With new developments in telecommunications technology, more and more businesses are making the shift to hosted phone systems for the convenience and cost savings they offer.
You have likely heard the VoIP vs. traditional phone lines debate. Just like many business owners, you may have tuned this discussion out, without hearing out both sides of the story. The only problem with this, is that your competition didn’t turn its shoulder to the banter, and now has a tailored solution that gives their phone system the ability to grow with them, all for a lower cost. Don’t let your competition surpass you because of a phone system, and take an in-depth look to help you determine what solution is the best fit for your business.
If you want to determine if VoIP is the right solution for your business, keep reading to see how it compares to traditional phone lines.
What is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)?
Voice over Internet Protocol, also known as Hosted PBX, is a phone service that allows you to make calls over the internet, instead of using traditional LAN lines. A provider houses the phone system, and handles all essential technologies that are needed to deliver the services to the phone system.
What is a Landline Phone System?
An on-premises PBX system is housed by the business itself, typically in an equipment room, or phone closet. The signaling from the phones to the server is completed using a LAN.
Voicemail-to-text allows you to receive voicemails to your email, giving you the ability to check your voicemail from anywhere around the world.
Increased call quality ensures there is the least amount of issues possible, to guarantee that the eminence of your business is not hindered.
Call forwarding will enable you to forward incoming calls to your cell phone or any other number you want.
Increase mobility with the Bring-Your-Own-Device feature that lets you and your employees use your personal devices.
Track performance to specific lines to improve marketing initiatives.
Outsource voice to maximize human resources.
Call recording, allowing you to monitor customer satisfaction, and quality of phone calls.
The Whisper feature enables you to coach a coworker on the same line as the customer, but without letting the other party hear you. Essentially, you are muting yourself to one of the two (or many) parties on the same line.
On-premise PBX Features
User ability assists you to create, adjust, and delete users as needed.
Owning the server will lower expenses, over time.
Uses existing LAN networks, meaning your signaling distance (time) is minimal and not reliant on the internet or other networks.
Remote extension allows your employees to plug into their internet connection at home, and use extension dialing.
SIP Trunking integration allows you the option of connecting your in-house PBX system to the internet, to allow it to facilitate the VoIP technology.
Not only are you getting more features when you integrate a VoIP system, but you are also paying less. You won’t have to worry about managing any on-site hardware anymore, which minimizes your infrastructure costs. Your call costs are also decreased, as you are not charged extra for long distance calls. On top of this, all calls from a VoIP system to another VoIP system are free. BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) is another feature that will lower costs, as it allows employees to connect their devices to the network.
Check out our other blog post, on the financial benefits of VoIP to get a more in-depth look on the financial benefits VoIP stands behind.
Scalability is also a huge factor in this discussion, as it carries the potential to complement the growth of your business, or emphatically slow it down. A landline system needs nurturement, which means added costs. When you grow, you need more equipment, licenses, and physical infrastructure to keep your phone systems working. With a VoIP system, this is all easily adjustable, meaning you can save yourself from one less headache. You can also rest easy knowing, this system follows a “pay-as-you-grow” model, meaning you only pay for what you need.
Also, due to the multiple layers of redundancy, you can ensure business continuity in the case of a power outage.
On-premises PBX Benefits
On-site PBX systems have a numerous amount of features that can be beneficial to your business. On top of this, flexibility is increased, as future software upgrades are included (with the right service provider).
Last and certainly not least, is the overall cost over time. When you chose to integrate an on-site PBX system, you will likely have to pay an expensive upfront cost to build your infrastructure (commonly avoided with a VoIP system). This price tag is daunting, but once paid for, you own the systems, meaning your monthly payments drop significantly.
Another way to keep costs of ownership down is to make sure your new system includes a hardware warranty. This way, your systems are repaired at no extra cost to you in the case of disruption.
It has been our experience that for hospitality customers, hospitals, school districts as well as police and fire departments, an on-site PBX system is the best solution for you. Lucky for you, if you decide to implement an on-site PBX system and later want to integrate the VoIP technology, you can do so with SIP Trunks.
For most other businesses, you can expect VoIP to overwhelm most of the market share in the phone industry, for years to come. With that being said, an investment in the VoIP technology will ensure you keep up with the fast-paced technology industry. Also, know that your phone system will grow with your business with this solution. You will not be expected to make that initial infrastructure investment, which allows you to allocate that budget to more critical business operations.
Both options have great benefits, but it is imperative for you to analyze what system is right for you. Not doing so can lag your key company initiatives, lowering your bottom line. Nobody but your competitors want to see that, and let’s not give them that satisfaction.
What You Should Know
Aspen Leaf Networks offers both options, meaning we can help you analyze the pros and cons of each. We work with both services every day, making us a very helpful resources as we know the differences between the two very well. We want to help you determine the best phone system for your business based upon the setup of your organization.