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RIP to the Hotel PBX – Murder in the Telco Room – Part Three

In part one of this series we looked at the systems of the past and why they are no longer relevant. Part two discussed the advancement of cloud communications. In this final episode, we will provide you with a direct comparison of yesterday’s phone systems and today’s communication systems.

Comparing the facts

Essentially, we need to change our vocabulary. Traditional phone systems (PBXs) are not communication systems. Let’s explore the differences:

Phone Systems

Communication Systems

Limited to in-house hardwired telephones and PBX systems. No ability to update to new forms of communications. Easily incorporates various mediums of communication including physical phones, SMS/texting, email, one-way, two-way, real-time, the ability to post and read messages, and video capabilities.
Requires physical telephones and is useless without a physical hardwired phone. Doesn’t require telephones as part of the communication medium.
Stand alone, with no connection to the cloud, and no ability to be updated remotely. Are remotely managed, updated and monitored, so a technician is rarely required onsite.
A PBX purchased today begins aging immediately and remains a ‘PBX with yesterday’s technology’ for the next 10-15 years until it is upgraded. More flexible and scalable. Does not age like a traditional PBX and will update with technology.


Uncovering today’s harsh reality – Why it’s time to bury that old equipment

There’s a greater change coming to older properties that has been looming since 2019 when the Federal Communication announced that the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), also known as analog copper-wire phone lines or plain old telephone service (POTS) is reaching retirement age after a very long run that started in 1876. After almost 150 years, it’s no surprise that other technologies – primarily mobile networks and Voice Over Internal Protocol (VoIP) phone services – have eliminated the need for POTS infrastructure.

The FCC tightly regulated POTS service through the 1990s, when copper wires were the only way to make phone calls and the internet was still in its infancy. Now, as the directive from the FCC’s 2019 order makes clear, the agency no longer sees any reason to require carriers to continue POTS service. Legacy telecom carrier services will continue to increase in price and older legacy telecom carrier services will likely be decommissioned.

Simply updating to ‘newer’ carrier services may not even be an option with an older PBX system. For instance, that old PBX system may not have the appropriate line card to support newer carrier services. By updating your communication system and services in advance, you will avoid a ‘rush’ scenario where a new phone system is required, resulting in limited time to explore all options. In addition, you can avoid paying the increasing costs of those legacy phone systems.

Today’s communication system providers should be able to provide various methods of communication not just voice. The system should evolve as communication needs changes. Cloud-based systems provide the ability for your telco system to communicate with other cloud-based systems, for example, hosted PMS systems. In addition, these systems should have redundancy methods with services distributed across different geographies.

It’s important to understand what an upgrade will cost and what the process will be when selecting a cloud-based communications system. The effort, training, and support during and after the process are key. Finally, additional services such as voicemail and call accounting are built into a communication system and do not require physical hardware, so you will not incur additional costs for such services. Just like the process of updating your PMS or RMS system remotely through the cloud, updated telecommunication features such as SMS texting are built-in, so no additional hardware is required. Additionally, it can be updated periodically without the need for third-party or onsite technicians.

So, we’ve solved the mystery of the death in the telco room and while no one can say exactly how technology will look over the next 5, 10, or 15 years, we can say for certain that technology will continue to evolve and improve over that time. Remember when exploring new communication systems, you look for equipment and software that can keep up with the advancements of today’s (and tomorrow’s) innovations.

Want to learn more about how you can save money with today’s best-of-breed communication systems? Contact to learn how you can save money and reduce friction through an end-to-end cloud communication platform.