Is the Cloud Best for VoIP? Here’s the AnalysisPosted on: 2019-01-08 | Categories: VoIP Services
Let’s face it – the cloud is everywhere in the enterprise. Every application and software package your business might use is turning into a ‘cloud service.’ Accounting software? Brought to you by the cloud. HR or CRM apps? Again, delivered over the cloud. It seems even your phone system can’t escape the relentless onslaught of the cloud. But is it cloud VoIP a suitable solution for your company?
Cloud-hosted VoIP Services vs On-premise SIP Trunking
People talk about cloud technology as if it’s all or nothing. Either you have to use hosted services or do everything yourself from scratch. The truth of the matter is that it’s a spectrum. You can even have a hybrid model combining the best of both worlds or trust the experts to take care of things for you.
That being said, hosted VoIP services and SIP trunking are the two most common flavors of phone systems in the industry. Hosted services – everything happens in the cloud – are the more popular option. But it does have pros and cons that you should consider before going all in.
Cloud VoIP is For You If:
Cost is a concern
One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of cloud VoIP is cost. When you sign up with a hosted VoIP vendor, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on new equipment. There is no annual maintenance contract or software licensing fees either. The only expense will be purchasing SIP phones that can work with the technology.
For as little as $30 a month, you can have business class phone services delivered for your office. Small and medium businesses often have financial constraints. You can’t just go out and buy the best phone system for your employees. If cost is a concern, then cloud VoIP is an easy choice to make.
You don’t have in-house expertise
Another thing most small businesses lack is experts who know the ins and outs of managing VoIP phone systems. Can you really afford to hire employees just to maintain the phones? It’s not just a matter of keeping the phones up and running. You also need to secure the system. VoIP systems are just as vulnerable as your computers to malicious threats. Hackers target smaller companies as they’re more exposed to security issues. If you don’t secure the phones, you could lose confidential data and suffer security breaches. Imagine the losses if the phones stopped working in the middle of the day!
You have to upgrade today
What if your current analog system is on the brink of failure? As more organizations upgrade to VoIP, it’s getting harder to find people to maintain the older systems. Even if you find someone, you may not find the required replacement parts. Setting up your own premise-based system could take months, provided you have the resources.
But if you need to upgrade immediately, the cloud is your best option. A good service provider should be able to get you started in a few hours!
Cloud VoIP is Not For You If:
You need to maintain control
VoIP services do offer a lot of customization. You can turn on features for individuals or for entire groups/departments at a time. But there’s a limit to what you can do with options and settings. It also means that you don’t control when upgrades happen or when users can try new features. In other words, you don’t control the system.
For many organizations – especially larger ones – lack of control is unacceptable. You never know when circumstances change and your phone system has to adapt. You may not want to trust a third party when your own experts can manage the system just as well, if not better.
Compliance is an issue
Some industries have to worry about compliance as well. VoIP technology sends your voice calls over the Internet. Your data may travel over unsecured networks and hardware. For companies in the health or finance sectors, this can be a huge obstacle. Only a few providers have servers that comply with regulations.
If something goes wrong, who gets the blame? You or the service provider? A small mistake could cost you millions down the line in fees, penalties, and loss of clients.
You don’t have fast Internet speeds
It may seem trivial but cloud VoIP services need fast Internet speeds to work well. What if your company is in a location that has poor service? Or you don’t have a reliable power supply? Even in 2019, rural areas suffer from a lack of Internet access. If you don’t have a fast and reliable Internet connection, then the cloud shouldn’t be your first choice.
As with everything else in IT, the right choice for you may not be the best option for someone else. So consider your requirements carefully before signing up for the cloud.