Call Recording as a Service vs. On-Premise Solutions [Pros & Cons] | The trendy thing to do would be to use this blog as an opportunity to sell you on the wave of the present: Cloud everything. But the honest truth is that the cloud is not perfect for every business need. Cloud migration makes perfect sense for some companies because cloud architecture supports integrating multiple systems into our business workflow.
The unifying effect of the cloud in these scenarios saves time and money. In other instances, keeping a small, local network-based workflow is more cost-effective for a company.
The question at hand is whether or not cloud-based call recording presents advantages over the on-premise solutions and legacy hardware we’ve all used up to this point. Let’s go over the pros and cons of the most critical phases of call recording to paint a clear picture of which solution, cloud or on-premise, is best for your operation.
Cloud Call Recording VS. On-Prem: Deployment
Cloud and On-Prem Similarities
Deploying both a cloud-based and on-premise call recording platform requires some assistance from the company you purchase your solution from. Typically with a Cloud solution, your call recording vendor will have a technician walk your IT staff through installing applications and server scripts to connect your extensions to the recording platform.
Similarly, with an on-premise solution, the vendor will send a technician to unpack and connect the system’s hardware components and may have them stay on-site to activate the software components.
Cloud Call Recording
- Deployment of a cloud call recording system is significantly less labor intensive and relatively inexpensive. An on-site technician from the vendor is rarely, if ever, needed. Because the vendor manages the application, they tend to be highly knowledgeable, and the required applications are typically deployed within hours.
- New hardware is unnecessary in a typical Cloud call recording solution, decreasing upfront costs, storage space needs, and maintenance expenditures.
- Cloud call recording solutions can be deployed and easily connected across multi-tenant networks, even global ones, in a matter of hours. Because no new hardware is required for the deployment, the unifying coverage a cloud call recorder can achieve is massive.
- In some instances, companies prefer to control and maintain all operational assets for security purposes and choose not to rely on external application processing. These instances are increasingly rare, but if it is a serious consideration for your company, an on-prem solution may be your best bet.
On-Prem Call Recording
- On-premise call recorders can be immediately accessed on-site in the event of a hardware failure. Compared to a cloud recording solution, some companies will find this feature favorable. Notably, both cloud-driven and on-premise recording platforms can be set up for resiliency, meaning that they have fallback systems that automatically activate in the event of a hardware failure.
- On-site hardware installations are labor-intensive and costly depending on the number of resources the vendor has to dedicate to the installation.
- On-site deployments in multi-tenant networks become very expensive due to the increased number of hardware components and qualified technicians to guide the installation procedure.
Cloud Call Recording VS. On-Prem: Compatibility & Flexibility
This category is where the dividing lines become sharper. Modern customer service operations and call centers have gone from on-site brick-and-mortar locations to hybrid and fully remote models. It’s critical to consider whether or not your call recording platform can accommodate a growing workforce with a wide variety of devices used on-site or remotely.
In the category of compatibility of flexibility, Cloud call recording seems to have an extreme advantage. On-site hardware systems are typically built to connect to on-site phone extensions only. There are exceptions to this rule, but hardware systems come up short in this category.
Cloud systems are built for mobile connectivity and are highly flexible in terms of application development and remote deployment. In plain terms, this means that mobile call staff is much more likely to be recordable regardless of the devices they use to connect with customers.
Cloud Call Recording
- Highly flexible cloud call recorders can connect to a long, diverse list of mobile devices instead of relying on extensions that connect to a PBX.
- Applications for cloud platforms are updated rapidly, and 3rd party development is usually supported.
On-Prem Call Recording
- None. Cloud is the clear winner here.
- On-site call recording platforms can be difficult to connect to remote agent devices.
- On-site hardware is normally run by proprietary software. Unlike cloud applications, proprietary software is developed only by the hardware vendor, cutting it off from most third-party application development.
- Hardware system alterations require new purchases and technician labor. Hardware tends to have flexibility and adaptability limits that fall noticeably short of cloud systems.
Cloud Call Recording VS. On-Prem: Cost
If your company requires full ownership of your call recording component, on-site will be your only choice. However, if your company is compatible with a subscription model, there are very few compelling reasons not to opt for the cloud-based call recording platform.
The SaaS model has experienced rapid adoption across businesses globally. While SaaS adoption may have been premature for some products and services, compliance recording and analytics prove immensely cost-effective as a subscription.
Maintaining a hardware system is expensive. It requires hardware upkeep, tech maintenance, continual storage expansion, and on-site security measures, all of which are usually folded into a costly contract from your vendor. Cloud recording vendors manage all external hardware necessary for call recording, including security and storage measures.
Hardware systems all struggle with obsolescence. Managing your hardware means budgeting for new hardware in the future. And the larger the operation, the greater the cost multiplier every time you need to buy new hardware.
Depending on the call recording vendor, they may even use a business-to-business model that involves 3rd party companies that specialize in critical applications. For example, your call recording vendor may host its application across global data centers that expertly manage secure, redundant, resilient operations. This means that the subscription model can deliver you a far higher quality of service than you’d ever be able to afford to try to manage it yourself.
Cloud recording platforms also allow companies to configure and purchase the features they want a la carte. Perhaps this relates to the flexibility category as well. Still, we’re mentioning it under the cost because having the freedom to pick the features you want maximizes the return on money invested in your call recording platform.
Where hardware call recording still has a fighting chance is in small offices/home offices (SOHOs). Several devices provide call recording for operations that need only to capture a limited number of extensions on site.
Cloud Call Recording
- Subscriptions combine the multiple services required for compliant call recording into an affordable package in most instances.
- Subscription-based call recorders typically deliver a higher quality of service than an operation can provide itself with a hardware solution.
- Cloud call recording services allow “a la carte” feature configuration to maximize ROI.
- Some companies are uncomfortable with SaaS platforms.
On-Prem Call Recording
- SOHOs can benefit from smaller hardware call recorders without incurring great cost.
- Hardware call recording systems increase over time due to obsolescence.
- On-site hardware systems require security, storage, and constant IT monitoring, all of which have increasing and continual costs.
- Multi-tenant hardware recording platforms can be profoundly expensive to maintain.
As it stands, Cloud call recording systems demonstrate a clear and dominant list of advantages over hardware-based on-site systems. Nonetheless, hardware is still a viable option for some SOHOs and for businesses that aren’t ready to adopt the SaaS model.
For most other operations, especially ones with dynamic and expanding needs, investing in a cloud-based call recording subscription offers the largest number of benefits and features now and in the future.