If you thought that getting a new phone system would be a breeze — a simple case of counting your employees and getting price quotes — you may need to rethink things. The number of options for your communications system has expanded in the last few years.
Which is why I put together this cheat sheet. It’s designed to fill you in on the many options currently available in today's communication systems.
ON-PREMISE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
Sometimes called a PBX System, Unified Communication Server or Voice over IP (VoIP), an on-premise phone system means you are buying the hardware and software or licensing, which will be located in one of your organization's facilities, at every facility, or within your organization's data centers.
On-premise doesn't necessarily mean it's ON the premise of your business, it means you're purchasing the communication system. The key here is that you are buying it, maintaining it, calculating the ROI and finally deciding how many years it will last. When placed in a data center, you will sometimes hear on-premise phone systems referred to as Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, or Dedicated Cloud. These are all versions of the same thing.
Two financial strategies you should know about with on-premise systems are:
- It can be purchased as a capital expenditure, meaning you pay for everything up front with one lump payment.
- It can be purchased as an operations expenditure, meaning you finance it and make monthly payments over a number of years.
One important thing to consider when choosing an on-premise business communication system is that you have to order your telecommunications and wide-area network services separately.
Cloud VOICE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
Cloud voice is the easiest of these systems to understand because many of the decisions are already made. It is a cloud-based phone service and phone system, meaning the equipment is hosted and maintained offsite at your service provider's data center facility. Your organization will only need to make choices like the type and number of handsets you need. It’s ideal for small to medium-sized businesses who are concerned about their budget, looking for an all-inclusive solution and only need a system with basic features.
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is hosted in the cloud and combines the advantages of hosted voice with the features of an advanced unified communication voice over IP system. With UCaaS, you have a whole suite of communication options to choose from. As more features are becoming available all the time, almost any bell and whistle you can think of can be part of the system — video conferencing, phone conferencing, live chat, trouble tickets, email, contact center, call recording and more. This is an ideal solution for medium to large-size businesses.
As you can see, there is no simple way to keep track of all the options associated with the range of business communication systems out there. Vendors are continually increasing features and tools that can help your employees do their jobs better. At Marco, we're always looking for the latest systems that will help you make the most of developing communication opportunities.
Our goal is to give you enough information so you're empowered to make the right decision for your business needs.Together, we can find the perfect communication solution.