A hosted phone system or virtual Private Branch Exchange (PBX) gives you all the benefits of a traditional office phone system without its expensive hardware costs.
Apart from the initial setup costs for compatible handsets, modems, routers, and switches, there’s no need to allocate additional capital for your hosted phone system.
Oh, it gets better. Hosted phone systems can include traditional PBX and VoIP phone systems. If you already have an IP PBX, SIP trunking transitions your existing PBX setup into an internet-powered telephone network.
What is a hosted phone system?
A hosted phone system is a phone setup that works through an internet connection.
You can choose between either of these hosted PBX platforms. Both these setups could match your business needs, but are accomplished differently.
1) Cloud-hosted phone system: All phones connect to an outside VoIP data center. The phones are configured with an individual login and are programmed beforehand to register with a SIP server.
A cloud PBX comes with all essential features your modern workforce needs. Voicemail to email, auto attendants, video conferencing — you name it. From a management perspective, this is the easiest PBX platform to manage.
2) PBX SIP Trunking: Keep your existing PBX, but the backhaul is completed through a VoIP-based trunk for all the outside lines you need. In the event of a PBX issue, you can route phone calls to any brick-and-mortar or virtual office.
How does a hosted VoIP solution work?
You’re able to take calls through a hosted phone system with a cloud PBX. This online server manages incoming and outgoing calls with a SIP trunk, using a VoIP connection.
Here’s how it works:
- Your business finds a hosted phone provider that offers a cloud PBX. You’re then connected to their off-site data centers.
- You receive an incoming call that goes to your hosted PBX system.
- The hosted PBX system converts that call data into digital packets, which can be transmitted via an internet connection. This is the VoIP part of your hosted phone system.
- The PBX routes the incoming call to your office’s desk phone.
- Your desk phone rings and you pick up. The digital packets are converted back into voice messages and a connection is established. You can talk to your caller with the hosted PBX as your middle man.
With a complete cloud phone system, any device that has an internet connection can make and receive phone calls. Your mobile phone, laptop, desktop, and landline double as your business phone.
The benefits of a hosted phone system
Here are some key benefits of having a cloud-based phone system that a traditional setup can’t offer:
The setup process of a traditional phone system can be long, complex, and expensive. But a hosted phone system doesn’t have any of those problems.
The installation and setup of a cloud-based system is online, so you don’t need anyone to come out to your office to get started. That makes it cheaper, too — which is great for small businesses, or those with remote teams.
Hosted phone systems are cheaper than their traditional alternatives for two reasons. The first: you don’t need to buy a new haul of equipment. With a cloud phone system, you can use the equipment you’ve already got. That includes:
- Desk phones
- Mobile devices and cell phones (including iOS or Android smartphones)
- VoIP handsets
It’s a unified communications platform
Unified communication platforms let you communicate both internally and externally with a single tool.
With one, various teams — such as sales or customer support—can base their entire strategies around their hosted VoIP solution. The right provider offers several features alongside the ability to make calls. You can instant message team members, host video conferences, and call your customers — all through the same hosted phone system.
Flexibility for remote teams
Do you have a remote team? Whether you’re on an overseas business trip or working from home, you can accept calls with your hosted phone system. You don’t need to be in the office to pick up your wired desk phone.
That’s because most hosted phone system providers offer software for their users. Your remote team can download their business phone software onto their devices. The PBX provider just makes the connection, and diverts incoming or outgoing calls to your device. Your callers won’t notice any difference — especially when your provider offers masked caller IDs.
It’s important to have a phone system that grows as your business does. Having a call-out from your traditional phone system whenever you add a new team member isn’t just frustrating. It’s expensive, too.
That’s why one of the biggest advantages of having a hosted phone system is scalability. Adding a new team member? Just sign into your provider’s cloud platform and get them in.