When it comes to selecting phone systems, an on-premises solution is no longer the only option. Businesses now have more choices — on-premises, public or private cloud voice services, or a mix all three.
Public cloud solutions offer a pay-as-you-go subscription to voice services and applications that originate from a service provider’s off-site data center. The arrangement eliminates equipment and upgrade expenses, and the need for support staff. This “virtual” resource can be accessed from any location or device. Users simply log in with their web browser on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. They access their personalized information and can use the voice applications and services as easily as they would back at the office. A private cloud works in much the same way, except the business owns the platform hosted in their offsite data center.
Cloud services add survivability. When a phone system goes down in the cloud, a redundant system immediately takes over. If a connection goes down, voice and data traffic can be handed off to another connection. If there is a power outage, a generator or fuel cell array takes over. If a remote site loses its local connection, on-the-go users can still connect via a mobile service.
When it comes to phone systems, businesses now have the best of both worlds to choose from. Those that require more control or have unique requirements often go with an on-premises phone system. Smaller businesses that want advanced capabilities, but lack the size to make them affordable may opt for the hosted pay-as-you-go. Those with multiple office locations have the flexibility to use a mix of both on-premises phone systems and cloud services, and integrate all their sites into a unified voice network.
Each option has its pros and cons, so be sure you evaluate each as it pertains to your business needs.