VoIP is a common term when you are purchase phone systems for your business, but what exactly is it? VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. In laymen terms is just a fancy phrase for a phone system over the Internet. Within the VoIP world there are three types: on premise, hosted or hybrid. On-premise is just as it sounds; a phone system that has the equipment hosted on-site of the company, hosted happens through the cloud, and hybrid is a combination of both.
The option that is right for your company depends on a few different considerations. What are you current or future needs? How many users do you have? What is your firm’s growth strategy? What are your current telecom assets or contracts? Do you have the in-house expertise to manage the system? All of these questions will help determine the BEST solution for your company so let’s dig into each!
This option is great if your business wants FULL control over your phone system. The hardware is on site, and you can address updates, changes, security, outages and any other issues that come up. You are also able to customize exactly to your specifications. All the costs are a one-time, upfront charge with maintenance and upgrade the only expenses after that. Depending on your current situation, those benefits can also have significant disadvantages. For example, a one-time cost is great! But, that cost is a significant capital investment for an organization to undertake. Also, the customization can be extremely convenient, but only if you have personnel in your office who knows how to use and manipulate the system. Don’t forget about natural disasters. If your building has a flood, fire, or something else catastrophic, your equipment will be toast. If you’re running a smaller organization on a tight budget, this might not be the right option for you.
With hosted VoIP, you have minimal up-front costs; it is usually run as a managed service, so you pay monthly for what you use. A managed service also means that you can increase or decrease the number of users as needed. This option is run through the internet, and the organization who hosts it also completes all required maintenance and updates in their system that pushes through to the end user, (you!), so you will always get the latest and greatest. The organization will also be monitoring the system 24/7 reducing the disaster situation in your company. Some of the downsides are that you will have much less customization to your phone system, upgrades are based on the provider’s timetable, not necessarily immediately when they come out, and loss of overall control with your phone system. Another downside is connectivity. With phones bouncing over the internet you are at the mercy of your internet service provider, and if it isn’t GREAT connectivity, you might notice dropped calls or poor call quality. You’ll probably pass on this option if you’ve just invested money into a system at your office. You probably don’t just want to throw all that away and start over.
A hybrid VoIP system is the best of both worlds! You don’t have to put up the cash to invest in an expensive system up front, but you get the support and service for your phones as it is based in your office. Networks Unlimited’s NUvoice is an excellent way to get the best of both worlds! Networks Unlimited has already invested in the new hardware technology and can usually connect your current phones to our system for a flat monthly rate, though we suggest an array of Mitel phones to get the most features out of the system. NU also manages all additions, changes, and moves for free! Also, when using our phone system, you don’t have the “bounces” around the internet as with other Hosted VoIP providers, so it eliminates the connectivity issues you usually get with those other systems. Learn more about our Hybrid VoIP by visiting our website or contacting one of our sales representatives firstname.lastname@example.org / (970) 243-3311.