Pros and Cons: On-Premise Phone Systems

Posted by Courtney Black on 28/07/16 12:09 PM
Courtney Black

On-premise phone systems are sometimes what people refer to as a PBX system. Basically an on-premise system references the location where the Central Processing Unit for the system is located.  It also indicates that the system is owned and maintained within the user's infrastructure. Before deciding whether or not an on-premise phone system is the best plan for your business it is best to take a look at the pros and cons.

The Pros:

1. Total cost of ownership: With an on-premise solution you will only be required a one-time capital outlay. Once this is paid, the only recurring costs would be for maintenance and upgrades. Overall, companies with over 100 users at any one location consider on-premise to be more cost-effective in the long run.

2. Network convergence: You are able to combine voice and data traffic on the same network to reduce the network costs.

3. Greater control over telecom investment: Ownership means that software, devices, records, hardware, etc. remain on your company's premises. You get tight control over updates and security and are able to address outages and issues quickly. 

4. Superior QoS: On-premise runs on your infrastructure. Unlike how a hosted solution runs on the provider's WAN, which will compromise quality and reliability.

5.  Feature offerings:  With an on-premise system, you can integrate your system with your existing software platforms allowing for additional feature enablement.  This isn't always an option if you go off site.  

The Cons:

1. Limited flexibility and scalability: Routine activities such as moves/adds/changes, configuring remote users, and scaling to handle the growing business are going to require IT resources and sometimes even hardware upgrades to execute.

2. Time-to-solution: On-premise could require a lengthy implementation period, accompanied by a complex project.

3. The need for in-house resources:  Whether your business is small or large there is a need for your IT talent to focus on other initiatives than maintaining you phone systems. Many IT teams are limited and can become overwhelmed with the maintenance and management tasks that can come with on-premise phone systems. Unless you have a very eager, talented IT team with extra time on their hands, it is important to look for a reliable provider when considering on-premise.

Major factors that make the decision easy include, 

- Do you plan to stay at your facility for longer than the next 5 years?
- Is your user population greater than 100 users?
- Is your phone system a key element of your business?

If you answered yes to all three questions, an on-premise system is most likely a good fit for you.  Click here to learn about telecom management - best practices make sure you download the menu plan template!


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