It's Time to Get Familiar with Hosted PBX

August 9th, 2013 by admin

Before hosted services became popular, businesses traditionally maintained all of their equipment and platforms in house.  Traditional PBX consisted of a physical product at the enterprise’s location. With a hosted PBX, you do not have the underlying infrastructure within physical reach. It is provisioned at the service provider’s office or data center. The same features, however, are included as a traditional PBX, but with hosted PBX, several more are available. Current providers, for example, often include high-quality, HD voice, a feature commonly left out of older PBX systems due to cost. Even providers which included high-quality sound as a selling point often had to retract such offerings because of affordability. Other common features found in hosted PBX, include power over Ethernet, automatic music on hold, caller ID number and name, voice mail, and notification of a shared line. Here are some more details about the difference between Traditional and Hosted PBX:

Traditional PBX

  1. A traditional PBX system consists of an in-house platform. Users would get five phones which plugged in to an interface; the performance was highly dependent on available Internet bandwidth. These would typically plug into phone lines, such as PSTN, or SIP trunks.
  2. Traditional systems were often time stamped. Features would work for a limited amount of time until an upgrade was needed.

Hosted PBX

  1. An example of a hosted PBX service includes five phones, plus a circuit that plugs into the carrier network. Access to the features occurs through these connections and you do not need the full infrastructure to be set up, stored, and maintained within the building.

Hosted PBX in the Enterprise

Hosted PBX offers a solution for companies that are expanding into multiples locations, which improves mobility.  More businesses these days have multiple offices rather that one large office and more businesses are operating remotely.  This product is perfect for these types of businesses, especially ones that have up to 100 phones.  For businesses with more than 100 phones, traditional PBX is more cost effective. The best way to make the decision of what works best for your company would be to call Business Phones Direct and one of our consultants can advise you.

Drivers of Hosted PBX

In addition to its cost-effectiveness, there are many other drivers of hosted PBX. A hosted communications system is beneficial for organizations with limited expertise in newer products and technologies. Companies with a small technical staff often do not have the knowledge about specific products to make the soundest decisions. During times of rapid growth, flexibility is important, as it is when needing to downsize quickly and conserve resources. As demands change, businesses need to adapt quickly; hosted PBX provides this opportunity.

The service is also provided from a single vendor, so the burdens and costs of dealing with multiple service providers are eliminated. Having access to advanced technologies and capabilities allows businesses to stay competitive, and the internal staff to concentrate on activities related to the core business. Redundancy and disaster recovery are also optimized. A business can remain operational should any range of disruptions occur. Hosted PBX is also driven by the need to connect multiple office locations spread over a dispersed geographic area.

Features of PBX

A PBX system comes with a complete set of features enabling the company to benefit from a single package. With TelePacific, for example, clients receive full-feature Polycom phones. All of the IP's needed to run the system are included, such as the SoundStation IP 6000, SoundPoint IP 650 Extension Module, and other telecommunications system components. Other features of the system include power over Ethernet and dual switched Ethernet ports.

As far as functionality, clients receive a full range of capabilities. These include shared line appearance, caller ID name and number, music on hold, and a complete automated voicemail system. A major selling point for the overall system is HD Voice. Have you ever noticed how telephone carriers have stopped advertising the quality of sound with their services? Sprint ads no longer make references to hearing a “pin drop”. This is because high quality sound got too expensive for them as communications has evolved. Hosted PBX is the first service to introduce the quality of sound back into the communications market.

Unified Communications

Unified Communications incorporates all of the features of PBX and puts control of everything in the hands of the user. Administrative controls enable IT staff with the proper permissions to set rules for usage, access privileges, and track activity throughout the system. A user-friendly interface allows actions to be set quickly and any adjustments to be made without impacting time constraints. In addition, end user controls provide an easy interface for anyone using the system. Users can make a call, communicate via text, or set their status at the touch of a button.

Features for all roles in the system are integrated. The receptionist dashboard includes everything needed to manage, take, and route calls. It also shows the latest status of system users, so call distribution can be effectively managed even at high volumes. Directories can also be navigated from a single screen. Operators, therefore, have a simple tool to quickly perform their duties.

Hosted PBX Solution

For an end user, many other features are typically accessed with a large LCD screen and touchscreen keys. One can establish a shared call, transfer a call, or have complete control during conferencing. They can also control their voicemail, virtual fax and mobility or engage in a web-based chat. Instant message, video chat, call and IM history, and email may be provided as well. Administrators can route features based on skill sets, pool resources, view queue status in real time, and create queue and agent reports.

Hosted PBX, therefore, offers the quality only promised by telecom systems of the past, at a fraction of the cost. The many features of an integrated communications system are all managed from a single console. TelePacific, while just one example of a service provider in the hosted PBX market, provides a full service solution complete with a call center, subscriber portal, call recording, IP phones, and business communications. Businesses can therefore focus on their core functions and take advantage of all the features any hosted solution provides.

If you are interested in learning more about Hosted PBX services and want to find a service provider that offers the services that best fit your business, please contact Business Phones Direct today to speak with one of our expert consultants at 866-777-7466.

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