Choosing The Best Cloud-Based PBX for Your Business

In previous years, PBX services were confined to the physical hardware companies stored in their offices.  Many of the PBX phone systems used today continue to operate in this manner.  Operating locally, the services provide their users with a sense of rapport despite controlling their communications technology.

PBX systems are not seen as representative of the communications technology around locally stored hardware.  However, many organizations physically host their own servers and store hardware on their premises, taking advantage of the various benefits available when technology is one a few doors down from the staff workstations.  Nowadays, though, things seem to be changing, and PBX systems are one of them.

If you pay attention to the current technology market, you will notice that locally stored hardware solutions seem to be replaced by remotely located resources.  For instance, the local hardware systems are making way for storage, servers and PBX services running from remote locations across the globe.  The remotely located resources may not provide as much control as the locally stored options; however, they do make the task of maintenance, infrastructure expansion, and troubleshooting another person’s problem.

In addition to remotely located resources, we are now seeing the remote technology solution being taken to another level – the cloud.  The cloud is a virtual infrastructure or platform where digital shared space is spread between clients and users signed on to a vendor’s services.  

Yet, for all the marketing hype surrounding this service for enterprise purposes (particularly PBX purposes), companies may be migrating to the digital platform at a lower rate than one may imagine.  There are various good reasons why a company is feeling skittish about using the cloud infrastructure, including the following: 

#1:  Businesses Don’t Know If There Are Measurable Benefits To The Cloud Service

Firstly, a company does not know if there are measurable benefits to using cloud infrastructure as compared to a current premises-based phone system.  The question is whether moving to the new technology will result in a measurable beneficial result.  According to the post-recession business climate, any decisions to upgrade communications technology must not be made lightly.  Unless the new technology intends to change the manner in which business is performed or growth accommodated, the owners need to wait for a move to the cloud platform.  It is only once they have determined the benefits of whether or not remotely shared PBX services will present as compared to traditional solutions.

#2:  Businesses Must Be Convinced That The Move Is A Good Idea

Any companies with an active interest in cloud communication technology need to be convinced that moving into this untested area is a beneficial idea.  Yes, the technology is not completely untested; however, for companies switching from a locally-based phone system, this is one “leap of faith” by giving control to a trusted third party.  Despite all references, unless you have first hand experience utilizing the service, you cannot form an opinion of its reliability.  Migrating all of the company’s communication technology to a remote solution where reliability and efficiency remain unknown can sound irresponsible.

#3:  Businesses Do Not Know Who Manages The Cloud Service

A company considering cloud communication migration may not know who should manage their system.  In this situation, the migration presents with two management options – they can either use their IT department to move data to the cloud infrastructure, or they can offer the task to the service provider and third party.  Neither of the solutions seems attractive if there is confidential or sensitive information involved.  After all, technology giants such as Microsoft, Google and Apple run their own cloud infrastructure keeping their data and voice close to their chest.

#4:  Businesses Are Unsure If They Can Trust VoIP Service Providers

Other issues that companies need to consider is the trustworthiness of VoIP service providers arising in the field because of their low entry cost.  Cloud infrastructure and hosted PBX markets are relatively young in the communications industry.  Despite their young age, it is obvious that the cloud platform is representative of a viable and profitable strategy; thereby, making it difficult to distinguish between long-term VoIP vendors and fly-by-night services.

Will the cloud infrastructure of company communications?  No one knows for sure.  However, what is known is that there is a great deal of marketing hype around the issue.