Office phone systems have been done the same way for the last few decades. A physical PBX hardware system is installed somewhere in the office and 3, 4 or more lines are connected from the local telco.

It’s the PBX hardware that creates the different extensions as well as traditional office phone features such as voicemail and call transfers between extensions.

This system has worked all well and fine for the past 5-10 years. Lower cost and feature-rich alternatives using voice over IP technology (VOIP) and high-speed internet connections are now becoming the norm in new offices set up across Canada.

Why a Change?

The drawback to these traditional PBX phone systems is they require a 3rd party company to service and upgrade them. This can be an expense of a few hundred to over a thousand dollars per year, depending on what’s needed.

Two biggest reasons businesses switch phone systems:

  1. Monthly cost for phone lines
  2. Cost of equipment updates and service

Also, the cost of the phone lines and any long-distance calling from your telco isn’t cheap.

This has new offices cutting the cord from telcos and traditional PBX phone systems and swapping them for VOIP Hosted PBX phone systems.

In fact, as high as 90% of all new small to medium-sized offices in Canada are opting for a VoIP PBX phone system rather than a traditional landline system for their business.

Virtual PBX Phone Systems

The new technology is often referred to as a Hosted or Virtual PBX phone system.

The word hosted is used because the required hardware is managed (hosted) somewhere else (generally your service provider). There’s no hardware to service locally on your end and no landlines coming into the office from your telco.

As for the phones, everything works the exact same way.

Every employee has a desk phone.


You won’t notice a difference in day-to-day operation between a virtual phone system versus a landline pbx phone system. Call quality and features will be the same. The cost savings are the #1 reason new offices and many established offices are switching to hosted PBX.

Standard office features such as voicemail, call transfer, and auto attendant are built right into the software that runs these virtual phone systems. Because everything is software base, it’s easy to make changes without the need for a service call to a local company to update your PBX hardware on site.

Best of all, the cost is 40-50% less than what you would have been paying for the old system

Where do the savings come from?

Here’s an example of a small business with 4 lines coming into their office and 15 employees (desk phones).

In a traditional landline phone system, you’re paying a per phone line fee each month to the telco plus any additional services or long distance your office may incur.

  • Traditional PBX Phone System
  • $60 per line = $240.00
  • Hosted VoIP PBX System
  • $14.95 per line = $59.60 $5.00 per extension = $75.00 Total = $134.60 per month

$100 or more saved per month adds up pretty quickly.

Plus, when you add in some of the great features built into Hosted PBX phone systems the switch becomes really attractive.

What’s involved with Switching Your Office?

Switching your office phone system to a virtual PBX doesn’t take long. A phone conversion consult is required first to determine what desk phones you currently have and if they’re compatible with newer VoIP technology.

There’s also some basic planning of how many lines and extensions are required, but there is no complex hardware to install.


Converting from a traditional landline phone system to a virtual internet phone system isn’t difficult. You need to determine if your current desk phones will work and determine the number of extensions your office needs. Generally, a conversion can happen quite quickly.

Some small businesses will have their network administrator involved during the initial installation, but once the system is working, everything is managed by the company you choose for your hosted PBX service.

Want to learn more? Download our Cloud Business Phone System Report. In it we cover the 5 Key Factors choosing the right office phone system for your business.

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