Read this before you buy a cloud phone system
Here Are the Answers to 13 Common Misconceptions About Cloud Phone Systems
1. HOSTED OR ‘CLOUD’ PBX’S HAVE A LOWER COST OF OWNERSHIP
Compare a one-time cost of $55 per user licence or an ongoing monthly cost of $19 per user licence. Why would you pay to just use (not own) a cloud phone system every month when you can use and own it for the same amount?
A cloud-based system may have low entry cost. However, it most certainly does have a higher recurring cost. This is never mentoned by cloud PBX vendors. Overall, this means little to no difference in costs.
2. WITH A HOSTED PHONE SYSTEM, YOU’LL GET ACCESS TO HIGH-LEVEL
Who do you call when things go wrong with your cloud phone system? Is it your IT provider? Is it your Internet provider? Is it the hosted PBX provider, or is it the various vendor(s) where you purchased the generic phones, the router or network switch?
If your phones stop, your business stops too. You need an expert who can get you back up and running asap!
3. A HOSTED PHONE SYSTEM IS SIMPLE TO INSTALL, IT’S JUST PLUG-AND-PLAY
Don’t be fooled. Best practices mean every IP based phone system (cloud or on premise) must have the same network setup and be voice ready. This is a complex process that needs to be completed by suitably experienced voice professionals.
If the fundamental network settings are not configured correctly, the result is very poor voice quality on all phone calls.
4. Cloud PBX Installation and Support Technicians are Factory-trained and accredited
Few if any Cloud PBX providers employ their own technicians. They rely on your own IT provider or yet another outsourced IT contractor(s). Some Cloud PBX providers will only courier the equipment to your office and you have to install it yourself! The result is that you spend hour on the phone (your mobile) trying to get your desk phones working properly.
Is your IT company factory certified in all the different array of products that make up a cloud PBX? If not warrantees and guarantees are also at risk.
You only have to Google ‘cloud phone systems’ to reveal the myriad of IT companies now “also offering phone systems”. The web sites of these companies are focused on IT services. They also have a page or two promoting phone systems. It looks like phone systems are an afterthought for these IT companies …and they are!
5. A CLOUD-BASED PHONE SYSTEM IS BETTER
Cloud PBX vendors have just started their journey into telecommunications. Global telecommunication equipment manufacturers, like Panasonic, have been perfecting their product over the last three decades.
Hosted phone systems providers have a LOT of learning and development before they catch global experts like Panasonic.
6. IT’S OK; THERE’LL BE REGULATIONS AND LICENCING THAT GOVERN IT PROFESSIONALS WORKING ON OUR PHONE SYSTEM.
There are no regulations that govern IT Professionals who work on your phone system. Conversely, all dedicated phone system providers must hold and ACMA licence by law. ACMA stands for the Australian Communications Media Authority. Without your contractor holding an ACMA licence, you have no protection and are exposed to potential risks. Ask to sight the ACMA licence before you let an IT Professional work on your phone system.
7. IT COMPANIES HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO PROVIDE AND SUPPORT PHONE SYSTEMS.
Don’t be hoodwinked! This is not true. IT vendors sell and support IT equipment, NOT telephony equipment. Remember cloud-based PBX’s are an add-on (or afterthought) to go with their cloud-based IT platforms. There are so many areas of IT specialisation already, such as software coding, specific hardware pieces of hardware, software support, network construction and support and more. Voice is a highly specialised area. Typically, IT professionals are not experts in voice.
8. CLOUD IS THE ‘DOMAIN’ OF AN IT PROFESSIONAL
Software, Computers, Servers, Security, Anti-Virus, Data backup, Email issues, computer help desk windows support, routers, network switches most certainly are the domain of an IT professional. Unfortunately telephone systems are not.
9. WHAT IS THE DOMAIN OF AN IP TELEPHONY EXPERT?
Building and Installing IP networks and IP telephone systems.
10. CLOUD BASED PHONE SYSTEMS ARE FEATURE RICH.
Here is a typical list of a cloud-based PBX features- auto attendant, hunt groups, music on hold, call queuing, IVRs, voicemail to email, eFax, conference calls, video conferencing, call recording, hot desking, busy lamp field.
The Panasonic NS700 IP PBX has 77 features. That’s a massive difference. These features have been requested by end-users and perfected by Panasonic over the past 30 years!. Compare this to the 12 very basic features listed above and you’ll clearly see that cloud phone systems are definitely not smart. In fact, they are severely lacking in features.
11. HOSTED PHONE SYSTEMS ARE COBBLED TOGETHER BY AN IT GUY USING ALL MANNER OF EQUIPMENT BRANDS TO MAKE A TELEPHONE SYSTEM.
Typically, a cloud phone system uses a number of different manufactures in the mix of handsets, routers, switches, etc. that make up a phone system. Manufacturers have their own individual agenda’s. They care little for the implications of small changes as they continue to develop their product. Small changes in one item can leave the phone ‘system’ out of order or with severely limited features.
One small change by one manufacture can bring the deck of cards down. You’ll never see that with manufacturers of ‘on premise’ telephone systems. All components are fully integrated.
12. CALL QUALITY WILL DEPEND ON QUALITY OF YOUR INTERNET SERVICE
This is partly true. A large portion of voice quality faults are caused by internal equipment and poorly set up data networks. Refer to point #3
12. BOTTOM LINE …IS IT WORTH SWITCHING?
No! You’ll pay more for less.