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Cloud PBX: All you need to know
Posted on: 2017-02-28 | Categories: VoIP Services
Over the last few years, 3 major trends have tremendously impacted businesses – mobile computing devices, the rise of social networking/media and the cloud. Organizations are having to change the way they work in response to these technological innovations. Clients expect to get results at any time of day and employees want the freedom to work from any location. All of which has been possible with the advent of cloud computing.
The cloud permeates most business processes today. More and more companies are moving away from using legacy systems that require maintenance. Instead they are embracing cloud services which are delivered on demand by a trusted vendor. You don’t have to maintain them, upgrade equipment or worry about purchasing licenses when new versions are released.
What is a Cloud PBX?
Cloud PBX services are also referred to by other names like hosted VoIP or managed VoIP services. Some providers offer fully managed services for business clients – everything is taken care of for your business. Other services are more hands on – they require you to know what you’re doing or hire someone who does. But the basic premise remains the same – enterprise phone services are delivered through data networks instead of copper wires over the PSTN.
In other words, you can purchase phone service in the same way as you would for email. Organizations used to have to run their own email servers and manage everything in house. Hardware purchasing and maintenance, licensing the software, upgrading and introducing new features was managed by the IT department. Nowadays companies can buy email services from a provider who does all the heavy lifting. The vendor takes care of spam filtering, running the servers, fixing problems and so on.
Cloud PBX works on the same principle. Phone services are delivered to you over the cloud and managed by experts. No fuss, no worries!
Cloud PBX vs On Premise PBX
Traditional PBX systems routed phone calls over the PSTN via copper lines. You would need to buy the hardware and pay someone to configure it. You were in charge of maintenance and troubleshooting. Major changes meant waiting for technicians to rewire equipment and maybe the entire building. All of which translates to downtime for your business.
Cloud PBX systems work differently. They use VoIP and the SIP protocol to send voice calls over the Internet or other data networks. It means calls are cheaper since they don’t travel through copper wires. Many types of calls become free for users. Since it is based on IP protocols, your phone system can finally join other modern enterprise services like email and document sharing.
SIP Trunking vs Cloud PBX
Cloud or hosted PBX isn’t the only way to use VoIP though. Businesses can also deploy SIP trunks, just like traditional PRI lines. You will have to upgrade your existing PBX to one that is compatible with SIP but everything else works just like analog PBX systems. You still control your hardware and phone system. It’s great for companies with the in house expertise but not so good for smaller businesses.
Cloud PBX on the other hand is much more simple from a client perspective. There is no equipment in your office or building. The phone service and PBX features like voicemail, call routing are all delivered to your employees through the cloud. You can make changes through an online dashboard for the entire office, for small groups or even on an individual basis. The vendor manages every day maintenance, long term upgrades and troubleshooting when something goes wrong.
Why Choose Cloud PBX?
There are many reasons why you should consider switching over to cloud PBX services if you haven’t already done so. Your business gets access to new features, some of which are impossible to implement over analog phone lines. You can integrate the PBX with other enterprise cloud services like CRM, ERP or even your company website!
Cloud PBX services bring together many different communication tools under one roof. You can implement instant messaging, video conferencing and presence information over the same service. Employees can seamlessly switch between video, audio and written messaging without having to juggle multiple logins or hardware.
With cloud PBX services, your business will see a dramatic decrease in the monthly phone bills. Internal calls between employees are usually free, even their office are scattered across the country. International calls cost a fraction of the price charged by traditional carriers. Your monthly bills will no longer come as a shock to the accountants!
If all those benefits are not enough to convince you, consider that the PSTN won’t be around for much longer. Many phone companies are preparing to turn off the PSTN in favor of VoIP. Why wait until you don’t have a choice? Upgrade to cloud PBX service today and start enjoying all its advantages!