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What is a Cloud Hosted PBX?

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What is a Cloud Hosted PBX?

 

Put simply, a cloud-hosted PBX is a business phone system that uses offsite data centre hosting rather than in-house servers and is powered and managed through the Internet. The biggest draw of this system is that it offers many more features than a traditional office phone solution, but doesn’t require the technical expertise on-site because everything can be easily set up and coordinated with an off-site facility, who will handle all the logistics and backend operations of the hosted switchboard sytem. 

 

Breaking Down the Definitions

Although the term “cloud” is practically part of everyday Internet language, some people still aren’t familiar with what it means. The cloud is simply a reference to the virtual storage and operational space of the Internet. Almost everything runs on the cloud these days, including things like your personal smartphone backup.

Rather than having hosted servers in the business, a cloud-hosted PBX allows companies to save money, space, and technical expertise by taking the storage and management offsite. A cloud PBX means you can even opt to forego desktop phones and have calls routed directly to employees’ mobile devices, which can not only save money, but offer more flexible working solutions as well.

PBX is a term that has been around for decades and was originally coined with the development of the first multi-line office phone systems. It stands for Private Branch Exchange and allows for routing and transferring calls to a number of extensions and departments throughout the business. While traditional PABX installations had to be scaled for business size, cloud-based solutions offer much more flexibility, which makes them more affordable to implement, too.

 

How Does a Hosted Phone System Work?

When a call is placed to a business phone that is on a hosted phone system, that call is routed to the data centre that stores the servers and hardware to operate the system. The system answers the call and routes it accordingly through the server. Once the endpoint is determined, such as when someone dials an extension for a specific office, the system will transmit the call via VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and it can be answered in the office just like a traditional office phone, or even received on a mobile device, tablet, or computer.

A cloud-hosted system takes all the clutter and hardware out of the office itself, providing a more cost-effective and space-saving solution for office phone systems. It also offers diverse options for businesses that may need custom phone solutions. Plus, upgrades and new feature implementations will be added immediately since everything is running on the Internet.

hosted-pbx-diagram

 

Why Do Businesses Choose Cloud Hosting?

Although there a number of benefits of a cloud-hosted PABX, the biggest draw for most companies are what many consider the four main components that set cloud services apart from traditional PABX systems:

  • Flexibility
  • Affordability
  • Simplicity
  • Scalability

Implementing cloud PBX systems can cut costs as much as 75% for some business clients, and even those on the low end will still see savings of more than 25% comparatively. Since the only hardware cost is any physical phone the business needs to implement in the office, the Total Cost of Ownership is quite low with these systems, and their scalability reduces a lot of upfront and ongoing costs.

 

Disadvantages of Cloud PBX Systems

There are only a few notable disadvantages to using a cloud-hosted switchboard, and both can be mediated with appropriate measures, so there really is no downside if you implement the right services, tools, and features. For one thing, many people mention the security risks of VoIP and cloud hosting, due to the virtual nature of things. However, quality cloud PBX providers will include secure, privacy-enabled solutions for every business need.

Another common complaint comes from call quality, which is directly related to the Internet connection in the business. If you’re thinking of switching to cloud-hosted services, make sure that you have a high-speed, super-reliable connection for the best quality and to avoid dropping calls. Today's systems are much more advanced than their predecessors, but you still have to give them the best tools and a solid Internet connection is a must.

 

Features of Cloud Hosted Phone System

The versatility and available features that come with a cloud switchboard system are appreciated by businesses. There is a wide selection of available features, including:

  • A virtual attendant to answer and route all incoming calls
  • Call groups
  • Call recording and live monitoring
  • Voicemail and voicemail transcription
  • Online interface
  • Automated call distribution
  • Analytics, reporting, and other tools
  • Call queues
  • Call barge and whisper features

 

The Bottom Line

Cloud-hosted PABX solutions offer plenty of benefits for the modern business that needs more flexibility in its office phone system offerings. The benefit of flexible, scalable solutions with fewer expenses and hardware requirements is really what gets most people excited about switching to cloud hosting from a traditional PBX. Now that you better understand the basics of these systems, it should be easier for you to choose what best suits your business needs. In most cases, you’ll realise that the cloud PBX just makes more sense in so many different ways.

 

To learn more about a cloud-hosted PBX and what it can do for your business, speak to one of our specialists today by calling 020 3399 8011 or emailing us at info@unitedtelecoms.net. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide you with a no-obligation, hassle-free quote on cloud-hosted PBX for your business needs.

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