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Hosted VoIP vs. On-Site VoIP Business Phone Systems: The Scoop

By: Scott Resnick


When you are considering NEC unified communications solutions for your next business phone system, one of the decisions you will need to make is whether to install your NEC VoIP phone system on your premises or have your solution partner host it.

While it’s hard to beat the feeling of security you may feel by seeing your NEC VoIP phone systemsitting in your communications room, installing on site means that you must also have people on staff to maintain the system to set up new users, transfer extensions or perform other simple tasks.
Pros and Cons
When you host your NEC VoIP system, the hosting provider handles all routine maintenance such as setting up user accounts and performing backups. You achieve peace of mind knowing that someone is watching over your vital communication system.
With on premise installation, you will need arrangements for disaster recovery. If you experience a fire or flood on your premises, your NEC unified communications system could be out of commission and you would need a backup plan to keep your business running. Your service provider would repair or replace your business phone system on a priority basis, but you still might experience business communications interruptions. 
If you opt to host your NEC unified communications solutions, your hosting company will be responsible for backups and disaster recovery planning. They will have arrangements for fail over systems in other locations to prevent a local disaster from causing communication interruptions. In addition, they will monitor the performance of your business phone system and be able to recommend upgrades that will improve performance or swap modules quickly in the event of potential issues.
On Maintenance and Repairs
Your on-site NEC VoIP phone system will rarely need repairs, but if it does, you may experience communication outages while waiting for repair technicians to arrive. While an NEC VoIP phone system is modular, making it easy to replace or upgrade components, you may not have want to invest in having spare parts on site.
Your hosting partner will have spare parts and modules available, because part of your hosting agreement will include an SLA (Service Level Agreement) that covers the amount of allowable downtime before penalties kick in. The hosting service will stock redundant modules, components and even systems to ensure that they meet or exceed the SLA commitment.
On Cost-efficiency 
Many companies resist hosting their business phone systems because they feel that the ongoing expense will quickly exceed the cost of an on premise solution. While the cost of hosting will exceed the cost of purchasing and installing an on premise NEC unified communications solutions at some point, the cost differential is actually a minor point.
When performing the on premise versus hosted comparison calculations, many companies leave out the cost of dedicated IT people to manage the system, training and educating users, maintaining spare parts, disaster recovery and system maintenance costs.
In addition, buying or leasing an NEC VoIP system outright is a capital expenditure, while hosting agreements may be an operating expense. This savings in CAPEX may enable your company to invest in other, sorely needed equipment. The hosting agreement often spells out the costs of system upgrades or adding capacity, so it can make budgeting simpler.
An NEC VoIP phone system is an excellent choice for any small or mid-sized business, and regardless of the deployment option you choose, it will serve all your communication needs with the cost effective, reliability that is the hallmark of NECs reputation. With or without a hosting agreement in place, you can rest assured that your NEC unified communications solution will have the ability to incorporate advances in communications technology and operate flawlessly for years to come.
This article was originally published by TTI Houston
Published: April 4, 2014

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Scott Resnick

Scott Resnick is the President and Owner of Today's Telecommunications Industries, LLC (TTI) in Houston, TX. For the past 39 years, Scott has been instrumental in serving the telecommunications needs of some of Houston's largest and most influential companies. TTI is one of the largest NEC dealers in the United States. Scott is an avid baseball fan, loving father, husband, and a world traveler.

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