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How to Switch From Legacy PBX to Microsoft Phone System?

Premise-based Private Branch Exchange (PBX) solutions are becoming outdated, and enterprises are rapidly switching to cloud solutions and Unified Communications as a Service (USAs) solutions. While office phone systems have evolved considerably in the last few years, the necessity to switch to cloud solutions has never been so acutely felt since the onset of the pandemic. Enterprises with legacy phone systems realized they could not carry out even critical operations with their existing solutions. It is time to change to IP-based solutions and in this article, we strengthen the case to switch from legacy PBX to Microsoft Phone System.

What Are the Risks of Using Legacy PBX?

A legacy PBX solution is not only expensive and difficult to maintain, but it can also prove to be risky. Here are some reasons why on-premises PBX may no longer be the best choice for businesses.

  • Fiber-optic alternatives have replaced copper infrastructure, and most major carriers are discontinuing their support and maintenance of copper telephone network facilities that are necessary for PSTN (public switched telephone network) services that work with legacy PBX solutions.
  • Support for Primary Rate Interface (PRI) technology used in premises-based PBX systems will be shut off between 2020-2025 by most major manufacturers.
  • Workflows and productivity are hampered by the compulsion to use office-based work lines in legacy PBX systems.

Why Switch from Legacy PBX to Microsoft Phone System?

Microsoft is a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for upas solutions. With advanced features such as an auto-attendant, cloud voicemail, call queues, compliance recording, and audio-conferencing, Microsoft Phone System offers powerful virtual calling features that are not available in legacy PBX systems. Here are some reasons for enterprises to choose Microsoft Phone System to replace their legacy PBX.

  • A significant number of businesses that use PBX systems already have Microsoft enterprise license agreements that make Microsoft Teams the preferred choice for unified communications.
  • Microsoft applications and services, such as Exchange Online, Azure Active Directory, and SharePoint that have become industry standards, and are a part of the Office 365/ Microsoft 365 plans are built to work with the solution.
  • The familiarity with Microsoft Teams for daily meetings and messages reduces the learning curve for employees to use the solution.

How to Upgrade to Microsoft Phone System from Legacy PBX?

One of the major advantages of the Microsoft Phone System over similar solutions is the flexibility that offers in terms of choice between Direct Routing and Calling Plans.

Phone System Deployment with Calling Plans

Microsoft Calling Plans is a service provided by Microsoft through Office 365/ Microsoft 365 plans that bundles a certain number of minutes, and phone numbers for users, thereby eliminating the need for a PSTN carrier contract.

This is an all-in-the-cloud solution in which Microsoft Teams users will have a cloud PBX with auto-attendants, call queues, caller ID, and other features with Microsoft-managed access to the PSTN. While this is the simplest, and most stable deployment, it is only available in 18 countries.

Phone System Deployment with Direct Routing

With this option, enterprises can continue to use their existing telephony network.

In the case of Direct Routing, Microsoft Phone System connects with the existing Session Border Controller (SBC). There is no need to port the number provided by your carrier, or change the on-premises telephony equipment, if it is supported. This deployment is used when Calling Plans are not available in the country, there is a need for mixed routing or a requirement for interoperating with third-party PBXs, existing analog devices, and other such scenarios.

Apps4Rent Can Help in Upgrading Legacy PBX

While it is easy to switch from a legacy PBX to Microsoft Phone System with Calling Plans, it is not only restricted to a few countries but can become expensive, especially for enterprises that do not have Office 365/ Microsoft 365 E5 plans. In most cases, organizations have more complex network topologies that need customization.

As a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP, Apps4Rent can not only provide licenses for Microsoft Phone System but can also assist in customizing the solution based on your organization’s requirements. Alternatively, we can configure Issabel PBX on Azure, a more affordable open-source alternative with similar features. Contact our cloud telephone experts, available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email for assistance.

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