A FOUNDATIONAL FIRST CHOICE
1.Traditional Service or Hosted VoIP Service for Business?
For many businesses, the first decision usually hinges on the choice between: (1) a traditional phone system, and (2) a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system. Clearly, the technology between these solutions differs greatly and shoppers should be prepared to make this fundamental choice.
Wireline Connection vs. High-speed Internet. Traditional wireline service has been in place for decades—the legacy technology that runs over telephone wires. Cloud-hosted VoIP systems connect over high-speed internet and have rapidly gained popularity among businesses of all sizes.
Cloud-hosted vs. On-premise. Cloud-based VoIP providers host the business phone system’s nerve center—the feature-enabling PBX—in the cloud. Traditional providers install and maintain their
PBX on premise at each customer’s office. (Note: Some VoIP business providers do provide on-premise hosting, but this model is becoming less popular in part due to hardware/maintenance costs.)
Over the last decade, the convergence of business VoIP technology and cloud hosting has revolutionized the business phone landscape.
Over the last decade, the convergence of business VoIP technology and cloud hosting has revolutionized the business phone landscape. Cloud-hosted systems deliver robust features that can be updated automatically, full mobile access, integrations with other cloud business platforms, and pricing that can be dramatically lower than traditional service.
This revolution means that any company can easily leverage what are normally considered “big business” phone features—and do business however and wherever they choose. A few examples:
- Using an IVR (interactive voice response) to answer and route inbound calls to a specific employee or department.
- Placing customers into a call queue as they wait for a customer service representative, or automatically request a return call when the next representative becomes available.
- Maintaining communications through natural disasters or other emergencies by simply plugging phones into a different high-speed access point or by using mobile apps.
What’s the difference that makes all of this possible? A cloud-hosted VoIP solution is in essence a software system running on highly redundant servers in professionally managed data centers, assessable via the internet (as opposed to a hardware and software system operating in a company’s server closet). By simply making changes to the software that sits in the cloud, hosted VoIP systems provide meaningful new features to all customers without requiring hardware upgrades or software for every single business phone or location.
Vonage Business offers a business VoIP phone system that is hosted in the cloud. In deciding to go with a system like ours, we recommend business owners talk to peers who also use cloud-hosted phone systems and learn how they compare to traditional solutions.