Virtual PBXs, are they the future?

March 11th, 2010 at 12:23 AM  2 Comments

Phone Systems have evolved over the last 10 years.  With the death of the traditional PBX and the new VoIP movement businesses have more reasons to upgrade and more feature sets to choose from.  I previously managed the IT department for a small company that relied heavily on the phone system.

They purchased a (at the time) a state of the art system and spent a big chunk of change thinking it would last them forever.  Fast Forward 10 years and that same system that cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars is now worth 30K (if they found a sucker on the street) and they were spending thousands of dollars every month on maintenance for the ancient piece of equipment sitting on the wall.  They were stuck with a dinosaur and were quickly falling behind their competitors.

At the time they had four options.

  1. Invest a significant amount of money into a upgraded phone system
  2. Move to a “Virtual PBX” a fairly new type of phone service, mainly used for home based businesses
  3. Stick with the Dinosaur they know and continue to fall behind their competition
  4. Move to a unproven, unknown “Hosted” solution.

Looking back I believe they should have chosen the Virtual PBX option.  This would have allowed them to take advantage of the new features coming to market as well as keeping their costs down and without replacing equipment.  It also would have allowed them to keep ahead of the game by taking advantage of the new features as they come to market instead of waiting for upgrades to a proprietary phone system.

These Virtual PBX systems have come a long way since I first started to research them.  I have been given a 90 day free evaluation of the new Mobile service by RingCentral and I am impressed at the progress these services have made.  They allow small companies to get the services provided by a enterprise class phone switch without making the large investment up front.

Do you think Virtual PBXs are the route of the future?  How would this technology help your company?