The A to Z Guide to Hosted PBX Systems

March 14, 2023

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Keeping an organization connected internally and externally is vital given that communication and collaboration equate to workplace satisfaction and productivity. For this reason, hosted PBX systems are a practical solution for most business teams.

Learn more about hosted private branch exchanges and who to call to implement a PBX platform.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hosted PBX is cheaper because it does not require purchasing extensive hardware and equipment.
  • The technology is faster to set up and fully available to remote and hybrid teams because its functionality lives in the cloud.
  • A hosted PBX is more secure and scalable and offers access to more features than a traditional phone system.

Analog Systems Were the Precursors to Hosted PBX

Intraoffice lines once required purchasing extensive hardware to build a private branch exchange system that kept internal communications secure. Hooking to outside phone lines involved additional equipment and in-house technical support. With hosted PBX, you eliminate many of these costs and concerns.

Traditional on-premises PBX requires the owner to have an in-house IT staff to maintain the systems and deal with any troubleshooting. Large corporations can handle such an investment, but the expense is prohibitive for startups and other young companies.

Analog systems also have other limitations that can make them less ideal for small and mid-sized businesses, such as:

  • The system often only supports voice calls.
  • The platform has limits on the number of lines a company can add.
  • Remote workers cannot connect to a traditional PBX from another location or automatically route calls to their devices.

Many companies therefore find it more practical to deploy a cloud-based PBX.

Cloud-Based Phone Systems Offer Enhanced Features

A hosted PBX system utilizes voice over internet service and other unified communications as a service features to offer a full communications solution. Many characteristics that are costly extras on an analog PBX are common features of a robust UCaaS platform.

Remote Capabilities

The remote and hybrid work models continue to be a mainstay of the modern economy. The number of people working from home tripled in a three-year span. More qualified workers insist on having at least a hybrid work setup for flexibility and quality of life, which a hosted PBX offers.

If a company’s communications system does not support some level of remote connection, the business can miss out on gaining or keeping valuable teammates. Even if an organization functions mostly in the office, the cloud capabilities allow easier connection to professional communications from different locations. 

Team members can also flip calls to mobile devices and keep conversations going while on the move. Keeping communications in-house on the company’s software boosts security.

Enhanced Flexibility 

Adding or removing communications features no longer requires making changes to complicated equipment. With a user-friendly app, a business can customize a plan and update its settings in a flash.

Easier Maintenance

Outages and disasters will take down an on-premises PBX in a heartbeat. Organizations remain at the mercy of local services and IT teams to get back online.

With hosted PBX, the provider handles all of the issues, putting the answers to problems in one convenient place. Since a reliable provider has multiple data centers and backup solutions, the communications system can maintain business continuity in nearly all circumstances.

Additional Features

Phone calls are only the tip of the iceberg for communication. Clients and employees nowadays expect accessibility to SMS, video calls, queuing, routing, conferencing, recording, and automated menus.

A traditional PBX can rarely offer such features. When one does, the add-on is costly and requires extensive work to install. With a hosted PBX, those options are a typical part of the UCaaS package.

Lower Costs

A UCaaS service with hosted PBX can be up and running in a fraction of the time of a traditional exchange. When a company is ready to expand, the business only has to reach out to the provider to acquire more services.

International rates are a thing of the past with the savings of VoIP and internet connectivity for calls and other communications. Without the expense of additional IT staff, a company can direct capital to productive areas.

Hybrid Systems Allow a Seamless Transition From Traditional to Hosted PBX

Does a cloud-based system mean that companies with legacy analog systems have to miss out on the benefits of a cloud-based solution? Not at all! 

Technology allows for a hybrid mix where an organization can keep the system they currently use and add on the benefits of a hosted PBX. Hybrid systems allow for a smoother transition for a company during a digital transformation.

The main advantage of traditional systems is the level of control they permit a company to have. Session initiation protocol trunking is a technology that can allow a legacy PBX to gain the functionality of a fully cloud-based system.

A company may want to eventually transfer to a fully hosted PBX system. The use of SIP trunking allows the business to acquire contemporary features and phase out analog aspects gradually, avoiding a shock to employees and customers. A competent service provider such as Intermedia can serve as a guide to help an organization determine the best available options.

Hosted PBX Is Available From Intermedia

Intermedia has provided hosted PBX services for over a decade and knows how to help organizations that want to take advantage of the flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and quality of cloud-based phone systems. Contact us at Intermedia to discover how Cloud PBX for Unite can serve your organization.

Mariel Santos

Mariel Santos is the Director of Marketing Communications at Intermedia

March 14, 2023

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