Tips for Choosing an IP PBX for Your Small Business



The proliferation of cloud-based PBX solutions has led to a surplus of information about these virtual telephony systems. School Districts should consider the pros and cons of both hosted PBX and on-premise PBX systems when evaluating a new system for their offices. School administrators deciding between Cloud-based and on-premise PBX systems to consider the following:

The Real Total Cost of Ownership

  • On-premise systems typically require a large upfront investment
  • Hosted systems are paid through monthly payments
  • E-Rate eligible for Priority 1 or Priority 2 funding

The Value of Specific vs. Bundled Functionality

  • Capabilities of hosted and on-premise PBX systems are pretty equal
  • Hosted PBX bundle features and charge a set per-user price
  • On-premise PBX provides greater flexibility on the features and functionality they want to pay for

Ease of Customization

  • Attainable with on-premise systems, as an on-staff IT professional oversees the systems’s deployment and management
  • With hosted systems, customization is often handled by the provider
  • If your system requires advanced customization, on-premise PBX may be more reasonable for your business

User Experience

  • On-premise PBX systems will prioritize data traffic
  • With hosted PBX solutions, voice and data packets will often fight for preference
  • Hosted vendors may offer Session Border Controller (SBC) to help improve data quality

True Costs of Tech Support

  • If your school currently manages its own data, implementing a hosted PBX system is unlikely to eliminate your existing staff
  • If your school currently does not have an IT team, then Hosted PBX can potentially save your school from having to hire technical staff members


Article written by

For the past 30+ years, computers, advanced technology and solving problems with this new technology have been his business. In 1978, he graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC with the first graduating class in the 16 North Carolina Universities with an Information Systems degree from the College of Business. For the last 14 years Nicky has served as the visionary leader and CEO of CAROLINANET.COM, a web hosting and server colocation data center and since 2004 the CEO of Carolina Digital Phone offering hosted telephone services and SIP Trunking. Read more at his LinkedIN page http://www.linkedin.com/in/nickysmith

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