Organizations hang on to legacy phone systems longer than most office tools. While workers get about two or three years out of their smartphones, many legacy VoIP phone systems have been in use for more than 10 years. People know how to place a call, transfer a call and check voicemail. When they press a button for an open line, they hear a dial tone. If it still works the same way as it has for the past 10-plus years, why replace it?
Comfort with the phone system can cause organizations to overlook the disadvantages of clinging to that system, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Legacy phone systems create operational inefficiencies, even as organizations are under constant pressure to streamline and simplify. They’re just not practical. Employees are forced to check multiple applications on multiple communication platforms. A task as simple as checking voicemail is a time waster because you have to dial into voicemail, follow prompts, and listen to messages. Legacy phone systems tend to be more expensive to maintain, and the only way to add new users is to purchase new hardware. Also, there is no simple way to analyze and optimize communication and collaboration.
Like any older technology, legacy phone systems are more vulnerable to data breaches and many don’t meet minimum compliance requirements for security. Organizations are often dependent upon third-party vendors to provide support, update software and manage security patches. If the vendor stops providing support, you have to either live with the risk of using unsupported software or replace the phone system.
All these factors make it more difficult to maintain a competitive edge. Reliable, efficient and secure communication is a basic expectation of customers, business partners, investors and vendors. When features and capabilities are lacking in your phone system, it reeks of amateur hour. If you can’t master or are unwilling to invest in something as basic as communication, what does that say about your brand?
How Cloud-Based UC Overcomes These Challenges
A cloud-based unified communications (UC) system improves efficiency by sending all messages, including voicemail, to your email inbox so you can read them immediately, even if you’re on another call. All communication channels are managed through the same interface, and the UC platform can be integrated with your customer relationship management system, providing access to your customer data. Also, users and services can be added or removed as needed without over-provisioning.
Cloud-based UC infrastructure is managed and secured by a cloud service provider. This not only frees your IT team to focus on higher-value tasks, but also reduces the risk of data breaches. Cloud providers have teams of security experts who can detect threats before they turn into serious problems, using advanced tools that satisfy compliance requirements. At the same time, you have complete visibility into how your phone system is being used so you can measure utilization and implement strategies to improve productivity.
Cost is typically the main driver behind replacing a legacy phone system with a cloud-based UC solution. However, improvements in operational efficiency, security and brand perception are very real, valuable benefits as well. Let us help you develop a plan for migration to a cloud-based UC solution that aligns with your business processes and goals.