Is a hosted PBX service right for your business? What are the benefits of a hosted PBX? The answer lies within the cloud itself.
The cloud provides businesses with massive benefits in speed, security, and scalability, all within the confines of a manageable monthly subscription rate. With the cloud, there are no unexpected equipment charges to foul up operations overhead. The cloud can handle the fluctuations of businesses as they grow and contract.
These are all reasons why companies continue to move their digital tools into cloud environments. Today, your company’s accounting software, customer relationship management platform (CRM), email and office productivity tools are probably under software as a service (SaaS) contracts in the cloud. But what about your phone service?
Companies have been switching from their on-premises PBX with traditional phone service to a hosted PBX provider. It’s an option you may not yet have considered—but you should.
What Is a Hosted PBX?
PBX stands for “private branch exchange,” which is the traditional way of providing voice communications to a business. A PBX usually consists of both hardware and software, including servers, wiring, and even your telephone handsets. In a traditional setup, this equipment connects to a plain old telephone service (POTS), which are the twisted copper wires running into your building that tie everything together so you can pick up the phone, get a dial tone, and make a call.
In a hosted PBX, this is instead replaced by a telephone communications system that connects over the internet. Sometimes called an IP (internet protocol) PBX or a virtual PBX, this service eliminates maintenance costs, upgrades, and management responsibilities for voice communications in your company. Here’s how it works.
The virtual PBX shifts your communications infrastructure to one operated by your hosted PBX provider. Each phone in your business is switched with a VoIP desk phone; alternatively, your teams can make calls from their computers, usually with a mike and headset. Calls are transmitted over the internet, and the normal features you enjoy, such as conference calling, call routing, voice recording, and more, all happen via the cloud.
The call itself is routed over internet networks to your hosted PBX provider and their data centers. These servers route the calls at the speed of the internet to their destination, including locations that use the traditional PSTN (public switched telephone network). It’s quite literally a plug-and-play option that eliminates the costs of traditional systems.
Why do companies make this change? What are the benefits of this approach?
What Are the Benefits of Hosted PBX?
If you’re wondering how a cloud PBX is better than traditional phone service, we’ve compiled these 10 benefits of a hosted PBX service to illustrate how this change could benefit your business.
- Hosted PBX Saves You MoneyThe benefits of a hosted PBX are, in large part, financial. Traditional equipment that allows your business to communicate over a PSTN is expensive. Home Advisor lists some of the typical costs of a traditional phone system:
- Installation, $1,700
- Set-up fees, $2,500 (for a server and five phone handsets)
- Monthly maintenance, $600
- This does not include the cost of the phone service itself, which can cost between $29 and $57 per phone line. (This does not include the per-call or per-minute fees for long distance, 800 numbers, or international calling.)
With a hosted PBX provider, businesses that already have the internet have nothing to install, unless you want to replace your handsets with VoIP phones. You will need a robust internet for hosted PBX, but the provider takes care of the rest. You will be able to make calls from any digital device connected to the cloud in your business. Like all SaaS products, monthly subscription pricing is what you pay for this service. The costs are regulated and manageable, and much lower than those of traditional phone service. You’ll experience no “surprises” from equipment that breaks down and needs replacing.
- Cloud PBX Improves Business EfficiencyOne benefit of digital technology is that it uses application program interfaces (APIs) to connect disparate software together. That’s why a cloud PBX benefits business by making them more productive. Not only can your employees make calls from anywhere there is an internet connection, they improve their efficiency by making calls from platforms they use every day. Imagine making a call to a client, having it recorded, and then dropping that record directly into your CRM. That’s one example of cloud efficiency for your phone service.
- Hosted PBX is Plug and PlayYour hosted PBX provider does all of the backend connectivity work for you. You simply go online, plug in your VoIP phone, and make calls. The benefits of a hosted solution are that the transition from traditional phone service is easy. You can keep your existing phone number; there’s no need for you to do anything to port them to the internet. Using these systems is easy, so that means there will be few hiccups during the switchover. Downtime equals lost revenue, but not only does cloud PBX save you money over traditional phone service, it won’t cause frustration or cost you money in employee downtime.
- Benefits of a Hosted Solution: IntegrationAs we mentioned, a hosted PBX integrates with your legacy systems. This means your landline phone service will not sync with calendars and email, CRMs, web dialers, and much more, while a hosted PBX will. Your employees can work within the systems they’ve grown accustomed to, but also eliminate some of the busywork associated with switching between platforms that are not connected and sometimes working against each other.
- Hosted PBX is Infinitely ScalableInstead of waiting for a phone provider to arrive and hardwire additional phone lines, cloud PBX scales up or down as you need it with no additional installations to slow you down. Just contact your hosted PBX provider to add or subtract lines. You can quickly scale up during peak times for your business, or scale back when things slow down, typically without incurring fees. Try doing that with your traditional phone service! With a hosted PBX, you have the power of the internet behind your business, and that means more agility to handle what’s next for your company.
- Hosted PBX is FlexibleYou already know that a cloud PBX benefits your employees by allowing them to work from anywhere there is an internet connection. They can use their cell phone or a VoIP desk phone or even their computers to make and receive calls. Employees can even switch from one device to another while on a call, all while enjoying some of the same features they experienced with their POTS.
- Improved Team Collaboration with Hosted PBXToday’s software is designed for collaboration. Designers of these systems are devoted to improving the end-user experience. This means that switching your employees to hosted PBX will improve their collaboration, not stymie it. Your workforce can join a video conference from their VoIP service with the click of a button. They can record calls and send the data to their email. They can use group and direct messaging to communicate in real-time. Hosted PBX is perfect whether your teams are remote or in an office, and offers seamless communication based in the cloud. It will give your employees the tools they need to get things done.
- Cloud PBX Offers Full Customer ServiceIt’s easy to add or subtract features on a cloud PBX platform. These systems typically work from an administrative online portal where you can make the changes you need. Most providers offer omnichannel support via text, chat, email, or a phone call. This improves your productivity while also improving the customer service experience.
- Hosted PBX is Secure and ReliableOnline security is always an issue for a business, but not with hosted PBX. In the cloud, there is a constant process of upgrading your software to combat the latest hacker threat. Unlike an on-premises PBX that requires someone to come on-site to upgrade your software, cloud updates happen at the speed of the internet. Your calls are encrypted from end-to-end, even when stored on a server at a remote data center. This makes hosted PBX both secure and as reliable as the internet you use every day.
- Cloud PBX is Easy to ManageYou do not need a telecommunications or computer science degree to manage your cloud PBX. These systems operate from a manageable hub and use sophisticated analytics that managers can analyze and use for reporting. This kind of service allows companies to understand what’s happening at every level of the business and apply that knowledge in strategies to improve the productivity of your business.
The benefits of cloud PBX are real and waiting for you at VoIP First Media. Click here to find out how you can get started.