The humble company phone system, or PBX, is a dinosaur still alive in the digital age.
Here are the top 10 things that business managers don’t miss about living alongside them, now they’ve escaped and fled to the modern, cloud telephony alternative.
Forking out for a new system every 7-8 years
PBXs diverts lots of CAPEX that could be spent on other priorities
Cloud telephony means I don’t have to commit tens of thousands of pounds from my capital budget to spend on infrastructure. I still need to buy handsets for desk-based users who need them, but softphones for laptops and mobile devices keep those costs to a minimum.
DID YOU KNOW: According to Gartner, 75% of CFOs are actively involved in making IT decisions for their companies, even in organisations where CIOs are also employed.
Signing off big expense claims for conferencing
Users expensing lots of money on conference bridges is bad for budgeting
Now with cloud telephony, every user gets the same high standard of conferencing and calling features and it doesn’t cost a penny extra. Ongoing monthly costs are low and predictable.
DID YOU KNOW: Recent BT research into ‘shadow IT’ estimated that £1 out of every £4 spent on enterprise IT happens outside the IT department.
Paying for stuff we just didn’t use
Even hosted PBXs mean getting charged for extensions that nobody used that month
Thanks to cloud telephony, we only pay for what we use. If nobody uses an extension, then it doesn’t show up on our bill.
DID YOU KNOW: Recently audited US authorities including Baltimore and the State of New Jersey were found to be using only 60-80% of the phone lines they were paying for, at a cost of millions of dollars a year.
Finding people who still know how to service my PBX
PBX skills are dying out, making them rare and expensive
Since switching to cloud telephony, we aren’t concerned about who is available to reconfigure or repair our phone system at short notice. Using cloud telephony is easy and the risk of disruption and unexpected costs is massively reduced.
DID YOU KNOW: A recent investigation by TechTarget reported on the dwindling band of traditional voice engineers who have prolonged their retirement to make money in the legacy PBX world.
Battling through rain and snow to switch the phones over
You ARE the business continuity strategy when you own a phone system
Closing the office because of an extreme weather event still meant risking our necks to get onto the phone system to divert calls and set up messages. Now all operations continue as normal thanks to cloud telephony, and everyone can work from home using the same communications capabilities they enjoy at work.
DID YOU KNOW: Nature Climate Change has published a paper claiming extreme weather events that previously occurred once every three years are now happening every 200 days.
Guessing which of three numbers to reach a colleague on
The time it takes trying to find people irritates customers and coworkers alike
Cloud telephony has made it much faster to get hold of individuals who each now have a single phone number set up to find them on whatever device is closest to hand. This is also integrated with Unified Communications for real-time presence.
DID YOU KNOW: The average number of communications devices per person was 3.1 in 2014, and may reach 6.6 by 2020.
BAD FOR BUSINESS
Treating IT and telecoms as unrelated business tools
Key technology functions are separate rather than converged with traditional PBXs
Cloud telephony makes communications into an application so it’s simpler to optimise and extend business processes. The business is far more agile and able to take advantage of market opportunities now we’ve integrated telephony with CTI, CRM and vertical industry applications.
DID YOU KNOW: IDG Enterprise research found that 63% of businesses have increased agility through the use of cloud, while 61% have increased innovation.
Being punished for growing our business
Phone systems cope badly with change. Scaling to add users can mean big growing pains
Thanks to cloud telephony, we no longer suffer the admin headaches associated with taking on more staff, opening new offices and acquiring companies to grow our business. Not only that but all users are always on the same version and we don’t even have to update it ourselves.
DID YOU KNOW: Outsourcing and/or automating non-core processes is consistently ranked as a strategic objective in research among UK business leaders.
Preventing complete integration with Skype for Business/Lync
Complex PBX integrations can compromise investments in Skype for Business/MS Lync
Before cloud telephony, we were struggling with complex SIP and application integration to make our phone system work with Lync. But because NFON integrates its webscale platform with Enterprise Lync at the server level, we don’t have to. No risks, no delays – it works out of the box, completely intuitively for users familiar with the Lync environment and without the need to program user devices.
DID YOU KNOW: Microsoft Lync was rebranded as Skype for Business in 2015. It is on track to exceed 100 million enterprise users by the end of the decade.
Being locked in to contracts for years
Most manufacturers stop customers having easy access to the best options on the market
Three or five year contracts are crazy; the pace of technological change is too fast. Cloud telephony is better suited to today’s subscription-based economy where a 30-day rolling commitment is a fair way to plan ongoing requirements.
DID YOU KNOW: Despite allowing customers to leave with just 30 days’ notice, cloud telephony provider NFON has had one of the lowest churn rates in the industry for more than five years.