With the adoption rate of cloud-based solutions steadily increasing, more businesses are weighing the option of a hosted IP PBX. Previously, premises-based phone systems were the standard, whether your business had 5 employees or 500. Today, more vendors are offering both on-premises and cloud-based solutions for your business communications needs So how do you decide when it makes sense to choose a cloud solution over a premises phone system? Both have their pros and cons, but there are definite benefits to moving to a cloud-based solution.
The hosted PBX and Unified Communications (UC) market is projected to hit $12 billion by 2018, and servicing more than 62 million seats, according to Infonetics Research. In addition to small and mid-sized (SMB) companies embracing cloud-based phone systems, Infonetics says that enterprise organizations are also increasingly turning to the cloud for their business communications. The report points out that the toughest part of evaluating solutions is sorting through the wide variety of hosted options and understanding billing structures.
It’s up to organizations to not only compare hosted services and pricing options across multiple vendors, but to understand the benefits of cloud over premises. In some cases, especially with large enterprises and SMBs with multiple locations, it can even make sense to use a hybrid solution that utilizes both cloud and premises. If going this route, it’s ideal to look to vendors who offer a true hybrid option that uses the same platform and same features for both premises and hosted. This is something we do at Digium and it simplifies integration for our customers.
So, what about the benefits of cloud? Generally speaking, most businesses can expect the following advantages when moving to a hosted phone system:
- More flexibility
- Quick deployment with a simplified set-up
- Eliminate up-front costs for heavy and expensive installations
- Avoid paying ongoing maintenance fees typically associated with a traditional phone system
- Predictable monthly billing charges
- Save time and IT resources
- Gives end users more power to make changes and set preferences, reducing burden on IT staff
These are some of the highlights of what you can expect to gain when switching to hosted phone system. For more benefits and a deeper dive into what those benefits really mean for your business, watch this episode of UC Tech Chat.