State of Phone System Buying 2019

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In the near future, those entering the workforce will have no memory of what the workplace looked like before Unified Communications (UC). They will have never used an analog phone system, never had to dial into their voicemail, and never picked up a ringing telephone only to hear the fax tone.When they buy phone systems, SMBs choose UC.

For those of us who have used this older tech, those memories will fondly fade as we glance through our visual voicemail and send a chat to our colleague while clicking to call a client. Yes, anyone who has recently gotten their feet wet trying to buy phone systems will agree: traditional phone systems are going away.

This is not breaking news, though. For several years, businesses trying to buy phone systems have more often than not opted for UC. And, every year, that trend only becomes more pronounced. When Eastern Management Group surveyed 3000 businesses about their most recent experience deciding to buy phone systems, 82% of businesses indicated that they chose to adopt UC.

Reasons Motivating Businesses to Buy Phone Systems in 2019

Needing features is the number 1 reason SMBs buy phone systems.

New Business / Initial Phone System

Over a half million businesses are started in North America alone every month. Half of those are destined to stay in business at least five years. While some of those are home-based businesses, most need a new phone system. UC offers the flexibility and versatility a startup needs to be successful.

Added / Moved Locations or Outgrew Existing Phone System

Many of the reasons businesses offered for their decisions to buy phone systems are geographic. Businesses expand and move to capture more of their market. Unlike old-school phone systems, UC, which is software-based, offers the ability to easily scale up and remain connected across locations.

System Failed

As with any tool, a portion of new sales every year are going to be for people whose tool or system broke. For those who buy phone systems, this is the case for 13%. The benefit of considering the future of your business phone system early is that you can plan and make choices about how and from whom to buy phone systems before a system failure can affect your business.

#1 Reason: Needing Features Not Available on Previous System

The number one reason to buy phone systems, according to surveyed businesses, was their system lacking necessary features or modern capabilities. These include everything from modern IP telephony standards like VoIP calling and SIP trunking to features designed to bring business communications to the next level. Features SMBs look for when they buy phone systems.

VoIP and SIP

Businesses who adopt UC when making the decision to buy phone systems almost universally agreed that VoIP calling and SIP trunking were useful. This comes as no surprise considering that they form the backbone of the modern UC platform.

Unified Messaging – Instant Messaging – Chat

Another huge area that businesses considered important as they decided to buy phone systems was unified messaging and the ability to integrate real-time, text-based communication into their phone system. Modern businesses thrive on the ease of a chat or instant message to communicate information quickly.

Modern Collaboration Tools

For those who buy phone systems, tools for collaboration are a crucial feature set. These include such modern necessities as video conferencing, desktop and data sharing, presence and status functionality, and integrated calendars. Smoothing barriers to effective communication, these make teams more productive and companies more efficient.

IVRs and Speech Recognition

One of the most impressive features found in many UC systems is the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) that can ask callers questions, collect answers, and make decisions about call routing automatically. Most businesses looking to buy phone systems are keen to escape the old fashioned “press this number” auto attendants in favor of something more advanced.  

Mobility and Bring Your Own Device

Out of all the options facing businesses researching to buy phone systems, UC offers the greatest flexibility. And the majority of UC adopters agree that mobility is important. Mobile softphone apps provide the flexibility of going where one needs without worrying about missing an important call at the office. This is a boon not only for individuals who work remotely but everyone who occasionally needs the option to use their own device to continue their work outside of the office.

#2 Reason: Cost Savings

Something that can come as a surprise for those just beginning their research for buying phone systems is that the most feature-rich, future-proof option on the market is also the most cost effective. Just after needing the robust features found in UC systems, the second most important reason businesses are choosing UC when they buy phone systems is to maximize their technology budgets. Unified Communications is able to accomplish the feat of being both advanced and economical because it streamlines hardware, combining multiple business technologies into one system. This reduces hardware and, because calls are made over the existing internet connection, eliminates the need for multiple service connections.

A Huge Motivator: Productivity

Productivity motivates businesses to buy phone systems.So, the number one reason motivating the move toward UC is to gain access to functionality not present on older phone systems, and the second is to reduce phone system expenses. What does that say about businesses? They want to be more productive. And 93% of businesses see some benefit from implementing Unified Communications into their business processes.

That statistic and others can be found in the Eastern Management Group’s report analyzing the effect of UC on workplace productivity. Click here to download this exclusive report.


“Other” – A full 8% (see chart above) had other reasons for buying a new phone system. Comment below with a unique or interesting reason you or a business you know made the decision to buy phone systems or other business technology.

Acquiring a New Phone System Downloadable InfographicDownload the data as a shareable infographic! Click here!

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