Cloud or On-Premise PBX: Which Is Right For You?

When you upgrade your office phone system to a modern VoIP PBX, you have to decide whether you want an on-premise or cloud-based system. Most businesses go with a cloud service, but each approach has its advantages. You need to understand each one's strengths to make an informed decision. When you go with the 3CX PBX system, you can choose a cloud service or use onsite equipment.

Advantages of a cloud PBX

Most customers prefer a cloud VoIP service. It's scalable, cost-effective, and easy to manage. Businesses that use it see these advantages:

 

  • Predictable costs. As long as the service and its usage level don't change, customers will pay a regular monthly cost. There's no large up-front cost, and there's no need to replace equipment every few years. The one exception is the cost of individual phones, which will be the same either way.
  • Low maintenance requirements. The provider maintains its equipment, building the cost into the monthly fee. It isn't necessary to fix hardware or update software.
  • Ease of setting up phones in multiple locations. With a cloud service, it doesn't matter where the phones are. Employees can connect from branch offices, customer sites, or homes. An on-premise system can do this with a VPN, but it takes more work.
  • Protection against disasters. A cloud PBX has physically protected equipment in multiple locations, so it's unlikely to suffer catastrophic failure. A fire or flood in a data centre can take down an onsite phone system for days.

Advantages of an on-premise PBX

Setting up your own PBX hardware takes more effort, but it can pay for itself. People with strong IT experience won't find it hard to manage. Here are some reasons for going with onsite PBX hardware:

  • Maximum flexibility. You can add any features you want. A cloud-based system won't always offer all the features you need. Many third-party applications are available for 3CX, giving you extra capabilities.
  • Integration with other systems. Integrations give you direct access to applications on your network.
  • High in-house bandwidth. Calls from one part of the building to another never have to leave the building. You can give your network lots of bandwidth for local voice and video conferences.
  • Cost savings in certain cases. Heavy use of some features in a cloud PBX may be expensive. Examples are multiple automated attendants and custom hold music. With an on-premise system, they're one-time costs. The initial cost is higher than a cloud service's monthly cost, but you can save money over several years.
  • Maximum security. A good cloud PBX is very secure, but keeping equipment inside your network lets you have an extra measure of security, especially for in-house conversations. Be sure you know what you're doing, though, as you're fully responsible for keeping your PBX secure. Keep the software updated all the time.

General considerations

The larger a business is, the more easily it can benefit from an onsite PBX. The cost of the equipment, software, and management is spread over a larger number of phones. Larger businesses are more likely to have complex needs that a cloud provider can't easily satisfy. A business with fifty employees or fewer is normally better off with a cloud PBX.

While the cloud is the default choice for most, a business that needs the extra control and flexibility of an in-house system shouldn't be afraid to go ahead with it. With 3CX, you can choose a cloud-based or on-premise PBX system. On the cloud, you can choose from well-known providers such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others. In your data centre, you can use standard computing equipment or set up a virtual server. Either way, you get a broad range of features and many software choices. We'll help you to get your PBX set up and keep it running reliably. Contact us to get started.