A Hosted PBX May Better Suit Your Business’ Needs
First, what exactly is a PBX? A PBX is the main switch board of a companies telephone system. It consists of highly important software and delicate hardware. Both standard PBX and IP PBX’s require this software to be installed and their hardware to be maintained. The set up process can be difficult and must be done properly in order for the PBX to function. The maintenance of these types of PBX, along with training and the initial purchase price, make owning a PBX a pretty expensive feat. The solution to this however is a hosted PBX.
What is a Hosted PBX
A hosted PBX is simply a PBX that is owned and maintained by a PBX hosting company, in their data center (or in the cloud). They handle all of the software hassle, repairs and technical problems for you. You, as the business needing the hosted PBX pay a monthly price to use the PBX. This fee is often times much cheaper than the cost of owning and maintaining your own PBX and can be downright cheap.
Your are then able to use your own electronics, laptops, desktops, cell phones, or using a SIP capable VoIP Phone. You’ll have the same benefits that having your own PBX would offer you, without the high cost of installing a PBX, running telephony cabling, routers and other necessary equipment.
If your business is already using land-line phones you can easily port your phone numbers to a hosted PBX provider and continue using them with little worry and some simple setup. Your incoming calls will be routed to your hosted PBX, which will then sort and distribute them to the appropriate extensions. Mobile devices can be integrated into your setup as well, allowing calls to be forwarded to cellphones. Voicemail often comes as part of a standard hosted PBX package. Smartphones can also be used to this extent, by employing the Internet, this is called VoIP.
Hosted PBX and VoIP Integration
VoIP integration into hosted PBX systems has been a game changer in the way things work. There is no longer a need for PSTN land-lines. VoIP also allows you to have any number of phones with separate numbers, allowing callers to directly reach their intended department. VoIP also offers free or discounted calling, for example a VoIP service may offer free calling anywhere within the United States and Canada, with cheap international fees. In addition, calls within your PBX network are often free and unlimited.
VoIP also offers an arsenal’s worth of other useful features for your business. Such as, the ability to record calls, upgraded voicemail, automated attendants, bandwith monitoring, and more. There is however, a downside to keep in mind while using VoIP. Using VoIP with your hosted PBX, while on the move is generally done with mobile data. (3g and 4g networks) VoIP itself is usually free, but the cost of using data for communication can incur charges based on your carriers data plan and terms of usage.
An Example of a Hosted PBX Service Within a Company
Company Y has contracted with Ringme.io as it’s hosted PBX supplier. The company’s number is toll free, incoming calls are received by the hosted PBX, which then transfers the calls to the company Y’s receptionist. The receptionist, then redirects the calls to the appropriate department withing company Y. The calls may also bypass the receptionist by offering automated voice directions or an auto-attendant, leading the caller to the appropriate person. If said person is not available to take calls, the calls may be transferred to his smartphone, or voicemail.
Company X may have several branches of their company located in various places. It would be very difficult to link these branches using a standard PBX system owned by company X. By utilizing a Hosted PBX systems, paired with cloud integration make linking multiple branches together, with one PBX account simple. It’s as easy, as if everything was in one building.