In the olden days when the computer monitor took up most of your desk, voice (telephones) and data (computers) were two distinct disciplines and didn’t crossover. Bringing together the two technologies into one phone system has slowly been taking ground.
Two years ago, there was very little appetite for working from home then suddenly it became a requirement for a lot of companies. It is now very much affordable and mainstream. Is there a phone system that can meet everyone’s needs?
But which phone system do you adopt?
You have a choice between an on-premise phone system and a cloud based or hosted phone system. Making the right choice for your business can feel daunting.
The traditional on-premise phone system has been around forever and as such it has evolved to a very solid platform with many set up options. Cloud phones are the new kid on the block. It has been improving all the time as more telephony features are added.
Finding the right phone system should be about what is the best fit for your work patterns.
You house the entire system in your building. There is a one-off cost to purchase the system. You own the system for life after the installation is complete.
Cloud based phone system
The system comes with a monthly licensing cost and is hosted off-site, so you can manage your calls from any web enabled device.
Where do you start?
You need a phone system that can meet the business and staff requirements. It needs to be capable of supporting different departments, for different times of the day and days for the week. Do you need call recording and management information and reporting? Then there is the individual user requirement, office, remote or hybrid and what device is best suited to the individual requirements.
You need to ask are 4 important questions:
Both on-premise and cloud based work well, so it comes down to how your team works and your budget to find which one is the best for you.
- How do you currently work?
- How do you want to work going forward?
- Do you have a hybrid workforce?
- If yes, how often do they work from home or remotely?
Advantages of Cloud Based Phone Systems
The main advantage of a cloud based is the flexibility. You can scale the service up or down to fit fluctuating customer demand. Your team does not need to be tied to a desk. You can enable them to use a laptop and/or a mobile app to take work calls from wherever there is an internet connection.
You will receive automatic installation updates; business continuity is simple and free from stress.
Advantages of On-premise Phone Systems
For a team that is 100% office based then on-premise is the ideal phone system for you. If you were to relocate your office the system can move with you.
You can customise the system to include features that are relevant to your business.
There are no monthly licensing fees, ideal for capital investments.
If cost is more important than flexibility, an on-premise system works out cheaper in the long run over a cloud based system.
The only disadvantage to on-premise is working from home has limitations.
Think of it like purchasing a house
Purchasing a phone system is a like purchasing a house. Do you want to buy one and own it (on-premise) or rent one (cloud based)?
As a result, phone systems are a subject that seems straightforward but when you delve deeper it can go a long way to making your business work more efficiently.