Hi, I’m Arnie from CDW. I’m taking over the NetFortris blog today to help those considering a Hosted VoIP business phone system weigh the pros and cons.

Part of my role at CDW is to support and lend my expertise to account managers and their customers as they choose between the myriad of available cloud services out there in the marketplace. During these conversations, we talk a lot about Hosted VoIP – especially now that its functionality equals or even surpasses legacy systems. Fonality asked me to share my thoughts and feelings on this important matter.

Here are my 10 reasons switching to Hosted VoIP is a smart move for your business — and three reasons you might want to stick with your traditional PBX.

Top 10 reasons to switch to Hosted VoIP

Dialing with dinosaurs. I hear this story all the time. "I have a 10-year-old phone system, they don't make the parts anymore and my service contracts are out. What am I going to do?" There aren’t many reasons to make another huge capital investment on equipment, and plenty of added features await if you ditch that dinosaur of a system.

  1. Limited (or no) IT resources. Many smaller businesses have no IT professionals – and those that do typically have two or fewer. They are responsible for accomplishing multiple tasks on any given day. Why be concerned with managing a phone system?

  2. Business process improvement. You want communications integrated into your business processes, and some of the features you can add once you move to Hosted VoIP make that possible. Once your voice traffic travels the information superhighway, you can integrate unified communications (UC) software or contact center features. You can’t do that with a traditional phone system.

  3. Predictable costs. From a pricing model perspective, Hosted VoIP is a predictable business expense. You know what you’re spending each month because of its fixed per-user cost structure which includes local and long distance voice usage. That's a huge advantage.

  4. OpEx > CapEx. Plenty of companies today don’t want to buy equipment and have that capital expense (CapEx) weigh them down with a depreciating asset. Most businesses want an operating expense (OpEx) model. Benefits including paying as you go and simplified accounting. Cash flow is crucial for your business success. Don’t tie your cash up in unnecessary telecom equipment purchases.

  5. Connecting multiple locations. Connecting locations with different telco providers can be complicated and add up to higher costs. With a Hosted VoIP system, those negatives fall like dominos.

  6. Office on the move. Do you really want to schlep an old phone system to a new location? Chances are the current phone system isn’t so current. Why reinvest in it by updating service contracts and doing more with the phone company? Make your escape.

  7. Not a phone company fan. Everyone who's owned a phone system has had to talk with customer service, either with the phone company or with the on‑site telephony company. One points the blame finger at the other. With Hosted VoIP, one trusted provider controls everything.

  8. Easy upgrades. Why pay someone to upgrade a private, on‑site telephony system? Put that same system in the cloud to receive automatic upgrades. You don’t ever have to worry about upgrades again.

  9. Outages aren’t acceptable. People like to think traditional phones are more reliable, but that’s simply not true. A phone system sitting in a closet down the hall is vulnerable. Power outages and bad weather are just two scenarios most of us have experienced in an office environment. Put a phone system in the Cloud to sharply reduce your outage potential. Then further decrease the risk with a provider that has multiple Hosted VoIP clusters in their cloud and redundant data centers that can fail over for those rare times they experience an issue.

3 reasons to wait

Despite the clear benefits, some organizations can’t pull the trigger today. Take a look at the three most common reasons to hold off – at least in the short term.

  1. Brand new PBX. If you have installed a new on-premise phone solution in the last three years, you likely are not a good fit for Hosted VoIP. You need to get the value out of your investment and probably want to let that equipment fully depreciate.

  2. Firmly grounded. Some companies and IT departments were born and raised managing their own phone systems. They don’t see the need for added phone features beyond the dial tone. Sometimes it’s company policy; other times it’s personal preference. That’s OK. I understand. Hosted VoIP will be here when you’re ready.

  3. Locked in a voice contract. A company with two or more years left on a voice contract probably is not a good candidate for Hosted VoIP. You may find the termination penalties too high – even in light of the cost savings Hosted VoIP often delivers. Unlike the two scenarios above, you’re not left out it the cold, however. Providers with a hybrid hosted solution can help you get more out of your plain old telephone service (or POTS). An IP-PBX system can use copper wires but give you access to cloud-based UC and admin capabilities your telephone company never dreamed possible.

Now or Later?

As you can see from the many benefits and the few reasons to wait, Hosted VoIP is very relevant for your business. There’s never been a better time to upgrade your business phone service experience, add features that increase employee productivity, and bolster your bottom line by making the move to a cloud business phone solution with unified communications.

Moreover, the benefits are excellent even if your business’s current extenuating circumstances counter migrating to Hosted VoIP presently. Eventually, investments get recouped and contracts run out. When that time comes for your business, I am just a click or call away.

Guest blogger Arnie Becker is a Senior Aggregation Infrastructure and Managed Services Specialist at CDW, a Fonality Partner. During his nearly 10 years in this role, Arnie has seen the Hosted VoIP industry mature from a residential, consumer-grade service to an enterprise-class technology that meets and exceeds the needs of an ever-increasing number of CDW customers. Reach Arnie at