The benefits surrounding VoIP are clearly defined for the typical business, but developing a strategy for execution is a bigger challenge. Do you opt for a managed solution delivered in the cloud or is an on-premise deployment the right way to go? The hosted softswitch certainly has economic benefits, but does the same hold true if you already have the hardware and infrastructure in place?
Toshiba (News - Alert) recently published the powerful infographic below that examines this exact question. The fact that you want to streamline the network with VoIP is a good first step as both the hosted softswitch and the on-premise solution can meet the need. If capital funding is short and the infrastructure does not already exist, the cloud option is the lower priced option that can deliver more features.
Costs over time are still an important consideration as total cost of ownership (TCO) should be part of the analysis every time. With the cloud option, communications are a monthly operating expense. If the VoIP solution is built in-house, the initial setup costs are what tend to be high. Otherwise, the cost of running the system tends to be low over the long-term.
Even the small business needs to present a big-business persona. This means advanced communications features for on-par competitive positioning. The hosted softswitch can deliver everything an enterprise class company enjoys in a system, just as the on-premise solution. The difference here is the cost.
If you have plans to grow in the near future, scalability will be a priority. Both options can scale, although may have different requirements in terms of cost and support. If you lack the necessary IT support to help maintain an on-premise solution, the hosted option is a great way to shift this responsibility at a fraction of the cost. At the same time, the on-premise solutions available today are easy to use. It really has more to do with how each one fits within your corporate strategy.
If control is an issue for you and the user base, both options provide the opportunity to personalize and customize. The level of control extended to the individual user is based on your policies and not the design of the system. If space is an issue, the cloud option takes no space, while the on-premise solution is smaller today than it has ever been.
You can find countless articles on the virtue of the cloud-based solution, but the reality is uptime is the same, optimal security is available for both, modular options are available for the on-premise solution to keep pace with cloud-based options and even the on-premise solution can be augmented to accommodate cloud services in the future.
The reality is there is no one right answer for all companies. You have to select the right choice according to the needs of your environment. The good news is that regardless of the deployment method, you’ll still enjoy the benefits of VoIP.