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5 reasons to deploy an on-site telephone system - part 2

29 Nov 2014 12:41 PM -
Reason #2 - control over the solution

Owning a telephone system has certain advantages that don’t come with leasing, and control is one that has a lot of value for businesses. This is where the certainty mentioned in Part 1 comes back into play.

Control can be manifested in many ways to provide certainty, and this is why owning the phone system remains appealing, even with VoIP. One way is for IT to control the network operating environment, both for the service and the phone system itself. This essentially means that IT manages the phone system rather than outsourcing it via a hosted solution or a managed service.

Of course, this implies that the business can support IT accordingly, and is another way to show that the IT role itself remains a vital resource. Some businesses will go so far to say that IT is a strategic asset and can even be a source of competitive differentiation. That will be explored later in Part 5, but in this case, ownership will definitely be preferred for the telephone system.

A key benefit related to control would be how the phone system operates within your overall IT environment. This would actually hold even more appeal for VoIP, since the application needs to integrate with your data network rather than running separately over a dedicated voice network. Again, this presumes you have the requisite expertise, but this form of control can translate into sustainable cost efficiencies and a higher performing workforce. Since these outcomes have a great deal of business value, if you lack such expertise, VoIP could be a catalyst to acquire it.

Another control-related benefit has to do with how your employees utilise the phone system. Since VoIP will likely provide richer features than what they’re used to, there will be more opportunities – and potential problems – around how they take advantage of this. On one level, it doesn’t matter where the VoIP system is based, either on-premise or in the cloud. Regardless, the features can be managed just the same by IT, as well as accessed by employees.

However, a premise-based VoIP system absolutely gives IT more control over how the features are deployed and managed. Since VoIP features are Web-based, this has more to do with where management of the service is based than the phones themselves. When businesses deploy a premise-based solution, the capability to control features rests 100% with them. Cloud-based options can take a few different forms, and when businesses outsource the network management element, they lose control in this regard.

This means that if a business is concerned about how employees will make use of VoIP’s feature set, a premise-based solution will provide better options to maintain control.