PBX vs. The Cloud: Which is the Right Office Phone System for Your Business? 

Woman using an office phone system

Is it time to upgrade your office phone system? Are you stumped as to what type of phone system would work best for your company? Below we discuss the two main types of office phone systems and some pros and cons of each. While both PBX and cloud-based phone systems have some great perks, it’s up to you to decide which level of involvement you would like to have for your phone system.  

What is a PBX Phone System? 

PBX stands for private branch exchange and is a premise-based system. PBX is a private telephone network that allows for unique extensions for each department and employee. With this network, the company can make both internal and external phone calls.  

An on-premise PBX office phone system has been a traditional business phone favorite for decades. Your phone service provider will supply you with a normal dial tone and phone service running directly into your phone system.  

Your PBX office phone system can be easily converted to an internet-based phone service, sometimes called VoIP, or voice over internet protocol. Utilizing session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking, your PBX office phone system can upgrade to utilize all the features that come with a cloud-based office phone system.  

Pros and Cons of a PBX Phone System: 

  • Complete control – As the owner of an on-premise PBX office phone system, you have complete control over the system. 
  • Full ownership – If you choose to purchase the system outright, it is yours to do with as you please.  
  • Reduce monthly spending – Because you own the system, you do not have to pay monthly user fees.  
  • Keeps information on-site – All your business data is stored on the servers in your equipment closet. That way, you know exactly where your proprietary information is stored.  
  • Need personal IT professionals for support – Because your equipment is onsite, you are responsible for keeping it running properly. Therefore, you will need to employ a professional to keep the technology running. 
  • Responsible for all maintenance – Similarly to needing an IT professional, you will need someone on-staff that knows how to fix any equipment issues as well.  
  • Responsible for upgrades – As you know, technology evolves and improves very quickly. You will need to ensure that your phone system is upgraded to the current standard. 
  • Responsible for expansion – If your business experiences growth, you will need to figure out how to accommodate your new staff members and their communication needs. 
  • Tech closet – You will need a physical location to house the entirety of your phone system.  

What is a Cloud-Based Office Phone System? 

A cloud-based office phone system goes by several different names. “VoIP” and “hosted PBX” are two of the most common after “cloud-based.” They all offer phone services supported by the internet. Your phone service provider stores your server, main equipment, and data off-site. There is no need for your office to have an equipment closet, as the only equipment you need is a desk phone.  

The best way to explain a cloud-based office phone system is to walk through the pros and cons of the solution.  

Pros and Cons of a Cloud-Based Phone System: 

  • Provider support – Your cloud-based phone system provider should offer you support to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.  
  • Shared responsibility – Your provider will help you with maintenance issues and when it is time to upgrade.  
  • Low upfront costs – You will need to purchase desk phones (or whatever you plan to run the system on) but aside from that initial purchase, all you pay is a low monthly fee – no costs incurred at the beginning of service.  
  • Supports remote workers – A cloud-based phone system can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. Remote workers can use softphone applications to access their work phone system no matter where they are working.  
  • Manager portal – The administrator of the phone system has the power to set call rules, analyze data, set menus, and much more, all from the manager’s portal.  
  • CRM integrations – Cloud-based systems are notoriously easy to integrate with current systems companies may have.  
  • Security built-in – Cloud-based office phone systems come with built-in security features that can save businesses hundreds and thousands of dollars.  
  • Reliability – A cloud-based phone system has fail-safe switches that ensure a 99.999% uptime. 
  • Monthly fee – You will need to pay a monthly fee based on how many users you have. 
  • No ownership – You do not own the phone system.  

Which Office Phone System Do You Prefer? 

No matter which phone system you choose, Advanced Communications has you covered. If you would like more control over your office phone system, we suggest our premise-based system. On the other hand, if you’d like a more flexible solution, our cloud-based office phone system is packed full of features that will benefit your business. Give us a call today and we can help you decide which office phone system will benefit your business the most.  

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