Hosted Voice over IP (VoIP)
What is a Cloud PBX?
A cloud PBX, better known as hosted PBX, is a business phone system that runs over an internet connection. You don’t need to have Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment in your location, instead a VoIP provider does it for you.
Essentially, a cloud PBX provides all the functionality needed in an office phone system such as voicemail, call forwarding, and of course, calling. Instead of setting up a server you have to maintain, you’d use a VoIP provider for your company’s communications.
When your staff answers or places calls, VoIP handsets convert the sound into data packets. These packets travel over the internet to the hosted PBX provider. The provider establishes a clear calling path between both parties. When needed, hands off to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
Once data packets reach their destination, the business phone system converts them back into sound. It does all this within milliseconds without any extra configuration. See this diagram below to visualize the process. Here’s a diagram for what it would look like for a single office.
All you need is a reliable broadband connection to use a cloud-based PBX. The underlying technology accepts all kinds of IP phones, including desk phones, smartphones, and conference phones.
There are some practical business benefits you should know before getting a free quote.
Advantages of a Cloud PBX
Besides beaming ones and zero's over the internet to talk with others, what makes a hosted phone system the ideal choice for businesses?
With an on-premises PBX, everything is analog, and you need phone lines for every handset. It also means you have a telecom expert who can perform maintenance and upgrades.
Here are the top six advantages cloud communication systems provide for businesses.
1) Powerful features level-up your workflows
There are many more built-in VoIP features offered by a hosted PBX compared to an on-premises PBX phone system. These advanced features are the ones stakeholders care about most. Expect them to show up on a VoIP requirements list.
Several of the top cloud PBX features include:
Mobile device support (mobile apps)
Voicemail to email transcription
Auto attendants (call flows)
Automatic call recording
Intelligent call forwarding
Built-in video conferencing
Inbound call queuing
Chat, SMS and more...
Company leaders will appreciate that there are dozens of VoIP features available that don’t require any technical setup. Your phone system can also integrate with other essential tools like your organization’s CRM.
These added capabilities mean you can get more work done with enhanced productivity.
2) Flexibility for all locations and seasons
A flexible phone system means it can adapt to the changing conditions in the workplace. You can customize your phone system around your business needs versus feeling constrained by an old PBX.
There’s nothing more frustrating as an IT manager than unexpected business changes. You can say yes when the boss asks you if it can be done — without coming in on Saturday.
Small businesses enjoy total control over their company’s phone system. It’s easy to add and assign business phone numbers to your team. It’s even easier to equip your remote team with phone service.
In the era of remote work, employees can stay connected with a robust VoIP softphone app. Alternatively, you can have them take their office desk phone home.
When you increase demand, such as holiday sales, a hosted PBX will allow you to increase your call capacity. Plus, you can add hold music and comfort messages in minutes. This way, you can bump up your call quality and customer satisfaction.
3) Worry-free reliability and uptime
What’s the cost of downtime for your business? From destroying customer trust to losing revenue and sales, you can’t afford to deal with any outages.
Luckily, a cloud PBX keeps you always reachable. A quality service provider will have 99.999% uptime, which is the gold standard for enterprises.
4) No maintenance
Lack of maintenance is a tremendous advantage of cloud PBX systems. System updates, network routing, adjusting VoIP codecs — it’s all handled by the hosted provider.
IT leaders and Chief Information Officers deal with a lot of fires throughout the week. (We hear you!) You can empower select people to make changes to your phone service online. Today’s VoIP phones are hassle-free, so it means fewer helpdesk tickets.
The problem with on-premise PBX systems is maintenance doesn’t stop when you hire full-time support. Having a technician available at all times is great, but you have to budget for $74K annually.
Businesses today have to get more done with less. It’s why switching to a cloud solution is a sensible investment. Get ready to say goodbye to a bulky on-premise communications system and costly VoIP maintenance contracts.
5) Unparalleled security
Cloud PBX phone solutions offer higher security compared to traditional PBX. When you have a physical landline, it’s up to you to ensure no one gains access to it. Many PBX systems are vulnerable to outside attacks, and audio signals they transmit are much easier to intercept.
Some hosted PBX solutions offer call encryption and 24/7 server monitoring. VoIP providers are consistently validated by third parties to check for compliance. VoIP security also means there’s the benefit of certifications like ISO/IEC 20071, PCI compliance, and HIPAA compliance.
