Evaluating Hosted VoIP, which eliminates the need for an on-premise PBX, can be very tricky. There are many subtleties which may at first go unnoticed, and unfortunately the choice isn’t quite as simple as it might seem at first glance.
Hosted VoIP Networks
There are two types of Hosted VoIP networks: 1) public network hosted solutions, which put their voice traffic over the public internet, and 2) carrier managed network hosted solutions, which put their voice traffic over a business class network. The first type – public network hosted VoIP – with such well-known names as 8×8, CallTower, Covad/GoBeam, RingCentral, Vocalocity, and even Skype, can often be subject to voice quality issues, such as delay, echo and jitter. The second type, carrier managed hosted VoIP, such as CBeyond, TelePacific, and NEC, generally has better voice quality.
Hosted VoIP Investment
With either choice, the customer should realize that they must make a substantial on-site equipment investment. The customer must buy the IP phones, which can vary widely in quality and then make sure they are connected to a good cable infrastructure, which the customer is responsible for providing. Then, they must manage the connection from their premises to the carrier, generally with an MPLS-based connection to ensure quality of service. In addition, the customer may want a limited number of analog lines for fax machines, alarms, public areas, and emergencies.
It seems very promising, especially for smaller businesses, because the first year cash requirement can be low and the need to manage another piece of hardware seems to reduce the administrative burden. Financially speaking, hosted VoIP solutions can become significantly more expensive than on-premise equipment when a company is growing fairly rapidly or is above approximately 30-50 users.
Team One Solutions can help you determine which options are right for your organization based on your unique communications and financial needs, and we can offer either type of hosted VoIP or another solution which better fits your company’s needs.