Just over a decade ago, the only way to have a corporate level phone system is to get a PBX box for your company. Without other options, small businesses were forced to either buy a PBX package or a couple of analog lines and multi-line phones, both of which were pretty expensive at the time.
Fortunately, the cloud came and saved small businesses from the expenses of an on-premise PBX system. With the cloud came a more affordable alternative. Advanced phone systems also became more accessible to small businesses as a result.
But providing a much more affordable alternative is not the only benefit of the cloud phone system. It also exposed some key limitations of the physical PBX as discussed by Curt Larson in his post at the RingCentral Blog.
So let’s look at some of these limitations and see how the cloud PBX solved it:
Difficult to Scale
One of the biggest limitations of the physical PBX is its ability grow and expand as your business grows. As Larson puts it “They don’t scale linearly in terms of upgrades/downgrades as your business changes.” You would have to physically configure the PBX box and add additional wires for new extensions.
But with cloud phone systems, scalability is not a big concern. You can easily add (or delete) extensions to the phone system via a few clicks. And if you need new phone numbers – local or toll-free – you can instantly get new ones online without the complicated process and astronomical fees.
And you wouldn’t have to worry about system upgrades. This happens on the background and within the data centers of the VoIP service provider.
It is a Fixed Asset
The problem with having a physical PBX is that you will be buying expensive hardware which can be considered a fixed asset. Let’s say you spent about a couple of hundred thousand for the phone system; that is a lot of money that you could have spent on other aspects of your business. The problem with these kinds of assets is that it can hamper your financial flexibility because the asset is difficult to move.
Cloud phone systems, on the other hand, don’t have to be treated as a fixed expense. Instead, they are an operational cost, since you will be paying your provider a smaller monthly fee instead of shelling out a large amount all at once. If a better service comes in the future, you are not stuck with the hardware that you purchased. You can simply cancel the service and move to the new technology if you think it best for your business.
Tied to one location
Another big limitation of the on-premise PBX is that it is tied in one location. With today’s business environment pushing for mobility and collaboration, the technology is certainly not up to the challenge.
But with the cloud phone service, you can connect multiple locations under one phone system. Whether you have telecommuting employees, multiple branches or personnel on the field, they can all stay connected with your company.
Requires Extra Help
Since you own the physical PBX box, it will be up to you to configure and maintain it. This means that you have to provide dedicated manpower for it.
With the cloud phone system, the service is integrated in your IT network so you and your IT staff can configure and maintain it on your own.
Now that you’ve seen how the cloud phone system solves the limitations of the on-premise PBX, maybe it’s time for you to see if it is a solution that will fit your company needs. Sign-up and see how RingCentral phone system helps small businesses.