There are tens of thousands of small and medium sized businesses that could benefit from using a PBX. Many decide against the idea simply because they cannot justify the cost in equipment needed to employ one. What many business owners do not realize however is how far hosted PBX solutions have come in the last few years.
What is a Hosted PBX?
A hosted PBX system delivers PBX functionality as a service to the end user by an established Telecom carrier. The PBX equipment is housed on the premises of the carrier rather than the customer location.
It relieves the business owner of the cost of purchasing and installing PBX equipment. The carrier can (in some configurations) use the same switching equipment to service multiple PBX hosting accounts. Users typically contract PBX services through a lease agreement with the carrier.
The first service of this kind was very feature-rich compared to most premise-based systems of the time. Some features such as follow-me calling were available from hosted services before they became available in hardware PBX equipment.
Hosted PBX systems can handle far more capacity than customer premise equipment – and it can change as the customer’s needs change as well.
Advantages of Hosted PBX Solution
The following are just a few of the features that make the choice of hosted PBX solution attractive to a small or medium sized business:
It allows for multi-modal access. Employees have the ability to access the network via a variety of telecommunications systems, including POTS, ISDN, cellular phones, and VOIP. This allows one extension to ring in multiple locations (either concurrently or sequentially).
A hosted PBX can evenly distribute calls to a department among available employees through Automatic Call Distribution (ACD). A menu of options can be set up for directing the call. The possibilities are endless.
It can provide detailed call records and real-time system management. This ability is not only convenient but can help cut costs with the proper monitoring and management of calls and traffic.
It supports integration with custom toll plans (that allow intra company calls, even from private premises, to be dialed at a cheaper rate) and integrated billing and accounting (where calls made on a private line but on the company’s behalf are billed centrally to the company).
It can allow for a single number to be presented for an entire company even if the company is geographically distributed. A company could even and have no central location at all. A hosted PBX can be set up so that home workers are connected using their domestic telephones and still take advantage of the same features as any PBX user.
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