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Beyond Wires: When to Transition from Legacy On-Premise Phones to Cloud-Based Systems

Beyond Wires: When to Transition from Legacy On-Premise Phones to Cloud-Based SystemsBeyond Wires: When to Transition from Legacy On-Premise Phones to Cloud-Based Systems
Upgrading from on-premise phones to cloud-based VoIP systems

Updated: March 5th, 2024. 

The first telephone was invented in the mid-1900s. A century later, many households had a landline, a technology businesses used to reach customers. As the telephone industry grew, businesses found new customer outreach methods. Call centers enjoyed the latest communication systems provided by the then-new private switchboards. As time passed, the preliminary elements of modern cloud-based call systems emerged.

In the 1970s, businesses could hire automatic call distribution systems. This invention automatically forwards calls to available agents without an operator.

The introduction of Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) has revolutionized phone centers by enhancing their capabilities and introducing call conferencing, resulting in a significant improvement in call quality. Today, with the facilitation of high-speed internet, call centers can hire high-tech call services at the cost of an inexpensive subscription service.

Factors to Consider Before Upgrading

What should you consider when upgrading to level three VoIP communications?
What should you consider when upgrading to level three VoIP communications?

Major telecom companies have been announcing their migration to cloud-based phone systems. As an ambitious business, you can be caught off guard without first pausing and considering the key factors. Here’s what to think:

1. Your communication infrastructure

Audit your communication infrastructure and identify what you need to upgrade. Are you looking for a better service provider or something more than that, like improving operational efficiency? Are you intending to do a complete haul, or are there aspects of your infrastructure that still mean good to your business?

Consider your legacy on-premise call system's main challenges and what an upgrade could solve. You also want to identify any recurring challenges your teams or clients face with your current communication system.

2. What service provider are you looking for?

This is best answered by determining which features you’re looking for. You might have had enough of the routing or call forwarding challenges. Are you in need of more advanced video or audio conferencing? How extensive is your customer base, and what would help fill your current gaps?

If you want to communicate with a global audience, then a cloud-based phone system will provide the tools you'll need for a smooth operation. Even better, if you’re just starting out and need a bare-bones service, several cloud-based providers offer such subscriptions.

3. What are your migration plans?

Migration refers to converting the technology from one technology to another, in this case, from on-premise phones to cloud-based phones. This is why it is best to consider which migration plans will work best for your business. If you plan to do a progressive migration, identify which parts of your system you’d start with and why. On the other hand, if you plan to do a rapid migration in one go, consider which departments the migration will affect and plan accordingly.

4. Budget

A typical cloud-based migration goes heavy on investment. However, most providers come with different services with different price tags. So, consider how much your business can afford without straining. Also, ensure the subscription you sign up for is manageable and can be paid for regularly.

5. Downtime

Inquire with your service provider about how much downtime you expect with their services. Then, consider how that time would affect your business. Seek out three or four service providers and compare their plans to establish how much downtime your business can afford.

How to Know It’s Time to Shift

When is the right time to upgrade to cloud-based phone systems?
When is the right time to upgrade to cloud-based phone systems?

Sometimes, it’s easy to think that your legacy on-premise call system is still relevant, especially if it brings you a few bucks. Deciding to make a “financially draining investment” becomes more challenging. However, it’s time to face your fears and decipher when to make the move.

1. Your phone system is becoming outdated

Businesses can attest to the fact that every investment they make that is heavy on technology needs constant upgrading and revamping. However hefty that may sound, agreeing to upgrade to level three communication VoIP systems in time soars them above the game. Such is the case with your phone system.

Now that legacy on-premise phone systems are becoming obsolete, you may find them expensive to maintain. Such a communication system will technically be useless in the future as it needs traditional phone lines and adapts traditional communication features. Instead of spending much to sustain such a slowly waning system, consider upgrading and be surprised at how sustainable that is.

2. You’re experiencing limited scalability

If your business is doing well in terms of marketability, then you need a reliable, time and cost-effective communication system. Your legacy on-premise system might slack your business due to its slow nature compared to modern standards, your call volume will overwhelm your phone system, and you may find it hard to achieve corporate expansion.

Your legacy on-premise phone system makes it challenging to add new users, which could hinder the growth of your business. When you have maximized the number of users on your existing on-premise phone, it is time to upgrade and unleash your business’s full growth potential.

