Phone Systems

When Should Small Businesses Consider Hosted PBX Phone Systems?

If you’re a small business office manager, chances are good you’ve either heard about Voice over IP (VoIP) and Hosted PBX phone systems or you’ve actively researched them and are considering implementing them in your office.

In this article, we’ll talk about when, exactly, a small business should be looking at and considering a move to a Hosted PBX solution.

What are Hosted PBX Phone Systems?

While it may sound confusing, it’s not. Businesses use business phone systems that include these (and many other) business features:

  • Voicemail
  • Auto-Attendant
  • Extensions, direct dial phone numbers, or both
  • Groups (like sales, billing, or support)
  • Hold, transfer, and park

Traditionally, these business phone systems would live on-site in the office. The desk phones would be tethered to the system via a system of phone wires and cables. Calls from traditional systems would travel over phone lines provided by the phone company. Local and long-distance business calls would be billed on a metered rate.

Fast forward to 2019. In today’s small business space, IP phone systems are replacing older digital systems. IP systems are similar to the traditional systems in that they live on-site, but they actually resemble a server more than a phone system.

A hosted PBX (HPBX) system removes the physical “system” from the office. The phone system lives in the cloud and your business subscribes to it monthly. The main advantages of moving to a cloud-based phone system are:

  • Lower capital expense. IP desk phones are the only pieces of hardware which need to be purchased, and in many cases, these can be leased or rented.
  • What had been a capital expense depreciated over a period of years can now be booked as a monthly expense.
  • The business no longer has the responsibility of maintaining the system and ensuring it’s running the most current software and firmware versions. The system maintenance with HPBX falls to the provider.
  • HPBX allows businesses to only use what they need. As the business grows, additional users can be added.
  • HPBX calls can be routed over the data/internet connection. This saves money over traditional phone line and usage costs. Most HPBX “seats” include local and long-distance usage.

When Should Businesses Make the Move?

  1.  When the Current Phone System Starts Dying

Old phone systems tend to break down gradually. Handset failure is high on the list of the first things to go. Also, the average digital PBX system has a lifespan of 6-12 years. Knowing when the system was installed will give you a leg up when it comes to replacing aging equipment.

Of course, it’s best to replace ahead of failure as new service will take a bit to transition and install depending on the existing data network’s ability to handle IP call traffic.

  1. When Carrier Agreements are up for Renewal

As traditional phone service contracts age, the phone company will start sending mailers or calling to renew these services. Phone companies are infamous for attaching lengthy commitments to their service contracts. Before you sign on the dotted line, talk to a HPBX rep like Modern Telecom to see what you might be able to save with a new hosted solution.

  1. When You’re Looking at Your IT Budget

This may seem counter-intuitive, but when analyzing IT spend, consider adding the HPBX voice services into the equation. You may be able to combine voice and data services, add bandwidth, move the phone system to the cloud, and save a significant amount of money. Carrier services can be surprisingly expensive as can moves, adds, and changes on the existing system.

Partner with the HPBX Experts

Stay ahead of a system failure and save money in the process by partnering with an HPBX expert. A great IT and telecom partner will be able to educate you and assist you in providing the best solutions for your business. Here at Modern Telecom, we help small businesses transition to hosted PBX solutions every day. As an expert in voice, data, and local area networks, Modern Telecom can audit your current environment and make the best recommendations for your next business phone system.

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Andy Offenberger | telecom consultant