One of the reasons why buying a new business phone system is so frustrating is because there are so many costs that need to be taken into consideration.
Although it's possible to manage costs by tracking down a system that uses some of your existing infrastructure, most new systems require hardware installations that come with a hefty price tag.
PBX phone systems are known for their versatility, expansion and integration capabilities. However, they are also one of the costliest options with a typical installation running in the neighborhood of $8000 per user. Hosted PBX phone systems give small businesses the features of a traditional PBX solution without the headache and infrastructure costs. Here's how they work:
Hosted PBX Overview
Unlike traditional PBX phone systems, hosted PBX systems don't require sophisticated on-site hardware resources. Instead of processing incoming calls through a central unit, incoming calls are routed to the provider's data center. From there, an auto attendant feature directs callers to the proper extension within the business.
Also known as virtual PBX, hosted PBX leverages VoIP technology to forward calls to the business via the Internet. You'll no longer have to maintain a telephone closet on premises since all incoming calls are processed through the provider's data center.
Advantages & Caveats
Hosted PBX phone solutions are most advantageous for quickly growing companies that need top-shelf phone service without the hassle and expense of a traditional PBX phone system. Installation costs are dramatically reduced because hardware requirements are minimal.
Also, since hosted PBX utilizes VoIP technology your company will have access to many of the most advanced business telecommunication features. If your staff is spread out over a large geographical area or if you have a significant remote workforce, you can use hosted PBX to create the illusion of a centralized office environment.
At the same time, you should be aware that hosted PBX phone systems are not the right answer for every business environment. Even though you'll get many (if not all) of the same features as you would get with a traditional PBX phone system, capacity and bandwidth are concerns. Since hosted PBX uses VoIP technology, your Internet connection needs to be up to the task. Likewise, hosted PBX doesn't have the horsepower to handle high volume call center requirements. If your call center will be required to handle more than a dozen reps or agents, traditional PBX is still your best option.