Traditionally, PBX solutions were bulky machines that required huge storage space to set up the machine. They also needed wire-based configuration to set up different extensions and phone numbers. With time software-based PBX solutions were invented, which helped in eliminating several shortcomings of traditional private branch exchange systems. The cloud hosted PBX came as a real savior because it overpowered an array of challenges businesses used to fail.
As the benefits of using a cloud based hosted PBX solution are evidently high, more and more businesses have started opting for these solutions. There are multiple options available when you look for a reliable system. However, each offering may appear identical except for a few changes in the features or some variable pricing differences. Thus, it becomes difficult for a business owner to choose an ideal cloud hosted PBX solution.
To help you make the right choice, we have come up with this blog post, which will give you a complete guide to choosing the right system for your business.
Each of these points will give you complete clarity on the subject matter and help you choose an ideal and beneficial system for your business.
1. What is cloud PBX?
A PBX system is a private phone system for a business that helps in connecting different departments and employees. It will also have wide ranging features that enhance the communication experience of the team at a much lower cost of communication.
A cloud based IP PBX system is the one that hosts this software over cloud hosting platforms. The system will let businesses use features of this powerful VoIP based communication software from any location, at any time, and enjoy mobility. It will also provide several other advantages associated with a cloud based system.
2. What is hosted PBX?
A hosted PBX solution is a private branch exchange system that is hosted on the premises or cloud of the service provider. The user of the hosted solution does not need to invest in buying the software and handling other operational expenses associated with the software. Unlike that, a hosted solution is available at a monthly rental model and users can use the software at affordable monthly rent. They can also upgrade or downgrade plans based on their business needs and budget.
3. What is cloud hosted PBX?
A cloud hosted PBX system is a cloud solution, plus, it is a hosted solution. In simpler words, if your hosted PBX solution provider has hosted the software over a cloud platform and providing you benefits of both cloud and hosted solutions, then you are using a cloud hosted PBX solution. It gives the advantages of a cloud solution without investing in the license and hosting cost of the hosted PBX software.
Both cloud and hosted solutions have their own advantages, which is why this type of business phone system has attracted many business owners to augment the communication of their business without increasing the cost of acquisition or operations.
4. What are the major advantages of using a cloud hosted PBX system?
There are several advantages of using a cloud based hosted PBX solution. Let’s explore the major ones.
Augmented communication experience
One of the major reasons to invest in the IP PBX solution is to get access to wide ranging communication features. This solution can be accessed remotely, which lets all team members, including those that are traveling on a business trip or working in the field, use all features. Moreover, this software can be integrated with a PC dialer or mobile SIP dialer, which gives added advantages of mobility and SIP Softphone to the users.
Better brand positioning
By using this software, all teams of a company are always connected. They don’t need to be stressed about meeting the next morning or calling individually. Cloud hosted PBX system can simply have a conference call and even a remote meeting by using excellent communication features. They can make instant business decisions and keep investors and customers happy. This would help in positioning the business brand.
The hosted solution does not need you to pay heavy expenses on buying a license, IP Phones, and other infrastructural components to set up the software. You will also not need to invest in hosting, operations, or technical management of the software.
No hassle related to technicalities
As there is no software installed or operated at business premises or cloud, there will be no hassle related to managing technical aspects.
5. How to choose the right cloud hosted IP PBX software for a business?
It is easy to choose the best cloud hosted PBX because you don’t need to get into too much detail. You just need to focus on three major criteria, which you can discuss before signing up for the service.
Features vs. Rate Card
An IP PBX solution offers an excellent range of features, which would be mapped in different rate cards. It is necessary to choose the right features and get them at the right cost. This is the first step for selecting the right business system with the hosted cloud model.
You can get access to the features and rate card on the website of the provider. You can even ask for the same during the first interaction. This information will help you choose the best provider along with the best software. Compare open source class 4 Softswitches to find the right one for your communication needs and budget.
IP PBX Software
The next step in selecting the best cloud hosted PBX solution is inspecting the actual software and its efficiency before signing up. You can ask for a live demo and if possible, a free trial. You must explore the following points:
- User interface: It must be easy to eyes as your team may need to spend a lot of time using the software. It must also have clear labels to make it easier to use the software.
- Navigation: It has to be simple to understand and use, else your team would struggle to check different menus.
- Efficiency: Each feature must work efficiently or else it would be of no use to acquire that software solution.
- Integration: All businesses use multiple business tools and software solutions. Some tools might need to be used in coordination with the IP PBX software. For example, you may want to integrate CRM with the PBX system. In this case, even if it costs additional, your service provider must be able to provide third party integration with the software.
- Customization: A system should be easily customizable. In general, you will not need to customize the software, but to meet custom needs you might need some sort of customization. Thus, it is necessary to check how much it would cost and how easy it is to get a customized solution.
The next step is to check the scalability of the solution. All providers will assure high scalability, but it is necessary to cross check if the system is really scalable or not. Even if the system is scalable, the bandwidth of the provider must match the requirements of scalability. The provider should have staff to scale up your system. You must also check how long it can take to scale it up and how much extra you need to pay for the system.
The hosted PBX solution is a technical system, and you may need some technical help at a certain point. Whether it is about reconfiguring an extension or changing the IVR menu, you will need technical help from the provider. There can be some major technical peculiarities as well that need to be handled by the experts. Here comes the need to check technical support and its reliability. Some sorts of technical support are provided for free by the provider and some would cost additional. On the contrary, some providers charge for any type of support you would need. There are also different clauses of support based on which they attend to their technical requests. All this must be clarified to know how your technical requests will be handled by your hosted cloud solution provider.
In conclusion, there are several advantages of using a cloud based IP PBX system and it can be a great boon for small and medium businesses that want to leverage the advantage of both cloud and hosted PBX software. Large enterprises are using open source class 4 Softswitches to reduce technical load and focus on communication features.
We provide a feature rich IP PBX solution to businesses that support multi tenancy. This software can be used to run a business with cloud hosted PBX. If you are interested in exploring more about our software and offerings, get in touch with us.