Wondering what are the cloud PBX advantages? Since the beginning of this decade, VoIP has made the transition from new technology to something that is commonplace in many organizations today. However there are still many businesses in various parts of the world that rely on analog phone service.
For those looking to make the switch, wading through all the marketing phrases and technical jargon can be a tough task. Since VoIP is a relatively young industry – especially when compared to phone carriers – many of the terms frequently used by vendors are not strictly defined leading to even more confusion.
So before we dive into the advantages offered by cloud PBX, it is worth the time to take a look at and understand what the term actually means. The standard PBX (Private Branch Exchange) should be familiar to any organization – it’s basically a business phone system with a set number of internal and external lines. Calls between employees are handled on the local lines and allows users to share external lines for calling parties located outside the organization.
The cloud PBX – also known as hosted VoIP or hosted PBX – brings the PBX into the modern digital age. All the features provided by a traditional PBX system are offered as a service through the Internet by a third-party vendor.
It is pretty similar to how a company may use hosted email or cloud backup/storage services from external providers. The risks, costs and maintenance associated with the enterprise phone system are assumed by the vendor rather than the client organization.
Advantages of Cloud PBX
Low-Cost and Advanced Features
The biggest selling points of hosted PBX are low-cost and availability of advanced features. While these are not the only benefits, they are most often advertised prominently by vendors hoping to attract new clients. Since PBX features are provided as a service, there is no equipment for the purchase, install or maintain. In fact, even the phones or handsets used by employees can be leased or rented which means there is little to no capital investment required. This is a boon for small businesses that cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars and even larger companies that need to cut operating costs.
Though low-cost is often synonymous with bare-bones, it is not the case with VoIP. In fact, most cloud PBX services offer more features than can be found on traditional PBX systems. Caller or ring groups, find me follow me, IVR, ACD queues are just a few of them that are generally included in even the most basic plans. Additionally, visual voicemail, IP faxing etc. ensure that the phone systems are connected to other communication networks at multiple points, making it easy for employees to switch between any channel.
In 2016, it is no longer necessary for employees to sit in the same chair or go to the same office throughout the week. Some users may telecommute, others may work part-time or full-time from multiple locations and a few even work from home for just one or two days a week. Apart from this, the phone system has to straddle many kinds of devices ranging from computers, desk phones, mobile phones and tablets among others. Cloud PBX allows users to switch seamlessly between devices, locations, communication channels and media without interrupting their workflows.
Scale up or down
Hosted VoIP is also scalable, whether the organization needs to add, 20 or even 200 users at a time. Companies do not have to pay for unused resources – be it lines, numbers or seats. Businesses that are seeing double-digit growth will have no problems scaling up the phone system. Conversely, organizations that are downsizing are not locked into contracts which force them to pay for lines they no longer require. This flexibility and ability to scale is no longer a luxury reserved for the largest companies but rather a necessity, brought within reach by cloud PBX for businesses to survive in a globalized and extremely competitive environment.
Reliability and Backup
As the PBX system lives in the cloud, organizations do not have to worry about repairs or downtime. Cloud PBX services are designed with redundancy in mind which means that the system will easily switch over to a second location in case of any problems with the first. In many cases, the organization may not even be aware that something has happened. The same system also ensures that the company is protected even if the office is damaged during a disaster, natural or otherwise.
The business environment today looks nothing like it did even a decade ago, let alone the previous century. Even though many business processes and workflows have changed substantially with the introduction of cloud computing, mobile devices and other new technology, traditional phone systems have not changed much. Cloud PBX is more suited to the way organizations and employees work currently and can adapt well to future requirements.