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While transitioning to cloud calling and maintain older, legacy PBXs and a UCaaS environment, businesses have a few management options to consider.

While businesses quickly adopted cloud-based conferencing and collaboration services during the pandemic, the same cannot be said about cloud-based calling. The reality is while cloud calling has been in the market for over 15 years, the majority of businesses are still on dedicated PBX solutions. Less than 40% of businesses worldwide have migrated to UC as a Service (UCaaS) and businesses are not moving fast to off on-prem PBXs. According to Metrigy’s MetriCast Workplace Collaboration study, 44% of businesses that are still utilizing on-prem calling have no immediate plans (within at least next 3 years) to migrate to full UCaaS.

For businesses that are in the migration cycle, according to worldwide respondents in the same study, the number one reason for moving to UCaaS is cost savings, followed by supporting a remote workforce, access to enhanced features, and scalability. Conversely, key factors for businesses sticking with on-premises based PBXs include ongoing ROI for voice systems, misconceptions around cloud calling, and competing priorities. As a driving factor on both sides (cloud and on-prem), cost is an important pivot point for switching.

As businesses migrate voice and UC solutions to cloud calling, there continues to be a need to maintain legacy PBX solutions on-premises during the transition to unify their solutions over time. Managing the migration to cloud calling depends on multiple factors but the larger the company the more complicated the transaction. Depending on the size of migration, the move to UCaaS can take months if not years.

Consider a real-life example, a global manufacturing firm with over 30,000 users has multiple, on-prem PBX systems across two different vendors and Microsoft Teams for collaboration and meetings. In 2023, the company started migrating calling to Microsoft Teams through Direct Routing, with a two-year timeframe plan in place.

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