Companies around the world have been using hosted phone systems for their unified communications needs. Private branch exchange or PBX telephone systems offer greater flexibility and control over office communication channels than traditional methods, such as landline telephone lines.
With traditional telecom solutions, businesses have to deal with high installation costs, hundreds of meters of cables going in and out of the office, and ever-increasing phone bills that can be changed and modified effortlessly by the phone service provider. Add to that maintenance costs and the need to buy dozens of devices for all your employees, and you'll realize that using a traditional landline phone system can cost your company a lot of money that could actually be put to better use.
Not everyone is a communications expert, and as a business owner, you may not have much time to explore the intricacies of each phone system. This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about using a hosted business phone system.What is a hosted phone system?
A hosted phone system (usually an Internet-based phone system) is a phone system in which the servers and applications are located in a third-party data center rather than at your place of business. Most major hosted phone systems today are cloud-based, eliminating the need for expensive physical hardware and analog or ISDN phone lines on-site. Instead, your phone provider or VoIP service provider will help host the phone system.
Since hosted phone systems are also based on Internet connections, some people may confuse the difference between hosted phone systems and VoIP phone systems. In fact, they both utilize VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology to facilitate calls. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between them.
VoIP Phone Systems
VoIP stands for "Voice over Internet Protocol," and the name actually explains the technology pretty well on the surface. Unlike traditional phone systems, VoIP phone systems convert voice signals into digital data in packets and send them over the Internet through a router.
VoIP is currently one of the most popular Unified Communications solutions for large corporations and small businesses, mainly because of the cost savings compared to traditional solutions such as landlines, especially when making regular long distance or international business calls.VoIP phone systems also offer many advanced communication features and require less manual maintenance.
Your employees may not even need specialized equipment in order to make and receive calls using VoIP! While IP telephony is recommended for optimal call quality and to minimize data loss during transmission, many hosted phone system providers also allow you to make and receive calls through what is known as a "softphone". A softphone is an application installed on your cell phone or desktop that is used to access your company's PBX system.
Cloud Based Hosted Phone Systems
Cloud based hosted phone systems are also known as cloud PBX or virtual PBX.With the advancement of cloud technology, users have more options for implementing their phone systems. When choosing a hosted PBX system, your company gets all the benefits of VoIP, but without having to store sensitive data in your company's data center.
Your company phone system is hosted off-site by your service provider. The key to understanding this is the word "hosted". With this option, you don't have to worry about owning or maintaining all the necessary equipment in your office.
With a hosted PBX service, you'll get the same communication features as a local VoIP phone system without having to maintain expensive equipment. Most cloud-based phone services offer a single, stable monthly or annual fee for all your large or small business needs.
Everything is in the cloud and all your company needs to get started immediately is a stable internet connection and SIP endpoints. Additionally, it provides a safety net in the event of a power outage - the entire PBX is hosted in a remote location, which means it will stay in place once the power issue is resolved.
Benefits of Hosted Phone Systems
How exactly can using a cloud-based phone solution in your office benefit your company? Well, aside from the obvious aspect of saving thousands of dollars a year by switching to a cheaper, more efficient service provider, there are a number of lesser-known advantages to using a hosted phone system in your office environment.
How PBX Phone Systems WorkSimple and easy setup
Setting up a PBX system is very simple, and in most cases, you don't even need the help of a professional to get started. Since all of your communications will be transmitted over the Internet, there is no need for additional cables or hardware to get a hosted phone system up and running. This can all be done through your web browser or client application, depending on which provider you decide to use. If you have any questions, you can simply contact online customer support for a quick and helpful response.No Additional Equipment Required
With a virtual PBX system, you no longer have to spend your hard-earned money on the hardware needed to make it all work. You can use whatever you already have, whether they are traditional desk phones, VoIP-enabled devices, mobile devices, and laptops and stationary computers. Not only does this save you a lot of money on office supplies, but it also means you can implement a new communications system from day one!Extra Features
Many hosted service providers have been offering Unified Communications solutions, which means that not only can you take advantage of cheaper and more efficient audio calls, but you can also take advantage of many more sophisticated features not available with traditional telephony solutions. Here is a list of some of the most popular ones.
- video conferencing
- instant messaging
- voicemail to email transcription
- Customer Relationship Management integration
- greater scalability and flexibility
Demand for communications can fluctuate, especially for startups and peak season industries such as retail, travel, hospitality and entertainment. Since most hosted phone services are on a per-user, pay-as-you-go pricing model, it's easier for these companies to allocate costs more efficiently. It only takes a day or a few days to add or subtract users.
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