You have many choices to look at when looking at VoIP. Hosted or on site is just one of them. There are good things to say about both. To me it all breaks down to the practical applications. For instance do you have multiple locations. Or do you have any workers that work remotely. Would you like those option somewhere in the future. Are you utilizing MPLS technology. The fact is that now is the time to ask these questions. Not merely do I like the Idea of hosted or on site. My suggestion is to really look hard at what you want your network to look like and then make the choice based on the direction you want to go.
That being said there are many good reasons to go with hosted solutions. The fact is that as long as you have hosted solution that offers redundant servers, a robust backbone, and an SLA that offers 5 9's reliability. You can't go wrong with a hosted solution. Most come with a total package. You eliminate soft costs involved with managing your own system. Best yet, if new features or phones come up you can easily access the new technology with out having to make huge capital investments in software and license costs.
Also, Voice T1's/PRI's can handle 23 calls, so 4 T1's x's 23 is 92 calls at once, whereas with Hosted at 40K per voice call you only need 3 T1's to support 105 calls at once. (40K x's 105 calls is 4.2MB on a bonded 4.5MB data circuit).
Another really big advantage of Hosted is that no VPN or VPN appliance is needed for remote offices or home-workers, the SIP stations are very Plug & Play. With Cisco, Shoretel, Avaya etc, a VPN is required to the home, and then, once set up, that station is not too mobile, versus a Plug & SIP station can be taken anywhere in the world and will boot up and work great without VPN. This is huge. In fact, many firms that are embedded with large investments into Cisco, Avaya etc, are beginning to bring a SIP trunk into the PBX and then let the Hosted Provider handle the handshake between the PBX and the Home Workers - it's more affordable, easier to set up and manage, more mobile, and the quality is more consistent. This is due to the fact that a $2M carrier grade hosted switch does a better job than a $200K PBX as it contains higher grade carrier components such as an SBC (session border controller- a little $200K component) to make things easier - eliminates the need for VPN, gets around firewalls and more. A SIP trunk into a PBX connected to Broadcore, and, for example, 50 home workers on DSL/Cable, would create seamless extension dialing between the Broadcore phones (for example Polycom stations), and the PBX stations - the hosted provider is connected to both, and creates a 4 -digit dialing plan from home phones to PBX phones. Very cool.
All that being said it is really up to you to decide what is important to your Enterprise. Then seek out the best solution that fits your expectations for the next 5 to 10 years.
For help finding that best solution ... use the no cost service available at Business VoIP Solution.
To compete with the growing VoIP internet phone service market, traditional land line companies are now adding unlimited long distance calling plans to their offerings. In my area, this service is being advertised for around $40 per month. If your long distance bill normally runs higher than this, you might consider this a bargain price – until you see what the alternatives are.
I have a friend who normally spends around $60 a month on long distance, with some months reaching over $100. This is not an uncommon scenario in today’s mobile society. At $40 per month, her phone company’s unlimited long distance calling plan would easily save her $240 a year. This is quite a bargain, but she could save even more by switching to a non-traditional telephone service like VoIP. VoIP technology relies on the inexpensive internet to route calls, as opposed to expensive PSTN
. Internet phone service has been around for several years, but the technology is perfected now and the quality and reliability is suitable for everyday residential phone use.
Cable television companies are now offering unlimited long distance calling
for around $40 per month in my area. If my friend were to disconnect her land line phone service and switch to cable VoIP, she would save even more money – around $300 per year. Since disconnecting telephone service means she can no longer use dial up internet, she will have to cancel this and get cable internet too. Cable internet costs more than dial up, so we have to take that into consideration.
Here’s a breakdown of her cost savings with this scenario:
Basic monthly phone service = $25
Average monthly long distance = $60
Dial up internet service = $20
Total monthly phone + internet = $ 105
Annual phone + internet = $1260
Phone service (with unlimited l/d) = $40
Broadband internet = $40
Total monthly phone + internet = $ 80
Annual phone + internet = $ 960
VoIP phone service through the cable company will save my friend $60 more a year than the phone company’s unlimited long distance plan. That’s quite a bargain, and she will get high speed broadband internet too! Also, with the internet phone service she’ll get a lot of bonus features that she would have to pay extra for with traditional phone service. Most VoIP phone service includes free voicemail, caller id, call waiting, call forwarding, 3 way conference calling, etc… Whether she chooses to use them or not, the features are included if she wants them. Unlimited local and long distance is a great deal through the cable company, but there is yet another option that will save even more…
Unlike cable companies, who offer internet phone service as an “add on” item, true VoIP providers focus totally on internet telephony. VoIP service providers are the pioneers in the industry, and internet phone service is their forte. These companies offer even better deals on unlimited long distance calling, and have the most experience with VoIP. There are several VoIP providers to choose from, but since I subscribe to Packet8 I’ll continue the savings example with them.
Packet8 offers unlimited local and long distance calling for a mere $20 a month. Just like cable VoIP, they also give you all the extra features for free. If my friend were to get broadband internet through her cable company, subscribe to Packet8’s unlimited plan and disconnect her land line phone – she would save a whopping
per year! Now that’s what I call a bargain. As an added benefit, she will never have to see another long distance phone bill again.
Here’s how it breaks out:
Phone service (with unlimited l/d) = $20
Broadband internet = $40
Total monthly phone + internet = $ 60
Annual phone + internet = $ 720
As you can see, it’s easy to save money with unlimited long distance calling. The type of service you choose determines how much you will save. If you never want to pay long distance charges again, you don’t have to. Put the extra money away, buy yourself a special treat or pay off some bills – and then make all the long distance calls you want for free!
© Copyright 2005, Debbie Jacobsen. All rights reserved.
This article may be used without special permission as long as it remains intact, including live links.