Once upon a time, conventional telephone systems — often referred to as Private Branch Exchange (PBX) — came part and parcel amongst the standard equipment of practically every office around the world. Indeed, PBX served its purpose very well in its heyday — the technology enabled communication between the public telephone network and the internal office telephone network. It proved for many years to be a very adequate solution for keeping these two networks essentially separate, but nonetheless connected in a manner that enabled internal management of incoming and outgoing calls.
But, as time has moved forward and telecommunications needs have progressed, this old hardware-based system is becoming increasingly outdated and is making way for more flexible solutions that address the requirements of the modern business model.
The Decentralized Business Model
It’s no secret that the world has gone mobile, and this is just as true for the working business world as it is for the consumer-driven world. Businesses these days need to be reachable around the clock to align themselves with the 24-hour availability that their websites offer the online consumer. Furthermore, the actual office space is becoming ever-more virtualization. No longer do employees want to be confined to a desk in an office block in the city centre which costs them a fortune in travel and parking fares every day. No, increasingly, ‘office’ workers are morphing into home workers, as the unstoppable spread of the internet has made the concept of a decentralized office a reality.
And the need for mobility doesn’t stop there. Many sales reps, for instance, will be out in the field all day long, business brokers will often convene with partners or clients over lunch in a restaurant, and some companies even run their businesses absolutely decentralized and completely in the virtual space where even the receptionist is remote. This sort of thing is of course perfectly actionable these days with internet access being as ubiquitous as it is, and mobile devices being as powerful as they are.
The old PBX system with its absolute reliance on in-house hardware and cabling connections just simply isn’t sophisticated enough to cater for the 2015/16 business model. And that’s where Hosted PBX comes in.
What Is Hosted PBX?
For all intents and purposes, Hosted PBX delivers exactly the same functionality as the good old standard PBX system of yesteryear. That is to say that Hosted PBX enables communication between the public telephone network and the office telephone network, with the difference being that the latter can now be as widespread and geographically disparate as need be. A Hosted PBX lets employees work from home, from a hotel room, a library, cafÃ©, or simply on their smartphone, all whilst still being connected to the same office telephone system.
All the functionality of a PBX system is there — calls can be transferred, music can be played whilst callers are put on hold, conference calls can be organized, and automated attendants can be set up with the ability to direct callers to different departments.
Put simply, Hosted PBX is the ideal solution for businesses which operate in multiple locations, though still want the ability to work under a single umbrella, thusly reducing resource requirements and improving productivity.
How Does Hosted PBX Work?
Hosted PBX is a cloud solution. If you’re familiar with cloud technology, then you will probably already perceive of and understand the convenience and power that Hosted PBX will provide.
A Hosted PBX system is not a physical system that has to be installed (and therefore confined) on a user’s site. Instead, the phone system is made available over a network — i.e. the cloud. What this essentially means is that the PBX is now accessed via the internet, so that no matter where an employee is in the world, provided there is an internet connection, he/she can dial into and be reached via the office network.
No hardware needs to be installed on the customer’s premises, and yet the customer still retains the ability to utilise all of the characteristic features of a traditional telephone system — call queues, call transfers, automated answering attendants, etc.
What Are The Advantages Of Hosted PBX?
Hosted PBX can be thought of as a virtual telephone system. In addition to the roaming capabilities that such a system offers users, there are many more great advantages to utilizing the technology.
1. Reduced Hardware Requirements
Since a virtual telephone system resides off-premises in the cloud, so too does all the hardware that is required to run it. This means that there are no initial installation costs, and neither are there any operation or maintenance costs going forward, as this is all handled by the provider.
2. No Additional Telephone Bills
Since the Hosted PBX user will now be relying entirely on the services of a cloud-based virtual telephone system provider, the company now no longer needs to pay for the previously essential connection with a telephone network.
3. Scalability And Flexibility
One of the greatest advantages of all for Hosted PBX is found in the service’s flexibility and scalability. As with most cloud services, with Hosted PBX you only ever pay for what you use, which means that there is no large initial capital investment in getting started, and, going forward, if the company grows, then the phone system is simply scaled with it. Furthermore, if there are any additional functions that the company requires, Hosted PBX enables the flexibility to only enable these functions as and when required, with no long term commitment should such functions become obsolete once more.