How old is your company’s phone system? It may be relatively new, perhaps installed within the last 10 years, but the basic technology powering the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) found in many American companies, is entering its fifth decade. In other words, a PBX was in use at the White House when President Nixon wanted to talk on his “Red Phone” with world leaders. If you’re too young to get this reference, then you’ll understand just how out of date your businesses phone system is.

A lot has changed with how the world communicates since the 70s. It’s likely, your PBX system is not well equipped to handle the surge of next-generation communications features your organization needs to improve productivity. It’s time to catch up and understand your options for phone service. Today, we work in an era of IP communications, voice over IP (VoIP) which places your voice calling and related services, like video chat, across the corporate IP data network. From higher performance standards, to simplifying network operations, to providing the flexibility to seamlessly incorporate new communications applications as they come online, VoIP offers a number of striking business benefits.  Here are five reasons to consider VoIP for your business:

1. Modern Communication Capabilities Are IP-Based

It’s already started to happen. Leading businesses of all sizes are converging and simplifying the management of their voice and data networks by implementing VoIP for voice communications. They’re doing this for greater efficiencies, cost savings and flexibility. Beyond VoIP, companies are embracing Unified Communications (UC) capabilities such as video calling, instant messaging, and more to enhance communication. Additionally, UC solutions are now integrated with enterprise business technologies such as CRM and productivity applications to further enhance communications.

2. Enables a Mobile Workforce

The modern workforce is becoming more and more mobile. Employees need and want the flexibility to work from anywhere – on the road, in the office, at home, at the coffee shop and beyond. Studies have shown that only one in five white-collar workers is in the office full time. VoIP solutions let your employees work remotely, from virtually anywhere, as if they were physically in the office. With either a PC or mobile phone application, they can use VoIP to stay in touch with co-workers and customers with features such as a single phone number and voice mail to text services.

3. Reduces Costs 

Legacy phone system maintenance costs rise with age. It also takes a lot of people to manage aging voice and data systems separately. This costs money that can be better spent on more strategic growth initiatives. VoIP , lets you consolidate your network infrastructure, converging data and voice networks into one,  simplifying management and scale better to the business’s needs. VoIP solutions replace non-extensible hardware with scalable architecture, lower deployment costs while accelerating the provisioning of new business services. Better still, VoIP vendors continue to aggressively pursue new customers with competitively priced bundles of voice and data.

4. Provides Built In Redundancy and Recovery

Traditional legacy phone systems don’t provide much in the way of protection against outages or facility damage. Business continuity is not considered among their strongest features.  This can be disastrous for any company with client-facing operations. VoIP solutions, such as SIP trunking and hosted IP , provide self-service portals and automated geo-redundant fail over in case the primary routes become unavailable. They eliminate single-point–of-failure risks because they’re hosted in the cloud, so phone service will stay up regardless of whether your power went out, the building is on fire, or other service impacting events.

5. Legacy Phone Systems Are Being Replaced

Legacy PBX and TDM systems are quickly heading in the direction of Nixon’s Red Phone. They’re not just approaching end of support, they’re coming up on end of life. Companies still using them will face a critical decision: expend valuable capital to upgrade their premises-based equipment or get ahead of the game and migrate to a cloud-based VoIP solution.

CenturyLink can help you provide today’s employees with all the benefits of VoIP:  new apps, platforms, and experiences they desire. Our customer-proven VoIP solutions deliver the features and performance your business needs, while assuaging any concerns you may have about a change from the status quo. Explore the top 5 business benefits you can receive my making the switch to VoIP in our Business Benefits of Moving to VoIP white paper. Contact us today to discover why there’s never been a better time to consider VoIP as you plan your company’s future voice and IT strategy.

This blog post originally appeared on ForbesVoice.

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