Cloud vs Premise: How to choose?

The choice between cloud and premise based voice and data solutions is not one that can be made properly without analyzing your current usage, anticipating future needs, exploring the available features, and the financial situation of your business.

Cloud Based Systems

Smaller companies likely will get more services with a cloud based system with clearly defined monthly costs. Generally you will pay more per user on a monthly basis, but it is easy to get started and operate going forward.

Cloud Computing Benefits

  • Cost Efficiency – There is minimal or no capital outlay.  The cloud model is basically pay as you go.  Maintenance costs are greatly reduced.
  • Scalability – The cloud offers almost unlimited storage capacity that you can access as your needs increase without investing in new infrastructure or licensing new software.
  • Backup & Recovery – since all your data is stored in the cloud, backup becomes simpler
  • Disaster Recovery – many cloud computing service providers offer multi-site capability which provides a backup should the primary site go down
  • Availability – access is available anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Cloud Cautions

The major down side of cloud voice and data solutions is that your data is being entrusted to a third party.  While most cloud solution companies spend a great deal of time and resources on security enhancements, having the responsibility out of your control is a concern that should be investigated and addressed. Opening your data to any external source should include a plan to protect your essential and sensitive data.

The other concern with a cloud solution is technical issues related to the need for a reliable internet connection that is essential to connect to the voice or data solution. Any interruption in internet connection or service would eliminate access to your communications vehicle.

Premise Based Systems

Premise based systems bring added control and functionality and likely a lower cost per user and transmission.  The more users that you have and the more calls that you make, the case for a premise based system starts to emerge as the most effective and efficient solution for your business.

Premise Based Computing Benefits

  • Self Control – By installing your own equipment and configuring to match your needs the premise based system is under your direct control for customization and changes to match your business needs.
  • Carrier Flexibility – A premise based system allows you to identify and select the carrier that fit your operational needs and allows you the freedom to negotiate the best price for the service.
  • Security – Having the equipment within your direct control allows you to provide the appropriate level of your data without entrusting to a third party.
  • Asset Depreciation – The initial purchase of the equipment in a premise based system contributes to the assets of your company and provides the opportunity to depreciate the asset for tax purposes.
  • Leasing Option – Most premise based systems can be leased (with an option to purchase) to reduce the initial expenditure and spread the cost over several years to conserve capital and treat the investment as a monthly operating cost.
  • Lower Operating Costs – In many cases, once the equipment investment is made there can be reduced monthly operating costs compared to a cloud based system.
  • Additional Features – Having the equipment on site within your full control allows for full access to all of the features that the equipment provides to customize to your business needs.  In some instances, a cloud based system may only offer limited features with a focus on the most popular.

Premise Cautions

The first precaution of a premise based system is the capital expenditure for the equipment and applications which needs to be purchased or financed.  The acquisition of the equipment requires a focus and attention on planning, purchasing, installing and staff training to maximize the benefits while reducing the associates costs to the lowest level possible.

The second precaution is the need to dedicate internal staff or arrange for 3rd party specialist to establish back up, redundancy and disaster recovery and manage any necessary updates or repairs.

Since technology is rapidly changing there is a chance that the equipment may become obsolete in the future and require new equipment and applications to get the best available voice or data solution.  As a result, when planning a premise based equipment purchase it is wise to include an end of life replacement.

Global Link can guide you through the process by auditing your current voice and data charges, evaluating your current and future communications needs, identifying the best cloud and premise approaches, negotiating the acquisition of the selected solution, installing the equipment and applications, and training your staff on the use of the solutions.

Contact Global Link today for a free phone and data audit and an evaluation of your current communications expenses. We can guide you through the cloud and premise decision.  

Phone:             800-494-LINK

Email:             rsidky@glci.net

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