Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are always looking for creative ways to reduce expenses and increase productivity. These needs are compounded for businesses with multiple office locations. Traditional premise-based phone systems may be a good fit for some, but they involve a huge capital investment in equipment that will soon be (already is?) outdated. Additionally, while managing this equipment may have benefits for some businesses, it also means that their phones will be off-line in the event of a power outage in one location.
Not so with a hosted PBX system. Businesses that go this route are supported by the expertise of their VoIP provider, reducing their vulnerability, offering them a focused array of compatible benefits, and saving them money.
Top Four Reasons to Switch to a Hosted PBX
1. Dramatic savings and free office-to-office calling. One of the most exciting benefits of a Hosted PBX plan is that it immediately reduces phone bills by slashing office-to-office calling costs to practically nothing. With most Hosted PBX plans, businesses can communicate within their own office locations for free This is primarily because “on-network” calls traveling over the Internet never hit the public telephone network. Calling rates to outside lines are lower too.
With a Hosted PBX plan there are no additional costs to maintain the phone system. Businesses have a more predictable monthly operational expenditure.
2. One bill, one vendor. In the recent past, businesses only had to pay for the transport of communication: phone service, and the business features like auto attendants: phone system.
With a hosted PBX, the phone system is located in the cloud and hosted by the same company that provides the phone service. That means only having to deal with a single, unified vendor and payment, resulting in added cost savings and convenience.
3. Create a unified virtual office. Instead of dialing a completely different 10-digit number for each location, a Hosted PBX solution enables businesses to use the same main number for all their locations, with convenient three or four digit extensions. This enables a workforce to function as if they are all in the same office. In addition, an auto-attendant service can answer calls and route them to the right department or employee, wherever they are located that day. This can even include forwarding calls to a cell phone number.
With a Hosted PBX cloud-based phone system, telecommuters are just like every other extension on the system. So, even though Jim is working from his home office in Albuquerque, he is on the same system as Sally at the main office. Jim can be reached at home, by cell phone, or anywhere — just by dialing his extension.
4. Scalability. Hosted PBX is a perfect fit for a growing, multi-office business because it enables scaling as needed for short- and long-term needs. If a seasonal business needs to gear up phone support for a holiday campaign, they can easily add as many extensions and phones as needed and then remove them after the season ends.
Making the Switch
The first step is to take a look at your business and estimate a few key metrics to share with your potential Hosted PBX provider:
- How many offices, including home offices, are you managing?
- What are your bandwidth and call usage needs?
- Are you changing from existing equipment or keeping your current equipment?
- Do you have any hardware or software integration needs?
- What is your budget?
The choice to partner with a trusted hosted provider will enable you to focus on your core business without hiring additional staff.
Not All Offerings Are Equal
A word of caution; not all Hosted PBX offerings are equal.
The bottom line: Look for VoIP providers who can explain and offer QoS, as well as professional setup and monitoring, to provide a complete solution.