Hosted voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), like most any other communications technology, brings a wide variety of valuable points with it in terms of providing new services at potentially lower costs, and more besides. Yet also, there are some down sides to a hosted VoIP system that need to be considered.
The Benefits of Hosted VoIP
Hosted VoIP services come with a wide array of benefits, and make these services worthwhile to bring on board. Easily one of the greatest benefits is scalability, which essentially means that the service can be increased or decreased as needs require. For businesses that have “busy seasons,” this is especially welcome. Businesses no longer need to overbuild or buy too many licenses to accommodate comparatively brief increases in use. That’s not often possible with an on-premises model.
Further, a hosted VoIP system allows businesses to change the breed of expense used to put it in. Instead of spending large amounts of cash up front to put the system in place–a capital expense–users can instead pay a monthly fee to the hosted service provider, which becomes an operational expense, smaller, regular and more predictable. This can mean big savings up front; AVOXI suggests that the cost to install a system up front can be $5,000. A hosted system might cost $19.99 a month.
The Downside of Hosted VoIP
Though it can be tempting to pay a monthly bill instead of paying for a system up front, a new operational expense can be a downside, particularly for systems with shorter payback periods. Consider: if a host charges $50 a month for service, and a business could install its own system that would last five years for $2,000 and do the same thing, should the business get a hosted service?
Another point to consider is the support aspect of a hosted service: in the hosted model, some service providers can be slow to respond to routine requests. If a request is not critical to the provider — such as a service outage — the provider might not respond immediately despite its level of importance to the customer. Depending upon the provider, ease and speed of support can be downsides to the hosted model.
Benefits, Downsides…It All Depends.
Is your business prepared to install its own hardware, engage in its care and feeding, and can’t find a host that will offer a monthly rate lower than the payback period on the hardware? Can you find a hosted service at all that you can trust and offers a decent SLA? Do you need new features added quickly to a system? Your business’ answers to these and other questions will represent the answer to the question of whether or not hosted services are right for you.
Talk to eXemplify today to find out more about providing Verizon hosted solutions, and what they can do for your business.