Hosted VoIP – Get your VoIP System Upgrades for Free!Posted on: 2018-02-09 | Categories: VoIP Services
Once upon a time, mentioning the word VoIP would get you blank looks from most people. Today VoIP is no longer the hot new technology that’s generating a lot of buzz. Instead it is the dominant standard for voice communication within any business. Most people would be surprised to find that a company does not have VoIP!
Unlike a few years ago when most larger companies preferred custom SIP deployments, hosted VoIP is making inroads into every type and size of business out there. Conventional wisdom stated that hosted VoIP was more suitable for small businesses while larger corporations should go for SIP trunking installations. Today a host of VoIP service providers are able to cater the needs of larger organizations, thanks to improved infrastructure and reliability.
The Lure of Hosted VoIP
The advantages of hosted VoIP are not hidden, almost everyone knows about the benefits. Perhaps the biggest draw is that it doesn’t take much to get started using hosted VoIP. Provided you have a robust network in place which can handle additional traffic (especially voice, which is more sensitive to delays and interruptions) you can start making VoIP calls in a few hours or even minutes in some cases.
Neither do you have to spend much in terms of equipment, hardware, PBX boxes, wiring etc. Hosted VoIP delivers phone features over the cloud using your existing internet connection. You can make calls from a laptop, desktop computer or even a tablet/smartphone. No special equipment needed!
System Upgrades – Who Pays?
Besides these readily apparent pros, an overlooked benefit is the ability to have a continuously upgraded system at your fingertips. With traditional phone systems or even your own custom SIP trunking solution, you are in charge of system updates and upgrades. In the vast majority of cases, this means software licenses and maintenance contracts. While this system works in theory, there are a few downsides if you look closer.
For one thing, you have to pay hefty sums for the initial software license. The initial cost is palatable to most organizations. However that license does not cover future updates/upgrades. So what happens when there is a new version of the PBX software? You have to pay for it again. Sure, some vendors offer discounted ‘upgrade pricing’ to existing customers but the reality is that you have to keep ponying up for new versions every few years. Another downside is that you have no way to ensure that you will always have the latest version of the software. What happens if the vendor doesn’t bother incorporating the latest feature in their application? You don’t get it at all! Not unless you switch vendors and we all know that’s not going to be an easy task.
Hosted VoIP Promises – and Delivers – Free System Upgrades
Hosted VoIP operates on a whole new business model based on SaaS (Software as a Service) pricing. What this means is that your monthly bill includes not just the cost of calls, maintenance (that the vendor does, not you), premium features etc. but you are also assured of getting every new update for free!
This new subscription based pricing offers many advantages to enterprises. It means you get system upgrades – both major and minor – for free. You don’t have to budget for upgrade fees and the like anymore. It’s all there in the same monthly bill as before. Suppose your vendor doesn’t offer the feature you’ve been waiting for? With hosted VoIP, switching to another provider is no longer a headache. You can transition from one vendor to another in a matter of days or weeks without major issues.
Yet another benefit is the ease of upgrading. The vendor takes care of not only routine maintenance behind the scenes but major upgrades as well. For the most part, you won’t even notice that something has changed until you see the new features or revamped UI. You no longer have to worry about shutting down the system for the update or that something would go wrong during the session. The experts handle it for you!
This business model benefits providers as well. They’re assured of regular revenue to continue development. They don’t have to charge for each new version to pay for the development costs. In fact, this new model allows for faster updates since the vendor doesn’t have to wait for all the new features to be ready at the same time. It’s also more conducive to security. When a new bug or issue is identified, the vendor can start work on a patch and update the software immediately. There’s nothing for you to do and yet your data is protected from that moment onwards.
The value of free system upgrades cannot be underestimated but companies do it all the time. If you find yourself wavering between various options, remember hosted VoIP brings so much more to the table than low prices!