Hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is the modern version of the traditional telephone closet. The new hosted, or “cloud,” model puts the brains of your phone closet into professionally maintained data centers, helping businesses like yours to transform their communications and improve productivity—without the need to purchase expensive, complex, depreciating phone system software and hardware. Your service providers manage and monitor your system 24×7, allowing you to focus on work.
VoIP refers to phone services that are accessible through a high quality broadband connection. VoIP is typically more cost effective and scalable than traditional alternatives. With both Hosted PBX and VoIP, you and your team can work from the office, home, or on the road, or through your smartphone, all while utilizing your company’s communications solution to help maintain and uplift your image and brand.
What is “Hosted PBX” and how does it differ from a traditional or premise-based IP-PBX?
Premise Based Systems
Most all traditional telephone systems are what is known as “premise-based.” That means the system cabinet (aka the box on the wall, the brains, etc.) resides on your premise. All of the telephones in your organization are then wired directly back to this cabinet. The features of a given system (voicemail, live record, etc.) are driven by the cabinet, where the hardware and software resides.
Hosted PBX Service
Hosted PBX systems share a lot of similarities with traditional, premise-based boxes. Most hosted services have a very full feature set. Many have more features than some premise based systems. Unified communications features such as voicemail to email, find me / follow me, and simultaneous desk and mobile phone ringing are some of the more popular features found in hosted systems today. Unified communications features such as voicemail to email, find me / follow me, and simultaneous desk and mobile phone ringing are some of the more popular features found in hosted systems today.
These types of solutions also have some very major differences from that of a premise based system. There is no system cabinet when a hosted solution is installed. Each telephone communicates over a private or public internet connection back to a softswitch, which provides the features and functionality to the end users. There are a few major benefits to this approach.
- Software upgrades – your system is always up to date. Most providers include the newest features and bug fixes at no charge.
- Less onsite management – You will not need a dedicated administrator at your site to make changes to your system. Most providers offer a managed services option, where all moves, adds, and changes can be administered remotely.
- Little or no upfront capital expenditures – The hosted model is typically based on a flat monthly rate per user (also called a “seat” many times). You determine the number of users you need on your system, the types of features they’ll require and you pay a monthly rate based on that information.
There are a few other requirements to keep in mind before deciding whether a hosted system is right for you:
- Do I have the appropriate infrastructure in place? – Cabling, routing and network requirements are different for hosted PBX.
- Can I run voice and data on the same network? – While this is the most cost effective route, it may not be permitted in all installations.
CSII offers a variety of premise-based telephony solution to meet the needs and budgets of small to medium-sized organizations. We also offer a feature rich, Hosted PBX solution through our CSII Voice platform. To learn which type of system is the best fit for your organization, contact CSII today!