Six Things You Need to Know When Choosing a Voice AI Solution

On-Premise vs Cloud

Kun Wu

Co-Founder and Managing Director, AI Rudder

Digital technologies are fundamentally changing how people and businesses work together. As a result, today’s customers are increasingly expecting businesses to deliver service on-demand when they want it and need it. To keep up with the “always connected” customers, companies worldwide are forced to embrace digital tools and solutions to adapt and deliver an unmatched customer experience.

When it comes to Voice AI, conversational technology offers the possibility of interactions that are more valuable, simple, intuitive and personalised for the customer. There are a variety of Voice AI solutions on the market that can help facilitate and automate customer service and customer engagement operations.

A key difference is that most Voice AI solutions are built on the cloud as software as a service (SaaS), whereas others are deployed and hosted on-premise. If you are thinking about leveraging Voice AI to scale your operations and drive business efficiency, here are the six things you need to consider when choosing between cloud or on-premise.

1. Operations and Maintenance

Reduce downtime and increase productivity when you deploy Voice AI solutions from the cloud. You won’t have to worry about the operations and maintenance as everything will be managed by your Voice AI partner through a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Another clear advantage of Voice AI SaaS is that it can seamlessly integrate and scale with your customer base whenever and wherever you want it. On the other hand, several factors would come into play should you consider opting for on-premise deployment. These include frequent liaisons with your IT department, 24/7 monitoring of servers to ensure sufficient bandwidth and network stability, as well as outsourcing to other third parties to scale up or down.

Ratings (Operations and Maintenance)
On-cloud: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
• On-premise:  ⭐️

2. Upgrading and Optimisation

For any AI infrastructure to perform well, a large amount of data, careful data processing, and deep learning are essential. However, data are often loosely distributed in an on-premise environment, making it extremely difficult for partners and vendors to upgrade or optimise the performance of conversational AI.

Further, a single company’s data alone might not be enough to optimise the overall performance of the Voice AI solution. Instead, the strategic and clever way is to combine that data with data sets from other businesses operating within the same industry. This method can be applied to train a centralised AI infrastructure. At the same time, first-party data is used to refine and adapt to your specific business requirements, which can only be achieved or provided by cloud solutions or SaaS companies.

Another downside of on-premise Voice AI is the high cost of upgrading hardware and updating software, which may lead to increased downtime, thus negatively impacting the business.

Ratings (Upgrading and Optimisation)
• On-cloud: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
• On-premise: ⭐️

3. Control over major failures

Investing in new technology infrastructures and systems can be risky and lead to significant failures if they are not managed well. Such failures can occur at any phase from deployment to production and maintenance.

It is extremely risky to invest in an on-premise system as AI technologies are evolving faster than an on-premise environment can keep up. Further, it is also not sustainable in the long term as several factors such as the purchase of hardware, upgrades and maintaining the lifeline of the product outweighs the benefits.

To significantly reduce the possibility of failure, Voice AI on the cloud enables businesses to plug-and-play the solution, seamlessly integrating with their existing customer management or customer service systems. Another advantage of such swift deployment is that companies can almost instantly test the solution and its effectiveness, further reducing the risk of any significant failures and futile investments.

Ratings (Control over major failures)
• On-cloud: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
• On-premise: ⭐️⭐️

4. Cost saving

The cost of any Voice AI solution includes short-term, long-term, explicit, and implicit costs. Businesses need to consider all of these and calculate the ROI model before deciding.

Most cloud or SaaS providers charge a relatively small amount upfront for customisation or implementation. At the same time, on-premise vendors require significant investment to provide a full suite of end-to-end professional services necessary to build the whole system on-premise.

The not so apparent long-term cost associated with on-premise deployment is that businesses will need a full-fledged team onsite to support, operate and maintain the system. As your business scale, so does the cost, whereas, on the contrary, businesses who choose on-cloud solutions would enjoy the benefits of lower price as they scale.

Ratings (Cost saving)
• On-cloud: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
• On-premise: ⭐️⭐️

5. Resilience and Flexibility

If the scale of your business operation remains relatively static, on-premise deployment might be an acceptable alternative to help keep variables such as cost and overhead fixed. However, downsides such as having the flexibility to scale up or down and the resilience of an on-premise system are essential factors to consider.

On the other hand, on-cloud solutions provide on-demand resilience and flexibility given their scaled IT infrastructure. All that is left for businesses is to focus their energy and time on leveraging the Voice AI solution to engage their customers.

Ratings (Resilience and Flexibility)
• On-cloud: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
• On-premise: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

6. Data security and compliance

Data security is a significant concern around adopting and implementing enterprise solutions. While securing data on-premise may seemingly sound like a sensible strategy, the upkeep required to protect internal servers can be expensive and resource-heavy.

Thankfully with the proliferation of SaaS companies, there is now a mature methodology to inform businesses how to choose on-cloud solutions without compromising data security. Things to note include finding out how the data is transferred, used, protected and deleted after use. Businesses can also further understand what encryption technologies the solution provider is using to protect their data.

Industry certifications are also beneficial. Businesses can and should look out for certificates such as SoC and ISO to give them peace of mind over data safety. They can also ask the providers for IT or data related audit reports for the compliance team to inspect and make sure that things are in place.

Ratings (Data security and compliance)
• On-cloud: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
• On-premise: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


• Overall on-cloud score: 4.83
• Overall on-premise score: 2.17

When you consider all of the above, it is clear that on-cloud Voice AI solutions have a clear advantage. For Voice AI solutions or any AI for that matter, cloud-based deployment is almost a must. It provides unlimited computational power to support AI infrastructure, thus impacting the scalability of businesses. In conclusion, you must choose your providers carefully and ensure that they have the experience, resources, and willingness to provide you with an effective, flexible, and secure Voice AI solution to supercharge your customer experiences.