VoIP and IP PBX are terms that we use all the time, but despite similarities, they are not interchangeable. VoIP has evolved to be a very broad term covering a whole range of technologies, while IP PBX is more specific.
VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – describes any telephony system that uses Internet rather than PSTN. The term is used for many types of modern telephony that have replaced legacy systems.
IP PBX – Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange – is a specific type of telephony system that switches calls between an internal data network and external networks.
Hosted PBX is a great option for SMBs, low budgets, or companies that do not want to dedicate time and resources to the phone system. Cloud PBX systems have lower costs, though they are ongoing as monthly payments. They are simple and easy to use and the provider will manage all maintenance, upgrades, and expansions. Read more about the benefits of Hosted PBX here.
On-Site PBX is a good option for larger enterprises or companies that need complete control at all times. An on-premise PBX is housed within the office and will involve more time and money up-front. Maintenance, upgrades, and expansion will be the responsibility of the company, but on-going costs will be relatively low. Read more about the benefits of On-Site PBX here.
VoIP is constantly evolving and new features emerge faster than we can use them. VoIP News wrote an article highlighting five VoIP features that increase business efficiency. Let’s take a look at the features:
1. IVR – Interactive Voice Recognition is all about efficiency for the customer. A VoIP solution like PBXware will offer IVR so that customer calls can be attended and routed as quickly and painlessly as possible.
2. Less time on calls – Similarly, VoIP solutions handle and route calls more quickly, cutting the time spent on calls. Businesses of all sizes and industries appreciate less time on the phone! VoIP apps like gloCOM can reduce time significantly.
3. More communications options – From voice calls to video calls to screen sharing, VoIP offers more types of communication for increased efficiency and productivity. You will find all of these options and more in our gloCOM app.
4. Integration – Most VoIP solutions can integrate with your other software and solutions. Better yet, Bicom Systems offers all of the pieces so they created to work together seamlessly, saving time, money, and effort.
5. Cost-effectiveness – Finally, VoIP is cost-efficient, reducing up-front and long-term costs. VoIP can open the door for even the smallest businesses and level the playing field.
Last month we learned what exactly “PBX System” means and some of the different deployment options. The two most common options – and hardest to choose between – are on-premise IP PBX and hosted or cloud IP PBX.
On-premise solutions are owned and managed by the user. The physical IP PBX is stored on-site and all of the technology is set-up and maintained in-house.
Hosted or cloud solutions are rented out by a service provider for a monthly fee that covers service, maintenance, and upgrades. The user needs only IP Phones that connect to the cloud PBX system via Internet.
Both are good options depending on the size and type of your business.
Let’s look at the benefits of each system:
On-Premise IP PBX System
No monthly fee
More control over the solution
No reliance on a service provider
Can integrate with other solutions
May have more features
Hosted or Cloud IP PBX System
Low or no up-front costs
No additional maintenance or upgrade costs
More flexible and scalable
No need for IT expertise or personnel
Less employee training needed
Advances in technology will come in automatic upgrades
Clearly both systems have benefits and drawbacks. In general, hosted deployments are better for SMBs, organizations limited by budget, or companies expecting to grow in the future. On-premise systems make sense for very large companies that are prepared to own and support their own PBX.