Is It Time To Move On To A New Telephone System?
Nowhere has internet connectivity changed business/office communication more than for that age-old device on everyone's desk: the telephone!
Most modern sales pitches would have you believe that there are but two choices:
- Hosted (Cloud-based) VoIP phone systems with all their modern add-ons/benefits and integration with the rest of your communication paths
- Legacy On-premises systems that are barely more sophisticated than two tin cans and a string
One of biggest misunderstandings regarding On-premises phone systems is the false notion that they cannot provide the kinds of newer flexible features usually associated with Hosted/VoIP services.
A prime example is "Find-Me/Follow-Me". This is an (often combined) set of related features that solves many accessibility issues for on-the-go professionals. Find-Me services automatically route incoming calls on a given "meta" or master phone number to any number of phone devices—regardless of physical location. One "public" phone number can be routed to all of your phones whether you are in the office, on the road, or at home.
The Follow-Me service solves the inverse problem. Multiple phone numbers can be routed to a single phone device or answering service. This is useful if you work in different geographic regions and want to remain accessible to your clients at all times including long-distance traveling.
For even more flexibility, the "ring order" may be configured to best suit each individual's needs, routing incoming calls to:
- all of one's devices at once
- different locations based on a programmed time schedule, or
- sequentially to any combination of one's office, cell, home phone, etc. after a programmable number of rings
Of course, features and capabilities are a moving target. Some legacy phone systems are no longer even available. Others are supported only for existing client systems and have only limited feature sets. But other modern On-premises systems can compete head-to-head with Hosted/VoIP systems on features.
*Note: Availability dependent on particular models for this vendor.
|CURRENT On-Prem Systems||LEGACY SUPPORTED|
(current clients ONLY)
|NO LONGER SUPPORTED
|Avaya IP Office||NEC||Avaya Partner||Nortel||Toshiba||Comdial
The Flip Side: Cost
Again, the prevailing "wisdom" often oversimplifies cost concerns to something like this:
• Hosted/VoIP Phones = Small upfront expense
• On-premises systems = Large upfront expense
There is a flip side to this assessment, of course:
• Hosted/VoIP Phones = Hefty recurring (monthly) costs that multiply proportionately with seat expansion (and continue FOREVER!)
• On-premises systems = Minimal recurring cost; small expansion cost (up to base system capacity)
Just from a cost standpoint alone, the initial, large expense of an On-premises system may seem overwhelming, but as a capital expense (with depreciation tax advantages) and with little or no recurring (system) cost, you may be surprised to discover that such a system may cost you much less than a VoIP one over the expected life of that On-premises system!
Sure, in some cases, the choice between a Hosted/VoIP phone system or an On-premises one will be a slam dunk—one way or the other. However, for many, only an in-depth assessment of specific conditions and needs—both current and projected over several years—will uncover the true best solution and choice for a business like yours.
Among the many variables impacting the decision of VoIP versus On-premises:
- Number of seats/nodes—current and projected over 10-15 years
- Cost versus ease/speed of expansion
- Programmability and level/need for integration with other office systems
- Degree of physical portability required for remote users
- Availability/reliance on client support staff (vs. contracted service) for on-premises system programming changes
- Need/level and ease of implementation for "soft" phones (i.e., phone system function through PCs/computers)
- Required add-ons to network infrastructure (e.g., Power-over-Ethernet for VoIP systems)
- Upfront (capital expenditure) versus long-term (recurring) costs
Your Next Telephone System—Do Yourself A Favor
Do yourself a favor when contemplating whether to augment your current telephone system or throw it all out and start over with a new On-premises or VoIP system. Call a professional support company like Andromeda that is familiar with all
types of systems out there today and that does NOT have an agenda to sell you any one make or platform (i.e., Hosted/VoIP versus On-premises). Have your particular current (and projected) needs evaluated and get a recommendation that best suits you on all fronts—from features to initial/ongoing costs.
Schedule Your FREE Telephone System Assessment Today!