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10 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Business Phone System

If you’re considering a phone system upgrade, you have some important questions you need answered.

Is this the right time to upgrade? Will upgrading even make a difference to my business? Will the effort be worth it? Am I really missing out on much if I don’t upgrade?

This guide is for you if you’re on the fence about replacing your legacy phone system with a modern one. We’ll take you through these 10 signs it’s time to upgrade your business phone system:

  1. Your phone system costs too much
  2. Your phone system is becoming obsolete
  3. Your phone system can’t grow with your business
  4. Your phone system lacks important features
  5. Your phone system is vulnerable to outages
  6. Your phone system has security vulnerabilities
  7. Your call quality and reliability is getting worse
  8. Your phone system can’t support remote employees
  9. Your business needs unified communications
  10. Your phone system is crucial to your business

1. Your phone system costs too much

Is your phone bill high and unpredictable? If so, upgrading your phone system to Voice over IP (VoIP) is an easy, cost-saving win. The cost of legacy phone systems adds up quickly due to on-site equipment, licensing, maintenance, new phone lines, technicians, and international calls.

Switching to a cloud phone system can save up to 60% off your phone bill. It enables you to:

  • Use your existing broadband connection instead of costly hardware and wiring.
  • Save on calling expenses thanks to unlimited free local and low-cost international calling rates.
  • Manage your phone system from a user-friendly dashboard and let your VoIP provider handle the rest.
  • Add new phone lines, as well as entire new locations, at a minimal cost.

It’s simple, a landline phone system costs you around $50 per line each month and usually only includes local calls in that rate. Depending on your needs and the provider you choose, a VoIP phone system will typically cost you less than $25 per line and you’ll know exactly what your bill will be every month.

Related: How to Switch to VoIP and Save Up To 60% off Landlines

2. Your phone system is becoming obsolete

It’s not just expensive to maintain, but it also relies on technology that will eventually go out of date. Every time a piece of your equipment fails, it will get harder for you to find replacement parts and a technician that can handle the fix.

It will also get more difficult for you to get new technology solutions added to your tech stack if your phone system is running a decade or more behind. They won’t be compatible and it will bring you more frustration than benefits.

Want to add a CRM, new office phones with fancy features, or internal collaboration tools to your setup? Consider a phone system upgrade at the same time.

3. Your phone system can’t grow with your business

Is your company growing fast and/or expanding to new locations?

Is it complicated and expensive for you to add new phone lines and/or open new offices?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, you’re ready for a new business phone system. It makes no sense to hold onto a phone system that delays your growth or prevents it altogether.

VoIP scales with your business as it grows and expands. Adding new phone lines and users can be done with a few clicks. You can also add calling features to accommodate busier seasons. You won’t get this scalability and flexibility with legacy systems.

4. Your phone system lacks important features

You might be perfectly satisfied with the functionalities of your current phone system. After all, it’s all about making and receiving phone calls, and that works just fine, right?

Think again.

Features that come with cloud telephony can take everyone’s productivity to the next level. It’s not just about the phone calls themselves, but also about everything that happens around them.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself about your current business communication processes:

  • Who answers customer calls? Are calls routed based on customer type, issue, and purpose, or does it end up with any available agent?
  • Do your customers have to queue for a long time before they speak to an agent?
  • Can you monitor your call quality?
  • Do your employees need to manually transcribe voicemails they receive?

If these questions showed you that you could have much more efficient workflows, you need new features. Upgrading your phone system will give you access call routing, auto-attendant, call recording, voicemail-to-text, and many other features that will transform the way you communicate.

5. Your phone system is vulnerable to outages

If your phone system is down, can you keep on working? Can your customers still get what they need from you easily?

If your answer is ‘no,’ it means that every phone system outage creates frustration for your customers and brings your sales (and cash flow) to a halt.

Natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, outdated infrastructure, and aging equipment can all throw your traditional phone system out of the game. Outages are expensive not just to physically fix, but also because they can lead to lost sales and even damage your reputation in the long run.

When you upgrade your phone system, here’s how you’re protected from these risks:

  • Phone lines run over the internet, so factors like bad weather won’t disrupt your service
  • If there’s an interruption to the service, your incoming calls can be automatically forwarded to a different number, like a mobile device
  • If an issue does occur, your service provider can troubleshoot and fix it remotely

VoIP offers a level of disaster recovery capabilities that a legacy phone system can’t match. And with a provider like Nextiva, you’ll have a 99.999% uptime thanks to our multiple data centers, back-up generators, and 24/7 monitoring.

6. Your phone system has security vulnerabilities

Whether you’re a small business or large enterprise, security is never trivial.

