard all about why switching to a hosted VoIP solution is great for your business: lower maintenance costs, easy and fast integration, access to great VoIP features, and so on. And while both the cost and the features offered by switching to VoIP are vast improvements over traditional landline phones, a hosted deployment may not be the best fit for your company. Here are some things to consider:
Company Size and Projected Growth
Depending on the provider, large to enterprise-sized businesses may find that a hosted VoIP solution is not the best option for their phone systems. While hosted VoIP systems are capable of handling hundreds of lines, the pricing model usually includes a flat monthly rate per line. When compared to an on-premise deployment, in which the company buys and maintains their own infrastructure and hardware, the subscription model sometimes works out to be more expensive in the long run. The same is true for mid-sized businesses that find themselves growing and expanding; in terms of hardware, the only cost of expansion is the physical phone, but with a hosted system, more lines will need to be added.
However, the maintenance aspect of hosted VoIP systems may keep large businesses on board. Phone systems all require maintenance, and IP telephony has the added issue of data security that requires technical attention. For companies with limited IT support, or those that want to keep their specialists’ attention on other company goals, the maintenance and security provided by hosted VoIP vendors could be enough of a money and time-saver to justify the price of subscription.
Implicit Trust in Your Provider
The maintenance and security aspect of hosted VoIP could also be a sticking point. Sure, in-house IT has less to take care of in terms of the phone system, but leaving your voice and video call data in the hands of a third party is enough to give anyone pause. As a business with a hosted VoIP system, you need to trust that the vendor will do everything they can to ensure reliable service and security against cyber attacks. Make sure that any provider you’re considering can offer references, case studies, and reviews before making a decision — they should give you reasons to trust them.
No Control Over Hardware
There’s a time and a place for “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” and if you feel strongly about holding the reins on your company’s assets, an on-premise VoIP deployment may be a better option. With the necessary VoIP infrastructure in your company’s possession, IT specialists that you trust can take care of maintenance and security, as well as make any decisions about upgrades that may arise.
Keep in mind, though, that VoIP vendors specialize in IP technology, and can dedicate more resources to providing great service, prompt maintenance, and the latest features. Neither option is inherently better than the other; it just depends on what your company needs.
It’s important to weigh all the options when considering an upgrade to a hosted VoIP solution. If you find yourself uncertain, talk to a VoIP vendor about what’s best for your business. When you get the phone system that’s right for you, it opens up your business to new heights, so it’s critical to make the right choice.