Future-Proofing Hospitality Communications: On-Prem vs Cloud Telephony

In the not-so-distant past, the hospitality industry relied heavily on traditional means of communication. Think about it – the hotel lobby phone and room service requests were often the primary touchpoints for guests. But times have changed, and technology has ushered in a new way of taking care of guests that improves their experience and facilitates operations for staff.  

Today, modern telephony systems are the key to delivering exceptional guest experiences. They allow guests to communicate their needs with staff and vice versa, whether requesting extra towels, making dinner reservations, or seeking local recommendations. But even within modern telephony, you can find yourself at a crossroads in choosing one system over another. Below, we’ll discuss on-prem vs. cloud phone systems to help you choose the best one for your needs.  

On-Prem vs Cloud: The Changing Face of Hospitality  

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the industry, you’ve probably noticed some exciting trends redefining how hotels and resorts operate. The industry has always been concerned about good customer service, but today, delivering exceptional care has become necessary to stay relevant in the industry. Roughly 61 percent of customers say they would switch to a new brand after one bad experience.  

Beyond your team, the best way to give quality customer service is to have the tools to make the experience easier for staff and customers. This is where the phone dilemma enters: on-premises (on-prem) vs. cloud-based. Which one will work better in hospitality?  

The Telephony Dilemma On-Prem vs Cloud 

Choosing between traditional on-prem vs. cloud solutions can seem complicated, especially because each comes with its own features, benefits, and even limitations. Let’s explore each so you can better understand which one works best for you.  

Traditional On-Premises Telephony  

Traditional on-premises telephony systems have been the go-to choice for many businesses, including those in hospitality, for years. However, it’s essential to understand their characteristics, benefits, and limitations to see how they differ from other modern communication solutions.   

Advantages of Traditional On-Premises Telephony  

  • Control: With an on-premises system, you have full control over your hardware and infrastructure. This control level can appeal to those with specific customization needs or strict security requirements.  
  • Reliability: Traditional systems are known for their reliability. They can continue functioning even during internet outages or disruptions, ensuring uninterrupted communication.  
  • Data Security: Some businesses, especially in industries with stringent data security regulations like healthcare or finance, may opt for on-premises systems due to the perceived control over data security.  

Limitations of Traditional On-Premises Telephony 

  • High Initial Costs: Implementing an on-premises system can be a big investment. You’ll need to invest in purchasing and maintaining the hardware, including servers and phone lines, resulting in significant upfront expenses.  
  • Limited Scalability: Traditional systems can be less flexible regarding growth. Expanding your phone system typically requires hardware upgrades, which can be time-consuming and costly. This lack of scalability can hinder your ability to adapt to changing business needs, especially in the fast-paced hospitality industry.  
  • Maintenance Overheads: On-premises systems come with ongoing maintenance responsibilities. This includes troubleshooting hardware issues, ensuring current security patches, and managing system upgrades. These tasks can be resource-intensive and add to operational overhead.  

The Rise of Cloud-Based Solutions  

Now, let’s shift our focus to the rise of cloud-based telephony solutions in the hospitality industry. The cloud has revolutionized how those in hospitality manage their communication needs. It’s a game-changer worth exploring. Cloud will be the preferred tech consumption model by 2024 in North America. So, what is all the buzz about?   

Advantages of Cloud-Based Telephony 

  • Scalability: Cloud-based systems adapt with ease. Adding or removing phone lines, extensions, or features is possible and easy for both the provider and you as a customer. This scalability is perfect for hotels of all sizes, ensuring your communication system grows as your business grows.  
  • Cost-Efficiency: No more hefty upfront costs. Cloud telephony operates on a subscription-based model, typically charging a predictable monthly fee—no more unexpected hardware maintenance or upgrade expenses, making cloud a budget-friendly choice.  
  • Flexibility: Cloud systems are designed for the modern world. They offer the flexibility to access your phone system from anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud telephony keeps everyone connected, whether your staff is at the front desk, managing reservations remotely, or catering to guests from a different location.  
  • Automatic Updates: Cloud-based telephony systems handle maintenance and updates in the background. Your system remains current, secure, and efficient without requiring your constant attention.  

Limitations of Cloud-Based Telephony for the Hospitality Industry 

limitations of cloud

  • Internet Dependency: Cloud systems rely on a stable internet connection. While this isn’t usually an issue, internet outages could temporarily disrupt communication. This isn’t as big of a concern in the hospitality industry as most already have robust Wi-Fi connections.   
  • Limited Control: Cloud-based telephony systems are managed and maintained by third-party providers. This means you have less direct control over the system’s infrastructure and functionality, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences.  

Adaptability to Industry Trends: Where is Hospitality Headed?  

The most significant trends in the hotel market are near-field communication (NFC) technology, infrared technologies, and robots. All trends are geared towards making customers have a more personalized experience. Furthermore, let’s explore how cloud-based telephony systems are not just keeping pace with industry trends but leading the charge in embracing cutting-edge technologies. Cloud-based telephony systems adapt to emerging trends.  


AI is another game-changer in the hospitality industry. Chatbots for quick inquiries, virtual concierges providing local recommendations, and predictive analytics to anticipate guest needs – AI is redefining guest service. Cloud-based telephony systems can integrate with AI-powered solutions.   

You can enable chatbots to handle routine guest inquiries, freeing your staff to focus on more complex tasks. As well as tap into AI-driven analytics to gain insights into guest preferences and behaviors, enabling your hotel to offer highly personalized experiences for guests.   

Data Analytics 

Understanding guest preferences, booking patterns, and feedback is important in a world where customer care is the most important aspect of your operations. Cloud-based telephony systems come equipped with robust data analytics capabilities. They capture valuable call data, helping hotels analyze call volumes, response times, and guest interactions. This data-driven approach allows for more informed decision-making.  

Future-Proofing Your Hospitality Business  

With emerging technologies and shifting guest expectations, staying ahead of the curve is important to avoid getting left behind. Hospitality businesses that embrace innovation and invest in adaptable solutions, like cloud-based telephony systems, can ensure they remain competitive and ready to meet the changing needs of their guests. Future-proofing is not just about staying relevant today; it’s about securing a lasting place in the hospitality industry.   

Want to Enhance Your Services?  

Ready to elevate your hospitality business’s communication game? Don’t miss out on the benefits of going cloud-based to enhance guest experiences and streamline operations. Contact ExcelTelecom today and take the first step toward a future-proof, cutting-edge communication solution. Your guests expect the best – give it to them with the power of cloud-based telephony. Don’t delay; secure your hotel’s communication future now!