The Problem With the Lowest Possible Cost Mentality

business PBX Price is a factor in every single business decision you will every make, and that absolutely includes making the switch to IP telephony, upgrading your system, or otherwise spending money on your organization’s communications infrastructure. Now, we are not going to argue price should not be a factor. You have a budget for your unified communications solution and you probably can’t budge too hard on that budget, and that’s to say nothing of the fact the most expensive IP telephony solution probably isn’t going to be right for everyone. That being said, the least expensive IP telephony solution is unlikely to work for anyone.

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Anatomy of the PBX phone system

There are a lot of terms we use in the telephony world that most people don’t fully understand, even if they throw them about with abandon. This is not because those people are dumb or ignorant. Rather, it’s simply because the telephony world is filled with jargon and “alphabet soup” terminology that can make really simple systems seem much more complex than they actually are.

PBX vendors and hosted PBX service providers love to invent their own telephony language. But the truth is – the basic concepts of call switching are common regardless of whether your PBX phone system is hosted or resides on your premises and whether it uses analog, digital or latest VoIP technology. Clarifying these terms and removing the ambiguity surrounding their use is often all it takes to help owners and users understand the basics of phone systems operation.

With that in mind, let’s take a minute to clearly define some of the most commonly used terms in the world of telephony technology.

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Hosted PBX Trends

Over the past few years there have been numerous online discussions and articles on the subject of “cost” and “price/performance” of the Hosted PBX. Today these discussions are sounding more and more like outdated statements of the obvious. Yes, it is obvious that Hosted PBX is far more feature rich and cost effective than traditional PBX or outdated Centrex services, but that isn’t the point. Appropriately chosen communication technology very directly impact ways and speed with which business is being conducted, more important than ever in the current economic climate.

For most businesses, however, communications does not fall into realm of their core competencies. Conventional school of thought preaches that you are not going to be a better law firm, architecture firm, pizza shop, etc by running a better phone system than the competition. But that simply isn’t true any longer. With Hosted PBX services reaching beyond simple voice or SIP trunking and becoming full Unified Communications solution, we see promotion of Hosted PBX as a smarter strategic play for SMBs. The value of converging — or integrating — data, voice and video communications over a single IP network comes in the improved ability of people to share, discuss and develop ideas with colleagues anywhere in the world. Voice itself can become a “killer app.” The new standard environment integrates voice mail, global telephone network, directory, presence, unified messaging capability, text-to-speech, conferencing, online phone, address book and more. Enterprises adding voice to other IP-compliant applications really begin to see what the technology can do for them.

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