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The Big Debate

This has been a hot topic over the last couple of years and I'd like to throw out the PRO'S and CON'S of each product so that you can make an informed judgement, and decide which will suit your business. There are many providers out there with lots of different cost plans, options and features so we'll try to keep this as generic as possible. For many small businesses, hosted (also called Hosted PBX or Virtual PBX) or managed VoIP services can be a cost effective way to access advanced telephony and UC features but also have feature limitations and restrictions. An On-Premise PBX has been the standard for many years but with the higher intial cost and ongoing maintenance, complexity and expansion costs, hosted solutions might be the answer...

Here is the information you need to make an informed decision regarding a communications solution and which will suit your business now and into the future.

 


Hosted (Cloud) PBX - The New IP Centrex

cloud telephonyI mentioned at the beginning, there are quite literally 100's of different hosted VoIP providers so I'm not going to mention any of them specifically, I am simply going to summarize key points that are common across most of them (there will be exceptions of course). The telephony features offered per carrier can vary significantly however we are going with the basics of call-in, call-out, transfer, hold and conference. Additional features such as Auto-Attendant, ACD/UCD, Smarphone apps, call routing and CLI may be extra. Some features such as external paging, scheduling, tenanting, hot-desking etc. may not be available.

Hosted PRO'S

  • All Telecom equipment resides at the providers data-centre, no PBX switching equipment installed on-site other than IP sets and supporting infrastructure.
  • The hosted PBX service provider can resolve service problems remotely without attending site.
  • Hosted PBX service providers offer support as needed, you don’t need staff to support your PBX.
  • Hosted services manage redundancy and backup for your telephony configuration.
  • Purchase and lease phones only as needed. Your system can grow with your future needs, just add phones.
  • System updates and enhancements are taken care of automatically by the service provider. 
  • Local and Long Distance calls are generally provided as part of the contract.
  • Telephony is now a fixed cost per-month and considered an OPEX.
  • Telephones can be deployed anywhere across the country / globe to support remote workers.

Hosted CON'S

  • Connections and voice quality are a result of your Internet connection.
  • Loss of Internet service results in loss of phone service (settings can be adjusted so that it goes to voice mail or routed to a cellphone).
  • Flexibility of system features and functions are very limited compared to on-premise.
  • Customization of features may be slow or unavailable (depending on provider).
  • Addtional features and functionality (UC, Smartphone app, ACD/UCD) can come at significant costs over and above basic service.
  • Turn around time for service requests vary by provider, check your SLA (Service Level Agreement).
  • No choice in telecom carrier for lower long-distance rates/fees.
  • Fees can be increased and cancellation fees can be charged.
  • You generally never own the equipment, unless part of contract.
  • Fixed-Term contracts are generally required from 2-3 years minimum.
  • Overall cost can be expensive compared to initial cost of On-Premise PBX.

Manufacturer: Ericsson-LG
Availability: New

VIRTUALIZED TELEPHONY

Picture1We recently replaced our aging iPECS-LIK to a new VIRTUALIZED iPECS-UCP system. This offered us some huge advantages over our old platform, and features that simply were not available, until now:

  • Native UCS application (Not available on LIK)
  • Unified Software features and benefits (Not available on LIK)
  • Larger voicemail and auto-attendant capacity (vUVM)
  • Greater IP channel capacity without having to add additional hardware (vVOIM)
  • Lower power requirements
  • Leverage existing VMware platform and server hardware (the same server that is running this website)

PSEUDO CLOUD

Picture2Becuase our iPECS-UCP is now in the virual world, it is essentially a locally hosted 'cloud' service.

The only physical hardware we have is an SLTM4 which is an iPECS analog extension module for our fax machine, everything else is running in software on the physical server. The vUCP handles all the control and signalling for handsets, trunks, UC etc. The vUVM is a 250 port (configurable and licensed) voicemail and auto-attendant system. The vVOIM is the Voice-over-IP server that handles all of our SIP trunking and IP channels for our remote IP phones and UCS clients.

Everything runs within our VMware Hypervisor and that managages the CPU, Memory and Network utilization.

Overall, it's a brilliant solution that's easy to manage, deploy and maintain, I'm really impressed!

 

Important News!

Nine-One-One Communication Supply Inc. is very pleased to announce that we have become a distributor for VTech Business Products in Canada!

You already know they make cordless phones, but did you also know they make conference phones (analog/SIP), SIP desk sets, DECT systems, headsets and more?

Please take a moment to look though a snapshot of their offerings in the downloadable booklet (simply click on the image below), and contact your sales representative to learn more!

Screen Shot 2018 11 16 at 9.01.34 AM

Questions and Answers

Hi Everyone,

I'm implementing a new FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS on the website that will hopefully ask some of the most common questions. I'll keep adding them as I keep getting them, but if you have any suggestions that you get asked by your customers, please forward them on.

FAQ

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