Small Business Phone System – On Premise vs. Cloud

Small business phone systems today are more sophisticated today and the choices can be mind-

numbing. And when you compare cloud based (hosted VoIP) services to a traditional service that you’ve

probably grown used to, there’s really no comparison. Sure you’ll still get business-class features with

both a VoIP and an on-premise, hard-wired system but you’ll also greatly reduce your ability to present

a unified appearance, telework, customize your system and more.

Here’s a quick comparison of a traditional phone system (On-Premise) and a cloud phone system

(Hosted VoIP):

On Premise Phone System

Traditionally, a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) was a physical telephone switching system that managed

incoming and outgoing calls for a company’s internal users. The small business PBX was a physical piece

of hardware stored at the business, and was connected to phone lines to automatically route incoming

calls to specific extensions. It also shared and managed multiple lines. A typical on premise phone

system included external and internal phone lines; a computer server or electronic console that

managed call switching and routing; and a console for manual control. The phone system itself was not

easily customizable, and any changes to extensions, additions, or feature upgrades required a

maintenance person from the phone company to come to the business.

Cloud Based Phone System

A hosted PBX can do everything a traditional small business PBX can do and more. It performs the

switching and connecting of Voice over IP as well as landline calls. However there is no physical PBX

equipment (except for the phones and perhaps a small router) to store at your location. All the features

and functionality of your phone system are delivered over the Internet. Businesses can manage their

own systems, without having to wait for a maintenance person to come to their location. Plus, you can

use IP phones or softphones (which don’t require any phone hardware beyond a computer and a

microphone headset).

With a cloud PBX, you can connect employees all around the United States with the same phone system

using the same extension setup and the same area code. You have an expanded ability to telework with

work anywhere features and 24/7 online portals, and you also have the ability to fully customize your

extension settings and add or remove features at any time.