Despite having access to emails, texts, and instant messaging, the telephone, which was invented in 1876, remains a vital part of business communications. Short of talking with someone face-to-face, a phone call is one of the most typical types of personal communication that brings people together to get business done. Standard private branch exchange (PBX) systems made up of lines and stations traditionally handled these calls via the public switched telephone network (PSTN); the entire system was maintained by your local phone company. There have been innovations to this system over the years, but the basic service didn’t change much—until cloud-hosted PBX came along.
This blog will help you understand:
- What is cloud PBX and how does it work?
- What are the benefits of using cloud PBX services?
- How can you pick the right PBX hosting provider?
How Did Traditional PBX Work?
To understand cloud phone services, we should set the baseline for how traditional PBX works. A traditional PBX platform uses hardware, software, and technical support to make the phone system function. These systems were stored within a business and connected to the twisted copper lines that made up the PSTN.
With a PBX, businesses could shuttle phone calls between internal employees and between external and internal end-users. With a PBX system, all internal calls were free, but external calls could be charged by the minute or by the call. As you might imagine, these systems were very expensive and typically made up a significant part of a company’s operating budget.
What is Cloud PBX?
One of the biggest innovations we’ve seen to hit PBX systems has been the movement to cloud-hosted PBX. Today, cloud PBX services are an efficient and widely-used method of communication that provide big benefits to the companies that use them. But what is cloud PBX and how does it work?
This newer type of PBX works via cloud computing technology. The “cloud” simply refers to the internet and dedicated off-site hosting. Before the cloud, most companies stored their data in-house on internal servers and they used an on-site PBX to handle phone communications. This hardware and software could be very expensive to maintain and required special storage facilities and special staff to operate.
With the move to mass cloud technology, companies found that the cloud is less expensive, infinitely scalable, and well-equipped to handle large batches of information transmitted quickly.
Cloud PBX is a type of virtual service which completes the same functions as an on-site PBX, but online. Your PBX hosting provider can route the calls over the internet to the proper department or extension by using voice over internet protocol (VoIP). VoIP uses the internet to route calls between the various end points by using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to establish the call. These cloud PBX services are hosted in a remote server room and offer all the management features and call routing that traditional PBX previously offered.
What Are the Benefits of Using Cloud PBX Services?
Cloud-hosted PBX is simply a better design for your phone system. You won’t need hardware or even phone lines to use this service; you just need a reliable internet connection. You won’t even need phone hardware, just a computer and headset. Businesses do have the option of selecting IP phones, or they can route calls to an existing digital device. Usually, this is accomplished through simple drag-and-drop technology from an easy-to-use dashboard menu.
Here are eight of the best reasons for adopting cloud PBX services:
- Substantial cost savings, both in hardware and in PSTN service fees. With cloud phone service, there are typically no per-call fees or they are very low when compared to traditional PBX. You don’t need to hire a special technician to service the PBX, either; your PBX hosting provider does all of the heavy lifting. There is no hardware and ultimately, there is little overhead. This is particularly important for call centers, which handle massive numbers of outbound and inbound calling. The cost savings per call is huge.
- You can keep your existing numbers or even your current phone system. Companies that want to minimize the disruption of moving to VoIP in the cloud can integrate the new service with legacy systems and devices. Cloud-hosted PBX interfaces with existing infrastructures or can be a standalone system. Either way, you can keep your extensions intact.
- Cloud VoIP offers the flexibility that fits our dispersed world. Employers with remote workers can give each one their own VoIP line. As long as they have the Internet, they can have phone service. This means even offshore employees can easily stay connected as part of your team.
- Cloud PBX services offer advanced features including call control, recording, conference calling, call forwarding, queue, and much more.
- The scalability of the internet can be put to use without the costs of adding phone lines to your business. Companies expand and contract all the time. With VoIP, it’s easy to scale up or down based on the number of end-users. This typically costs just a small subscription fee.
- The internet is immediate, meaning you have access to real-time data that allows you to monitor usage minute-by-minute. This is particularly important for call centers. Organizations can monitor missed calls, caller queue, performance, and more. Call center managers have access to sophisticated analytics that track activity so you can improve performance for the entire team.
- The reliability and redundancy of these platforms can’t be discounted. Unlike the PSTN, which used copper lines vulnerable to disasters, vandalism, or other threats, your business can make use of a redundant infrastructure in the cloud that uses fail-safes to route calls to a different set of off-site servers should a crisis hit in that region.
- High-quality voice calls are a big benefit of cloud PBX services. VoIP has improved rapidly over the years as better compression rates and higher internet speeds increase.
How Can You Pick the Right PBX Hosting Provider?
Businesses seeking the right PBX hosting provider should look for a company that fits their need for reliability and low cost. VoIP First Media offers our business customers unparalleled service to help them reap the benefits of the cloud. Click here to request a quote and find out how we can help.