As a business, you know the importance of an open line of communication. In order to communicate, collaborate and grow, both your employees and your customers depend on a reliable voice calling technology. The effects that your phone lines ‘going down’ can have on the productivity and overall reputation of your company can be immeasurable.
Before we get into the benefits of using a hosted PABX system, let’s have a quick look at what these systems are…
What is a Hosted PABX System?
A hosted PABX is a cloud-based system accessible via an IP network and accessed entirely through the internet. These telephone-exchange systems are built and managed by a third party provider who takes care of everything (from the software, hardware and training to the maintenance of the system).
PABX systems allow businesses to manage their phone systems (voicemail, automated greetings, faxing, conferences and more) with a user-friendly control panel. With hosted PABX, installation and operation costs are eliminated and the company providing the service handles the call routing and maintenance of the system.
And so, in the simplest of terms… A hosted PABX is a business phone system that does not require a physical PABX at your location. Instead, you access a PABX hosted elsewhere using the internet.
1. Cost Saving
Hosted PABX systems have proven to save businesses who make the switch up to 55% on their telecoms bills.
As these systems use an internet connection, they do not require additional physical hardware. They require no software maintenance or upgrade costs and there is no need to pay upfront for expensive installations. Hosted PABX systems also save costs in the form of repairs, downtimes and maintenance.
Businesses who make use of hosted PABX systems are charged on a usage basis, only paying for the hostage space and the bandwidth that they actually need.
2. Disaster Recovery and Reliability
Let’s face it… Internet-based technology is known for its improved quality over traditional telephone network connections. Traditional copper cable lines are susceptible to a number of factors (from bad weather conditions, hardware failures and vandalism to electrical outages and software issues). These phone lines are often the first to ‘go down’ when issues arise, bringing productivity to a standstill. Hosted PABX systems depend on an internet connection and by making use of fibre-optic cables, they become resilient to these external factors.
In order to support customers, make sales and receive leads or new business, phone systems need to be up 24/7. As Hosted PABX systems utilise the cloud, they are equipped with the disaster recovery that is needed for today’s fast-paced business environment. This means that even if the lines to your location are cut, your customers will still be able to reach your automated telephony system and your employees will still be able to access all calls re-routed to their cell phones.
In other words ~ your business phone system should never go ‘down’.
3. Rich Features
Hosted PABX systems are rich in features (link), all designed to enhance the productivity and mobility of your business. Some of these enhanced features are included as standard while others are offered as cost-effective add-on services.
These features include (and are definitely not limited to):
- Voicemail options
- Automated attendants
- Advanced email
- Text messaging
- Chat messaging
- Fax services
- Call recording
- Visual voicemail transcription
- Find me/Follow me
- Team collaboration tools
- Call log reports
4. Ease of Maintenance
The up-keep, maintenance and call routing of a hosted PABX system are all managed by its provider (in an off-site location). This eliminates the need for your company to rely on employees or technicians to perform upgrades or maintenance, saving on IT staffing and third-party technician costs.
Businesses that make use of hosted PABX systems do not need to worry about ‘down times’ as there is no need to be taken offline for maintenance, repairs or updates.
As it is the aim of any business to grow, should their phone systems not be able to scale with them?
Hosted PABX systems allow each businesses communication requirements to grow with them. They can be scaled up or down, on demand, depending on current staffing needs. This means that your business will never be locked into a fixed number of lines or overpaying for a service that you do not need.
Traditional phone systems face many limitations when it comes to adding phone lines or scaling in any form, from dealing with hefty equipment and hardware to needing a lot of manpower (it’s never a simple task). When it comes to a hosted system, these tasks are quite straightforward. Adding a phone line requires simple changes within the businesses admin portal and quickly plugging in a VoIP-compatible handset.
6. Mobility and Flexibility
Hosted PABX systems have the advantage of being geographically flexible. This means that your employees will never be ‘tied down’ to their desks, instead, they can work from anywhere (at home, in a conference room or even overseas). As long as they have access to the cloud, a laptop, a tablet or a cell phone, they will easily be able to communicate with colleagues and customers.
Employees are also able to set their phone systems to automatically transfer calls to their mobile devices or to ring at both their mobile and desk simultaneously, meaning no more valuable calls will be going unnecessarily unanswered.
When compared to a traditional phone system, a hosted PABX system has a host of superior benefits and will assist you by saving on valuable costs while increasing the overall workflow and productivity within your business.