When 74 percent of small and medium-sized businesses rank voice communications as “extremely important to business operations” — you’d imagine that the adoption of cloud-based phone systems would be relatively high. But in the case of hosted PBX, IP telephony and unified communications, the reality doesn’t match the perception of usage.
A recent survey conducted by Allworx Corp. and Hanover Research found that a vast majority of SMBs are unaware of the technology trends in business phone systems, and most are not utilizing the advanced technology widely available today. Here were a few other eye-opening stats from the survey:
- The vast majority of SMBs are unfamiliar with telecommunications terminology such as IP telephony, hosted PBX, IP PBX, virtual PBX, SIP trunks or Unified Communications.
- The top five most desired phone features by SMBs are: voicemail as email attachments (38 percent), remote desk phones (25 percent), music on hold (25 percent), 3-way calling (24 percent), and mobile client for the desk phone (24 percent).
- Nearly one in two SMBs plan to evaluate a new business phone system in the near future – with 86 percent of them planning to do so within the next three years. Sixty-four percent of them cited old or outdated voice equipment as the primary reason.
Weighing the costs of traditional phone systems
With the vast majority of SMBs still using traditional on-premises PBX or internally hosted phone systems, there’s a strong need for education among SMBs on how to optimize business phone systems to increase productivity and drive efficiencies.
Just consider the cost alone. The typical 3-year cost of ownership for a 50-user organization using a traditional on-premises PBX system is over $110,000, while the average cost of a Hosted PBX system for the same sized business is about half of that. Additionally, since Hosted PBX has no upfront deployment costs, SMBs benefit from predictable and stable pricing.
Cost aside, Hosted PBX includes many features that either cost a premium or are not typically included with legacy telecom technology. With Hosted PBX, you gain many of the key features SMBs desire including automatic call forwarding, Softphone mobile app, 3-way calling and much more. You also reduce costly overhead by removing the need to purchase and wire an office with telecom hardware.