Premitel have been supplying and installing office phone systems (ie PBXs) for over 25 years and over that period the underlying technologies and services have changed significantly.
The driving force behind the most recent changes has been the increased availability of good quality internet connections and, in particular, the development of Voice over Internet Protocol (ie VoIP) technology, standards and services.
Benefits of VoIP
The key benefit of VoIP is that it enables telephone communications to be integrated with data communications so that both can be transmitted together within local area data networks and across the global internet.
In other words, telephone and data communications can share the same cables, network switches, routers and long-distance wide-area internet connections.
This is obviously a good thing since sharing a common telecommunications infrastructure is much more efficient and cost-effective than having separate telecommunication networks for telephone and data communications.
Despite this, it has taken a few years for the integration of telephone and data communications to become the norm.
The situation now is that almost all new on-site office phone systems are based on VoIP technology and these would typically be connected to internet-based phone lines rather than analogue or ISDN lines.
The improved quality of internet connections and the ability to prioritise VoIP communication has also resulted in significant growth in off-site phone systems that are hosted by third parties in which the connection to each extension phone is provided over the internet rather than via an on-site phone system.
The PBX is now a VoIP Server
Another consequence of the move towards VoIP is that an office PBX phone system is now considered to be one of just many types of server that a business requires.
In addition to a PBX server, a business might have an email server, a web server, a file storage server and a print server. All of these servers could be owned by the business and located on-site or hosted off-site somewhere in the internet cloud.
A hosted server would be owned by a third party who would also be responsible for providing the required service.
As a general rule larger businesses would tend to have their own servers on their own premises, while smaller businesses would rely on services provided by third parties who host the required servers in their own data centres.
Benefits of Hosted VoIP Services
The issue for a small business when considering their requirement for a phone system is whether they should spend several thousand pounds on buying an on-site VoIP phone system and then several hundred pounds per annum for maintenance and support of that system, or whether they should just pay a monthly charge for a hosted VoIP phone service.
If the business buys an on-site PBX server then they also have to consider issues such as expansion, contraction, relocation and the cost of upgrades to get new features. None of these are significant issues with a hosted VoIP service.
Premitel have considered these issues and our conclusion is that in almost all cases the better option for businesses with under 100 extensions on a single site is to rent a hosted VoIP service rather than owning and managing an on-site PBX server.
As Premitel’s target market is smaller businesses, we have decided therefore that our preferred phone system solutions should be hosted VoIP PBX services.
We still offer on-site phone system solutions for those customer’s whose circumstances and requirements demand that an on-site PBX solution would be the better option.
Click on the contact button to the left if you have a specific office phone system requirement or if you wish to discuss how your business could make better and more cost-effective use of its existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and services.