You have many choices to look at when looking at VoIP. Hosted or on site is just one of them. There are good things to say about both. To me it all breaks down to the practical applications. For instance do you have multiple locations. Or do you have any workers that work remotely. Would you like those option somewhere in the future. Are you utilizing MPLS technology. The fact is that now is the time to ask these questions. Not merely do I like the Idea of hosted or on site. My suggestion is to really look hard at what you want your network to look like and then make the choice based on the direction you want to go.
That being said there are many good reasons to go with hosted solutions. The fact is that as long as you have hosted solution that offers redundant servers, a robust backbone, and an SLA that offers 5 9’s reliability. You can’t go wrong with a hosted solution. Most come with a total package. You eliminate soft costs involved with managing your own system. Best yet, if new features or phones come up you can easily access the new technology with out having to make huge capital investments in software and license costs.
Also, Voice T1’s/PRI’s can handle 23 calls, so 4 T1’s x’s 23 is 92 calls at once, whereas with Hosted at 40K per voice call you only need 3 T1’s to support 105 calls at once. (40K x’s 105 calls is 4.2MB on a bonded 4.5MB data circuit).
Another really big advantage of Hosted is that no VPN or VPN appliance is needed for remote offices or home-workers, the SIP stations are very Plug & Play. With Cisco, Shoretel, Avaya etc, a VPN is required to the home, and then, once set up, that station is not too mobile, versus a Plug & SIP station can be taken anywhere in the world and will boot up and work great without VPN. This is huge. In fact, many firms that are embedded with large investments into Cisco, Avaya etc, are beginning to bring a SIP trunk into the PBX and then let the Hosted Provider handle the handshake between the PBX and the Home Workers – it’s more affordable, easier to set up and manage, more mobile, and the quality is more consistent. This is due to the fact that a $ 2M carrier grade hosted switch does a better job than a $ 200K PBX as it contains higher grade carrier components such as an SBC (session border controller- a little $ 200K component) to make things easier – eliminates the need for VPN, gets around firewalls and more. A SIP trunk into a PBX connected to Broadcore, and, for example, 50 home workers on DSL/Cable, would create seamless extension dialing between the Broadcore phones (for example Polycom stations), and the PBX stations – the hosted provider is connected to both, and creates a 4 -digit dialing plan from home phones to PBX phones. Very cool.
All that being said it is really up to you to decide what is important to your Enterprise. Then seek out the best solution that fits your expectations for the next 5 to 10 years.
For help finding that best solution … use the no cost service available at Business VoIP Solution.