Everything is going to the cloud. We’ve got virtual servers, video/music streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime Video Streaming), and even email has gone to the cloud with Google’s G-Suite, Microsoft’s Office365, and great systems like Zimbra.
Many manufacturers around the world have closed down their premise-based PBX businesses such as Siemens, Ericcson, Harris, Hitachi, and Fujitsu to name a few. Avaya Communications of the US bought up NorTel Networks of Canada and went bankrupt with approximately $2B USD of debt. They are now is back in business (just not sure how long). InterTel, ShoreTel, Toshiba Communications, and Aastra were swallowed up by Mitel Networks. In short, maybe not the time to buy hardware? Unless you are buying Mitel or Cisco equipment for your private communications network as these firms are in good shape financially.
Everything is going to the cloud. When you buy a PBX phone system, you lock yourself in to monthly costs, maintenance costs for systems, and the upgrade cycle for replacing hardware as it goes out of date or has security issues.
The easy part of going to the cloud communications is this.
- You eliminate the need to buy telephone lines (ISDN or SIP even) from a telecom carrier
- You put your organization on a software based services with mobile apps, softphones for Mac or windows (be sure to check your service) and desk-phones when you no longer have to buy maintenance contracts or systems for the server room
- With a good CSP (communications service provider) you can easily expand your users or cut back your users if necessary (be sure to check the details, we’re very flexible with iPBX Circle
- Integrations, integrations, integrations! If you’re using an open cloud service for CRM, ERP, ticketing, and so forth they should have an open interface (or API) to allow you to connect the system your team uses to service clients to the cloud communications service you talk to them through (this is why you have to beware of Microsoft sometimes).
If your organization is thinking to buy a PBX or on premise phone system, you better tell them to think again. In Japan, NEC is somewhat popular but it ends up just being a system with phones set on the desk that people use occasionally, if that.
In fact, in Japan the majority of people in business don’t use premise PBX voicemail, direct lines (as they just use group numbers). Additionally, there are few places that are able to connect their CRM or any other system to their PBX. NEC and Oki are the only major manufacturers left and who knows how long they will continue? Based on their competitors in Europe and North America, everything is going to software as a service, what some call UCaaS (Unified Communications As A Service).
There are many benefits to putting your communications into the cloud. Most importantly, getting systems out of your offices or server rooms so you can focus on expanding your business and being more efficient with all systems interconnected.
Interested in going to the cloud in Japan? Check out Japan’s fastest growing independently owned service, iPBX circle here