PBX Phone System
PBX Phone System

PBX phone systems can be a nightmare if you don’t having a proper guiding light.  Migrating from a legacy PBX phone system to a managed service provider like Megapath, Telepacific, or Airespring can be a headache if the right questions aren’t asked up front.  The most important question is are these providers a good fit for your organization.  These carriers offer a holistic solution that is not married to one behind the scenes service provide like ATT, Comcast, Time Warner, and ATT.  They can white label themselves but the reality is one of these large telecom or cable provider carriers are behind the scenes.  This can be great if you are a large organize with many satellite offices or retail locations.  This can reduce the billing nightmare significantly because all services are provided under one umbrella.

Voice and Data Combo

The other aspect these carriers sell you on is their support leverage they have when you choose to use to have voice and data under one suite of services.  This is a huge sticking point for organizations that have had issues in the past where their data carrier is fighting with the voice carrier over who fault is it for having terrible voice or VoIP connection.

Dreams Meet Reality

Finger pointing over whether the problem lies with VoIP services provide and your ISP becomes less and less with the internet infrastructure in many metropolitan areas being upgraded to fiber.  The fiber is now closer than to the premise or building you work at.  It is more likely to do with noise or chatter being broadcasted on your own LAN than any voice or data provider’s fault.  Also, these combo package carriers charge large premiums and an extremely legal tight 3 year minimum contracts for not so great customer service.

“I’m already stuck in one of these long-term agreements”

Make sure they don’t auto renew your services because they will.  Send a letter to prevent auto renewal of your old internet and PBX phone system services. Contact the billing department to get exact words to cancel or prevent services from auto renewing.  You can also try out one of these cheaper “pipes” internet data options while in the contract to run a parallel (most likely) faster service.  Then utilize the terrible ISP service or pipe as a redundant backup line.

“I’m confused on PBX vs VoIP…  Do I have a PBX with VoIP?”

“Private Branch Exchange or PBX is mentioned a lot when discussing traditional PBX systems.  The traditional PBX illustrated in our featured image up top.  Brown runs on PBX phone wiring.  Green is on the Ethernet network that computers and printers connect to.  Skype on your PC or Mac runs on VoIP.  The green also illustrates VoIP phones.  You will need a quality data or internet connection or pipe to run VoIP services.PBX phone system

Traditional PBX 

Makes connections among the internal telephones of a private organization and also makes a connection  to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) via trunk lines, typically a T1 line.

ProTip! Most current PBX phone systems support VoIP PBX, also known as an IP-PBX.





What to do for new or replacement internet service and phones?

Option 1

Go with one of the Managed Service Providers mentioned above.  You want to avoid the finger pointing between providers? Go with those providers mentioned above.  Here are some proactive tips for this solution.

  • Signing the agreement. Try to avoid long term contracts.  3 years is an eternity
  • Figure out the SLA. You want zero down time with those expensive packages
  • Know what speeds you are getting and what medium you are getting it on. Seriously, read the agreement again and again.  You want the speeds the ISP advertises.  Find out if they can deliver less and still be within the terms of the agreement.  What is less?
    • This is huge. Some people just want the bare minimum speed 20 megs and 2 megs upload or maybe worse, this is the only service available.  This more than likely means they will bring you an Asymetric circuit called DSL or fancy name for the same thing called Copper over Ethernet.
      • ProTip! Don’t do this package unless they bring a person to do a site assessment, figure out how far away you away from the MPOE, and whether you have to run a new drop from your first floor MPOE to whatever level you are on. Read more here.  YOU DON’T WANT SPEEDS ANY LESS THAN 20/2.  THAT MUST BE GUARANTEED.
    • The PBX Phone System itself is no longer hosted locally. It comes as a subscription service in the cloud.
      • Do you have sufficient network drops to facilitate the type of voice services you are now receiving?


“I got the Speeds.  Where are the PBX Phone System Migration Tips?”

Figure out who the players are before going in to the project.  They should be separated into at least three separate tickets or email threads to maintain your insanity.  Also, the timelines should be spaced out appropriately.

  • Data (internet) Connection and Network Devices Equipment
    • Hopefully, you have most of this resolved already with a fabulous internet connection. However, there’s a Cisco Managed Switch that you either pay for or lease from a VoIP services company.  Hopefully, you own the phones out right.   10 VoIP phones are $1000, give or take a couple hundred dollars.  Will they setup these phones and add drops where necessary?  DO NOT PORT NUMBERS UNLESS YOU ARE CONFIDENT IN YOUR INTERNET SPEEDS, LATENCY, AND RELIABILTY.   Read VOIP Support Services and scroll down to Jive View for testing these variables for their network.
  • Training
    • You get this new phone system. Who’s going to train you?  Is there an appropriate timeline of establishing a data or internet connection first before having the training?
  • Phone System Work Flow
    • This is very important to work with a customer friendly individual to figure out the phone main greeting or call script, how the calls rotate, what extensions do they ring out to for each department, etc.


Option 2

Go with phone VoIP system and data (internet) carrier you can count on.  I can only speak for California on this topic.  ATT is the dominant carrier in our neighborhood but their infrastructure is lagging behind to the cable companies.
Test and Monitor your VoIP connection once you are pretty confident on your internet connection to support your voice.  Read more about the testing here.  Search for Jive View.  Anyway, deploy the VoIP Phone system after extensive network LAN testing.

Option 3

Here’s a quote for retaining but upgrading the PBX.   It’s not a VoIP subscription service.  The PBX is locally hosted in house.  TWC – Spectrum will be replacement option to legacy bonded T1 from someone like Telepacific.  They will hand off to the PBX on-site.  The problem with is it’s a lot up front ($6400) for installation.  It will be cheaper long term.  The illustration below displays all these service options.  Here’s the monthly gist for a bare bones solution…

TWC Spectrum,100 x 10 (1 Year) $80
TWC PBX Handoff
PRI 12 call paths is the minimum 15
SIP IP PBX – 8 Call Paths Minimum 0
PRI 5000 Minutes 15
Guess on taxes
Total Tax and Regulated Surcharges 28.5
Total Regulatory Recovery Surcharge (9% of total MSRP) 49.52


PBX Phone System Migration Tips Summary

There are plenty of bumps along the road towards navigating to a new PBX phone system.  We hopefully made it less bumpy.



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