A hosted private branch exchange (PBX) system uses the internet to manage a company's phone communications from an off-site location. An on-premise PBX system, on the other hand, allows a company to manage its business phone system and all associated hardware on site.
Deciding which option is the right fit for an individual business is particularly important, and and there are many factors that need to be considered.
How do hosted PBX and on-premise PBX systems stack up?
One important point is cost. Cost analysis can be a helpful tool, both for determining initial investment and the costs of maintaining equipment and services over time. No Jitter performed a mock cost analysis of PBX options over a five year period, finding that a hosted PBX costs less up front but ultimately turned out more expensive. Telecom Reseller reported that on-premise PBX systems require a larger initial investment, but that is absorbed in one year.
Telecom Reseller said that if a business already has an IT staff, they currently manage the company's data and are equipped with the resources and skills to easily manage anon-premise PBX system. If a company does not have an IT staff, choosing a hosted PBX could save the business the cost of having to hire one. The main consideration here, aside from money, is whether the company is comfortable with a third party supporting the phone system.
Customization is another important feature. According to Telecom Resellers, on-site IT staff can oversee the customization of on-premise PBX systems. Therefore customization is unique to the individual company. Customizations are done in-house and are monitored by the IT department. With a hosted PBX, the off-site provider does the customization, so they may be unable to handle specific requests pertaining to one business. The question here is whether the IT department has the time and resources available to handle PBX customizations.
In today's world, mobility is key. With many employees working remotely, the need for access from anywhere is important. Fierce Mobile IT cited a survey by Dimensional Research, which found that about one quarter of respondents do not believe on-site PBX systems have the flexibility to meet the needs of the remote workforce. According to Sys-Con, implementing a hosted PBX allows for softphones, office extensions that can be access any computer from anywhere. It also allows for call pass transferring between mobile and desk phones as well as the option of a click to call button on the company website.