Study Examines Need for PBX, PSTN in Hybrid Setting

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated certain work-style trends that have been picking up steam over decades. The massive shift to remote and hybrid work is the result of recent health and safety measures and long-standing trends such as globalization and employee demand for work-life balance, which have given rise increasingly to distributed workforces and fully “virtual” organizations.

Technology advancements in the areas of broadband and cellular connectivity, cloud services and software-based communications and collaboration solutions have enabled many desk-based employees to work remotely – occasionally, part-time or full-time. With the mindset to shift to hybrid-work models more consciously, adoption of flexible, cloud-based collaboration services is rising among organizations of varying sizes, industries, and world regions.

Business leaders and other technology investment decision-makers are re-evaluating their companies’ technology capabilities and future roadmaps. Disparate, non-integrated, and often antiquated communications solutions, whether deployed over many years or throughout the pandemic, are ripe for upgrades, consolidation and better alignment with future business goals.
As organizations develop strategies to rationalize their communications environments, they often look to eliminate solutions that are perceived as dated or redundant. More specifically, with the shift to working from home and the astronomical adoption of cloud video meetings and team collaboration tools, the role of private branch exchange (PBX) functionality and public telephone switched network (PSTN) access has come into question.

Technology buyers and vendors are looking to ascertain whether today’s workers need more traditional calling solutions, as multi-modal, increasingly affordable, mobile-ready (i.e., accessible on any connected device) collaboration services enable internal and external, as well as one-to-one and multi-party interactions.
The primary purpose of this study was to gain a perspective on key transformational trends taking place in the business communications and collaboration space. By surveying IT/telecom decision-makers, the researchers set out to understand the decision-making factors when purchasing and deploying communications and collaboration solutions, with a specific focus on changing user preferences for different communications modalities.
An objective of the study was to prove or disprove the hypothesis that the PBX and the PSTN are becoming obsolete because of new trends including:

  • The massive shift to remote/hybrid work
  • The growing adoption of cloud meetings and messaging solutions
  • The increasing usage of consumer (mostly mobile) services for business purposes

Key issues addressed in the “Evaluating The Future of Cloud Communications Services in the Era of Hybrid Work” report include:

  • Do businesses still value the traditional PBX feature set? If so, which common features are must-have vs. nice-to-have vs. irrelevant?
  • Is PSTN access required for all users today and how will that change two years from now?
  • Which UC/UCaaS services (e.g., PBX, PSTN calling, presence, video, file share, mobility) do decision-makers find most valuable for their business or organization?
  • Are collaboration (meetings + team messaging) tools presently used or under evaluation for future use as primary communications solutions for certain worker types with the objective of replacing traditional UC/UCaaS solutions?
  • What is the importance of messaging, meetings and PBX capabilities for frontline workers?
  • Do frontline workers need PSTN calling or only internal calling?

The “Evaluating The Future of Cloud Communications Services in the Era of Hybrid Work” report is now available. For information about the report visit