Why IT Can’t Seem to Let Go of Traditional PBX Phone Systems

Letting go of traditional (PBX) phone systems is proving to be more difficult for some companies than expected. IP telephony adoption has been steady, but it’s occurring at a very slow rate. So why are IT departments dragging their feet? Below, I’ve broken down the three main reasons why IT professionals are seemingly reluctant to implement IP telephony.

  1. Trust and Reliability: Businesses have come to trust traditional phone systems because they have provided reliable and predictable service throughout the years. For many businesses, voice communication is critical to their overall success. Since traditional phone systems haven’t evolved over time, businesses feel that they don’t need to worry about any unexpected changes or problems. Implementing a new technology can be perceived as risky, which explains why IT professionals are not always eager to make the change. If the IP based phone system that they install does not operate the way they anticipate, it could reflect poorly on the IT staff member who recommended the switch.
  2. Knowledge: IT professionals may not be fully aware of the numerous benefits offered by IP phone systems. Legacy phone systems are only capable of transmitting voice, while IP based systems can carry voice, data, and video. This allows for companies to utilize features like video conferencing, which is quickly becoming a very popular communication tool because it allows for employees to communicate with other team members or customers face to face without ever leaving their office. Since IP phone systems use the internet to operate, the service can be easily scaled to meet the needs of the business. There is also minimal hardware costs associated with IP based phone systems because they use the Internet as the backbone of the network.
  3. Future Operations: Although traditional phone systems may be working well for business today, they won’t be effective for the ways that companies will need to communicate in the future. New technologies provide businesses with more communication methods, allowing for them to connect with employees and customers in a variety of ways. As more and more businesses migrate to IP based phone systems, traditional PBX support and vendors are declining. A recent study conducted by Infonetics Research found that the percentage of companies using IP phone systems will rise from 38% today to 58% by the year 2015. Researching IP based phone systems and starting the implementaiton process sooner, rather than later, will ensure that your business isn’t “left behind”.

Simply updating your existing traditional phone system is no longer enough, and businesses need to get serious about adopting an IP based phone system. As more and more companies make the switch, it will only get more difficult for IT employees to avoid the change. Although IT staff members may be concerned about implementing new technologies, it may be more damaging to wait. IT employees that are not on top of the latest technology trends could appear as though they’re falling behind, which would reflect poorly on their performance and expertise.

Blog Author: Vanessa Hartung

Sources: Infonetics Research Study: http://www.infonetics.com/pr/2013/SIP-Trunking-and-SBC-Enterprise-Survey-Highlights.asp


  1. If the IT guys are reluctant to implement IP telephony, then what DO they use?

    • Many are dragging their feet and keeping their existing PBX phone system for as long as they can, while a few smaller sized companies (less than 40 employees) use Key or Keyless Systems, which offers only the most basic telephone needs. Both these systems are only able to provide voice based services, so the number of features they are able to offer is limited. With IP based systems, there are several features to choose from, as well as cost savings and easy scalability.

  2. Excellent post! We will be linking to this great content on our
    site. Keep up the great writing.

  3. Avery Wilson says:

    I can agree with the fact that traditional PBX phone systems are declining. They’ve actually come out with advanced PBX phone systems so you can receive calls to your cell phone as well.

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