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Why Companies Still use Legacy Phone Systems

Updated on September 12, 2013

There is a steadily growing trend of companies making the switch to VoIP systems, whether hosted or on-site, from traditional landline networks. Still, many organizations cling to PSTN citing real or perceived disadvantages of VoIP systems.

These are a few of the common reasons given for not moving to VoIP:

Using legacy phone systems
Using legacy phone systems

The legacy system is already paid for

The most advertised benefit of VoIP is definitely the cost savings. Organizations understand this but the change to VoIP is often initiated by an event such as an expensive breakdown or the legacy system has reached the end of its life. For companies whose systems are still functioning, cost is an irrelevant factor. Many IT managers have a ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ mindset and it can be hard to quantify intangible benefits like increased productivity that VoIP networks offer.

911 won’t work

While this was true in the early days of the VoIP industry, it is no longer the case. Many VoIP providers integrate emergency calling in the monthly service, the user may just have to ask for it. In some cases, 911 services need to be activated for calls to go through. In fact, service providers are innovating at a rapid pace to offer a more comprehensive emergency services package than before. They offer extra features such as sending a notification to a preset number when a 911 call is made or switching to another IP network if a particular cable is damaged, which are not available on landlines.


An organization which has an extensive phone system that is still working well after decades of use may not want to make another investment just yet. But maintaining legacy systems is only going to get harder. Finding technicians who know to fix such systems will become difficult as time goes on. Fewer people will lead to higher prices but a technician will always be needed when a new office is opened or if an additional line is necessary. These charges will add to the maintenance costs of the systems whereas VoIP networks are becoming more robust and reliable everyday.

Transitioning to and configuring business VoIP can lower costs and offers enormous flexibility. It can scale up when your business grows and you can easily take your service with you if your office moves to a new location. Employees can be reached by customers even if they are not in leading to increased revenue and productivity. As support for legacy systems becomes harder to come by, the shift to VoIP may soon become inevitable.


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