How to Choose Between an On-Premise and Cloud-Based Call Center

When a business decides to open up their own call center, they have to make many important decisions and considerations. One is choosing between an on-premise contact center solution or a cloud-based solution. Each one could render success because each has its own benefits. However, making the right decision for your business can seem like a daunting task. 

Below, we try to simplify the process for you by discussing everything you need to know about on-premise and cloud-based call centers, what the difference is between them, and assist you in making the best decision!

Female customer support operator with headset and smiling

What is an On-Premise Call Center?

On-premise call centers are the traditional customer service call center setup. This operation consists of all of the physicalities and hardware (like desks, office phones, servers, equipment, etc.) that is stored in a company location. For an on-premise deployment, the overall maintenance of the systems falls onto the company. This may require them to hire a specialized team to do so. 

What is a Cloud-Based Call Center?

A cloud-based call center is the total opposite of an on-premise setup. With this solution, the company does not have to operate a physical office space to run the customer service call center. This option only requires a stable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth that allows your agents to operate virtually and comfortably while managing inbound and outbound calls.

Differences Between On-Premise and Cloud-Based Call Centers

Let's dive into further details about the differences businesses need to consider when choosing whether to operate an on-premise or cloud-based call center solution. 


The primary consideration is budget- are you looking for capital expenditure (CAPEX) or operating expenditure (OPEX)? With an on-premise solution, there will be a higher upfront cost for the space for the center, servers, hardware, licenses, equipment, etc. For a cloud-based solution, you will often have a monthly cost for subscriptions, internet, and agent labor. 


On-premise call centers often utilize standard, expected features like wait music, hold, transfers, conferences, and call logging. On the other hand, Cloud-based solutions have these same conventional features and build upon them due to the integration of modern technology. They can feature live call monitoring, smart IVR and menus, click-to-call, call transcription, etc. Check out all of the call center features Simplicity offers here.

Time to Launch

This refers to the time it takes for your call center to go live. Since there are a lot of physicalities associated with an on-premise center and setups, it typically takes longer to get up and running. On the contrary, it takes less time for a cloud-based contact center solution because your agents only need the software application and a reliable internet connection to get started.


Depending on usage and agent availability, you need to scale up or down with a call center. With an on-premise solution, it can be a long process as opposed to a cloud-based solution, where it only takes a few minutes and a few clicks. For scalability purposes, a cloud setup is much more flexible and adaptable for ever-changing businesses when compared to an on-premise solution. 


An on-premise solution can provide more call stability or reliability regarding call lag and quality. However, this quality is only as good as the technology utilized in the contact center itself. Similarly, cloud-based solutions and their quality depend heavily on how strong and stable an agent's internet connection is and the redundancy built into the provider’s network.

Integration Capabilities

It is pretty tedious but not impossible to integrate on-premise call centers with other services. This is most commonly due to licensing and installation issues. Businesses that collaborate with top IT teams make the integrations possible and go over more smoothly with this assistance. Cloud-based solutions are often easier to integrate between applications and CRMs. This is due to the fact that everything is set up for online, remote operations and can easily work together to create the best customer experience possible.

Business Continuity

An on-premise solution requires much more hardware than a cloud-based solution. Having so much physical infrastructure can be a challenge if and when a disaster hits; operations can be shut down or significantly reduced. It takes much longer to get things back up and running, switch servers physically, and get agents back in the office. On the other hand, cloud-based call centers offer relatively no downtime because workers can operate from various remote locations; thus, your entire team won't be out if a disaster strikes. Your business can keep operating without a glitch or downtime. 

Now that we have gone over a few of the differences between an on-premise system and a cloud-based system let's go over some of the advantages of both customer service call center options. 

Benefits of an On-Premise Solution

If you are searching for an on-premise call center solution, then you should consider the following benefits:

  • Upfront costs
  • Additional control over your business functions - are you dependent on the provider to make changes?
  • In-house storage of data and customer contact information
  • Total ownership of hardware and maintenance
  • No third parties

Benefits of a Cloud-Based Solution

Here are a few of the most popular benefits of a cloud-based call center:

  • Cost-benefit and a higher ROI
  • Pay only for your usage
  • Increase or decrease operations seamlessly
  • Faster deployment
  • The ability to make changes and manage users internally

What Kind of Company Uses an On-Premise Solution?

Many larger companies still prefer on-premise contact center solutions because everything can be kept in-house at one location. This is often preferred because of the large amounts of data they possess, long-standing and well-developed systems and procedures, existing in-house resources, and revenue generated by these on-premise centers. Many businesses that choose an on-premise solution do so because they do not have to share servers or software with anyone and can devote time to their own development. Often, these large call centers do not have the time or flexibility to migrate everything over to a cloud-based solution, so it is much easier to keep things housed on-premise and running smoothly.

Another example of on-premise call center usage possesses a large amount of sensitive information. Think way beyond personal phone numbers; this could be medical, financial, or personal information or records. These call centers don't want to place any sensitive information into a cloud server, and they don't want to shop for another solution to fit their specific needs.

What Kind of Company Uses a Cloud-Based Solution?

A cloud-based system is suitable for almost any call center, from small businesses to global enterprises. It is especially beneficial for cost-sensitive companies that don't want to pay or can't afford the high costs necessary to develop an on-premise solution. It also enables them to scale when needed, add new agents easily, and accommodate any growth.

Investing in a call center is a major decision for a business. Now that you are armed with the basic information, benefits, and differences of both on-premise and cloud-based call center solutions, we hope your decision will be much easier!

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us here.