Premise vs Hosted Hotel PBX Explained

hosted vs premise based hotel phone systemsThere are a lot of things that hotel owners and managers should consider when moving away from an existing phone system and upgrading to another. One key decision to be made involves choosing the right PBX system, and how it will be integrated into your hotel’s phone network – should you go with a premise based PBX, or a hosted solution? Ultimately, the answer should be based upon both immediate and long-term costs, features, and functionality. This side-by-side comparison of the pros and cons of both premise and hosted PBX systems will help you to make the most educated decision possible.

Comparison Dimension #1: Cost

For obvious reasons, the setup and ongoing maintenance costs of your hotel’s phone system will play a significant role in the choice that you make.
  • Premise PBX – Those who go with an on-site PBX system can expect that their initial setup costs will be significantly higher. The good news is that there is never any risk of service fee increases; but any certainty ends there. The ongoing maintenance costs are quite unpredictable, and the lifetime of the equipment may be decreased as technology rapidly changes and the flexibility of updating the premise system becomes more challenging.
  • Hosted PBX – The good news about selecting a hosted solution for your hotel’s IP PBX system is that the setup costs will be lower, as well as any potential ongoing maintenance expenses. Although there is a chance that throughout the years, service fees may go up a little, the savings of the IP phone network far outweigh these costs.

Comparison Dimension #2: Future Expansion & Scalability

In order to get the most value from your hotel’s phone system, it needs to be fully scalable to accommodate your evolving needs and to incorporate new, more advanced features.
  • Premise PBX – Although a premise PBX system is certainly scalable, it can be quite a bit more costly and challenging. Your IT professionals will be fully responsible for handling the work involved with making the requested updates. Another problem is that every time an update is made to the phone network, your IT team will be faced with the burden of adding even more complexity to the system that it is required to manage each day.
  • Hosted PBX – A hosted PBX solution is just as capable of being scalable to your needs, but without the hassle. Your provider will shoulder all of the risk, work, and complexity of making updates and continuing to manage the system remotely. The only real downside is that you are forced to relinquish some control to your provider in terms of when the changes can be made, but a great provider will work quickly to accommodate all of your requests.
Comparison Dimension # 3: Control

How much control do you really want to have over your communications network? This is key to making your decision.
  • Premise PBX – With an on-site PBX system, you really do have total control of your network. As long as those managing the system are truly up to the task, you can manipulate all of the little details. Unfortunately, most hotels don’t employ IT experts with the time or ability to properly manage a phone system.
  • Hosted PBX – When a trusted provider is hosting your communications system, you can focus on what really matters – running your hotel and keeping guests happy. 
When all has been said and done, the choice between selecting a premise or hosted PBX solution for your hotel is entirely up to you and your own specific needs. Unless your hotel employs well-seasoned experts, though, a hosted solution is the best way to go.

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