When a business spans more than one location, the cost and complexity of maintaining the phone system can present major challenges. In many cases, whether as the result of organic growth or acquisitions, IT has inherited a patchwork of disparate hardware, solutions, and providers. Managing and supporting all of this—both from an IT and an accounting perspective—can be time-consuming, frustrating, and even unnerving.
From chasing down PBX problems at distant sites to managing separate telco relationships, having multiple systems across multiple locations can strain your resources and budgets. The assorted PBX systems are often based on an array of proprietary technologies, have uneven repair schedules, and fail at different rates. They also may handle calls differently depending on the location, which can cause confusion for customers. In addition, the business associate relationships required to keep multiple systems running and connected have different SLAs, expiration dates, and billing cycles. Ultimately, the lack of a unified phone system hampers communication and collaboration, which negatively impacts employee productivity, customer service, and your company’s bottom line.The Cloud Network® White Paper | Benefits of a Cloud Phone System for Multi-Site BusinessesBenefits of a Cloud Phone System for Multi-Site Businesses
Complex maintenance, support, and training needed for PBX hardware from different manufacturers (some near end-of-life)
Relying on local support vendors or sending IT staff to remote sites, because there is no centralized management for the entire phone system
The inability of employees in one office to easily extension-dial or transfer calls to employees at other locations
Stockpiles of spare line cards, media boards, and handsets at every location to ensure business continuity
Managing complicated relationships with different carriers for line service, system updates, and changes—as well as separate bills
Burdening IT budgets with maintenance of exchange line and MPLS connectivity between locations
Struggling to handle relationships with different service firms and multiple contracts that have varying SLAs and expiration datesCentralizing your PBX in the cloud bypasses the outdated copper wire model, which depends on PBX hardware and telco connectivity at each location. With a cloud phone system, the virtual PBX serves all locations—large, small, and even home offices—via the Internet. Consequently, your business benefits from a number of fundamental changes in the network (including relationships with telcos), how users are served, and how customers and partners interact with employees. Plus, the ability to manage the entire system from one location translates into significant time- and cost-savings for the IT team. However, when you move the PBX out of the building and into the cloud, mobile workers have direct access to the same phone system used by onsite workers. They enjoy the same business desk phone features—such as extension-dialing and direct voicemail access—as office staff.
Among the numerous advantages for businesses with multiple locations, a cloud phone system:
Eliminates the expense of PBX hardware/software (including upgrades and maintenance) at each location
Gives customers and partners easy access toemployees from one corporate telephone numberStreamlines phone line management—i.e., eliminates the need for costly trunk lines, PRIs, or bonded T1s from each business location to the telcoEliminates the need for trained staff at multiple sites, calls to local third-party support services, or sending IT staff members with telephony experience to each location every time changes are needed or system problems occurCuts the costs and complexities of managing MPLS across a telco network or other business exchange line connectivityMakes it easier to support direct transfers and direct extension-dialing between business locationsDramatically simplifies office moves, setup of new locations, and user moves/adds/changes The image shows the telco connections—as well as the respective telco relationships—necessary to connect multiple business locations. Note that each site requires PBX hardware as well as local maintenance of the hardware and software.
Reducing the network cost and complexity of connecting multiple locations
The image shows the telco connections—as well as the respective telco relationships—necessary to connect multiple business locations. Note that each site requires PBX hardware as well as local maintenance of the hardware and software.