Welcome to Part II of a blog series where I compare Virtual PBX and small business PBX. There are many variables to consider, but in the end, it has been my experience that it’s pretty clear in the final analysis which of the business communication solutions works best for your particular environment. Let’s get the thinking cap on and proceed.
Ongoing Administration & Maintenance
|Maintenance costs for Virtual PBX are less than the premise PBX as you are only responsible for the phones. The monthly price that you pay for Virtual includes maintenance on the Virtual PBX.||You have maintenance costs for the PBX and phones. However, administration can be be quicker with a premise-based PBX as you can make the changes yourself.|
Features That Help You Decide
|The Virtual PBX is designed as a “one size fits all” solution. But if you have simple call handling needs, the Virtual PBX provides more than adequate features. It may not have all of the bells and whistles, but it meets the needs.||Premise-based PBXes have the edge in features and flexibility over the Virtual solutions. They are designed with a high level of customization available.|
Your Vendor Relationship
This is one of the largest differences between Virtual and Premise-based solutions.
|Virtual providers work from a centralized office. They typically do not have local representation. You must install your own equipment and test it. In the case of a service problem you’ll have only phone support.||Premise-based PBXes are installed and serviced via a local dealer. They pride themselves in being close to their customers.|
There is a middle ground where the anywhere nature of Virtual PBX meets local support. Some Virtual companies distribute their product through local dealers. This allows you to meet with the salesperson during the buying process. It also means that there is a local company who can assist with installation and service issues. Many organizations feel that the combination of Virtual PBX and a local support vendor is the ideal setup.
Internet Bandwidth Considerations
|Every phone call uses your Internet connection(s), taking 80KB of bandwidth each. This includes intercom calls. This isn’t a lot of traffic but if your circuit is small or already at capacity, you’ll need to add bandwidth at an increased monthly cost.||If your system is connected via a dedicated voice circuit (typically PRI), no data bandwidth is consumed. However, the Premise PBX is capable of routing calls via your Internet connection using SIP trunking. In this case, no bandwidth would be consumed for intercom calls.|
Okay, we’ve covered lots of ground here. In my next post we’ll cover multiple locations (including remote pbx users), PBX disaster and prevention and communications security.