If you've been looking for a new telephone system for your business, you've probably come across a few terms which may or may not make sense to you. Cloud phone, for example. Or on-premises. Or VoIP. What does it all mean?
A 'traditional' or 'on-premises' telephone system gives you a physical 'black box' which you can point at and say 'this is our phone system'! It will often have wires to all of the telephone handsets and does all of its work inside your building. A cloud system, on the other hand, still has the functionality of your traditional 'black box' but is based somewhere else - usually a secure data centre or other building provided by your telephone company.
There are a number of differences but the key points we come across when speaking to Pembrokeshire & Carmarthenshire business are:
- A cloud phone system usually requires your internet connection to be up and running for internal and external calls. If your internet goes down, you're without phones completely. This is not usually any worse than just having no external phone lines, but if your business relies on internal calls between department as much as external calls, it's worth thinking about.
- It is very rare that you will actually own a cloud phone system - you would usually rent it - so if you decide to stop paying for it, all of your phones will stop working unless you make other arrangements - whether you own them or not.
- It's normally much easier to set up a larger, multi-site telephone system using cloud telephony - and is usually more secure - as all of your phones, wherever they are in the world, all connect back to the same system.
- Cloud systems are normally maintained and managed on your behalf, so there's rarely a need to have the involvement of any on-site engineers when trying to make simple changes or tweaks.
Not sure what's best for you?
If you're still not really sure which route to go down, we can help. We've installed cloud and on-premises phone systems across West Wales for a number of local businesses (large and small) and would be only too happy to advise.