SMBs that choose to host an on-site PBX, phone system, face plenty of challenges. In addition to the up-front costs of research and implementation, many SMBs don’t have the expertise or experience to maintain or upgrade on-site equipment. While it’s not impossible, there are several factors at play that can drastically impact the effectiveness of an on-site solution.

The Challenge with On-Site (PBX) Phone Systems

One area that SMBs struggle with is scaling the PBX to the business. In the early stages of a small business, it’s common to anticipate rapid development during the first five years. If the company decides to build its own infrastructure, this means investing in equipment that can accommodate a business over the next five years of growth. If the business stagnates, then much of the initial investment is wasted, and you’re left with underused equipment. On the other hand, if the business grows quicker than expected, you will have to expand or replace your existing system, which could cost as much as the initial investment.

Companies that manage an on-site PBX often find themselves limited when dealing with problems that occur with the PBX. Most problems can only be resolved through the provider, limiting the ways SMBs can approach and handle issues with their PBX. Without in-house staff to handle problems, resolving them quickly becomes a costly and time-consuming process.

Planning a self-hosted PBX solution also requires time, research, and expertise. This could present an unnecessary drain on smaller companies that don’t have dedicated or experienced staff.

How Hosted PBX can Help

With a hosted PBX solution, many of the issues faced with on-site solutions no longer apply. Hosted VoIP (PBXs) provide far more flexibility and functionality than SMBs could otherwise achieve. For instance, businesses using a hosted PBX can adjust the capacity of the PBX without having to make substantial hardware investments. Issues that occur with the PBX are handled by the provider, or are limited to the connection between the business and the service provider. More importantly, the time and costs associated with setting up, maintaining, and upgrading a PBX solution have already been accounted for by the provider, leaving SMBs with a lower overall cost and a substantially smaller time investment.

On-site PBX is generally better suited for companies that are established and can hire in-house technical staff. For businesses that are just starting out, or that don’t have the required expertise, hosted PBX offers an easier solution at a much lower cost.

At Layer Seven, it's our job to reduce strain on your SMB by providing expert IT and phone system solutions. Need help discerning what your SMB needs? Give us a call at 619-473-5600 or simply contact us.

Key Points:

  • Many SMBs don’t have on-staff expertise to manage PBX

  • Large companies have in-house technicians, stable employee count, and little to no chance of moving

  • Problems with matching PBX size to business growth

  • Tendency is to provide for up to 5 years of growth. If business grows too rapid, the PBX needs to expand. If business stagnates, then PBX is wasted

  • Case study: PBX implementation at a bank never worked properly and became obsolete after 3 years

  • Cloud resolves many self-hosted issues

  • Prevents any ownership issues, e.g., if a partnership dissolves who gets the PBX?

  • Hosted PBX is much more flexible and offers more functionality than self-hosted