3. You keep missing calls from your clients

As a business owner, the last thing you want is to never be available for your clients. You’d lose them to your competitors and never regain them. Unfortunately, chaining your employees to the desk for calls may result in this. The calls may often come through when your employee is not at the desk. Besides, sitting at the desk to wait for an unpredictable call is boring in and of itself. 

With an upgrade to a cloud-based system, your employees become more productive and even render the need for a physical office useless, allowing them to receive orders and complete them remotely.

4. You’re missing some must-have features for better communication

In today’s world, you want to do all it takes to keep your business ahead of the competition. Communication is an important aspect of this competition, and you want to ensure you have features that could enhance convenience and scale your operations.

No one wants to invest in an old communication system that would need expensive features and reap the least benefits. Instead, hire an all-inclusive, modern-day standard phone system that your business can afford to maintain while earning massive returns.

Advantages of Cloud-Based Phone Systems

How does a cloud-based phone system benefit my business?
How does a cloud-based phone system benefit my business?

Some benefits of cloud-based phone systems include the following:

1. Remote work adaptability

Going by the name, legacy on-premise phone systems require you to glue your employees to the office desk. While that worked previously, businesses are performing even better when working remotely. This means your employee doesn’t have to be unproductive to receive a mere phone call. Instead, they can do it on the go or while attending to other business needs, like making business visits.

2. Integration with other business systems

Cloud-based phone systems integrate with business software such as customer relationship management (CRM). As such, your sales teams can easily record customer details and needs. Besides, if clients find a different agent on the call, they won’t have to give their details all over again, as CRM software helps them access such information quickly and easily.

3. Security and reliability

You want to protect your clients against spam callers, and cloud-based phone systems have software to identify and block such calls. Besides, saving data on cloud-based phones is reliable due to the security controls the provider puts in place, regardless of natural disasters or calamities. Even when faced with a fire outbreak, your business operations can continue when you get new devices and sign up for the services.

4. Ease of maintenance and updates

Legacy phone systems keep draining your pocket because of the constant maintenance, new hardware, and IT support needs. However, your subscription costs do not vary by usage with cloud-based phone systems. So, you can expand your business with such costs at a constant rate.

5. Customer support and Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Cloud-based phone system providers generally provide Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and a range of customer support options in order to guarantee an unparalleled level of service. Dedicated customer support teams are frequently accessible via multiple channels, including live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, certain providers may provide round-the-clock assistance to attend to customers' inquiries whenever they arise.

SLAs are contractual agreements that define the expected service levels, timeframes for responses, and ramifications for failure to fulfill said standards. Cloud-based phone system providers frequently implement SLAs to ensure a specific degree of service reliability and quality.

6. Regulatory compliance

Customers and partners want to sign up for deals after knowing their information is safe and secure. Hence, cloud-based phones follow strict protocols to secure your customers’ data, whether it be through encryption, network monitoring, or proper firewall configuration. Besides, you can more easily comply with privacy and security protocols with cloud-based phones because of the software embedded in the system.

How Do You Upgrade to a Cloud-Based Phone System?

Upgrading to a cloud-based phone system: Steps to take.
Upgrading to a cloud-based phone system: Steps to take.

You can begin by working with an internal IT team to audit the existing infrastructure and establish what equipment can help you with the migration and what you need to buy. Then, source the best cloud-based service provider, which should help you throughout the migration process.

RingCentral is a good option if you are looking for advanced contact center capabilities that enhance customer support levels. Still, if you need top-flight support, extensive application integration, and collaboration features, Aircall could save the day. Furthermore, Ooma is a price-friendly option with a considerably large cloud infrastructure and offers high-uptime services.


If you have struggled to keep all your customers in the loop or find it challenging to be accessible consistently, it’s time to start the upgrade. With cloud-based phone systems, you’ll be customer-focused, able to receive each call and scale your business.

All you want is to make your clients feel valued and listened to, and with better software integrated, you can achieve this without bothering your clients. Lock deals, be accessible, and be flexible with a futuristic cloud-based phone system.

We also recommend checking out our reviews of the best providers and comparing each one to find the best cloud-based system for your business. Furthermore, you can take a look at our blog page for more information on the industry. 

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