The focus of business communications today often revolves around solutions for instant messaging, collaboration, video conferencing and other modern channels.
While it’s important to keep pace with these, there’s one persistent technology that isn’t disappearing anytime soon—business telephone service.
Private branch exchanges (PBXs) have long been a necessity for business communications. But just because they’re essential to your business doesn’t mean they come with headache-free maintenance and operations.
If you’re still making do with an aging PBX system, now is the time to embrace newer, more efficient hosted PBX services.
Voice quality rivals premises-based PBX systems
There was a time early in the days of hosted solutions that quality and advanced features were synonymous with traditional, on-premises PBX. While hosted PBX services had a reputation for providing flexibility, they fell short compared to the power, control, and security of their on-premises counterparts.
Today, hosted PBX vendors have advanced to the point that they can meet and exceed the quality of traditional, on-premises telephony systems. As a result, the market for hosted PBX solutions has exploded over the last few years.
In 2019, the unified communications & collaboration market revenue grew nearly 18% to reach $38.8 billion. With features like visual voicemail, audio conferencing, alternate numbers, advanced IVR, mobile integration and secure voice, there are fewer and fewer reasons to stay locked into a legacy on-premises PBX.
The corona virus has dramatically accelerated this growth in 2020 as many businesses moved to a distributed workforce, with teams in satellite or home offices offices. That trend is expected to continue well into 2021 and beyond.
Why shift to a Hosted PBX?
Maintaining the status quo with your on-premises PBX might be tempting. Even if it gives you headaches from time to time, the infrastructure is already in place and is getting the job done.
However, there’s one key area where on-premises PBX can’t match hosted PBX—mobility. The rise of hosted PBX solutions is coming on the back of increased demand for employees to get work done from anywhere and with multiple devices.
Telephony may not be disappearing from the office, but it’s definitely changing. Employees want to use their cell phones on the road, soft phones on laptops when they’re mobile, and desk phones when they’re in the office. Because hosted PBX turns your on-premises telephony switchboard into a cloud-based system, employees can take advantage of communications flexibility and leverage IP connectivity to access your features anytime, anywhere.
In addition to greater support for the mobile workforce, hosted PBX solutions offer:
Because you’ve offloaded hardware responsibilities, hosted PBX solutions enable you to scale up or down based on telephony needs. As your workforce expands, you can onboard new employees, proving quick access to telephony, messaging and mobility without having to worry about the back-end, technical processes that make it happen.
Business communications are mission critical, especially as the workforce becomes more mobile. You need to make sure employees have every opportunity to collaborate without disruption, no matter where they are currently located. While on-premises PBXs do have solutions for hardware failure, hosted PBX delivers redundancy to maximize availability and maintain up-time.
As with any hosted solution, hosted PBX reduces the upfront costs that come with on-premises systems. Rather than investing heavily in on-premises equipment, you shift from a Capex to an Opex model that is more cost efficient. Really, you only have to consider the upfront cost of desk phones.
The continued shift from on-premises PBX to hosted PBX services is all about increasing business efficiency. You need communications services to keep your business running, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the legacy PBX wiring and outdated equipment.
One problem for many businesses is that the market for hosted PBX solutions is becoming increasingly crowded. Vendors like 8×8, Broadvoice, Nextiva, RingCentral, Vonage and many more offer hosted PBX solutions. Sifting through these options can be a time-consuming challenge.
If you’re ready to take advantage of hosted PBX or unified communications services, contact us today for a free consultation that to identify the best solution for your needs.