Contact Center Trends

How to Move Your Contact Center to the Cloud Without Throwing Your PBX in the Bin

By Eloísa Ferreira

0 min read


As I visit contact centers, I get to know their needs personally. One topic that usually comes up is how much the past investments in old solutions weigh in their decision to move the business to the cloud. Their on-premises PBX is the biggest concern, as it supports all internal telephony infrastructure and required huge investment and effort to install. To dissolve this investment demands deep financial and business justification.

In such cases, my advice is always to not drastically cut strings with the past but to integrate both technologies. It’s smoother to migrate technologies step-by-step, and a phased new implementation is easier to deal with internally than a harsh and radical new scenario.

How can you get the best of both worlds, by keeping your on-premises voice infrastructure while moving to the cloud?

Protect PBX investment

Yes, maintenance can be expensive and recurring, but it still costs less than the initial investment, which usually is a tough decision for most companies.

Nobody would want to let go of all the effort that’s required to build an on-premises PBX from scratch. Remember how time-consuming it was, from the heavy planning in hardware, licensing, set-up, installation, and training—not to mention all the maintenance costs for these components. Also, in case it becomes necessary to expand, there will also be the cost of the secondary investment, too.

This is a huge investment to lay off all of a sudden, and since PBX is usually already extremely tailored to a business’ needs, even smaller businesses have to expend heavy efforts to implement a PBX.

Add value with smart features

However, as a business grows, call volume increases and new communication channels arise. It’s recommended to have an easily scalable system that can escalate capacity on demand without the need to install new extensions or long adaptations.

This is where cloud software begins to add value. The modern cloud systems have the scalability potential and continuous integration of new features in regular releases in their DNA. Cloud contact centers’ solutions, either just voice or with an omnichannel blend, focus on releasing smart features that help boost productivity, maximize efficiency or expedite customer experience.

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Integrate to boost productivity

But do you need to give up your PBX to have a contact center on the cloud? The answer is: you don’t. Here’s why.

Nowadays, all PBX solutions have SIP trunking gateways, making it easy to interconnect to a cloud-native contact center, so there is no real deterrent to start providing your business with modern customer experience.

Most PBX systems allow basic call center capabilities such as making, receiving and recording calls, defining rules to forward calls amongst distribution lists, or setting IVR options.

However, these PBX systems lack the intelligent features needed to enjoy productivity increases like custom routing according to voice or emotional analytics, live call monitoring, and social media feedback.

Further, most detached PBX systems don’t allow agents to work remotely. By integrating it with a cloud contact center, it’s possible to give agents the flexibility in business operations and to work remotely, even in between customers’ field visits.

Whether your business is growing, or if you just want to prepare for the future and immediately start to take advantage of modern features that the cloud contact center world can provide, it’s always the right time to start integrating.


Eloísa Ferreira

Eloísa is Product Marketing Manager at Talkdesk. When she’s not working you can find Eloisa spending time with her pets and her family or working on her handmade soap business.