Voice over IP itself is both reliable and secure, thanks to the redundancies of IPv4 routing. Encrypted voice packets and signaling works by using TLS and SRTP protocols.
Simply put: A cloud PBX lets you sleep at night. The backbone of your business communications is secure and resilient to bad actors.
Top Business Benefits of a Cloud PBX
Your business stands to realize substantial productivity and efficiency gains when you switch to a cloud-based telephone system. It doesn’t just look good on paper. It allows people to work better and improve the company’s bottom line.
Let’s examine the ways companies get more out of cloud-hosted VoIP versus an on-premise setup.
1) Improved team communication
Effective virtual team communication is no longer a luxury. Consider that one-third of companies lose customers due to communication issues — it’s undoubtedly worth improving companywide.
This advantage is where cloud PBX performs well. Here are a few ways it makes team communication frictionless:
Virtual phone extensions – Assign individual phone extensions that make every team member easy to reach within a shared directory.
Team chat – Let colleagues communicate over a single app for collaboration, including one-on-one and group chats.
Video conferencing – Hop on a video chat and share your screen with ease.
2) Enhanced customer experiences
Make your customers feel seen, heard, and understood using the modern functions of a cloud PBX. No one wants to be on hold for an hour or have to call multiple times.
As much as 56% of people worldwide have stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service experience. If you can solve a customer’s issue efficiently, you win.
Features to look for in a cloud PBX include:
Auto attendant – Greet incoming callers with a menu to choose the person or department they want to reach.
Voicemail to email – Receive voicemail messages in your inbox so you can respond to customers quickly.
Call queuing – Avoid busy signals and dropping callers to voicemail with an intelligent call routing system.
3) Future-proof your company phone and Call Center systems
Business leaders this year have accelerated their plans to embrace working from home. From a perk to a mainstay in 2020, you need to embrace this change.
Companies everywhere have been through the gauntlet. Your company’s phone system shouldn’t hold you back from the next shift.
Those firms that were already using hosted PBX could pivot to working from home almost instantly. That’s the power of a cloud PBX system — all you need is broadband internet service. Cloud PBX solutions provide uptime and reliability to withstand natural disasters. And when you bring everyone back to the office, unified communications performs well there, too.
Your phone system needs to make life easier for your team to handle whatever comes next. Even if you need to add new team members after going remote, a cloud phone system unlocks even more growth and expansion.
4) Increase your team’s performance
How can a cloud PBX elevate everyone’s productivity? As a full-featured commercial phone service, you can measure performance across your entire company, even if you can’t be there.
For example, you can:
Track real-time stats so you can always compare them with metrics for the day or week.
Analyze call recordings so your call center agents keep improving.
Reward high performance, such as improving first contact resolution (FCR).
Predict and prepare for higher call volumes.
In other words, you can increase your team’s performance, which will drive both your customer satisfaction and your bottom line. Win-win!
5) Excellent call quality and reliability
An excellent VoIP solution comes with high-quality phone calls. A traditional phone system’s sound quality doesn’t come close to the crystal-clear, lifelike sound of a cloud PBX.
HD voice codecs offer twice as much bandwidth so that everyone can hear a wider range of sound in each call. Customers won’t have to repeat themselves, and you’ll create an enjoyable customer experience in every call.
Since cloud-based PBXs exist in the cloud, they leverage the proven reliability from multiple data centers.
Cloud PBX systems have your back
When weighing the pros and cons of a Cloud PBX, you have to look at your needs today and tomorrow. You have to ask yourself where you want to be in the next year or two.
If you’re convinced cloud PBX is the right choice, you can breathe easier knowing that moving your phone system to the cloud is easy. You don’t have to navigate this upgrade alone.
Here at Trident, we’ll walk you through everything, including porting of your existing business phone numbers. No more separate bills for your phone lines and a separate bill for your PBX system. We’ll also help you select the right VoIP desk phones that meet your budget and everyday business needs.
In the age of remote work, you cannot keep inching along with a legacy PBX. Your traditional phone system costs you more than it’s saving.
A cloud PBX lets you focus on serving your customers, not trying to figure out your phone system. You can leave the rest to us.