What is a Cloud Hosted PBX?

A cloud-hosted PBX is a business PBX phone system that uses offsite data centre hosting rather than in-house or on premises servers and is powered and managed through the Internet. The biggest draw of this system is that it offers many more features than a traditional office phone solution, but doesn’t require the technical expertise on-site because everything can be easily set up and coordinated with an off-site facility, who will handle all the logistics and backend operations of the hosted switchboard system.

In this article, we will break down the definitions of a cloud-hosted PBX system and explain how it works. We will also explore why businesses choose a cloud PBX system, its disadvantages, and its features. Additionally, we will answer some frequently asked questions about cloud phone systems and provide our bottom line on whether it’s a good fit for your business.

Key Takeaways

  • A cloud-hosted PBX system offers many more features than a traditional office phone solution, without requiring technical expertise on-site.
  • Businesses choose a cloud PBX system because it’s easy to set up and coordinate with off-site facilities handling all the logistics and backend operations.
  • While a cloud PBX system has its disadvantages, its features make it an attractive option for many businesses.
  • How does a “PBX on Cloud” or CloudPBX remove the hassle of ongoing maintenance experience with a site based PBX?
management dashboard softphone extension desktop app
desktop softphone extension mobile app

Breaking Down the Definitions

Although the term “cloud” is practically part of everyday Internet language, some people still aren’t familiar with what it means. The cloud is simply a reference to the virtual storage and operational space of the Internet. Almost everything runs on the cloud these days, including things like your email, smartphone backups and everyday items such as the hosting and delivery of streaming TV services..

Rather than having hosted servers in the business, a cloud-hosted PBX allows companies to save money, space, and technical expertise by taking the storage and management offsite. A cloud PBX means you can even opt to forego desktop phones and have calls routed directly to employees’ mobile devices, which can not only save money, but offer more flexible working solutions as well.

PBX is a term that has been around for decades and was originally coined with the development of the first multi-line office phone systems. It stands for Private Branch Exchange and allows for routing and transferring calls to a number of extensions and departments throughout the business. While traditional PABX installations had to be scaled for business size, cloud-based solutions offer much more flexibility, which makes them more affordable to implement, too.


How Does a Hosted Phone System Work?

When a call is placed to a business phone that is on a hosted pbx phone system, that call is routed to the data centre that stores the servers and hardware to operate the system. The system answers the call and routes it accordingly through the server. Once the endpoint which could be another desk phone, computer with a softphone or Mobile app extension on a smartphone is determined, such as when someone dials an extension for a specific office, the system will transmit the call via VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), from there it can be answered in the office just like a traditional office phone, or even received on a mobile device, tablet, or computer.

A cloud-hosted system takes all the clutter and hardware out of the office itself, providing a more cost-effective and space-saving solution for office phone systems. It also offers diverse options for businesses that may need custom phone solutions. Plus, upgrades and new feature implementations will be added immediately since everything is running on the Internet.

Why Do Businesses Choose Cloud PBX System?

Although there a number of benefits of a cloud-hosted PABX, the biggest draw for most companies are what many consider the four main components that set cloud services apart from traditional PABX systems:

  • Flexibility
  • Affordability
  • Simplicity
  • Scalability

Implementing cloud PBX systems can cut costs as much as 75% for some business clients, and even those on the low end will still see savings of more than 25% comparatively. Since the only hardware cost is any physical phone the business needs to implement in the office, the Total Cost of Ownership is quite low with these systems, and their scalability reduces a lot of upfront and ongoing costs.

Disadvantages of Cloud PBX System

There are only a few notable disadvantages to using a cloud-hosted switchboard, and both can be mediated with appropriate measures, so there really is no downside if you implement the right services, tools, and features. For one thing, many people mention the security risks of VoIP and cloud hosting, due to the virtual nature of things. However, quality cloud PBX providers will include secure, privacy-enabled solutions for every business need.

