PBX stands for private branch exchange. Put simply it is a telephone and communications solution that lets organisations of any size make and receive calls both internally and externally. PBX is often referred to as cloud PBX, meaning it is virtual and hosted in the cloud and accessed via any device with an internet connection.
The hosted part refers to the fact that your organisation does not need to host the service. The service provider would offer a range of telephony services and features from their own hosted environment that you would access from your devices using a data connection.
How does Cloud PBX work?
If you think about an old traditional telephone system, they required physical telephone lines, an exchange to transfer and root calls to different users or teams, plus a set of infrastructure that enables telephony features like, call waiting, hold music, queuing systems, call recording and voice mail services. With a cloud PBX you get all of this without the need for any hardware or physical telephone lines. All of these features are accessed via the internet and voice and or video calls are taken care of as a data signal. You have probably heard of the term VOIP or voice over internet protocol, this is simply turning audio (or voices) into data signals to transfer the sound from one location or number to another, exactly the same as a telephone line used to.
A PBX phone system comes with more features than a traditional telephone system and therefore has advantages for businesses to leverage in terms of both cost saving and improved operational efficiency.
PBX as an acronym is often interchangeably used alongside PABX, you can read more about PABX’s in our recent article : What is a PABX system?
Advantages of a Cloud hosted PBX system
A cloud PBX system has several advantages over traditional telephone communications technology, here are just a few of them:
Easy setup – A quality PBX system provider will have both an intuitive set up interface and a sales consultant who will guide you through your system set up. So, remember to check what onboarding services you will receive before choosing your provider.
Scalability – You should be able to flex your chosen package and add-ons as your requirements change over time. Be wary of long fixed term contracts and make sure that you ask about what the process would be to change your chosen services and add or remove features or telephonic hardware (like conference phones and video conferencing equipment).
Integration – You should be able to use any existing (IP) Internet Protocol Telephone Equipment or Devices with your chosen service provider. If you already own telephone conference equipment that is capable of working through a data connection, make sure to ask your provider a) if you can connect such equipment to their services and b) how do you go about integrating existing equipment into those services?
Call centre features – Even small businesses require the ability to utilise the most basic of “call centre” telephony features. All the basics, like call waiting, hold music, extension mapping and message recording should be standard or flexible features that you can add to your chosen package.
Mobile device compatibility – It is not just fixed office equipment that should be able to connect to your service providers platform. Mobile devices should also be able to use that platform’s apps or software to become a data enabled telephonic device, for both voice and video calling requirements and ideally the ability to use all of the features from any given mobile device.
Unified communications – Many hosted cloud PBX providers will also give you access to a host of communication features. For example, the ability to use instant messaging (chat), conference calling, video conferencing, voice and or video call recording. Look for a provider that has a unified communications platform with their service. What we mean is an app or software that works on both mobile, table and desktop environments and both IOS and Android devices.
Low down time – Make sure you ask about service level agreements and the process for resolving any down time or service disruption. Generally, cloud PBX systems will be hosted on enterprise cloud infrastructure and therefore any downtime should be minimal.
No maintenance of physical hardware – The fact that you can either “rent” telephony equipment or devices and/or use your existing equipment or devices means that your maintenance should largely be taken care of. No longer will you need a technical team to look after a telephone exchange or server. This should be in the cloud and managed by the service provider.
Business continuity – In addition to low down time and lack of hardware maintenance you will also see benefits in improved productivity through the ability for employees to communicate on any device in any location.
Remote working – As long as they have an internet connection, employees can connect via any device so they can work and communicate in any location. This has huge benefits in increasing your businesses operational efficiency.
At Mytelnet our communications platform offer you more than the standard Cloud PBX solutions, it can easily integrate with your new or existing IP hardware, such as your desk and conference phones, gives you a desktop dashboard to control spend, talk time, users and much more, plus it gives your users an easy to install app for their mobile phones to manage their communication from.
We offer flexible, month-to-month packages removing the worry that comes with long-term contracts and offer your business the flexibility to scale up and down during uncertain times.
So, to get your teams, fully connected no matter where they are, with a seamless cloud telephone solution. Start your free trial and be a part of the business communication revolution.