When shopping for a phone system, you want a solution that works well and offers the features you need. However, purchasers often run into a host of telephony terms that can be unclear or confusing. How can you find the right system for your business? Learn about the difference between hosted VoIP, an on-site PBX and managed VoIP to choose the right solution for your company.
A modern business phone system requires dedicated technical systems and hardware to run. In its most basic form, a business phone system includes a PBX and an IP network. The PBX connects phones within your company on a private network. This provides features like extensions, forwarding, auto-attendants, ring groups, and call routing. Meanwhile, the IP network connects your phones to the outside world.
Traditionally, companies can either host their phone system in-house or use a (cloud) hosted VoIP provider. By outsourcing telephony, a specialized vendor will manage your technology. In contrast, when kept in-house, you need to employ a telecom expert. Additionally, it generally costs less and requires fewer or no set up fees. When kept on-site, you have a higher upfront equipment cost, and you have to manage the servers, hardware, changes, and updates yourself (or pay someone to do it).
A hosted VoIP provider is more affordable than an in-house phone system. So why do businesses choose an on-site PBX? Personalization and control. An in-person, on-site telecom specialist can be much easier to work with than a phone support agent, configuring the system over the phone or through an online portal. This eliminates significant time and energy for you or your staff spent making calls to the support department to configure, change, or troubleshoot your phone system.
Some companies want the ease and flexibility of hosted VoIP with the localized benefits of an on-site phone system. Luckily, this is possible with a third option: Managed VoIP.
Managed VoIP for Businesses
Managed VoIP provides the best of both worlds. You get the flexibility of cloud hosting with the support and control of an on-site system. With managed VoIP, you get personalized network management from an IT specialist, the convenience of working with an expert in-person, and on-site troubleshooting when you need it.
Plus, your phone system will be managed in the cloud. That means that employees can access their business phone calls, voicemail, and other features remotely or through a smartphone. Your team can now work and take calls from anywhere with an internet connection.
Before, only larger organizations could enjoy the features of a managed VoIP system with the help of a full-scale IT department. But now, it’s possible for any business to enjoy the flexibility of hosted VoIP with the convenience of on-site management.
Benefits of Managed VoIP
A managed VoIP system offers the simple set up and the cost savings of a hosted VoIP provider plus the customization of an in-house system. Managed VoIP is a great compromise to keep your phone systems running smoothly. Plus, a managed VoIP provider will have better network monitoring and outage protocols in place to keep you online.
To have the best managed VoIP experience, do your research before switching. Many companies provide hosted VoIP, but not many provide managed VoIP. Ask these questions to differentiate:
Will a specialist be onsite during my installation?
How do I contact support if I need help?
Will you train my team and come onsite when we need it?
Do I make changes to my own system or is my system managed for me?