Another common complaint comes from call quality, which is directly related to the Internet connection in the business. If you’re thinking of switching to cloud-hosted services, make sure that you have a high-speed, super-reliable connection for the best quality and to avoid dropping calls. Today’s systems are much more advanced than their predecessors, but you still have to give them the best tools and a solid Internet connection is a must.

Features of Cloud Hosted Phone System

The versatility and available features that come with a cloud switchboard system are appreciated by businesses. There is a wide selection of available features, including:

  • A virtual attendant to answer and route all incoming calls
  • Call groups
  • Call recording and live monitoring
  • Voicemail and voicemail transcription
  • Online interface
  • Automated call distribution
  • Analytics, reporting, and other tools
  • Call queues
  • Call barge and whisper features

Cloud Phone System FAQs

What is a Cloud Hosted PBX System?
A hosted switchboard system uses offsite data centre hosting rather than in-house servers and is powered and managed through the internet.

How does a Cloud PBX service work?
Phone calls are routed to and from the data centre where the servers are stored, calls are transmitted via VoIP lines.

Why should I switch to a Hosted PABX System?
There are a number of benefits that come with a cloud office phone system, the most sought after being; flexibility, affordability, simplicity and scalability.

Can I keep my existing telephone number?
Yes, any business in South Africa can keep their existing telephone number when switching to a cloud hosted office phone system. United Telecoms offers systems across the country. Visit our links here: Cloud pbx ballito,

How quick can a Cloud Hosted Phone System be deployed?
Depending on whether or not connectivity is required and subject to feasibility, if the site is ready, we can deploy the hosted switchboard system within 24 hours.

The Bottom Line

Cloud-hosted PABX solutions offer plenty of benefits for the modern business that needs more flexibility in its office phone system offerings. The benefit of flexible, scalable solutions with fewer expenses and hardware requirements is really what gets most people excited about switching to cloud hosting from a traditional PBX. Now that you better understand the basics of these systems, it should be easier for you to choose what best suits your business needs. In most cases, you’ll realise that the cloud PBX just makes more sense in so many different ways.

To learn more about a cloud-hosted PBX or request expert advice from an expert service provider and what it can do for your business, speak to one of our specialists today by calling 086 001 8500 or emailing us at [email protected]. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide you with a no-obligation, hassle-free quote on cloud-hosted PBX for your business needs.

Got questions? Contact our experts today.

South Africa Map Outline

We service the following locations in South Africa

Western Cape: Cape Town, Belville, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Vredendal, Hout Bay, Green Point, Bloubergstrand, Durbanville, Melkbosstrand.
Eastern Cape: Port Elizabeth, Knysna, East London, George.
Kwa-Zulu Natal: Durban, Pinetown, Ladysmith, Newcastle, Ballito, Port Shepstone, Pietermaritzburg, Umhlanga, Westville, Hillcrest, Amanzimtoti.
Gauteng: Johannesburg, Vereeniging/Vaal, Sandton, Midrand, Pretoria, Centurion, Randburg, Roodepoort, Germiston, Alberton, Edenvale, Menlo Park.
Free State: Bloemfontein, Welkom, Bethlehem.
Mpumalanga: Witbank, Nelspruit.
Northern Cape: De Aar, Kimberley, Repra (Upington Area).
North West: Klerksdorp, Mafikeng.
Limpopo: Phalaborwa, Polokwane/Pietersburg.
Outside South Africa: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique.

What Our Customers Say

“Once we approved the installations we were kept up to date daily with the levels of progress on our various sites and were very impressed with the final installation”

Spear Properties


Get In Touch

Head Office

19 Trinity Close
Cambridge Commercial Park

Tel: 086 001 8500

Email:  [email protected]

6 Edison Way
Century City
Cape Town

Tel: 086 001 8500

Email:  [email protected]

12 Sookhai Place
Derby Downs Office Park

Tel: 086 001 8500

Email:  [email protected]

We're the experts so that you don't need to be!

icon for VoIP phone system beginner's guide

PBX Phone System
Beginner's Guide

hosted PBX resources icon

Voice & Hosted PBX

PABX installation icon

PABX Relocation and

PBX phone system resources/blog icon

PBX Phone System