When evaluating the network for your IP Telephony deployment, you need to be aware of some of the differences between a hosted PBX and an onsite-PBX.
In order to simplify this, we will break the network down into two separate concepts: The Local, onsite network (or LAN), and the wide-area, external network (or WAN, typically provided across the Internet).
In the case of a hosted PBX, all of the PBX intelligence will be located offsite. The only things located at the site will be the telephone sets, and the network components required to connect those sets through the internet to the hosted system.
Advantages of a Hosted PBX
No server onsite to maintain
Higher-quality server environment (redundant power, HVAC, internet, etc)
Software updates usually included
OPEX generally more popular with C-level execs
Onsite requirements can usually be handled by network team
Disadvantages of a Hosted PBX
Recurring costs – more expensive in the long term
Bandwidth requirements – desk-to-desk calls still have to pass through data center
An on-site PBX provides all the services to the phone sets from the premises. Sets do not even require internet access, as all their requirements (provisioning files, time and date, firmware updates, security) can be handled through the PBX system.
Advantages of an On-site PBX
Once it’s paid for, it only needs to be maintained
Physical control of hardware
Easier termination of legacy PSTN circuits
Typically lower long-term costs
Lower bandwidth requirements
Disadvantages of an On-site PBX
Requires available technical team to maintain system
Server environment may require construction and other costs
CAPEX not always an easy sell to C-level execs
DECISION TIME: HOSTED OR ON-SITE?
In both cases—Hosted or On-site—the underlying technologies are essentially the same. We use the LAN to replace the traditional telephone wiring, and the WAN to replace the traditional carrier circuit (PRI, POTS lines, etc). For hosted, we additionally handle PBX connections from the sets in the WAN as well.
If you have any questions about making sense of IP Telephony, please feel free to reach out and speak to us.
The next blog in this series will look at the onsite network environment, and the considerations for a Converged versus Dedicated LAN.