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Can I keep my PBX while migrating to VoIP?

Learn how you can keep your traditional PBX while you upgrade to VoIP gradually.

We've had our PBX for a few years, but it's not really showing any signs of wear and tear. We want to try VoIP,...

but are not sure if it's the right time or the right way to go.

For PBX users, the important thing to keep in mind is the system's longevity and ability to deliver a consistent, high quality voice experience. If that's all you really need or expect from your telephony system, then there's really no compelling reason to adopt VoIP. PBX systems typically involve a substantial capital investment, and even if it's fully amortized, you could still justify the status quo so long as it's holding up for everyday use.

However, if you think more strategically about how voice fits into your overall communications environment, VoIP starts to make more sense. In addition to reducing some key telephony costs – such as long distance and trunking – VoIP allows you to integrate telephony with the other modes of communicating, such as email, video and mobility. This enables a richer environment that enables improved productivity in addition to lowering your overall cost of communications.

The good news for PBX users is that VoIP can be gradually introduced, which means you can keep your PBX as long as you like. It's not necessary to have a wholesale replacement – or "forklift upgrade". As such, VoIP is not an either-or proposition, regardless of how old your PBX is. Most vendors offer hybrid solutions that allow you to VoIP-enable your PBX without making any capital investments. You may not get the full VoIP experience, but there will be enough tangible benefits to make the transition worthwhile as well as economical.

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