Is a Cloud PBX the Right Choice for My Business?
While a cloud-hosted PBX system offers undeniably popular benefits, it may not necessarily be the most appropriate or valuable solution for your business communication needs. Part of developing an effective voice solutions strategy is knowing which tools are available, and then evaluating which will be most useful for your specific business. The starting point is deciding whether a hosted phone system is the right choice for you, or if you would be better suited to stick with a traditional on-premise PBX system.
There are still some larger corporations and organisations that fare better with an on-premise site exchange. By taking the time to consider the various elements and features of a cloud-hosted exchange or VoIP system outlined below, you will be able to get a much better sense of what it can do for your business.
What Is a Cloud-Hosted PBX?
PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange and was defined when the first business phone systems were developed. A cloud or hosted PBX is simply a business phone system that is physically hosted offsite, meaning that the only hardware housed within the business are the phones being used. This system was initially designed to offer better solutions for small businesses, but it has since been implemented by companies of all sizes, due to the flexibility of its many benefits and features.
Who Benefits from a Hosted Phone Systems?
Companies of all sizes, across a range of sectors within the United Kingdom, can benefit from hosted voice solutions. Most people who recommend this solution tend to focus on the substantial cost savings and flexibility of the system, but there are a number of attractive advantages that could be of value to your business.
The users that benefit most from hosted PBX solutions include those that need the following:
- Lower up-front costs. With a hosted solution, you do not need to buy hardware. This means that your upfront investment in a business telephone system is substantially reduced. Since you do not have the cost of purchasing hardware, software, or other equipment, you can put that money back into other areas of your business.
- Increased mobility or flexibility. Start-ups and smaller companies may opt for a more flexible or mobile voice solution, because they expect their business to grow and move premises, and do not want to be tied to large pieces of equipment that need to be moved and re-installed. With a hosted PBX system, you only have to move the handsets. Furthermore, the service can be customised to include any features that you need, making a hosted solution a very popular choice for any growing business and its ever-changing needs.
- Better call quality. VoIP and hosted solutions are notorious for their improved call quality and connectivity, due to the technological advancements available. Hosting service providers have few issues with downtime and connections in their highly resilient data centers, a benefit that is inherently passed onto the end-user - your business.
- Advanced features and integration options. Hosted exchanges allow companies to pick and choose from a variety of advanced features and integration options, including the option to integrate with scheduling or other CRM software.
- Fewer risks to business continuity. If your exchange is hosted in-house, you have to deal with the risk of potential interruptions to service, including internet outages and natural disasters like storms or fire that could damage the equipment. Dedicated off-site hosting facilities have advanced disaster recovery procedures and offer better protection from potential threats to what you can offer in your office.
Four Simple Questions to Help You Decide
Now that the primary benefits of a hosted PBX have been outlined and explained, you should be able to determine whether or not it suits your communication needs. As you work through the following four questions, you will be able to confirm if a hosted solution is, in fact, the right choice for your business.
1. How many employees do you have, or how many lines do you need?
Due to their size, large enterprises or corporations may be able to recoup the investment costs and realise the value of having on-site equipment and an in-house maintenance team. Smaller businesses generally cannot justify this cost, or simply cannot afford it. A hosted PBX is typically best suited for companies that have 50 employees or fewer. Ultimately, at this size, a business is better off paying per line with hosted solutions.
2. What level of scalability do you want?
Will you be adding and removing lines quickly, or have you found yourself in a place where you need something more flexible than onsite hardware? If you are consistently dealing with staffing changes or seasonal employment, the quick and simple nature of hosted solutions would be an ideal fit for your business, rather than constantly having to invest in new hardware or physical phone lines.
3. Do you have the means to hire in-house experts?
When you upgrade to a VoIP solution, your business will require more than just the average IT professional on hand. You will need to be able to commit to hiring full-time staff that can handle the on-site PBX and any issues that may arise so that you’re not taking your existing staff away from their daily responsibilities. Smaller companies, or those with fewer employees, often benefit from outsourcing their PBX to a service provider.
4. Is my business site ready?
If you are wanting to make the move to a virtual PBX system, it is essential to confirm that you have access to a reliable, high speed internet connection at your business premises. A robust internet connection ensures a high call quality and prevents dropped calls.
The Bottom Line
A hosted PBX offers a custom setup that is less expensive to implement, and more effective at delivering quality solutions for your business needs, than its traditional on-premise counterpart. Ultimately, you are the one who has to decide on what is best for your business. Fortunately, now that you know what to consider, it should be an easy decision.
For further guidance on the best solution for your business needs, or to get a free quote, contact the team at United Telecoms today on 020 3399 8011, or email us at email@example.com.