When it comes to business phone systems, there are several decisions that an organization must make. Perhaps the most basic and important, though, is whether to pursue an on-premise or hosted solution. While there are advantages to both, many firms are increasingly reaching the conclusion that a cloud-based option is superior. Here are four reasons why hosted business phone systems are becoming more and more popular.
1. Lower upfront costs
One of the biggest advantages offered by a hosted business phone system is a low upfront cost, as industry expert Billy Chia recently highlighted for Network World. He pointed out that a business can deploy hosted unified communications solutions without much of any upfront expenditures. An on-site solution, on the other hand, requires significant costs on the front end, as the company needs to purchase and install a server on the premises.
Chia further explained that this makes hosted business phone systems particularly appealing to smaller businesses, as upfront costs are typically more of a burden for such firms. Of course, larger firms can also take advantage of these initial cost savings.
2. Greater scalability
Another key reason why hosted business phone systems typically beat out on-premise offerings is that they provide greater scalability, Chia explained. Hosted solutions of all kinds, including UC offerings, are paid for on a by-use basis. As a business grows and expands, it will inevitably require more phone lines, more features, more data storage capabilities and so on. With a hosted phone system, the business can increase its usage in any of these areas at any time. And if the business contracts or experiences a less busy period, it can reduce usage and save money.
With an on-premise solution, though, the firm must purchase a larger-than-needed appliance initially in order to prepare for the possibility. This means that, until that time, the firm will essentially have overpaid for its UC needs, resulting in inefficiencies. And when the business's growth requires an upgrade, it will need to purchase a whole new solution, repeating this process.
3. Better disaster recovery
Disasters can and will strike businesses of all sizes, no matter their geographic locations. Organizations need telecommunications solutions they can depend upon in these circumstances.
Hosted phone systems are undoubtedly superior in this regard. These solutions are based off-site, which means that damage that affects the business will not necessarily incapacitate the service provider. The office may be shut down, but business operations can quite possibly continue. If the solution is based on-premise, though, then any damage sustained by the office will also affect its communication system, thereby exacerbating the damage caused by the catastrophe.
4. Location independence
One more advantage offered by hosted business phone systems is location independence, as industry expert Matthew Guise asserted for Small Business UK. Guise noted that, among other things, a hosted system enables businesses to redirect calls to any landline, international or mobile number. This means that even if a business or its owners relocate, they can continue to use their old phone numbers. This is critical for many firms, as changing an established number can cause confusion among existing clients. Hosted phone systems negate the need for such a change.
On a related note, hosted UC systems are ideal for businesses interested in pursuing remote work solutions. Remote work is rapidly increasing in popularity, as it has the potential to improve employee morale and productivity while saving companies money. However, to be a viable solution, companies first typically need to ensure that remote workers have access to robust telecommunications tools. Hosted phone systems are the most effective way of achieving this goal.