In today’s internet-based world, businesses across South Africa now have the option of a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) telephony system that is hosted in the cloud, rather than having to invest in the traditional on-site hardware required to operate a multi-line business phone system. Modern office phone solutions have come a long way from the very first analogue or PABX hardware systems, which often required entire rooms to house all the computerized switchboard components. Modern systems can be located remotely in data centers around the world, with calls routed to the appropriate offices or departments of the business via the internet. Many cloud-hosted systems even offer the use of softphones or mobile devices instead of traditional desk-based phones. If your business is looking for a flexible and reliable switchboard solution, a cloud-hosted PBX system could be just what you need. We at United Telecoms have determined the following 10 hosted PBX benefits that will have you setting up your business’ cloud phone system sooner than you think. Before defining the advantages of a hosted PBX system, let us clarify what exactly a cloud PBX system is.
What Exactly is a Cloud PBX System?
A cloud PBX system essentially functions in the same way as a traditional business phone exchange. The difference is that a traditional switchboard system requires you to invest firstly in all the hardware, and secondly, space to physically house it within your business premises. A hosted PBX telephone system doesn’t require the purchase or housing of any hardware or servers or an IT team to maintain it. With a hosted system, everything is maintained and operated offsite by a dedicated service provider. Your only input is initialising the system to the needs of your business.
Top 10 Benefits of a Hosted Telephone System
As your business grows and changes, so will its communication needs. Modern hosted telephone systems are designed to offer adaptable solutions that can be easily changed to suit the ever-changing needs of your business. They can also be integrated with other cloud applications for a variety of functionalities, including flexible and remote working solutions. Your business can easily move premises, downsize, expand terminate whenever you choose.
A cloud-based solution enables your business to add or remove users and telephone extensions and lines as and when needed, with no investment in additional hardware. You may need to upgrade your service plan to accommodate more lines, but this is a simple request via e-mail or telephone call. The affordability and agility of scaling is what sets a hosted system apart from the traditional on-site PBX.
3. Feature-Rich Solutions
As a virtual service, the option for selecting, arranging and customising features is almost endless. Businesses of all sizes, and from all industries, can create bespoke combinations of the hosted features that they need. Cloud-hosted PBX services allow your business to take advantage of a complete unified communications solution, as well as upgrades to premium packages.
4. Automatic Updates
With traditional PBX systems, businesses had to invest a lot of money in updates and then wait for timeous on-site technical support required for updates and repairs. Today’s internet connectivity allows your PBX to be updated as soon as new software is released and ensures that the system is regularly and automatically checked for current updates available.
5. Cost Savings
PBX providers have reported telephony cost savings of between 30-75% percent when switching to a cloud-based PBX system. On-site PBX solutions require a substantial upfront cost investment, along with ongoing hardware maintenance costs, even for small businesses with <10 employees. When a data center takes over the hosting, they also take financial responsibility for the hardware. Therefore, all your business pays for is the cost to use the provider’s service, and the handsets required for your employees, if using desk-based telephones. Hosted PBX solutions offer the advantage of no upfront costs, little maintenance, and lower call costs.
6. Space Savings
Without your business hosting all the hardware for a phone system on-site, you can use that space for more effective purposes. Although technology has come a long way, traditional PBX equipment still takes up a reasonable amount of space. With cloud hosting, the hardware is off-site, meaning that your business has more usable office space.
7. Simple Setup
Most cloud-based PBX phone systems can be implemented within a matter of days and are ready to use right away. Plus, using them is so easy that there’s not much training or experience needed. Staff members can answer calls and use the phones as normal and leave the details to the hosting center.
8. Improved Customer Service
A virtual attendant ensures that all calls are routed to the correct office or department. It can even allow for interdepartmental greetings and special messages to assist customers with common queries or concerns. A virtual attendant ensures your customers consistently receive pleasant service, leading to fewer complaints about your business’ phone communications.
9. Business Continuity
In the event of some type of natural disaster or major event that could interrupt your physical business operations, your phone systems will be unaffected. Hosted PBX services are in a different location and can be located anywhere in the world. Therefore, even if the office is out of commission, your calls can still be routed to other phones or computers through the cloud.
10. Total Control Over Your Business Communications
When your business implements a cloud-hosted voice solution, you will be given a Telephone Management System (TMS) user interface that gives you total control over the communications. This includes the tools required to set up the chain of contact and call routes, as well as the ability to easily add and remove features and functions as needed. A TMS allows you to manage your PBX in real-time, straight from your desktop or mobile phone.
The Bottom Line
Cloud Hosted PBX systems are cost-effective, efficient, and completely scalable and come with a host of other benefits as seen above. If your business needs a more affordable, flexible solution for communications, the cloud-based PBX might be the perfect fit for you.
To learn more about our Hosted PBX solution, contact the team at United Telecoms today on 086 001 8500 or email us at [email protected] Our telecoms specialists are standing by to answer any questions and assist with your cloud-hosted PBX system quote.