The answer: It depends.
For most companies, phones systems are the most vital component of business communications. Whether a small, medium, or enterprise-level company, phone systems allow for quick and personal connections to your clients, vendors, partners, prospects, and more to build valuable relationships and drive revenue.
Because a small clothing retailer has very different communications needs than a large financial corporation, different types of phones systems are available to suite their specific
Who: Medium to Enterprise-level Businesses
On-premise phone systems are physical devices, either owned or leased, and can be hosted through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or digital. VoIP gives users dial-tone from a provider like Aria Hosted, which comes directly to your office and connects with your phone system, allowing you to make calls. On-premise systems can be considered as capital investments and involve the purchasing of servers, operating systems, and additional hardware and integrations; all of which can be obtained and managed through IT partners like Tekscape, Inc.
The majority of on-premise systems are found in enterprise-level businesses, who have the resources to house such equipment and require a highly customized solution. For small to medium sized businesses this can become a costly endeavor. That's where cloud hosted models come into play.
Who: Small to Enterprise-level
For businesses of all sizes that don't have the time or budget to maintain an on-premise solution, cloud hosted phone systems are a popular and budget conscious method for businesses to simply make calls without the hassle that comes with owning an on-premise system. The only hardware a company would need are phones and a network PoE switch.
Traditionally, a hosted system comes from a provider's own large-scale datacenter, which is separated into smaller systems for other subscribers. Some providers offer geographic redundancy, meaning if one datacenter fails, there is another that can replace it in a different location, so you won't lose service.
Having a hosted solution can lead to big savings when it comes to the burden of owning, storing, and maintaining your own equipment. Instead, the hosted service provider maintains and manages your system, as well as provides support, so you can focus on running your business.
(Here's some more information on cloud computing if you're interested: What is Cloud Computing?, Cloud Phone Systems and the Future of Remote Workers)
Who: Medium to Enterprise-level
When you cannot afford to stick with one deployment model, a hybrid solution can give a business the best of both worlds. Hybrid solutions bring together on-premise and hosted services for mission critical redundancy. If your internet goes down, you can still have phone service over the Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) that run on-premise.
This can become a costly solution due to the need for the various hardware of an on-premise system, but for some industries the cost of experiencing downtime can be significantly detrimental, making the investment in a hybrid system worth it's price.