For businesses looking to reduce phone costs and take advantage of new technology that enables them to be more flexible, productive, and competitive, a hosted PBX may be the answer. A hosted or managed phone solution with a trusted communication partner is perhaps one of the easiest ways to streamline costs and create operational efficiencies. In a hosted phone environment the phone service provider manages the service for its clients. Hosted PBX (which stands for Private Branch Exchange) basically refers to the ability to route calls within your network and the use of extension dialing. PBX functionality is the backbone of a business phone system. But it isn’t just the systems themselves that small businesses seek; they need help managing the solution.
A trusted member of your IT team
A major obstacle businesses face when adopting a new technology is not having enough in-house talent to implement and manage the new solution. By leveraging the expertise and hands-on monitoring of a hosted PBX provider, businesses can rest easy knowing that they have a trusted partner functioning like part of the team. This allows businesses to focus on their core competencies, not their phone and Internet technology. However, not all providers offer this level of hands-on support, so businesses should choose providers carefully.
Say goodbye to expensive equipment
Businesses can also eliminate the capital expenditure for expensive phone equipment. With a hosted PBX phone system, only the physical phones are located in your office. The phone software platform is located “in the cloud”. This essentially means that the phone services are delivered over the Internet as a service (also known as VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol). The infrastructure itself is located at the phone provider’s location. Clients only pay for the services that they use, and may even lease the actual phones as well. The costs and responsibility of powering, maintaining, and supporting the phone system are all covered by the provider. Upgrades occur automatically in the cloud and not onsite. A strong hosted cloud-based solution should involve a complete phone system package, including phone equipment, installation and setup, web-based software, and ongoing support and monitoring of the network. However, there are some providers that allow clients to utilize some or all of their existing hardware for those businesses not ready to give up on a recent hardware investment.
Who should choose Hosted PBX?
In today’s competitive and mobile environment, businesses are making the leap to a hosted VoIP phone solution over traditional PBX systems as a way to cut costs, be more productive, and stay ahead of technology. In a survey of small businesses conducted by Software Advice, a majority desired a hosted solution as opposed to an on-premise PBX. The winning combination of improved reliability, scalability, productivity and reduced costs makes it a no-brainer. Hosted PBX solutions are ideal for the following scenarios:
- Businesses looking for a reliable, powerful communication solution
- Companies relocating or setting up new offices
- Replacing telecommunications equipment that has reached the end of its lifecycle
- Easily adding and removing employees and/or phone lines
- Tying multiple offices together across the country or around the world for cost savings, increased productivity and efficiency
- Getting the ease and convenience of extension dialing throughout your organization, even across locations
- Giving employees more control over their own communication tools
A few key benefits to look for when comparing providers:
- Low upfront costs, no expensive systems to buy
- Low usage rates
- One bill for all your office locations
- Easy to use systems (and good support if you need help along the way!)
- A web based management portal (you don’t want to have to call someone else to add users, etc)
- The ability to easily add or remove extensions
- Extension dialing throughout your company (even across locations)
- Free calls to all your locations
A hosted solution offers a tremendous number of advantages for virtually any business, and there is no better time to start reaping the benefits of those advantages than right now. If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below or contact us directly.