This post is brought to you by CJ Affiliate’s VIP Content Service. Thank you RingCentral for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from RingCentral, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Implementing a traditional PBX phone system is both an expensive and time-consuming operation. Once the system is up and running, the costs can grow exponentially as business scales and more employees need to be added to the system. Another complex situation that should be taken under consideration are the complications that a traditional PBX system faces when multiple locations all need to be tied to the same phone structure. In the past these scenarios could become a nightmare to deal with, but now there are better ways to manage an office phone system thanks to the high-tech world of today.

Associated Costs & Fees

Besides the immediate benefits you receive when switching to a cloud-based phone system for your office, the cost benefits are rather eye-opening. In the case of a reputable provider like RingCentral Office, you will be able to get one centralized billing system that offers rates starting at $24.99/user per month and the ability to purchase or lease top-tier business phones for as little as $5 per month.

Each plan comes with unlimited calling and a minimum of 1,000 toll-free minutes. This keeps the overhead cost low and given that there is no long-term commitment to sign, you can pay month-to-month without any burdens should you decide to cancel your service or unexpectedly close your business in the future.

To put these costs into a better perspective, a well-written article from a PBX retailer/installer quotes that a ‘basic’ small IP-PBX, non-server based system starting at $1,500 for five lines on top of a $1,200 cost of installation. If you go with the server based IP-PBX system with IP phones, a station, and a desktop interface license you are starting at $6K for 20 lines. If you want to add more lines to either plan, the price increases significantly, and you will also have to cover the cost of additional installations plus have someone knowledgeable on call for making changes or running maintenance on the system.

If you have an idea of how much you are planning or currently spending on a traditional on-premise PBS system, RingCentral Office has set up an ROI page which will calculate exactly how much you can be saving while reaping all the advantages that the cloud-based system can offer. If you do not know these figures, you can view a head-to-head comparison of RingCentral Office versus a tradition PBX system in both a 20 and 100 user environment in this article.

Feature set & Integrations

There are many notable advantages that a cloud-based system can add to a business phone system including advanced features (mobile forwarding, HD video conferencing, detailed call logs, reporting, etc.) and effective integrations with existing services (Google, Microsoft, Box & Dropbox).

With a premium service like RingCentral, you can expect the following features within their ‘Office’ plan:

Cloud-based PBX system
This cloud-hosted PBX service offers features like an auto-receptionist, multi-level IVR, user templates, call reports, on-hold music, extensions, dial-by-name directories, call monitoring, single sign-on and the ability to set up a global office.

Service & Device Support
Because you are running within the cloud, the service and device support extends much farther than a traditional PBX. The service offers secure VOIP, Caller ID control, RingOut (one-touch calling from any phone/internet-enabled computer), RingMe (easy way to receive calls from customers located around the globe), desk phones, conference phones, cordless phones, VOIP Headsets, analog adapters and a full-fledged desktop app for managing voice, fax, text, conferencing or online meetings.

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RingCentral's Mac Client

Call Management
Not every business requires the same formalities when setting up their phone system, so RingCentral Office allows both simple and advanced call management features. Within their plans, subscribers can setup answering rules, call forwarding, automatic call recording, presence status (whether you are at your desk or not), call flip (transfers between your desk phone, mobile phone or soft phone) and more.

Conferencing & Meetings
Set up video or audio conferencing bringing up to 1000 participants into the same discussion. Invitations can be sent via email or text messaging without the need to remember cumbersome access codes or password as users can be added to the call with a single click.

Ease of Use

By nature, traditional PBX systems are not user intuitive and often require someone with extensive knowledge to successfully complete tasks like user configurations and maintenance.

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RingCentral Office's Browser-Based Administrator Dashboard

Thanks to RingCentral Office's cloud-based platform, you will have access to a browser-based backend that offers full access to account management with a clean and straightforward user interface. You can add change settings on the fly and even make changes when you are away from the office thanks to its browser-based architecture.

Flexible & Versatile

Traditional business lines are clunky and operate in an “old school” fashion. With a cloud-based solution, you'll gain immense versatility and flexibility as you can shrink or scale your business’s phone needs with only a few button clicks.

Add in the ability to access your phone system including calls, SMS, fax or conferencing on the go with the iOS or Android app for your mobile device, PC or Mac. This ultimately allows a sense of freedom when away from the office allowing for more off-site business without missing an important call or fax.

Extensive Knowledgebase &  24/7 Customer Support

A significant advantage of a cloud-based phone system is that most of the solutions to any problems that arise can either be solved easily by yourself or with the help of the service’s support staff.

If you can follow directions and prefer to solve your own problems, RingCentral Office has an extensive section on their website full of FAQs, community forums, in-depth articles, written/video guides as well as a step-by-step learning center that will run you through the very basics all the way up to the advanced features.

If you would rather have someone else deal with all the complicated stuff, RingCentral Office offers dedicated support available 24/7 via online chat, phone or an email ticket. Their knowledgeable staff will help you diagnose problems, make necessary changes to your account configuration and aid with any pre-sales questions before signing up for their services including plan will best suit your business needs and budget.

Have you decided a cloud-based office phone system is the right move for your business needs?

Sign up for a free 30-day trial of RingCentral Office