In the past few years, the world has had a cloud revolution. Accelerated by the pandemic, a huge number of businesses have switched to technology hosted remotely rather than on site. Phone systems are no exception, and cloud telephony has grown and grown.
The reasons for the shift are clear: cloud services are generally flexible, affordable and easy to deploy, ideal for the challenging post-Covid business environment.
This isn’t the full story though. For many businesses, on-premise is still the way forward, and it remains popular in Ireland. The complete control offered by hosting technology on site is just too big an advantage to ignore for many teams. If resilience and reliability are your business’s top priorities, then it’s absolutely worth taking a closer look at hosting your phone systems on-site.
Today’s blog will offer a comparison between the two services, explaining how they stack up against each other, and which is more likely to be right for your business.
Deployment & Installation
When it comes to the beginning of your contract and the set-up of your phone system, cloud offers a lot of upsides. Because the main bulk of the equipment supporting cloud services is hosted remotely, there’s minimal set-up for you to contend with. The software that cloud systems work from can be deployed within a matter of hours, allowing you to get to work straight away. This is also great for when you need to add new users to your system.
For on-premise systems, implementation time is longer. However, it does allow for a lot of customisation. Installation is made easier with an expert team either way, and thanks to our 35-year partnership with Ericsson-LG, GoldStar can fit this bill.
We know that price is always going to be a defining factor when deciding upon the technology that supports your business. There’s a big difference in the price point between cloud and on-premise which may decide which one is right for you.
With on-premise, it’s all upfront. You make an initial payment for your system and handsets. You may also need an annual contract covering any maintenance and support that you need. At GoldStar, all our on premise systems now come with 2 years of software assurance built in. This works well for larger enterprises, but we know smaller teams can find the initial outlay more challenging.
That’s where cloud can help. With a cloud phone system the entire range of services is delivered in a single monthly bill, including maintenance and support. You’ll also have access to the latest security patches and software updates, as soon as they release. It’s really just a question of whether a CapEx or OpEx investment suits your team better.
Both cloud and on-premise services are equipped with advanced security systems, which protect you from cyber-security threats, as well as local outages and disasters.
With an on-premise system, you receive complete control of your system, allowing you to implement whatever security measures you see fit. This could be anything from putting your equipment under a physical lock and key, to keeping your own data backups. Even if your phone system is hosted on-site, you can still have your backup stored in a different geographic region, protecting your data from local outages.
With cloud, security is handled remotely, but it is no less rigorous. Your system will be hosted in a secure data centre, again in a different region to your site. The security measures that these data centres deploy are incredibly strong, likely stronger than the vast majority of businesses.
Cloud is known for its flexibility. With cloud, you can access services like calls, video conferences and instant messages anywhere with an internet connection. This is ideal for companies looking to implement a remote or hybrid working policy. The systems are also scalable, allowing you to add new users when needed, wherever they work.
On-premise does not have this level of flexibility, but it can counter it with a greater level of resilience. You are limited to where you can access your phone system from, but it comes with a higher level of resilience. If your internet connection drops out, no problem, you can keep working at your best. We know many rural businesses don’t have access to consistent high speed broadband, so an on-premise phone system keeps them working at their best.
At the start of the pandemic in 2020, many businesses struggled to adapt their communications services. Working from home often presents a totally different set of requirements. Businesses need a service that can reliably allow access to both customer communications and internal collaboration, without disruption.
For many businesses this naturally meant turning to MS Teams, but at GoldStar we took a different approach. During Covid, GoldStar were able to quickly roll out a wide range of home working solutions for both on-premise and cloud customers. Any system deployed over the past 5 years would have had the capability to connect remote users with both iPECS UCS and iPECS One being very important tools for business continuity for our customers.
These services provided immediate access to calls, video conferences and instant messages with a business’ full range of contacts.
So which should I choose?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. If you need to prioritise flexibility, or will see more of a benefit from predictable monthly payments, then cloud is definitely right for you. If you have more scope for capital investment and a relatively stable number of users, on-premise could be more suitable.
We know it’s difficult to make an informed investment decision on technology you’re unfamiliar with, that’s where we can help. At GoldStar we can provide tailored and impartial advice to help you make the right call. You can get in touch with the team by calling +353 21 4300737 or send us an email at email@example.com.