Difficulties in Managing in house VoIP Systems
Complexities of Managing Enterprise Hardware
In house VoIP is a path which every company has to decide whether or not they want to walk down. There are certainly benefits to it since you gain all the flexibility you need compared to hosted VoIP which has a fixed service lineup. But this is enterprise level hardware - servers, network equipment etc - and it has to be maintained in very specific ways to ensure that it's running smoothly and keeps giving you good service every day.
For example, the environment needs to be carefully controlled. Servers give off a lot of heat which can impede performance and reduce the life time of your systems. Humidity is another factor along with dust which can cause a deterioration in performance. These require expensive investments in support infrastructure which a small or medium sized business might have no interest in making. This of course is above and beyond the required software maintenance like upgrades, security patches and configurations.
Other support systems are just as important. You need multiple Internet lines coming into your office to provide a backup in case one goes down. As you know, VoIP is crucially dependent on the Internet for its operation and if that fails, your entire organization is dark. Not only that, you also have to have redundant power supplies. One system is built on another and when the underlying system falters, the whole edifice crashes.
In House or Hosted VoIP
Of course, there are businesses which have the resources and the motivation to do all of the above and do it well. These are organizations which look at their VoIP systems as a valuable resource over which they need complete control and can't risk outsourcing to any external entity. For the average firm however, VoIP is merely a support system which is a cost center. They have neither the time nor the resources to funnel into creating and maintaining an enterprise level server and its associated support systems.
Such businesses would do well to outsource the management of their VoIP infrastructure to a third party whose job is dedicated to making it work day in and day out. They have the proper knowhow as well as the technology to ensure that it provides service to as many people as necessary. Just like you don't own the server on which your website is hosted, you won't own the VoIP hardware either.You just use the service it provides. Accessing an SIP proxy server is easy no matter where you are and you can easily switch to hosted PBX at any time and be up and running within 15 minutes!
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