What Is Hosted PBX?
If you’re in the market for a new phone system or want to upgrade your existing phone system, you should definitely check out what hosted PBX solutions have to offer. Unlike traditional PBX systems that consist of extensive hardware and equipment investments, hosted PBX needs little more than a telephone handset connected to the “cloud” on your vendor’s IP network in order to work.
Industry research shows that hosted PBX is one of the fastest growing technologies. Dollar for dollar, hosted PBX gives you much more functionality and features compared to traditional PBX solutions. Could hosted PBX be right for your business? Let’s explore the five top benefits of hosted VoIP communications systems and find out.
1) Offers unparalleled scalability. Can you predict exactly where your business will be five or ten years from now? If you’re like most businesses, being able to pinpoint the specific ways in which your business will change or grow is difficult, if not impossible. So if you don’t know exactly where your business will be, why lock yourself into a PBX system that may be much less or much more than you need as time goes by? With a hosted PBX system, you’re able to dial up or down your telephony services and options as your business needs change. That means that when you open your second location or when holiday orders are rolling in, you can quickly add phones and users without having to worry about the capital expenses and equipment upgrades that accompany traditional PBX systems. And if you experience a lean time and need to cut down on expenses? It’s just as easy to scale back your hosted PBX services to better fit your budget. Unlike traditional PBX systems, hosted PBX services provide a flexible, easy to deploy telephone solution that will meet your business’ needs today, tomorrow, and in the future.
2) Provides business continuity, even in a time of crisis. Imagine this: Your office building’s sprinkler system malfunctioned over the weekend, and the resulting flood has knocked out your power. How will you handle customer support and sales calls on Monday morning? If you have hosted PBX, you’ll be able to take calls as if nothing ever happened.Because your PBX is hosted in a redundant, secure data center, you won’t have to worry about your phones being down—you’ll be able to continue that aspect of your business as usual. By simply accessing your hosted PBX vendor’s web-based portal, you’ll be able to set up phone contingency rules in advance, or can quickly forward incoming calls to mobile phones or unaffected office locations on-the-fly. Hosted PBX may not be able to do anything about soggy office carpet or waterlogged paper files, but it can keep a bad situation from becoming worse.
3) Yields lower overall cost of ownership. The day you switch from a traditional PBX system to a hosted PBX solution is the day you start saving money. Because all you need to buy are the handsets, switching to hosted PBX means that you don’t have to worry about the capital expenses associated with traditional telephony systems. You can also reduce ongoing expenses by saying “goodbye” to expensive traditional phone lines and phone charges, and “hello” to the predictable monthly bill that hosted PBX brings with it.
4) Let’s you conduct business whenever, wherever. Today, business happens whenever and wherever your employees are—at the airport on the way to a meeting, in the conference room at a branch location, or even at their home office. Hosted PBX helps you to boost productivity by making it easy for your employees to communicate with colleagues and customers from any location and on any phone.If you’re looking for a way to boost productivity while ensuring that your employees are able to project the right image for your business no matter where they are, hosted PBX is an excellent solution. Hosted PBX lets you and your employees take care of business without needing to worry about missing important calls or having to burden customers or clients with a variety of different contact numbers.
5) Gives IT a break: If you’re tired of having to head to the phone closet whenever you want to add a new extension or you need to make other changes, hosted PBX will be a welcome change of pace. Unlike traditional telephony systems, hosted PBX systems can be administered through a secure web-based interface—without needing hours of training, or having to get the IT folks involved just to make a simple change. Administrators can easily tweak company-wide phone settings, and can allow users to manage their own features—like forwarding calls to a mobile number, or changing their voicemail password—from the convenience of their own computer.
Is a VoIP cloud solution right for your business? That depends. If you don’t mind spending a good chunk of your budget to buy and maintain equipment, a traditional telephone PBX may be in your future. However, if you’re interested in taking advantage of the features inherent in a cloud-based communications solution—having the flexibility to easily add or remove services, ensuring that business continues even during a crisis situation, reducing costs, being able to conduct business from anywhere, and enjoying simpler phone management—hosted PBX is the wise decision.
By Shriman Gurung
Shriman is a Senior Product Manager for XO Communications, one of the nation’s largest communications providers. At XO, Shriman has been labeled a cloud enthusiast, proven by his product introduction work with hosted business solutions. From cloud backup to hosted PBX, Shriman spends a lot of his time in the cloud.