by Sid Cervarich, Vice President of Sales at HRCT
In my last blog I spoke about some pros and cons involved in Hosted VoIP service. This time, I want to focus on the alternatives available. Digital/ IP Enabled PBXs and IP PBXs for businesses occupy the lion’s share of the business market. Does that mean they are the best choice? Let’s see.
Business telephone systems have evolved from electro-mechanical and analog platforms to pure digital to digital IP Enabled PBXs and pure IP PBX platforms. Most businesses have a nondescript box mounted on a wall in a closet with a bunch of wires connected to it. On the other end of the wires you will the find telephone sets that are in each office. Most businesses have a system that was installed within the last 5 to 10 years and it is with these pure digital telephone systems that most frequently businesses find themselves needing to replace and wondering what to get? Some of them may decide on Hosted VoIP but many more will likely choose either a Digital IP Enabled PBX or an IP PBX system.
What the What?
I know – life just isn’t easy sometimes. The main difference between these two types of systems is that the IP PBX is a server-based telephone system which never changes in size or internal components from the date of installation. It is expected to use IP telephone sets and to be accessible from any location with reliable broadband Internet service. The Digital IP Enabled PBX is built with various cards that get plugged into the box mounted on the wall which allow your business to have the quantity of phones and lines etc. which you require. Digital IP Enabled PBXs frequently allow your business to keep your existing digital PBX and enable it with software and/or hardware upgrades thereby making it IP Enabled. For many businesses this is like having your cake and eating it too. If you read my last blog on Hosted VoIP you’ll remember that there is no box mounted on the wall with those solutions whereas with the topic of this blog there is. So, you might be thinking, who cares where the box is as long as I can do what I want. To give you a non-technical answer, as long as you’re able to do what you want to do, I agree, who cares.
My view of the positive significance in these systems to you the business owner is:
- There is a box on the wall that you own and control.
- There is a local dealer that you have a much better chance of seeing in person in the event of extreme urgency.
- Most of these systems are capable of being updated via the Internet for no, or minimal cost. This means that as technology continues to evolve, it can be downloaded into your Digital IP Enable PBX or IP PBX without the need for replacing your whole system.
- The systems are capable of providing remote telephone connectivity via VoIP but you don’t have to pay for that capability unless you want it – or never if you don’t.
- The systems cost more up front but generally have very low cost after installation. Over the natural course of time in using them, from a cost perspective there is probably not a nickels worth of difference between Hosted VoIP and Digital IP Enabled PBX/ IP PBX systems.
When your decision process finally comes down to the most important points I leave you with these:
- If you are opening a new office, an IP PBX is probably your best long term investment.
- If you are not dealing with a new location then the Digital IP Enabled PBX is absolutely worth seriously considering.
- Whichever choice you make, look for an experienced local dealer that is licensed and/or certified and has direct manufacturer support.
- Above all else, make sure the dealer you choose stresses support to respond quickly to any problems that might need an urgent on site visit. Don’t be hesitant to ask for references and when you get them, call to find out if the dealer in questions truly does provide more than just lip service. This is also a good time to speak with business associates about how their telephone system and dealer rate.
For more information and to ask questions, click here to contact Sid Cervarich.
Posted by Sid Cervarich, Vice President of Sales at HRCT. Sid has over 30 years of sales and implementation experience exclusively within the greater Hampton Roads area. His range of experience includes governmental as well as commercial solutions. His preference is to provide a consultative teamwork approach to solving customer requirements.
Hampton Roads Communication Technologies (HRCT) provides quality business telecommunications solutions, like IT Sales, Repair and Service Plans to companies and organizations throughout the United States, Mid-Atlantic and the Hampton Roads Virginia cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton, north into Williamsburg and south into the Outer Banks of North Carolina. HRCT keeps your company connected. Call today 757-399-3350.