Cloud-based phone systems

 

Cloud-based VoIP systems

A VoIP virtual phone system makes calls over the internet, giving you real flexibility and streamlining your business communications.

People in the office, working from home, or out on site – they can all use it. 

 

On-premises phone systems

 

On-premises PBX phone systems

We'll install one of our top-flight PBX systems on your premises along with any PSTN/ISDN lines that you may need.

And with our PBX systems, VoIP and SIP trunking are also available.

 

BT One Phone Office

 

BT One Phone Office

Replace your deskphone and mobile with a single device that switches you seamlessly between the office and mobile networks whenever you leave the office. 

Cloud-based for minimal on-premises equipment.
 

Call us to discuss the right solution for your business

Arrange a consultation with your BT Local Business specialist now.

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Compare cloud-based VoIP and on-premises phone systems

Cloud-based systems

Cloud-based VoIP communications systems send your calls over the internet. Aside from the phones, there's no hardware to install, house, or maintain in your office. It's all virtual and in the cloud.

Cloud-based systems

On-premises systems

A PBX phone system is installed on your site, along with the phone lines (PSTN or ISDN). On-premises systems can also use VoIP technology and SIP trunking. 

On-premises systems

BT One Phone Office

Replaces your desk and mobile phone with a single device. It switches calls seamlessly between the office and mobile networks whenever you leave the office.

BT One Phone Office

Products available

BT Cloud Phone

BT Cloud Voice

BT Quantum

MiVoice

Avaya IP Office

BT One Phone Office

Number of users

1 - 250+

2 - 20,000

20 - 100+

Ideal for

Office, mobile workers, and home-office users

Flexible modern communications platform designed to meet the needs of SMBs

Managing all calls/voicemail on one mobile device

Call package option

BT Cloud Phone: inclusive and unlimited calls packages. BT Cloud Voice: minutes bundles and unlimited UK calls package

Via your network phone lines

Unlimited calls option

Mobile device integration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Call management features

Yes

Yes

Yes

Audio conferencing

Yes

Yes

Yes

CRM integration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Online management portal

Yes

Yes

Yes

Maintenance

Inclusive maintenance

3 maintenance options available

Inclusive maintenance

Support

24/7* dedicated helpdesk

Fault reporting 24/7

24/7 dedicated helpdesk

Future-proof

Automatic updates

Easy to add users

Simple relocation to new premises

Option to upgrade

Install new extensions

Automatic updates

Easy to add users

Simple relocation to new premises

Installation

Plug + play

(Engineer install option with BT Cloud Voice)

Engineer install

Engineer install

Cost - payment options

Cost per user

(Lease available for BT Cloud Voice)

Purchase or lease

Cost per user

Virtual geographic numbers

Yes

Via BT SIP Trunk

Yes

Softphone

Yes

Yes

No

Video conferencing

Yes

Upgrade option

No

Call monitoring / recording

Yes

Upgrade option

Yes

Show all

Why BT Business?

Get the right solution for your business from BT Local Business experts
Unbeatable local knowledge, national resources, and personal service
Personal contact helps us get to know you and your business challenges
We’re the leading provider of phone systems in the UK, right on your doorstep

FAQs

What are the main differences between an on-premises phone system and a VoIP system hosted in the cloud?

For many years the only solution was to have a phone system on your premises. This box of kit connects up all your phone extensions and links them to the phone network, often using PSTN or ISDN telephone lines. You may have seen the acronym PBX (it stands for Private Branch exchange): that’s another name for an on-premises phone system.

Typically, a phone system is a capital purchase with a one-off up-front cost, although you may be able to spread your payments through a leasing agreement. Some customers don’t feel that they’re ready for the cloud, and like to have the security of having the actual phone system located on their premises.

A cloud system, sometimes called a hosted phone system, uses the internet to connect all your extensions to each other and the public phone network. There is no actual physical phone system hardware on site (apart from the phones). The system itself is easy to set up (often with a plug ‘n’ play option).  You usually pay for each user on a monthly basis (at least you do with our cloud-based systems: BT Cloud Voice, BT Cloud Phone, and BT One Phone) so there are no significant up-front costs.

Now, there is a quasi-third option. You can sometimes link to VoIP services on an on-premises system. This hybrid gives you the reassuring presence of an on-premises system with the cost savings of being able to make calls over the internet (take a look at the Avaya IP Office and BT Quantum).

Which is the cheapest option?

A cloud-based system usually has a small set-up cost but you’ll need to buy handsets. These systems generally attract a monthly rental cost for each extension. So, with a high number of users over a lengthy period, the costs may well equate to the cost of an on-site system. 

An on-site system generally has a higher up-front cost, as you have to buy the equipment. On the positive side, though, you can often lease the system to spread the costs. 

Do I have to pay for a new system in one go?

No, you can spread your payments on a finance option with an on-premises system and also BT Cloud Voice (for handsets).

Is the call quality the same on both types of system?

People who haven’t (knowingly) experienced it before sometimes tell us they’re concerned about the call quality of a cloud-based system. You don’t need to worry: with a cloud based system you'll get the same level of clarity as with a regular landline. In fact, depending on the set-up of your system, you may even get calls with high definition clarity.

And you’ve probably already used a cloud system without realising. As more and more businesses move towards cloud-based systems, it’d be a surprise if you hadn’t called a business that used one. 

So which is best for me?

As you might have gathered, there's no simple answer to this. Which is best depends on your business, your expectations and requirements, and of course, your internet connection!

For a small business with simple requirements and a stable internet connection, a hosted cloud-based solution offers low up-front costs and a manageable monthly fee. But you also have the choice of an on–premises system, if you prefer to have the actual hardware on your site.

Can you come and see me at my premises to discuss which option is best?

At BT Business, we’ve got both types of phone systems and years of experience in helping businesses choose, install, and use them. We’ve got a network of telecommunications experts across the UK, which we call our BT Local Business partners. There’s one in your area.  

Just call us and we’ll discuss your options and, if we need to, we’ll visit you at your premises. That way we can see your business in action and recommend the set-up that’s best for you.


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