A cloud private branch exchange (PBX) phone system routes calls to the proper directory. Unlike traditional PBX systems, which are large machines that use hard-wired lines to route everything, cloud PBX uses the internet. People on PBX systems can communicate both internally or externally using VoIP or analog. A PBX also provides other features that make communication easier, such as the ability to transfer calls or record voicemails.
Traditional PBX systems are connected with physical wires routed through a premise based piece of equipment. They are usually stored somewhere in a closet and require consistent maintenance. Most of the time, there is a specific IT worker dedicated to system upkeep. These systems are not flexible, and to be updated, they require entirely new hardware. Also, they do not come with all the features that cloud PBX systems do. Adapters are required for things like VoIP.
Most businesses use a hybrid system called an IP PBX. Instead of connecting phones to the PBX itself, they are connected to the LAN network. The phones are connected to a box, which in turn connects to the LAN network. This box requires ongoing maintenance and upkeep much like a traditional PBX.
Cloud PBX systems are the future of PBX. They do not require a box or the associated maintenance costs, since maintenance is managed by the host. In a cloud PBX system, private servers are dedicated to managing your calls. They are constantly updated and upgraded, and the gold standard is Five 9’s (99.999%) uptime. So, with a cloud PBX system, you do not have to worry about downtime due to errors or maintenance.
To decide whether cloud PBX is the right choice for your business, you need to look at the many benefits and features of cloud PBX systems as well as their drawbacks.
Cloud PBX offers businesses several important benefits.
Uptime is crucial to running an efficient business. It is hard to get things done when your employees cannot communicate with each other and your customers, so a reliable system is essential.
You can transfer calls reliably with cloud PBX with simple digital tools provided by the cloud service. It is very easy and intuitive to transfer calls, and you can transfer them to anyone on the system.
You can configure a large number of customization options for each individual to improve call workflow. You can even set custom greetings for voicemail tones and add a number of extensions.
One great convenience of cloud PBX is that it allows employees to bring their own devices. This gives them significantly more freedom as they wait for or participate in calls, since they are free to move around and are not tied to a desk. Apps developed by cloud PBX providers make this possible. All employees need to do is download the app and sign into their accounts, and the system manager orchestrates the rest.
Security is important, and cloud PBX protects your valuable company information. For example, business phone numbers are stored within the system instead of each employee having to add them into their personal devices. This way, when an employee leaves, you do not risk important information falling into a competitor’s hands. A passcode protects some cloud PBX system apps, so if the device is compromised, you do not have to worry about it revealing important business information.
Cloud PBX gives you complete control over what it’s used for. You can restrict specific numbers like international numbers that way, you can save money. You can also easily set up the routes you want using its intuitive drag and drop software. You route call lines through a flowchart, which makes it easy to see where everything goes.
Multiple devices can connect to a cloud PBX system, including both phones and computers. With most providers, you can transfer calls seamlessly. Traditional PBX systems don’t accommodate video calls or virtual meetings, but since cloud PBX service can connect to your computer, you gain the ability to use the system for video calls.
Cloud PBX is a much less costly option than a standard PBX system. Traditional PBX systems can run in the thousands of dollars in addition to maintenance costs. Cloud PBX systems, on the other hand, have an average cost of under a hundred dollars per month, and you do not need to hire someone to maintain them.
Now that we understand the benefits of cloud PBX phone systems, what are the negatives? A cloud PBX system isn’t the ideal solution for every business. Here’s why:
If your business doesn’t have a good broadband internet connection, a cloud PBX system is not likely to perform well for you. Since calls are routed via the internet, a slow connection can make calls slow, choppy, or even cause them to drop.
Most businesses that utilize cloud PBX systems have fewer users than those using traditional or hybrid systems. Providers generally offer multiple pricing plans that are proportional to the number of users allowed on your network; as your number of users increases, so does your price.
If you decide that a cloud PBX system is the right choice for your organization, the next crucial step is to choose the right partner. First and foremost, look at their reported uptime. The gold standard is 99.99%, so if a provider has significant downtime, it’s best to keep looking.
Different partners offer different things. Some, but not all, offer free trials. Trying out the waters would be helpful when looking for a new system, but it’s more efficient make the right choice the first time so employees don’t need to adjust to multiple new systems. Do your research, and check out reviews for the cloud PBX providers you’re considering before trying one out.