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Today's SMBs are rapidly changing how they consume hardware and software. According to IDC, their worldwide spending on cloud computing services will reach $676 billion by 2021, a $108 billion surge from 2017. In other words, they are foregoing on-premises IT infrastructure for cloud-based and hosted alternatives.
These are huge numbers, of course, and as such they can seem a little abstract. A better way to understand the scope of – and the rationale behind – the ongoing shift in IT would be to imagine what any major modern cloud or hosted service would be like if it were a true legacy application. Let's take Instagram as an example:
The overall associated hassle seems outlandish, but it's not far from what it's like to stick with a traditional private branch exchange (PBX) despite the availability of modern hosted VoIP solutions from vendors such as Telesystem. PBXes are inflexible, expensive to maintain and modify, and generally poorly suited to mobile and remote workforces. They enforce many of the constraints of our hypothetical Legacy Instagram, including the need to pay upfront and to go out of your way to tend to technical upkeep.
The good news is that hosted VoIP can be a full-fledged replacement for your PBX, without any of these complications. It can transform your business, first by saving you money and then by scaling to meet your evolving requirements.
When you operate your own PBX, you're doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to infrastructure. In addition to purchasing phones and other equipment outright, you have to pay for licensing fees, trainings, installations, vendor visits, software updates and much more.
Your capital expenses will be high. Plus, the overall challenge of forecasting how each cost will fit into your budget can feel like trying to understand all the individual charges and credits on a complex medical bill.
Hosted VoIP is much easier on the company wallet both upfront and over the long term. Your VoIP provider takes care of the critical infrastructure behind the scenes, including protection from common threats like distributed denial-of-service attacks. All you typically need are phones and/or softphone clients, along with internet connectivity. VoIP is an operating expense, with most of your key costs rolled into a subscription plan that can be modified as necessary.
Cloud and hosted services, including VoIP, have many advantages over on-prem alternatives, with the most notable being the ability to easily access resources on-demand without jumping through a bunch of technological hoops. Whereas working with a PBX is like having to continually fetch and bail water out with buckets by hands – similar to a famous scene featuring Mickey Mouse as a sorcerer's apprentice in the film "Fantasia" – having a hosted VoIP system is akin to modern plumbing, with streamlined access to a huge pool of resources.
An SMB saddled with a PBX is often held back by its limited portability, as well as the need for specialized personnel to maintain it. Moving, adding or changing PBX lines is inherently complicated and often expensive. In contrast, hosted VoIP delivers the scalability and flexibility expected of cutting-edge cloud solutions, thanks to:
These features add up to a communications solution that is responsive to the unique requirements of SMBs. More specifically, hosted VoIP helps fuel company growth, support personnel at remote/branch offices and keep budgetary expenses under control.
Your phone system should be an engine of productivity for your entire company. Make sure you have one that can adapt to your needs and doesn't burden you with exorbitant costs and complex technical requirements.