As VoIP (voice over internet protocol) becomes more of a viable telecommunication solution for small, medium and large organizations, it is important to know your options and the differences between them before deciding on a solution.
Option 1: Hosted VoIP
Hosted VoIP service relies on a service provider’s hosted-PBX equipment to route a company’s voice and data traffic. This hosted method is efficient for small and medium sized businesses with limited IT resources. It offers the perks of a powerful VoIP system without the overwhelming price tag some solutions come with.
A hosted-VoIP system is scalable and allows features to be added and changed in order to accommodate the fluctuating needs of a growing business. The benefit with going to a hosted-VoIP solution is the ability to limit your upfront capital expenditures on hardware. The set back however is possibility of sound deterioration and dropped calls as a result of the PBX not being on premise. In addition, your monthly service may be slightly higher than an on-premise solution.
Option 2: On-Premise VoIP
The on-premise VoIP solution is a system whose equipment including servers, cables and routers are on the purchasing company’s premise. All the hardware that is associated with a traditional on-premise PBX system is deployed and maintained by the purchasing company’s IT staff or Managed Services Provider.
The audience typically for this sort of system is more geared towards large enterprises interested in systems that can be easily tweaked, modified, and uniquely configured for control and customization. Although highly customizable, this solution typically has a costly up-front capital expenditure which can sometimes be a significant investment for a small business owner.
Option 3: Blended Architecture/Hybrid VoIP
This VoIP option combines both hosted and on-premise solutions by using a blend of on-site hardware and off-site hosted application servers. Typically the on-premise PBX is small, reliable, energy efficient, and has no moving parts. These boxes also tend to be much more cost effective than a traditional on-premise PBX and easier to manage. In fact, many of the VoIP services providers will actually manage the PBX remotely limiting the need for any internal management.
The hybrid VoIP solution is also designed to improve reliability and limit any sort of sound deterioration that is sometimes associated with the hosted model. This solution works particularly well for business with multiple business locations, or with many off-campus users due to the blended architecture. From small business to large organizations, many companies have adopted this solution as an answer to their telecommunication needs.