TMCnet - World's Largest Communications and Technology Community



tmc logo
March 2010 | Volume 13 / Number 3
Ask the SIP Trunk Expert

Site vs. Cloud: The Line Continues to Blur

Recently telecom discussions have pitted on-site and cloud phone systems against one another. These two diverse environments have begun and will continue to move closer together. Some features should reside in the cloud, and others make sense to manage locally.


Auto Attendant
Hosting the auto attendant makes sense for companies with multiple locations or mobile users. Imagine a multi-site company with many diverse phone systems. An auto-attendant in the cloud brings the locations together into one system. An outage at one location could not bring down others.

Voicemail is perfect for the cloud. Mobile and remote users would have the same procedure for checking voicemail and would not be affected by a single site outage. Administration is simplified as there is one location.

Advanced Call Routing
Routing calls is better left to the cloud. With outages, the cloud makes the decision to reroute to another location. Routing also can be based on time or geography.


Paging & Facility Integration
Hardware is needed to integrate with overhead speakers for paging and to integrate with access management systems. Paging integration hardware options make this easier to do from the cloud, but they still require local intervention.

Local Music On-hold
Many companies want a local feel. Local radio for hold music requires an on-site system and is an untapped area for the cloud.

Local Call Management & Failover
A local PBX (News - Alert) has its advantages when a data connection goes down and the local office needs to fail to the PSTN. Some cloud-enabling routers have the ability to take over call control and route calls over the PSTN, but these are still located on site.

In summary, with on-site PBXs moving toward the cloud and cloud-based applications using on-site hardware, the line will continue to blur. Over time they may even merge into a unified offering as service providers work to integrate their offerings. Hopefully in the future, phone service will be boiled down to simple, low-cost, high-value solutions.

Some people say I am a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. IT

Sean Rivers is director of sales and product engineering at (News - Alert) (

» Internet Telephony Magazine Table of Contents

Today @ TMC
Upcoming Events
ITEXPO West 2012
October 2- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
The World's Premier Managed Services and Cloud Computing Event
Click for Dates and Locations
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
Cloud Communications Summit
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas