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CPE or Cloud?

The Vodia PBX is one of the few solutions that you can use either as customer premises equipment (CPE) or as Software as a Service (SaaS), sometimes also just called cloud service. Because voice is a critical application for businesses, you need to keep a few things in mind before making a choice.

There are essentially two choices that you can make:

  • The first choice is to run the software on customer premises and use a PSTN gateway along with a PSTN service such as POTS, ISDN or E1/T1. This usually gives you very stable results as most of the local area networks today are able to carry the voice traffic without any problems. The rates that you pay for the PSTN service have come down a lot over the last years, so that this is not any longer a problem for most installations. You also benefit from other advantages like easier plug and play experience for the installation of the phones and the ability to use multicast traffic for paging. The biggest disadvantage is that you have to operate additional equipment in your office, including the question what you do when hardware should break down. Also, it becomes more difficult to connect employees working from home or from the road (airports, hotels and so on).
  • The alternative is to run the PBX service in the "cloud", which can be a public place or a private cloud. The nature of this setup is that people can work from mobile locations; it does not make a big different if someone uses the service in the office or from home. The service depends on a stable Internet connection and sufficient bandwidth at all times, including times when you are sending out emails or downloading large files. In this setup you can rent the PBX service from one of our partners, so that you don't have to operate any equipment on site for your PBX service.

You may switch between both methods. For example, if you start off with a cloud-based setup but experience too many dropouts, you may backup your domain and restore it locally on a server. Then you may resume the service from there. Another scenario is that you start off with CPE and while your workforce gets more demanding regarding mobility, you decide to shift the service onto a public IP address.

Which method is the best is not an easy answer. You should consult an experienced reseller what is the best solution for you and what you can do to get the Internet access ready for transporting data and voice alongside.

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