Are in-house business phone systems becoming museum pieces?


Despite the unprecedented growth in the take-up of host business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and internet protocol (IP) telephony in recent years, many enterprises would still probably express surprise at the suggestion that premises-based – or ‘legacy’ – phone exchanges should be consigned to the museum.

Yet this is the proposal – albeit tongue-in-cheek – from IP telephony software supplier Metaswitch.

The organisation has announced its intention to create an online museum of legacy business phone systems exchanges (PBXs) and has called for those with experience of these increasingly dated technologies to upload any photographs they might have of such equipment, or even to simply send in their memories.

Good-naturedly, the campaign website proclaims:

“Still have one [legacy PBX] in your office? Go take one last look, for old times’ sake and send us a photo.”

As an incentive to participate in the promotion, Metaswitch is offering all those who forward their photographs or memories a humorous book of nursery rhymes updated for the internet age – entitled ‘Silver Linings: Nursery Rhymes for Cloudy Times’.

With regard to the serious side as to why enterprises are increasingly seeking the services of a business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller rather than sticking with legacy business phone systems, Metaswitch’s vice-president of marketing, Steve Gleave, said that premises based PBXs were:

“…pretty expensive to buy, costly to maintain, and a chore to administer…Our research indicates nearly 70% of SMEs are considering IP voice services in the next two years.”

Although the drive to gain access to the benefits of IP telephony and business VoIP systems can also be fulfilled with replacement in-house IP telephony-compatible business phone systems, these can prove prohibitive to many smaller enterprises, providing a further reason why Cloud-based IP telephony from a business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller is currently growing in popularity.