On-Premises, Cloud, or HYBRID - since 1984, Matrix Networks has evolved with voice technology. We are here to help your business take advantage of modern telephony to help your business grow.
Based in Portland, OR Matrix Networks has successfully deployed and supported phone systems across the globe for over 3 decades. We offer expertise for a variety of business technologies including Voice, Video, Wi-Fi, and Cloud - However, our primary focus and core competency is and always has been, delivering innovative solutions for business phone systems. When it comes to selecting the right solution for your organization, you must first determine which deployment model:
Traditional Phone System
You own the hardware. More control. High reliability. Purchased as a capital expense.
Cloud Phone System
Premises vs Cloud vs Hybrid
As cloud products have grown in popularity the communications platforms have followed suit, allowing a wide variety of choices for businesses today. This new wave of tech can provide serious benefit, but also creates confusion about what direction to take. There are many ways to evaluate the wide range of new phone systems and service providers, but it is important first to choose a delivery model that works for your business.
On-Premises Phone System Explained
On Premise or Premise solutions are traditional IP based phone systems with the "brains" of the system located in your datacenter or headquarters locations. Premise products are large upfront purchases with maintenance agreements from local partners. These solutions use traditional dial-tone circuits like PRI, T1 and Analog lines to connect to the outside world. The ultimate responsibility of maintaining the system falls to your business. On-premise solutions are highly developed feature rich platforms that include traditional integrations to ancillary systems like overhead paging, fax, door phones and call accounting.
Why you might choose a New Premise Phone System:
- Capital Expenditure
- Local Control
- Total Cost of Ownership
- A high density of Analog devices and ancillary products
- Poor options for internet connectivity
Cloud Phone System Explained
Cloud solutions are the new wave of IP phone systems with the "brains" of the system hosted in multiple datacenters by the provider. These systems generally require very little capital expense but have a larger operating expense. The connection to these phone systems is via the internet, you are no longer responsible for maintaining connections to services like PRI and analog lines. Redundancy, upgrades and general maintenance are the responsibility of the cloud provider and typically include performance service level agreements. A new cloud phone system provides you features that aren't available in a premise environment like support for SMS and advanced integrations.
Why you might choose a New Cloud Phone System:
- Operating Expense
- Experts Manage your System
- Small Capital Expenditure
- Flexible and Scalable
- Advanced Feature Sets
Hybrid Phone System Explained
Hybrid solutions are a combination of a premise solution with a cloud platform, the brains located at the provider’s datacenters but with some remote survivability and hardware on-site. As you may expect, the operating expenses are lower than with a pure cloud solution and the upfront cost is less than a premise solution. The connections to the outside world would likely be a blend of your own and the service providers depending on the preferred configuration. Maintaining the local equipment is your responsibility, but the core system is still maintained by the provider. This solution gives you a powerful combo from a feature set perspective, local equipment to support more complex analog applications and cloud based software for new Unified Communications tools.
Why you might choose a New Hybrid Phone System:
- Blended Operating and Capital Expenditure
- Allows for More Local Control
- Ability to Support Traditional Telephone Applications
- Total Cost of Ownership
10 Tips Before you Invest in a New Phone System
Launching a new phone system for your organization is not a simple project and while there is no way to ensure no problems will arise, there are several ways to improve the likelihood of success. With over 30 years of experience, Matrix Networks has learned a thing or two about business telephone deployments. Here are 5 tips for a successful new phone system launch and 5 mistakes to avoid during the process:
5 Tips for a New Phone System Deployment
1) Know when your dial tone contract is set to expire. Too often businesses owners and administrators are unaware of their contractual obligations regarding dial tone. New voice solutions often require new strategies that may involve a different carrier service package, knowing in advance when your contracts are set to expire can help save time on both sides of the equation.
2) Prepare a wish list in advance. Think through what it is you want your telephony system to do. Imagine a perfect communication ecosystem what functions you would like your new system to do to enhance productivity and streamline business processes. Think function not feature.
3) Get agreement from your team. Include your co-workers in the process of defining the criteria for a successful project. Interview key personnel in each department and establish the unique challenges they face, then include those most invested in the decision making process as much as possible.
4) Budget and time frame. Let's not put the cart before the horse. Knowing your time line for implementation and what budget you are working with is critical to achieving your goal. If you know this information before your first meeting you are sure to advance the process.
5) Be candid. Think of your new communication partner as a potential extension of your IT team and make sure that knowledge is shared early so that challenges don't arise down the road.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching a New Phone System
1) Paralysis from analysis. Don't get lost in the minutia. After establishing a clear wish list and requirements focus on achieving these goals and do not let the mountains of information cause you to confusion.
2) Choose a partner whose core competency is telephony. You wouldn't work with a dentist to get a Colonoscopy would you? Too many companies offer expertise in solutions they are not experts in. And who suffers? You do.
3) Choose a partner that can present you multiple offerings. When working with a vendor it helps if they have experience with several platforms and delivery models (cloud, on-premises, and Hybrid) solutions. This minimizes the risk of being presented a "force fed system" simply because they don't have any other options. Phone systems are NOT one size fits all.
4) Invest in a strong network. Today's IP systems are only as reliable as your network. Make sure the internal network has Layer 2+ switches and PoE for internal QoS and reliability. If you are using your wide area network for SIP trunking or a Cloud voice solution, you need to also consider your internet connectivity and SD-WAN technology to ensure a quality experience.
5) Be realistic. As you develop your wish list and requirements communicate with your preferred vendor about your thoughts and gain an understanding of the cost and complexity associated. This allows you to set realistic expectations about desired additional features balanced with what you are willing to pay for, ensuring you don't blow out your budget and waste everyone's time.