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How to Choose a Business Phone System

Serving Portland OR | Vancouver WA

Business woman talking on phone. America's Phone Guys serving Portland OR and Vancouver WA talks about how to choose a business phone system.So now that you’ve decided on purchasing a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system, it’s time to settle on the type of system you’ll have. Generally, there are two categories: hosted (Cloud-Based) or private branch exchanges (On-Premise IP-PBX) that use SIP Trunking.

On-Premise VoIP vs. Cloud-Hosted VoIP

Choosing a business phone system is a big decision for you to make. Here are the main differences between on-premise VoIP and Cloud-Hosted VoIP.

On-Premise IP-PBX systems

  • Need to have hardware located and maintained on-site
  • Typically have a larger upfront cost
  • Lower monthly costs due to using SIP Trunking
  • More stable connection quality when the Internet is less than fully reliable
  • Usually able to operate using existing cabling in your office or building
  • Ability to use multiple types of phone service
  • Conference calling is an add on feature and generally not included

Pros: You’re always in control of your business phone system. The phone service is less reliant on a completely stable internet connection.

Cons: Significant upfront costs because you have to buy all of the equipment. Plus, you may have to pay a vendor to maintain the business phone system and service it when necessary.

Cloud-based VoIP phone systems

  • Maintained remotely, using a provider’s internet data center
  • Generally less expensive setup costs
  • Involves regular monthly payments that replace all or most of your current phone service costs
  • The “brain” of the system is maintained by and housed with the provider, so there is less for you to worry about
  • Easy to re-route calls to cell phones if the Internet goes down if they aren’t automatically set up to do so
  • Upgrades to new features are almost always at no cost
  • Great for businesses with remote staff or multiple locations
  • Conference bridges are usually available at a minimum additional cost

Pros: You can usually save money on the monthly costs of phone service, from what you are paying a traditional carrier. And, you don’t have to maintain the expensive “brain” of the system.

Cons: Those with less reliable internet connections can be frustrated with calls forwarding to cell phones.

Examining the pros and cons of each option will help you determine which is best for your business phone system needs. If you’re especially concerned about the cost of VoIP, we can help you choose a solution that fits your needs and your budget. We’re also available to answer any other questions or concerns you may have as you weigh your options.

Features of Cloud-Based VoIP and On-Premise VoIP

Depending on your provider, your VoIP features will vary. So before you choose a business phone system, we recommend that you make a list of the features you need most. Those can include:

  • Voicemail to Email Services
  • Call Recording
  • Robocall Blocking
  • Direct Dial Numbers (DIDs)
  • Find-Me-Follow-Me and Automatic Forwarding
  • Mobile Calling while displaying your work phone number
  • Long Distance or International Calling
  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Queueing
  • CRM Integrations
  • Conference Calls
  • Extension Dialing
  • Presence

Your current technology infrastructure within your office will also influence whether on-premise VoIP or cloud-based VoIP is better for you. An On-Premise business phone system requires specific cables to work properly, which are typically CAT 5e cabling or better. It’s also important to think long term. If you suspect your business will expand, you may want to select a pure hosted solution to minimize the long term costs.

How to Choose a VoIP Phone System

At America’s Phone Guys, we understand how important it is to communicate with your staff and clients. If you don’t know how to choose a VoIP phone system for your business, you can rely on us for help. We’re the VoIP experts after all!

Having an effective phone system can help your business thrive while having one that is troublesome can cause preventable problems. One of our communications professionals is standing by to help you determine your phone system needs, and we’ll match it to the most appropriate solution. Contact America’s Phone Guys for more information today! We provide free quotes!

FAQs About On-Premise VoIP and Cloud-Based VoIP

What is the difference between Cloud-Based VoIP and On-Premise VoIP?
On-Prem VoIP systems are located on-site whereas Cloud-based VoIP systems are hosted at the carrier’s location and only the phones are on site.

What are the advantages of an On-Premise VoIP system?
An On-Premise VoIP phone system offers great call quality, cost-savings, and provides cheaper long-distance calling.

What are the advantages of a Cloud VoIP system?
Cloud-based VoIP systems are flexible, simple, and cost-efficient. They also provide heightened security.

Does an On-Prem VoIP system have to use SIP trunks?
No, if they are hybrids they can use SIP trunks, POTS, PRIs or T1s.

Can I use my old phones with VoIP?
Technically speaking, yes. However, you may not be able to use all of VoIP’s features.

Which is better for a business with multiple locations, On-Prem VoIP or Cloud VoIP?
Cloud VoIP is better for a business with multiple locations.

Which VoIP solution costs less, On-Prem VoIP or Cloud VoIP?
On-prem VoIP will have more upfront costs with fewer costs in the long run while Cloud VoIP will have higher setup costs and monthly fees.

Why shouldn’t I go with Business VoiceEdge?
You don’t get much for what you pay for, reviews aren’t promising, and their customer service hold times can be substantial.

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How to Choose a Business Phone System in Portland OR and Vancouver WA