10 Strong Indicators You Need to Change Your Hardware PBX

10 Strong Indicators You Need to Change Your Hardware PBX

Your PBX is an essential part of your phone system, distributing calls throughout the office. If you haven’t changed your system in the past 10 years (that’s 2014 or earlier!), you likely have a hardware PBX, one that sits in your office. While they were effective for most purposes at the time, there are much more modern alternatives, including cloud unified communications, sometimes known as unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) or unified communications as a service (UCaaS). Here are 10 clear signs that you need to change your hardware PBX.

Frequent Downtime

Phone system downtime can be a killer for businesses — if your customers can’t contact you, it’s difficult to get new business or maintain relationships. This is particularly true if you have a service business that relies on being able to respond promptly to issues, even out of hours. While backup solutions might include mobile phones, it’s not a good solution if the caller has to dial multiple numbers to get a response.

Poor Call Quality

Even when they do get through, call quality can be poor. This could mean lots of crackling on the line, or it could be momentary dropouts that result in speech being heavily delayed or even missed. Hardware PBXes are particularly prone to this as they get older as the hardware struggles to keep up, and storage systems start to degrade.

High Maintenance Costs

When you try to fix these issues, it often results in high maintenance costs, primarily because parts become increasingly scarce. In addition, it requires a lot of labor hours to fix these machines because they are often complex, highly specialized and have a lot of proprietary systems. As a result, premium prices are charged, and the older they get, the more parts have been changed out — just like an older car. This results in high maintenance costs.

End-of-Life System

Even worse are end-of-life systems, such as those affected by the recent NEC announcement. Even if these systems still work to a reasonable degree, once they become end-of-life, they stop being anywhere near as effective as used to be. This is because end-of-life systems are no longer supported by the manufacturer, which means that you don’t get the firmware/software upgrades that you used to. Vulnerabilities and issues crop up, resulting in either an easy hacking route or incompatibility with modern systems — including hardware.

Limited Integrations

Integrations can also create problems. These are systems that allow you to connect your software or hardware directly to your phone system, which can speed up productivity significantly. For example, you might wish to connect a helpdesk or a customer relationship management system to your phone system so that you can quickly dial out straight from the software. A lack of good integrations can mean errors, misdialled calls and even zero reporting functions, reducing the effectiveness of your teams. If this is the case, it’s definitely time to check out what a good cloud-based telephony system can do for you.

Limited Ability to Work Remotely

Remote work is a critical offering for many businesses, and while it’s not possible for all sectors, it certainly is a major benefit for those who primarily do office or sales work. Working from home helps retain staff, but it also makes it easier to have a more diverse and widespread workforce — at Wildix, we are remote first, so many people work from home from around the world. This means we can recruit from anywhere. Many hardware PBXes make it very difficult to work remotely, as people need to sign into their communications with VPNs, and it’s often slow to connect.

Lack of Scalability

On the flip side, a hardware PBX can also make it difficult to add new offices quickly and easily. If you have a physical location where your PBX is, you either have to treat any new satellite offices as a completely new location, requiring more expensive hardware installed on-site, or everyone in a satellite office has to remote into the main office. Again this can lead to significant inefficiencies and frustration, especially if there is regular downtime at the main office. Often, a hardware PBX is limited to a certain number of simultaneous calls, as well, making it much harder to expand a business efficiently.

No Mobile Abilities

Almost everybody has a mobile phone now, but it is difficult to sync a hardware PBX to a mobile phone. This means that those who are out of office need to also give out a mobile number if they wish to remain contactable. With a cloud system, it’s easy to download an app and have your work number wherever you are, along with reporting features and everything else you could need.

No Advanced Features

Advanced features can include types of call groups and the ability to set specific priorities when people dial in. Some hardware PBXs cannot handle interactive voice response (IVR) or the growing requirements of AI, and almost none integrate with your website. Even voicemail to email or call forwarding may be difficult or impossible with some hardware systems. If you can’t do all of these, it’s likely your system needs replacing.

Security Vulnerabilities

Security is a major concern for many businesses, and with the rise of severe cyber threats that can result in your entire business being held to ransom, insurance providers increasingly insist on high-quality communication systems. Most hardware PBXs don’t require two-factor authentication or need expensive systems to make them less vulnerable. But worse, a system that is stored within your own office frequently lacks the continuous monitoring capability to stop threats before they become a problem.

Ultimately, any one of these problems could be a sign that your phone system needs replacing. If you have more than one, it’s definitely time to check out how a cloud communication system, such as those provided by Wildix, could significantly benefit your business, make it more secure and make life easier for you and your employees.

If you’d like to find out more about unified communications systems, fill out the form at this link!

For more insights, subscribe to receive our magazine for free!

Social Sharing