Every business needs phone systems in their offices. That hasn’t changed, despite how much technology has advanced in recent years. What has changed are the options that we have available in terms of phone systems. While on premise phone systems were once our only option, now there are alternatives available. Perhaps the most common alternative is a cloud hosted phone system. It’s important to be aware of the types of phone options that you have at your disposal as a business owner, as well as their different pros and cons.

Though your initial impulse may be to move on to the newer option (in this case, cloud hosted phone systems), this isn’t always the right choice. Furthermore, no matter what phone system you choose, you need to make sure that you’re working with IT disaster recovery services in tandem. While some phone systems work better than others, all of them are at risk for failure. Therefore, it’s essential that you work with IT professionals to prevent problems from getting out of hand. With that in mind, let’s explore on premise phone systems compared to cloud hosted phone systems.

What Is an On Premise Phone System?

An on premise phone system is physically installed in an office building. Usually, this will come in the form of physical wires that are connected around the office. They will link your employees’ desk phones to the office’s data center. The other option is IP technology, which makes the phone connections through the internet. While this does require some initial setup, a lot of offices appreciate the way that this can play in a unified communication system.

These physical phone systems are often well-suited for new employee training, as the systems are more common and will often come more naturally to them. These phones also offer the ability to use two different types of dial tone services. A lot of small businesses choose to have two or three standard phone lines. They’ll keep one or two of these lines, while the additional lines will come in the form of SIP trunks. These will be delivered over the internet.

These phone systems also allow for more control and flexibility. You’re able to own your phone system completely and make changes easily as needed. All the signaling will happen over your own network rather than over the internet. The signal is transmitted mere feet away, versus miles away, which means that you won’t need worry about the strength of your internet connection to the same extent. You’ll simply be less restricted.

What Are Cloud Hosted Phone Systems?

One of the main alternatives to an on premise phone system is a cloud hosted phone system. On an aesthetic level, this system function similarly to the way that on premise phones do. Rather than using IP technology, however, it is based off of an existing internet connection, which can be less expensive. The issue is that if this connection isn’t strong enough, you can run into trouble. Latency can occur with these types of phones, as can choppy audio. Location information can also be limited for emergency calls. Although this hopefully won’t be an issue for most business owners, it’s something that should be considered — especially if you have employees that work at the office alone during certain times.

Some call centers are also concerned about the security of relying on a cloud system. The cloud is never going to be completely free of security risks. If it isn’t properly backed up, there is also a risk of data loss. Many companies fail to execute proper backup tests on their equipment. In fact, about 34% don’t test them at all. Of those that do, 77% found backup failures. That could present problems for businesses that rely entirely on cloud-based systems.

Although cloud hosted phones offer some attractive features, there is a reason why many business owners still choose on premise phone systems. They’re reliable and often provide a stronger connection. This is particularly important for call centers. When your work relies upon making calls, you need the strongest connection possible. Therefore, this should be strongly considered before you move forward with a cloud hosted phone system.