Comparing the Avaya Cloud Office vs. On-Premises Phone Systems

Phone Systems Technology

Should you buy an Avaya Cloud Office telephone system or opt for a more traditional on-premises telephone system? This is a common consideration for many businesses looking to upgrade their means of communication in this digital era. 

In this article, we will first contrast all cloud and on-premises systems then dig deeper to look at the Avaya Cloud Office offerings and which businesses for whom it is a good fit.

Cloud (hosted) vs. On-Premises (non-hosted) Phone Systems

Understanding the significant differences between hosted and non-hosted phone systems is the first step to deciding which option best suits your company’s needs. In this article, we break down all the pros and cons of each type of phone system.

Ultimately, there is no clear winner in this highly anticipated showdown between the two telephone options. This is a decision that truly depends on you and your team’s needs and limitations. However, in our years of selling phone systems, what we can conclude is this:

  • If you are a small business owner with significant IT resources that requires total control or a fully customized solution, opt for an on-premises system.
  • If you have a growing business of any size looking to stretch your IT budget or you don’t have in-house IT resources, go for a cloud phone system.

So, Why Are Cloud Phone Systems So Popular?

According to recent studies, up to 96 percent of companies currently make use of cloud solutions for communications. The increased popularity of cloud-based office telephone systems should not come as a surprise. The past year and the pandemic have brought with it a need to work productively from anywhere, and cloud communications technology promises to make that more accessible than ever before. 

Unlike traditional phone systems, hosted PBX systems take the form of software or web application and work with the help of an internet connection. They don’t have a physical PBX system. Instead, a virtual PBX hosted on the cloud keeps their engine running. This allows you to use your business phone number to make calls from any location with an internet connection.

Although its virtual telephony ability is what caused a splash in the modern business world, cloud-based phone systems come with a handful of advanced features such as unified communicationsCRM integrations to help you build an effective communication system.

Let’s take a closer look at Avaya Cloud Office and its capabilities to give you a more specific example of how a cloud phone system could benefit your organization.

What is Avaya Cloud Office?

Avaya Cloud Office is a cloud-based communications system with enterprise-grade voice, video, IM/messaging, meetings, conferencing, and collaboration. With its enterprise-grade communication platform, you can easily connect and collaborate with your team, whether in the office, mobile, or remote, to a single system regardless of their location – essentially, having your office in a single app. 

Avaya offers a dedicated phone number and allows for number porting, eliminating the need for two mobile phones. Customers can reach you on this business line regardless of whether you work on your desk phone, desktop app, mobile app, or web app. You can also use this phone number to receive and send electronic faxes.

You can set up professional greetings with voice recording, call waiting, auto attendants, voicemail to email transcriptions, advanced call transfer, and more on your Avaya phone. In addition, calls made on Avaya are secure as they use encryption to safeguard your business communication. 

Avaya has a phone solution to meet your needs, whether you are a new business or a multi-corporation.

Here are some of the key features of the Avaya Cloud Office:

  • Calls – Make inbound and outbound calls on the go or from home. It is designed to empower your team to work effectively from wherever they are, on any device. 
  • Chat – Connect with your team across the hall or the globe through personal messages or group conversations in an all-in-one application.
  • Meet – Effortlessly move from the chat environment to a full-scale video meeting room for face-to-face wherever you are.
  • Collaborate – Share files, swap ideas, complete tasks, or track your meetings to make your teams’ workflow run smoothly all in one spot.
  • Fax – Send and receive unlimited faxes on most plans with mobile internet faxing.

How Could You Benefit from Avaya Cloud Office?

A cloud phone system like Avaya Cloud Office offers dramatic advantages over other solutions. These include benefits for your business and team members, as well as your data network and IT resources. Some of them are listed below:

1.    Unifies Communication Across Your Company

Aside from integrating your business communications into a single solution, it also integrates with cloud-based business applications such as Microsoft 365. The unification of communications onto this cloud platform saves costs, delivers the synergy of linking various modes of communication, and eliminates complex cost tracking, especially if there are multiple vendors in the picture.

The Avaya Cloud Office solution also unifies your organization’s image to the world—a single identity. Whether they work in an office, from home, or on the road, all employees make or receive calls from a single business number, giving your company’s communications a consistent and professional appearance. 

2.    Simplifies Multi-Location Management

Avaya Cloud Office enables the solution to be managed from any location using a simple web interface or a mobile app. This means you save the cost and headache of sending an IT person with telephony experience to remote locations to perform maintenance or make simple changes, such as adding numbers or new employees. For new or existing locations, it eliminates the cost and complexity of managing connectivity between sites.

3.    Lowers Costs

Buying and installing a new communications system can cost tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands for multiple locations. Avaya Cloud Office solution eliminates the need for up-front investments as it is entirely in the cloud where experts manage the system 24/7. Users are charged on a per line, per month basis. This monthly fee will include the cost of the device as well.

For customers with multiple locations, the cost savings are even more significant. You no longer need skilled IT staff to manage one or more locations. The expense and distraction of travelling to remote areas or calling a local service provider to make changes or repairs can be reduced.

4.    Allows Ease for Remote-Work 

With Avaya Cloud Office, workers at remote locations or home offices are connected in the same way as employees in the main corporate office. Additionally, the Avaya Cloud Office mobile app essentially transforms a mobile phone into a desk phone and a robust communications device.

5.    Offers Access to Latest Features

With Avaya Cloud Office, the latest features and capabilities are continually integrated into the system. One example is the addition of HD video meetings to the Avaya Cloud Office solution. 

    Does Avaya Cloud Have Any Drawbacks?

    The most apparent problem of a hosted Avaya Cloud Office phone system is that you rely on an outside organization for your business’ telecommunications. Any changes to numbers, adding users or unifying your communications will need to be handled by your provider.

    This is an issue that can be avoided with an on-premises phone system where the PBX hardware is kept on-site in your server closet, and you have complete control. When you choose to go with this type of phone system, you own all the hardware; it’s yours to buy, sell, upgrade, discard and maintain as you so choose.

    Using non-hosted phone systems allows companies to customize their system as they see fit. The ability to customize features within a phone system can dramatically impact a company’s appearance to the outside world, as customers who encounter a company’s phone system often use the experience as a reflection of the company’s accessibility and professionality.

    Additionally, some organizations consider non-hosted systems as a preferred means of protecting data security and ensuring that a company is safe from data exposure.

    Avaya Cloud Office in Summary

    1. Avaya allows the use of other handset devices and does not charge a programming fee to use them. However, they do not provide support for these devices. 
    2. Avaya Cloud Office offers contract periods such as 12 months, 36 months and 5 years.
    3. You can add users to your Avaya account, but you cannot remove or cancel any part of the contract without a penalty.
    4. Avaya provides a total communication solution and is ideal for any company size.
    5. In the Maritimes, Avaya has a Territory representative in Moncton that plays an active role in installations, so you can be confident that you are getting the best support.

    Have You Made the Decision?

    As you can see, there isn’t a single answer to the question we started this article off with. Whether or not you choose a hosted or on-premises deployment depends greatly on growth, budget, bandwidth, and other factors. However, we hope this article has helped you get one step closer to choosing the right fit for your business.

    If you want to read more about which phone system can best help improve the flexibility and efficiency of your business, check out our Office Phone Systems page.

    Still haven’t found the information you are looking for? Reach out and ask us your question! We are here to answer your questions.

    Ahona Saha
    Marketing Assistant
    Office Interiors

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