Hosted or onsite, what’s best for your business?

Hosted or onsite, what's best for your business?

Ensuring your business has a solid telephony system is a key challenge for many decision makers, with a whole range of options available to make the choice even more of a potential minefield.

No matter how complex a company's operations, there are two main telephony strategies that have emerged in recent years, but this hasn't made the decision process any easier for many enterprises.

In order to make the right decision, businesses need to ensure they do their research and gain as much insight into the advantages of each.


Arguably the main benefit that comes with a hosted solution is the increased resiliency available. Many hosted providers utilise data centres that provide a greater level of resilience and security at an affordable price than with comparable on-premise solutions.  

Money is clearly a common theme in deciding what's best for your company and a hosted system often emerges favourably due to the fact you only pay for what you need on a simple per-seat basis. Purchasing a PBX a major hardware investment is required and this often includes the need to set up a financing deal.

Because the system is hosted all updates are carried out by the supplier remotely so customers are always on the newest version of software and can take advantage of new features as soon as they are released.

Working remotely is a big part of the modern business and a hosted platform is the perfect solution as deployment for remote workers is simple. Remote workers can choose to answer their phones via a soft client on their computer or their mobile phone via one telephone number. Also, as the hosted system is controlled via an online portal, changes can be made as required without having to go into the office.

Call costs themselves are much cheaper, with a number of providers offering free site-to-site calls and cheaper call rates. Many services can even be combined with mobile platforms, making it easier to create a truly flexible telephony package.

That flexibility is improved further by having a strong choice of number, with the option to either keep your existing digits or choose new ones.  Businesses can even opt for certain area codes, meaning an office can have a London number, but still be based in Newcastle.

It all adds up to give your business greater continuity, protecting it against unexpected events. Cloud-based hosted systems by their very nature allow for firms to make and take calls no matter what the circumstances.

On-site PBX

On-site PBX systems still offer the best solution for a number of businesses, especially those with more complex requirements.

Depending on what system is chosen, there are a large number of "out the box features" that make it easy to configure the system but also transition to IP phones as required.

Many manufacturers offer paths for upgrading from legacy digital systems that keep capital expenditure down on items such as handsets, meaning IP users can be added whenever it's affordable.

The on-site PBX is a “sweat the assets” model in that the longer you have it the less it has cost you. There might be a higher initial cost on the physical outlay, but the absence of monthly fees associated with a hosted solution.

One drawback of an on-site system is the fact that upgrades almost always require the expertise of an on-site engineer and, because hardware needs to be constantly maintained, this can be a common and costly occurrence.

Such a situation can often burn a hole into the savings made by not paying the monthly fees for a hosted service.

Finances are not the only concern for smaller firms as many face restrictions in their physical space, which can be pushed to the limit by large, bulky hardware.

Finally, there are often more obstacles to overcome for companies looking to implement remote working as additional bandwidth is often required into the head office in order to make it possible.

The key to successful deployment is to ensure that companies think carefully about their needs and their budget. Choosing the right telephony system is a process that should never be rushed into so always aim to seek professional advice. Arrow sells both on-site and hosted telephone systems and with our years of experience of doing both, we can advise on the best system to choose.