A trio of industry experts got together on Friday to discuss what a business can and should do if its phone system is costing it money. The answer is to drop the legacy communications system and adopt a more flexible and affordable cloud-based PBX and unified communications solution.
Panelists included Barry Derrick, product marketing manager at ADTRAN; Ira Feuerstein, director of North America channel sales at Nextiva; and Jim DeBald, vice president of channel sales at CoreDial.
Many smaller companies still use key systems and those solutions are not supported anymore, but customers have a comfort level established with such solutions, said Feuerstein, so it may be tough for them to wrap them minds around losing the box. Larger companies with more IT resources in place tend to be an easier sell because they have PBXs, he said.
Whatever the size of company and internal infrastructure, however, younger companies and staffs tend to be open to a move to VoIP and the cloud, said Derrick.
Making the switch from legacy equipment to newer, cloud-based VoIP technologies makes sense for anyone with an old-fashioned phone system that is unable to support remote workers, mobile capabilities, and collaboration tools, Feuerstein explained.
Derrick added that replacement parts and phones for legacy communications may also be unavailable or quite expensive, so it makes more sense to go with newer solutions with more capabilities.
Indeed. DeBald said that UC and mobility tend to be big motivators in getting businesses to move to the cloud. And if new solutions are implemented and managed properly, he said, customers love them.
That’s true, said Feuerstein, but things work out best when you take the time to really understand the needs of the customer during the sales process, and keep in mind that unified communications typically isn’t their area of expertise. That said, he urges companies to let customers tell the stories about how they do business and then offer suggestions on how unified communications can help them do what they do more efficiently and effectively.
ADTRAN is a leading infrastructure provider to telecom service providers and businesses that offers private cloud applications. Educational systems, both state and local, has been a UC sweet spot for ADTRAN, which also offers a managed service offering.
CoreDial has built and provides a PBX-plus cloud-based platform that allow interconnects, MSPs and VARs to offer cloud solutions. Nextiva, which was established in 2008, is company in the cloud communications space with 90,000 customers.