Should your business communication be an on-premises exchange or a cloud service? While other components of your organization might make a legacy system a better fit for you, cloud communication has the edge in several distinct areas. The advantages of going with the cloud have been steadily increasing; cloud communication wins on cost, versatility, and ease of maintenance.
Cloud vs. Legacy Systems
Some businesses still have old PBX systems using analog phones. Managers figure that if they aren't broken, there's no need to fix them. But in the likelihood that they do break, fixing them is a costly headache. There are less and less support resources available for an analog PBX as well - nearly all new office phone exchanges use VoIP, whether cloud-based or running on a local box.
Legacy PBX systems connect directly to the PSTN, so it incurs all the costs of a traditional phone system. VoIP is more versatile and less expensive. There's a one-time cost to upgrade, but it will pay for itself quickly. Not only are calls less expensive, but the additional features let employees do their work more efficiently, paying for the system in time saved.
Cloud vs. On-premises VoIP
While VoIP makes sense when updating your communication system, you will have an additional choice to make. You can choose between an on-premises system and a cloud-based one. Both are reasonable choices, but most businesses will find the cloud is the better way to go.
Buying or leasing an IP PBX, the on-premises system, is committing to maintenance. If your business grows beyond its capacity, you'll have to upgrade. If your system stops working, your communication will be seriously disrupted till your organization gets it fixed. You'll also have to manage your own connection to the public phone network.
A cloud system will let you upgrade simply by placing an order. You won't have to maintain your own equipment other than the phones themselves and support will be provided. It will carry all your calls over the Internet, wherever they go. This means huge reductions in your telephone costs as long distance charges will become extinct. Charges for a cloud exchange are usually per connected user, with no limit or a very high limit on the amount of calling. This makes costs predictable and smooth.
Managing the system
A cloud-based system can be beneficial from an administrative standpoint as well. A Web-based console will allow the administrator to view logs and statistics and update the configuration as necessary. It will be easy to track the use of phones and catch any cases where they're being overused or misused. The hosting provider takes care of keeping its software up-to-date and secure.
Making the move
Changing over to a new phone system may sound like a challenge, but it doesn't have to be too disruptive. For basic usage, the new system will work a lot like the old one. Heavy callers will quickly learn the new features and find they save a lot of time. Outdated PBX systems are expensive and hard to maintain, moving to a cloud-based system will save you money and let you better control your communication system.