Hosted PBX Solutions are Here to Stay, Meaning Decision-Makers Must Overcome the Myths.
The business phone system landscape is much more diverse than it has ever been, as enterprises now have a choice as to which solution to deploy. In the past, the traditional land line service was the only offering available. Today, thanks to the emergence of cloud computing, corporate decision-makers have numerous options, allowing them to pick the technology that is right for their particular organizations.
The hosted PBX solution is quickly becoming the go-to for enterprise communications because of its inherent characteristics, including increased flexibility and agility. Unlike conventional phone services with a fixed capacity limit, cloud-based offerings are managed off-site, providing businesses with the opportunity to expand or contract bandwidth requirements depending on traffic levels. This is becoming important for the contact center that needs to deal with fluctuating activity.
Cloud-based phone systems are also agnostic, meaning they support connectivity to a number of platforms. This is critical in today’s highly mobile business environment, as failing to provide employees – and customers – the ability to access the corporate network will only result in inefficient operations and unsatisfied customers.
Despite these advantages, executives are often still skeptical of the cloud due to past perceptions the business world as a whole held toward the hosted services. In most cases, these apprehensions are really just myths. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they will be given up easily.
Overcoming Cloud Myths
A recent report by a major VoIP provider highlighted that a large number of companies do not replace old phone systems because their existing PBX solutions are still functioning – at least on a basic level. In many cases, decision-makers believe holding onto a legacy PBX is more cost effective, as it is not entirely necessary to make an upgrade. The “don’t fix what isn’t broken” mantra rings true in most companies.
Truth be told, accepting this idea for reality can be dangerous to the overall survival of an organization. While legacy phone solutions may still be functional, they are not nearly as efficient as cloud-based services. Comparably, two competing enterprises – one with a hosted PBX and the other with an old-school model – is like a race between a horse and buggy and a race car. While the traditional vehicle still gets operations from point A to point B, it does so much slower and at a more costly rate than newer strategies.
Managing an old communications platform can also be expensive. In addition to having to pay unnecessary carrier fees and maintenance expenses, employees will not have access to critical phone system features they need to get the job done, the report stated.
“We just replaced our aging on-site PBX with VoIP business phone service. A month after getting the new system, my only regret is that we didn’t make the switch to VoIP sooner,” he said. “We can now manage our entire phone system with a couple of clicks. The phones are amazing and, best of all, we are paying one-third the cost of our previous setup and we have more features,” said Christopher Adams, Former CTO of MyoVision.
In addition to misconceptions regarding cost, decision-makers sometimes believe upgrading a phone system to the cloud is not necessary in today’s highly mobile business world, the report stated. This, unfortunately, couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Significance of Mobility
Mobility is undoubtedly an important part of the enterprise infrastructure, especially as bring your own device (BYOD) and other consumerization strategies continue to make headway. However, smartphones and tablets cannot do everything, as most organizations need to have some sort of centralized platform that supports a broad range of communication services - including mobility if decision-makers are into that.
A separate Infonetics Research report highlighted how a large percentage of the business world has implemented a cloud VoIP and unified communications system to act as the glue that keeps a variety of applications tied together, allowing them to be accessed via mobile devices. In fact, the ability to improve mobility was among the top reasons organizations deploy a centralized collaborative platform.
“Our unified communications survey reveals a really important shift taking place as enterprises increasingly use mobile devices to access UC applications. Survey respondents indicate that smartphones and tablets will be the two most widely used devices for UC in 2013, passing traditional computers and desk phones,” said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP at Infonetics Research.
In the coming years, enterprise decision-makers need to overcome the misconceptions surrounding hosted PBX solutions, as the technology most likely provides many more advantages to businesses than legacy solutions. By understanding how employees currently plan to carry out mission-critical tasks and how the cloud can meet those objectives, executives can work with a trusted advisor and implement the cloud services they need to stay competitive and keep operations running.