You’ve got a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) on your premises to run your existing phone system, but you want to improve the way you communicate. Which way do you go? Do you upgrade or replace your PBX or move to a phone system based in the cloud?
Not an easy decision, but the signs are that more and more small and medium businesses (SMBs) are looking to the cloud for the next phase of their business. According to a Microsoft infographic, “Cloud computing: SMB’s secret weapon,” the number of SMBs using cloud services will triple in the next three years and 50 percent of those surveyed agree that cloud services are going to become more important for SMBs.
In the telecoms business, this means that a cloud-based PBX solution provider manages your PBX service from a secure data center to give you Internet telephony services. You no longer need a PBX at your office, just a router and high-speed broadband connection to access it and a set of phones.
Upgrade or Move?
So, what should you be considering? First, is your existing PBX up to the job? It may be nearing the end of its life or just offering limited functionality compared with the features and services available from Internet phone services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Unified Communications (UC).
If that’s the case, do you upgrade or replace the PBX? Cost considerations come in here. You have a choice between capital expenditure for a premise PBX or a monthly payment for a cloud PBX service. You won’t have to buy new phones. An adaptor turns your existing analog handsets into phones capable of using VoIP or UC services.
Need Mobile Access?
If you look beyond costs, there are other factors to consider. Is your business getting more mobile. If you or your colleagues spend a pot of time away from the office, how do you keep in touch? With a cloud PBX, you can access your office phone services, wherever you happen to be.
Working from home, travelling or visiting customers? You can make or receive calls on a smartphone, laptop or other mobile device and access other services like conferencing or voicemail.
Planning to Grow?
You should also look at your growth plans. According to that Microsoft survey, 53 percent of respondents expect their business to grow in the next 12 to 18 months. If you stick with a PBX at the office, you’ll need to make provision for the delay and disruption of installing new fixed lines. But, with a cloud PBX service, you can add virtual lines on demand or reduce the number of lines just as easily. That means you can adapt very quickly to opportunities and changes in business conditions.
A cloud PBX also gives you the ability to introduce new services for your customers. A cloud-based PBX solution provider can help you develop services like a virtual call center or helpdesk, with home-based agents accessing the phone resources they need from the cloud.
Business in the Cloud
A cloud PBX is just one the many cloud-based services and applications that are helping SMBs reduce their costs and compete more effectively. If you would like to find out more, BroadConnect Telecom can advise you on a solution for your business.