If you’re using a traditional phone system, also known as the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), your calls are transmitted using audio signals which attackers can easily intercept—too big of a risk to take.

VoIP phone systems, on another hand, offer higher security, reliability, and privacy to businesses. Respected VoIP providers invest in military-grade security using Session Border Controllers (SBCs). SBCs act as firewalls that maintain performance and logical call routing, so your data never ends up in the wrong hands.

Depending on your industry, you may also need to look for these accreditations in your VoIP provider:

  • HIPAA compliance if you’re a healthcare service provider
  • PCI compliance if you accept credit card payments
  • ISO/IEC 20071 as a global standard for assessing security threats
  • SOC 2 compliance in privacy, security, availability, and data integrity

Cloud phone systems meet the strictest security standards. Don’t make your phone system security and afterthought and wait until it’s too late.

Related: Is VoIP Reliable? Nine Helpful Tips You Must Know

7. Your call quality and reliability is getting worse

One of the fastest ways to look unprofessional in front of a customer is through a call that drops or gets choppy.

Poor audio quality will force you to repeat yourself, or ask your caller to do so, deal with background noise, and run inefficient conference call meetings.

If this is your current reality, it’s time to upgrade to a VoIP solution.

High-quality calls are possible on VoIP thanks to HD voice codecs that compress and decompress audio for rapid transmission over the internet. This technology works smoothly through VoIP phones and softphone apps.

Advancements in voice quality on VoIP will make you feel as if you’re in the same room as your caller.

The best part? Once you have a cloud phone system, a compatible VoIP desk phone or a mobile phone app, and sufficient bandwidth, you don’t have to do anything to experience HD voice. Simply get your phone service provider to make sure HD voice is enabled for your account.

8. Your phone system can’t support remote employees

More than 38% of companies today have remote employees. Is your company one of them? If not, what’s holding you back? Chances are that the answer is along the lines of “We just don’t know how to make it happen with our current phone system.”

Remote work statistics

If your employees make and receive lots of calls and collaborate often, this is a reasonable challenge. If you want to add a phone line that isn’t connected to an office phone, your legacy phone system will hold you back. If an employee is moving locations, they can’t just easily move their phone number with them.

With VoIP, your employees can be more mobile and flexible.

When you move your phone system to the cloud, your employees don’t need to be connected to the same network of physical phone lines. They can take their phone number and all their phone features home with them through a softphone or a VoIP desk phone.

This upgrade will keep your entire workforce connected while housing all your communications on a single phone system that’s easy to manage. Your remote teams can stay organized, focused, and flexible in their workday.

9. Your business needs unified communications

Another downside of a traditional phone system is that it exists outside of your other business communication systems. If you use anything other than phone calls and voicemail—including email, chat, text messages, and web, audio, and video conference calls—you can’t integrate your phones with the rest.

Unified communications bring all of your communication channels together. It streamlines both your internal and external communication.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a unified communications model that lets you run all your systems and tools from the same software solution.

UCaaS for your internal communication means you’re bringing your meetings, calls, file sharing, chat, tasks, and all internal collaboration into one place and accessible from anywhere.

It also drives customer retention and loyalty because it lets your customers choose the channel they can contact you through so you can serve them better. If someone contacts you through email, phone, and website chat, UCaaS makes it possible to track all of these interactions in one place.

The end result? Ultimate connectivity. You’ll get to work with hyper-focused teams and provide exceptional customer service to your customers, all from one place.

10. Your phone system is crucial to your business

Here’s a final question for you: on a scale of 1 to 10, how important is your phone system for your business success? If you use it to provide customer service, delight your customers, talk to prospects, close sales, and collaborate with coworkers, you’re pretty close to 10.

In other words, your phone system is what makes or breaks your productivity, your customer loyalty, and your chance to bring in new revenue.

If you can’t work without your phone system, you need one you can rely on in every circumstance. And if the one you currently have doesn’t give you that, it’s time for an upgrade.

You deserve a better business phone system

It’s time to get a new phone system—one that gives you the flexibility, scalability, pricing, features, and reliability to support your needs and growth.

That’s exactly what you’ll get with Nextiva’s small business VoIP system. It lets you work from anywhere, adjust your phone service as your business changes, and stay connected with your customers, employees, and partners.

Once you upgrade your phone system, you’ll never look back.

About the author

Devin Pickell is a Growth Marketer at Nextiva. He combines his skills in content marketing, SEO, data analysis, and marketing strategy to meet audiences at the right moment in their journey. He has helped scale SaaS brands like G2 and Sphere Software, and contributed to G2's traffic growth of more than 1 million visitors-per-month.