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RIP to the Hotel PBX – Has a tombstone been ordered for your PBX? – Part One

Let’s talk about the phone system at your hotel. It’s not a common topic and the reality is that yesterday’s PBX system is fading fast. Typically, this equipment lasts 10-15 years and requires, on average, 25 hours of service a month. With the turnover in the industry, this means that it is likely that anyone who initially oversaw the installation of this aging equipment is long gone, leaving a legacy that may very soon need to be replaced.

Alternatively, you may work at a hotel that has replaced parts through the years to keep the phone system up and running in a quasi-Frankenstein manner. If that’s the case, your hotel may have overspent by thousands of dollars because as the equipment began to age, the cost for replacement parts went up. Other hotels may have purchased low-cost “new/old” systems in the hopes that it would become someone else’s problem in the coming years.

If your hotel falls within any of these scenarios, your aging voice equipment may already be experiencing frequent service issues, disrupting your hotel’s daily operations. Those hoteliers who haven’t taken the time to consider their phone systems until they stop working will face costly repairs.

Advancing Communications Beyond the Room Phone

The phone system of yesterday can no longer handle today’s guest and hotel staff needs. Forward-minded hoteliers realize that today’s guests communicate in new and different ways. They also understand that it is imperative to adapt to recent trends. We see technological advancements across many aspects of the hospitality industry; however, one that is often overlooked is the phone system.


The guest of today is a different one from yesterday. Business travelers are turning to the “work from anywhere” model as corporations loosen their control over in-office restrictions or close their offices altogether. These guests often carry a laptop or other device and expect reliable WIFI. They will be less likely to depend on the phone in the room but may still look to the hotel for a reliable wake-up call or to communicate with the front desk.

That being said, the reality is that the hotel room phone serves a much different purpose than it did in the past. But that doesn’t mean your communication system needs to remain stagnate. In fact, due to the accessibility the cloud provides, cloud communication systems not only provide ongoing updates to the backend of the system but also help your hotel remain current.

For instance, we are all familiar with 911. But another three-digit code was implemented in July of 2022 by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. A new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline went live to help anyone experiencing a mental health emergency. In the past, implementing a change like this would have taken resources and technical support to switch over hotel PBX systems to accommodate this new service. Cloud communication system developers only needed to upload the changes via the cloud to ensure all hotels could provide this service to their guests.

The advent of the cloud, the ubiquity of the cell phone, and the ability of software companies to automatically update software from the cloud have changed ours and many other industries completely. In fact, today’s cloud-based, enterprise-class smart phone systems can perform functions that yesterday’s PBX could not.

In part two, we will examine some of the advantages of a smart phone system to help you better visualize the advantages of moving your communications to the cloud.

Don’t waste any more money on your old system. As parts begin to fail, they will become more expensive to replace. Budget season is upon us, so the time is now to re-visit replacing old equipment with a state-of-the-art, cloud communications system.

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.

Read part two here.