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In the contact center world, choosing between a hosted or on-site phone system for your business can seem like an overwhelming decision to make. Both options have complex technical features that offer unique benefits and challenges. Breaking down the basic functions of those features in each setup can help businesses visualize what makes the most sense for their company’s bottom line.
An on-site PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a closed-off network of telephones within a business. This allows users to make and receive calls and transfer phone calls amongst each other using several extensions. An on-site PBX must have the required hardware and equipment within the company building.
Hosted VoIP PBX is a phone system that uses the Internet to transfer voice data. Hosted VoIP does not require onsite hardware besides VoIP phones. It works the same way an on-site PBX does and allows users to make, receive, and transfer calls. Overall, hosted VoIP systems are easier to maintain and less expensive to install because they don’t require on-site hardware. They offer much more flexibility than on-site phone setups because agents can make and take calls from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Deciding which phone system is right for you
In order to determine which type of phone system is better suited for your company’s needs, consider the pros and cons of each, and which is more closely aligned to your company’s goals.
- More control over the phone system: Contact centers who use an on-site phone system have more control since the hardware at their location. For example, adding and removing phone equipment is relatively easy, and contact center IT personnel can take care of customizations. If your contact center doesn’t have staff trained on the equipment, an outside PBX tech can help. Keep in mind that outside IT services can quickly become costly.
- Low monthly costs: Only after all expenses are paid for, an on-site PBX is usually less per month than hosted. In the long run, however, a hosted VoIP PBX solution costs less because no extra maintenance fees are incurred and it doesn’t run the risk of having discontinued equipment an on-site PBX could have, which is expensive to maintain and fix.
- Keep current carrier: An on-site PBX allows you to stay with your current phone service provider, whereas hosted VoIP is a different provider.
- No extra fees: Avoid extra expenses such as subscription fees and licensing costs when you use an onsite PBX.
- Remote capabilities: You can work from anywhere with an Internet connection. Remote flexibility has become an integral, and sometimes necessary, part of companies’ offerings. On-site PBX setups are notoriously inflexible. Now that remote work and flexibility has become standard, the lack of mobility an on-site PBX system presents isn’t ideal. Taking and making calls from another location isn’t possible if your company uses on-site hardware.
- Maintenance is provided: Your VoIP provider manages all upkeep duties, such as security and updates. Most troubleshooting can be performed virtually. An on-site PBX system requires repair tech to come to you if issues arise, unless your contact center has trained IT staff that knows how to fix the equipment. In addition, if you experience any sort of equipment failure in an on-site setup, you could possibly face long periods of downtime until a repair tech can get to you.
- Simple to upgrade: Adding new software is simple and hassle-free. Upgrades to equipment in an on-site setup usually require outside technicians.
- Lower upfront costs: Implementing a hosted VoIP into your call center is less expensive than an on-site PBX, and even more so if you are keeping your current equipment. Installing an on-site PBX system, along with its hardware costs, make it more expensive to install when compared to hosted VoIP.
- Easy to scale: Hosted VoIP is much easier to scale; providers can simply add new phone lines for a growing contact center. Expanding on-site phone system equipment such as servers can be difficult and easily become very expensive for rapidly growing businesses.
What are the average prices for hosted VoIP PBX?
Many factors influence the pricing such as VoIP equipment, the plan you choose, and the number of users. Hosted VoIP is generally anywhere from $20 to $30 per user each month, and you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to over $100 for VoIP phones in the initial setup. The cost drops significantly for companies who opt to use software to make calls as opposed to VoIP phones. Softphones usually cost anywhere from $5 to $50 or more, depending on the provider.
Hosted VoIP service providers
LiveVox is a top-hosted VoIP service provider. Their All-in-One PBX solution offers cloud-based VoIP phone service, SD-WAN, wireless backup, and Internet Service Provider (ISP) management. LiveVox has become a trusted company by many companies in the industry because of the in-depth knowledge consultants have when it comes to contact center operations. The All-in-One PBX solution allows business owners to focus on other areas of their operations since LiveVox manages all aspects of the hosted PBX system to ensure that clients’ phones are running smoothly day and night. Other providers include Nextiva, Vonage, and Zoom.
If you’re looking to save money and time while increasing productivity for your contact center, a hosted VoIP PBX system such as LiveVox’s All-in-One PBX solution is your best bet. Contact centers can offer agents flexibility through a hosted PBX, easily install software upgrades, quickly scale, and save significant amounts of money in the long run.
A hosted phone system is a type of phone setup that “lives” in the cloud and is used by companies to make and receive calls.
A VoIP-hosted PBX solution consists of VoIP phones that connect to a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) located on the cloud. VoIP allows users to make and receive calls over the Internet. The hosted PBX is an alternative to the physical PBX equipment on-premises.
A hosted PBX system is much easier to implement and less expensive than an on-site phone system. Users also have the option to skip the phone equipment and instead use software to make and receive calls. Savings are significant over time; no maintenance worries and lower upfront costs are far less than the average maintenance and repair expenses onsite PBX phone systems require. Hosted PBX systems also allow for remote work capabilities, and onsite systems do not. On-site systems are also very difficult and expensive to scale, while hosted PBX is as simple as a provider adding more virtual lines.