23 May What is Hosted PBX?
What is Hosted PBX?
Unlike a traditional PBX, or Private Branch Exchange, which requires a large investment and ongoing maintenance and training, a hosted PBX is a cloud-based PBX system accessible via an IP network. Rather than being responsible for hardware, software, training, maintenance, and more, a hosted PBX provider takes care of it all. In addition to being completely managed off-site, resulting in no IT or installation costs, a hosted PBX system also provides businesses with the ability to manage their phone systems via a user-friendly control panel. For these reasons and more, hosted PBX systems are becoming increasingly popular solutions for today’s growing small to medium-sized business owners.
Features and Benefits of Hosted PBX
If you own a business with fewer than 300 lines, hosted PBX can provide you with a multitude of features and benefits. For starters, a hosted PBX system is much less expensive than a traditional on-site system. With hosted PBX, there is no need to buy expensive hardware and software, pay for installation, and manage the system. You simply pay a monthly fee and enjoy all of the benefits of the service.
While less costly than standard on-site PBX systems, hosted PBX solutions are teeming with valuable features, such as on-hold music, call waiting, call routing, transfers, and more. Moreover, as the popularity of hosted PBX continues to grow, additional features like auto attendants, extension dialing, and ACD queues are being introduced.
A hosted PBX can also be deployed immediately. In fact, most business owners are able to have their hosted PBX setup and running in under a day. Best of all, newer and more flexible hosted PBX applications are being deployed as well. Adding these applications and features can typically be done with a simple download or click of the mouse.
The ability to add new features as they roll out is just one example of the scalability of hosted PBX. Additional lines, phones, and even an entire new department can effortlessly be added, which would be much more complex with a traditional on-site PBX.
When you opt for a hosted PBX and outsource all the techie stuff, you will find your stress levels lowering as well. With a hosted PBX, a mountain of responsibility will be taken off your shoulders, allowing you to focus your attention on more important matters, like improving your bottom line.
Hosted PBX Tips and Considerations
Hosted PBX systems are incredibly easy to setup and utilize, but there are a few things you need to do when opting for one of these modern business phone solutions, such as:
Make Phone Number Arrangements – A temporary phone number is necessary for the porting process, but if you already have an existing number to port over, you must remain with your current provider until the number is ported to your new PBX provider. If you are getting a new number, it’s important to update others and let them know of the change through an email blast or similar means. While brief, all calls can be conveniently routed to cell phones during the transition period. Just remember, if you cancel your service with your previous carrier prior to porting your number, the number will no longer be yours to keep.
Arrange Your Dial Plan – When switching over to a hosted PBX, organizing the routing of your VOIP calls is one of the first things that must be done. In order to do so, you’ll need to define various rules for your calls, including:
- The buttons used to activate voicemail and other features
- The hours of operation for your desk phones
- Setting up your directory
- The handling of faxes
- Sequential and simultaneous ringing
- How off-hour calls are handled
- Configure your emergency 911 settings