PBX stands for “Private Branch Exchange” and is the legacy term for on-premise telephone systems. These systems facilitate internal communications between extensions, as well as connect outside callers. Perhaps your traditional PBX has served you well and is probably already paid off. As a result, you may feel an incentive to stick with it. After all, changing your communications system feels like a big and risky undertaking. In today’s rapidly evolving business communications environment, it’s a more significant risk to stay with an out-of-date underperforming system.
Your Legacy PBX Is Putting Your Business At Risk
As you consider the impact of delaying an upgrade, there are many costs beyond just the capital investment. The longer you keep your PBX system, the higher your overall risks, including:
Legacy on-premise systems tend to be more prone to outages and interruptions. It’s a single point of failure that can harm your business, reputation, and profitability.
The costs of upgrades and maintenance can increase year-over-year. And it’s not just the “hard cost” of updates; your IT staff needs to devote time and energy to upgrades and maintenance.
You’ve probably already lost ground to your competition with superior communications. Consider the message your outdated communications system is sending customers.
You’ll be unable to replace components as technology reaches the end of life. What happens when your in-house expertise who knows the legacy systems moves on?
As your customers and employees’ expectations continue to evolve, the most damaging issue is that your legacy PBX can’t keep pace. Communications technology is changing faster than ever before; ease of use and rich features are no longer “luxuries,” they’re requirements.
The cost of trying to wrangle new functionality from an old PBX can be astronomical for most businesses. While next-gen on-premise converged systems are more adaptable than legacy systems, they can cost millions. Cloud systems represent a dominant solution with lower costs of entry and long-term investment.
So if you’re looking to upgrade your old PBX, or comparing the benefits of an on-premise versus a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) system, here six primary advantages of going UCaaS in the cloud:
Would you like to consolidate all your bills for communications under one trusted vendor?
Would you like to significantly reduce or eliminate the time your IT staff spends on communications?
If you answered yes to both questions, you’re like just any company looking to eliminate inefficiencies in business communications. From an operations perspective, consolidating (reducing) vendor billing and reducing IT strain are the leading drivers of migrating to cloud communications.
Many legacy systems consist of separate solutions for essential capabilities. A typical system might include a PBX for core control, and others for instant messaging, directory/presence, web meetings, video conferencing, workforce automation, group chat, social media, contact center, and… well, you get the picture.
With a cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), you can eliminate the insanity of maintaining multiple vendor relationships and the ever-rising costs.
- Op/Ex – reduced upfront CapEx
- Decreased maintenance
- Single point-of-contact
- Reduced IT workloads
- One bill
Your legacy PBX is too right to accommodate much growth beyond new phone lines and extensions. As your business undergoes mergers, acquisitions, and expansion into new markets, you need a communications platform that will expand as you do.
A cloud-based UCaaS enjoys nearly limitless agility when it comes to both sudden and sustained business communications growth. Add new lines, phones, or locations as you need. Cloud systems only need a public Internet connection, while also supporting private networks such as MPLS or SD-WAN. Whether you’re opening new offices in Dallas or Dubuque, employees can enjoy sophisticated communications services in days, not months.
Scalability also applies to today’s business environment of employees working from home. Deploying remote employees is nearly effortless with a cloud-based UCaaS system.
- No need to worry about “trunks” and “lines”
- Accomodate sudden peaks in call volume
- Accommodate remote employees
- Ease of management
- Built-in redundancy
Quickly Add New Features
In our current hyper-connected world, employees demand a new realm of communications channels that traditional PBX systems can’t support. It’s often not feasible to bring even basic communications features such as “find-me follow-me” call forwarding and voicemail notification to mobile devices.
Going beyond mobile, a traditional PBX makes it hard to incorporate workforce automation. Sales and support need to be able to dial and log communications in your CRM. Teams need video conferencing and collaborative messaging. Everyone needs to be able to move efficiently between the channels they use. Adding such features with traditional systems, when possible at all, requires expensive customization and professional services. New features require hardware, which limits choice and increases costs.
The versatility and agility of cloud systems are ideal for growing businesses that need an a-la-carte approach to deploying sophisticated features. Cloud solutions enhance efficiency through a single application and workflow to locate contacts, employees, click-to-chat, click-to-call, and click-to-collaborate.
- Upgrade feature-set on demand
- Portability across channels
- Works with your CRM
- Unified workflow
When it comes to gauging the effectiveness of business communications, traditional PBX systems leave you in the dark. There is little in the way of reporting or analysis. The fragmented, proprietary nature of these patchwork systems makes it difficult to perform analysis. The scant insights you can extract from legacy technology are so slow and cumbersome to produce and so piecemeal as to be all but unusable in any practical sense. Without access to timely, relevant data, you lack critical insight and accountability over your communication systems’ investments.
Cloud systems, in contrast, are cohesive across the full range of services and features. Open technologies make it possible to integrate with advanced analytics and reporting tools readily. With visibility and transparency, you can replace hunches and guesswork with data-driven insight to make more informed business decisions.
Business Intelligence Benefits
- Monitor utilization of all channels
- Rapid access to data
- Single dashboard
- Open APIs
High-Availability & Redundancy
The most glaring shortcoming of a traditional PBX is their lack of adequate disaster recovery and business continuity. On-site legacy systems cannot provide continuous connectivity in natural disasters, supply chain disruptions, or shutdowns from health risks.
Cloud systems are high-availability, elastic, and designed for business continuity. Leading solutions are hosted in distributed data centers across the world. Such redundancy assures continuity in times of disruption. Even with local disruptions to your facilities, or regional COVID lockdowns, a UCaaS can easily route all calls to employees’ mobile phones. No matter what happens, employees can still conduct business.
- Business continuity
- No hardware at risk
Moving To The Cloud
As you evaluate vendors for your move to a UCaaS solution, here are eight questions you should be asking:
- Security and Compliance: Do they offer third-party validated compliance with standards such as PCI-DSS, FISMA, HIPAA? How do they secure communications?
- Global Coverage: Where are their data centers located? Is there geographic redundancy? When employees travel, how do calls route to ensure quality?
- Call Quality: Do they guarantee a minimum call quality of 3.0 MOS (mean option score) for all types of access?
- Omnichannel: Do they offer the full spectrum of communications channels you need today and tomorrow?
- Application Integration: Do they offer out-of-the-box integration with your business productivity software?
- Analytics: Is there more than call detail records? Do they include interactive real-time dashboards?
- Reliability: Can they offer a service level agreement (SLA) for 99.99% uptime?
- Deployment: What is the average time it takes to deploy?
There’s never been a better time to ditch your legacy PBX and move to a cloud-based UCaaS solution. The increased efficiency enhanced productivity, and cost-savings will be dramatic. Your employees will thank you for making their jobs easier. Your customers will thank you for making it easier to communicate with you. And your PBX will thank you when you finally get a chance to turn off that old tired hardware.
Sometimes you can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re here to help. Contact us to set up a call so that we can learn more about your business and challenges. From there, we can help design your exact solution.