Any business exploring a switch from traditional analog PBX to VoIP business phone systems asks the question: What hardware will we need to run a VoIP system?

The hardware needed for VoIP depends on a company’s decision to install a premise based verses a cloud based VoIP system.

With premise based VoIP phone systems the customer will have the expense of purchasing PBX hardware to mount in their “closet” (datacenter/data closet.) Customers need a PBX and may or may not need an integrated access device or some type of media gateway. Those would be the larger capital expense components. Generally, businesses are not going installed those themselves. They are going to have a third party installing them. With that comes maintaining those pieces of hardware and assuring they are always up and running so there are staffing costs as well.

Hosted VoIP PBX does not require extensive on-site equipment. Businesses who have had a PBX closet in the past will not need that space for new equipment. With hosted VoIP PBX all customers need are the phones and an internet connection, everything else is outsourced to the hosted provider. This fact makes the install significantly simpler in addition to the freedom from purchased equipment. The company that “hosts” the system incurs the equipment expense and charges the business a service monthly fee.

Both premise based and cloud hosted have the expense of the individual desk phones and devices that communicate with the PBX such as desk phones, overhead paging, and analog adapters.