Making the Right Call: should your business switch to VoIP? - Part 3 - Simpson Telecom

Making the Right Call: should your business switch to VoIP? - Part 3

Should you consider a hosted or cloud solution, as opposed to installing your own server? Discover which option is right for your business.

VoIP and IP Phone Systems - Simpson Telecom Group - Brampton, Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Milton. Telecom Equipment Supplies for Canada and the United States.

In part 2 of our 4-part series looking at whether your business should make the switch to VoIP, we discussed if the changing needs of your own business were dictating the technology you should be using, and how to make sure you’re ready for the switch.

Part 3 will tackle another consideration: if you are ready for a technology uptick, should you be considering a ‘hosted’ or ‘cloud’ solution, as opposed to installing a customer owned server on your premises?

Part 3 – a hosted or cloud solution, or your own server?

When looking to install a VoIP system for the first time, businesses have a choice between choosing a hosted (or cloud) server or having their own server installed on their premises.

Both options bring certain advantages over the other, and identifying how these relate to your business will help you decide which type is for you.

Hosted or cloud servers are growing in popularity, as they provide an ‘out of the box’ solution for small and medium businesses. Avoiding the cost and complexity of installing a self-hosted server, they are easier to set-up, run, and maintain, and often come bundled with a slew of additional features, including unified communications, easy conferencing, and find me/follow me technology.

For small businesses who expect fluctuations in their staff numbers, adding and removing users is simple with hosted or cloud servers, and these systems are able to be managed by remote technicians, making them ideal for companies who outsource their IT work.

Typically speaking, it is larger companies who will see the greater benefit from installing their own VoIP server, with the work involved in doing so paying more dividends if there are to be more employees using the system and more profit being made through it.

Advanced features like multi-stage auto attendant menus, complex cyclical call patterns and automated response feedback may not be well supported by hosted servers, and may require the expertise already needed to run a self-hosted server to ensure smooth operation.

Larger businesses who already employ a dedicated IT staff may also consider installing their own server, as they possess the capability to maintain and modify everything in-house, without the need to pay for external IT support to deal with problems arising in a hosted or cloud server. Having knowledgeable staff members who helped to install the server always on hand to help maintain it is also a massive plus.

There are many service providers claiming to have the necessary talent and infrastructure to support your needs but, unfortunately, many of them do not. 

We are living and working in a world where computer/server downtime is an acceptable condition. When you switch to VoIP technology, you are now moving to an environment that is similarly measured.

Ask yourself: how much VoIP telephone system downtime is acceptable to you and your organization?

There are redundancy systems with most qualified VoIP solutions which will offer a higher degree of protection against extended down time, but you must be prepared for a shift in your tolerance level as it relates to longer and more frequent down times.

Choosing the most appropriate type of server for your business, be that hosted or installing your own, will help you to run your VoIP system in the most cost-effective, hassle-free way, and with the right systems in place to minimize any downtime that may come your way.

In the final part of our 4-part series, we’ll be looking at whether you can trust your VoIP service provider, while also giving you a knowledge base ready for when you have to deal with them.