Essential Considerations for Installing a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Solution
The popularity of hosted private branch exchange (PBX) solutions has led to a surplus of information about these modern telephony systems. If you plan to install a PBX system in your small business or office, you have to make a few crucial considerations.
Actual Cost of Ownership
On-premises call for a big upfront investment; in contrast, hosted systems are paid for with smaller monthly installments. However, it’s a must to look into the total cost of ownership (TCO) of these systems besides the initial capital that you will need to buy a new phone network.
Specific Functionality and Bundled Functionality
Nowadays, the technical capabilities of hosted and on-premise PBX systems are mainly the same. The only difference is in the bundling of features. Hosted PBX providers typically bundle features and collect a fixed per-user price. On-premise PBX, on the other hand, gives users the option of choosing the features and functionality that they need. If you need customization for your specific PBX uses, make sure you tell the provider in advance.
It’s a must to shop around so you can find the right company that offers you the right bundle for your needs. Before you choose a certain provider, let them give you a list of features in full detail, including an accurate cost estimate.
When you talk about on-premise systems, customization is usually easy since there will be an on-site IT staff that takes care of deployment and maintenance. But with hosted systems, it is the provider’s job to handle customization. The problem with this is that in most cases, the provider can only customize up to a certain level. If you require highly detailed customization, you may find on-premise PBX more suitable. If you want to go with the hosted option, check with the provider whether they can meet the level of customization that you need.
Trouble-free User Experience
To improve voice quality, data traffic must be prioritized by on-premise PBX systems. Hosted PBX solutions tend to produce lower data quality since voice and data packets generally have to fight for preference.
As a solution, a Session Border Controller (SBC) device is offered by hosted vendors, but this will not come for free, both in cost and complexity. If voice quality will probably be a problem in bigger networks, factor this into your decision to choose a hosted or an on-premise system.
Cost of Technical Support
If your company manages your own data, you may already have a whole bunch of IT professionals at your disposal. This should mean too that with a hosted PBX system, you will likely keep your existing staff. Instead, this only moves the responsibility over to a third party and increases your costs instead of decreasing them.
If you have no IT team right now, hosted PBX can save you the cost of hiring new workers. However, consider how dependence on third-party support will work with the current strategies and systems used in your company.