Hosted PBX solutions include a wealth of business communication and collaboration options that will transform your business phone system and the way you operate. Our comparison chart below breakdown award-winning hosted PBX providers, their pricing, all available virtual PBX features, as well as user reviews.
A Hosted Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is a cloud-based telephony service that delivers private branch exchange and calling platform features. Since the solution is cloud based, the PBX functionality is hosted and managed by the cloud phone system service provider. Hosted PBX solutions provide small, medium and even enterprise organizations with an advanced cloud telephone system while minimizing cost.
A Hosted PBX can generally be defined by:
Since the service is hosted, businesses do not have to pay for expensive equipment and hosting charges. The hosted PBX provider does all of the heavy lifting so you do not have to, while still maintaining a high level of service. These cloud-based solutions rival both standard telephone service as well as on premise VoIP solutions.
Hosted PBX providers deliver the same standard of service, as well as the same features and functionality, just through the cloud. Cloud PBX providers maintain their own data centers in order to offer services to a massive number of businesses. Normally providers will have multiple data centers in different locations to ensure perfect service all around the world, as well as redundancy in case of any outages.
Hosted PBX service provides businesses with the same level of service one would expect from a Fortune 500 Enterprise phone system, just without the hassle or capital investment necessary. Some power features provided by these solutions include:
Overall, a Hosted PBX provides your business with an impressive list of features. These solutions are also more cost effective than their on-premise counterparts, enabling any size organization to take advantage of these powerful platforms.
A hosted PBX works much in the same way an on premise PBX solution would, but with the gritty work handled behind the scenes, all within the provider’s data centers. The entire phone system is operated and maintained by the provider, who generally provides multiple data centers to ensure redundancy – if one center goes down, your calls will simply be routed out of another data center so you never miss a beat.
These providers have a team of IT professionals and engineers working around the clock to ensure your system is up and running and its highest potential in terms of efficiency, call quality and security. As a subscriber of the service, users don’t have to mess with any configuration and hardware installations on their end, simply log into an online Account Management portal with your provided information, and you’re all ready to hook up desk phones or even make calls directly from the web.
Without the need for on location phone infrastructure and hardware, a hosted PBX frees up your business to deal with much more important matters. The main advantage of a hosted PBX is the simple fact that everything – from setup to hardware to security to reliability – is handled on the end of the provider. There is no need to spend extra money on the infrastructure, IT, or switches to power your system. Adding additional phone lines can be done quickly through the online portal, and is not limited by the number of free phone jacks in your building’s server or telephony room. Utilizing a Hosted PBX even provides flexibility and mobility unrivaled by other systems.
Most Hosted PBX providers allow users to make calls not only on their desk phones, but also desktop soft phone applications and even mobile phone applications. With the ability to make calls from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection your workers can truly stay connected away from the office. If anything goes wrong, it won’t be up to your team of Tech Support to handle the situation, but rather your service provider will be on the case, and most times before you’re even aware of a problem at all. Between cost savings, flexibility and ease of use, choosing a hosted PBX provider is an easy step to ensure your business will maintain a high level of quality.
When you rely on external services to host, manage and maintain your phone system it is important to ensure you choose a provider you can rely on. With the vast number of providers out there, it can be daunting to choose one – where do you even begin? With promises of service guarantees and satisfaction rates it can be difficult to confide in one sole provider. However, when you break the information down and focus on the objective points it can be easy to come to a conclusion about who would provide the best service for your business.
First and foremost, the features included in your cloud phone system are key.
However, the features included with your service won’t make much difference without a solid, reliable network. If the provider’s servers go down, your phones go down.
If your provider’s servers do in fact go down, or you have any other issues with your service, it’s imperative that your provider offers consistent and accessible customer service.
As the one of the major benefits of adopting a hosted PBX, you would want a provider that is as flexible as the service can be.
And of course, no one wants to be ambushed with hidden costs or cancellation fees.
Make Arrangements Regarding Your New (Temporary?) Phone Number – This can vary depending on what your decision is regarding porting your number. if you are porting over your existing number, DO NOT cancel with your existing provider until the number is completely ported to the new carrier. If you have a new number, be sure and let everyone know, say, with an email blast; if you have a temporary number (which is needed during the number porting process), it may be easiest to have all calls routed to your cell phones for the brief time that your number is being ported. More on Number Porting.
Tip: If you cancel your service with your old carrier before your number is ported, you’ll lose it.
Configure Your Dial Plan – One of the first things you need to do is organize how your calls will be routed. You’ll have to define a number of call rules, including:
Tip: Be sure to configure your E-911 settings when you first set up your hosted VoIP service.
Review Your Bill – Review the first and second month’s bill to make sure that you have all the services you paid for. There are setup fees that may or may not be waived, activation fees, and number porting fees. If there’s something you don’t understand about your bill, be sure to call in to customer support, as they will explain it to you or fix the problem.
Write a Review – Share your experience with the world. Other people will get to gain from what you learned along the way. Talk about pleasant and unpleasant surprises, too. Other potential customers will want to know your experience. Leave a review here.