For decades, office phone systems stayed pretty much the same. Businesses used traditional landline-based PBX systems that ran extensions to each desk and relied on onsite equipment.
But as communications technology and internet speeds continued evolving, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) became a viable business phone system option.
The stay-at-home orders in 2020 due to the pandemic further accelerated the growth of VoIP as it became a “must have” option for many businesses in Lake Okeechobee and the rest of the country, just to keep employees connected.
Many businesses are now struggling with the decision whether to use VoIP along with a PBX system for business continuity reasons or just switch their main lines to VoIP exclusively.
It can be hard to switch from something you’ve always known, but as cloud technology has already shown us through productivity tools and online storage, changing how you do things can lead to expanded capabilities and cost savings.
By the end of 2021, it’s projected that 90% of IT leaders will stop purchasing on-premises communication tools altogether.
What’s the best option for your business phone lines? We’ll go through the pros and cons of VoIP and PBX systems below.
Which is Best for Your Business, VoIP or PBX?
The main difference in PBX and VoIP systems is that PBX connects to a landline system. There is hardware onsite that runs the PBX system and each desk phone is wired to the main system so it can have its own extension.
VoIP is cloud based, and there are no wires to connect and no master control panel to install. The entire system is internet based.
Here are some of the main considerations when deciding between cloud-based VoIP and landline-based PBX.
There is a big difference between the startup costs of VoIP versus PBX. With a VoIP system, you’ll pay a low per user/per month cost and there is no expensive equipment to set up and no phone lines to install.
To get an PBX phone system installed is typically in the range of $800 – $1,000 per employee for installation, wiring costs, and setup of the lines to each desk set.
Need for Reliable Internet Connection
One con with a VoIP is that it does require a reliable internet connection and enough bandwidth to support a consistent calling experience. If you don’t have quality internet, then your caller experience will be spotty and unpredictable.
PBX is landline-based so it requires a reliable phone cable connection but does not require an internet connection.
VoIP has come a long way since its early days of sounding like a tin can, and today it has crystal clear call quality that sounds just as clear as PBX phone systems.
Both systems can be impacted by storms that might cause problems with service delivery from a phone or internet provider, but on the whole, both offer excellent call quality.
Monthly Phone Costs
Landline phone bills will typically include surcharges and may include equipment maintenance costs on top of calling costs. VoIP does not have these additional costs and is a predictable monthly flat rate in most cases.
Businesses can save as much as 50% to 75% on their monthly phone bill when they switch from PBX to VoIP.
Accessible from Anywhere
The ability to answer/make phone calls and have access to all your phone system features from anywhere is one of the reasons so many companies are switching to VoIP for all their business lines.
During a natural disaster or the recent pandemic when employees had to work from home, having a phone system tied to a physical location is problematic and can leave businesses at a handicap.
VoIP systems can be answered from any internet connected computer, mobile device, or VoIP-enabled desk phone, which protects companies from unforeseen circumstances and improves call experience for users.
Advanced Productivity Features
While both PBX and VoIP can have identical features when it comes to things like automated assistants, company directories, ring groups, and more, there are certain features that only cloud-based systems can have.
Here are some of the features that are typically only available with a VoIP system:
- Automatic voicemail transcription
- Voicemail to text or to email
- Video calling capability with screensharing
- Ability to integrate VoIP with a CRM so all customer communications stay in one place
Adding Lines and Moving Desks
If you have a PBX system, it can be expensive to add a new phone line for an employee and equally costly if you need to rearrange your office and move desks and desk phones.
These activities typically involve rewiring or adding a new cable, and installation has to be scheduled and can rarely be done the same day.
VoIP on the other hand doesn’t have any wires. You can add a new phone line in minutes and have it working immediately. Moving desks doesn’t impact an employee’s ability to answer their phone line in any way.
Are You Ready for an Upgrade to Reliable VoIP?
Cris’s Tech Repair offers expert and custom VoIP setup and support. We can help you protect your business continuity and reduce costs with a cloud-based phone system.
Schedule a consultation today by calling 561-985-4961 or contacting us online.