The Difference Between Hosted PBX & Traditional PBX
PBX stands for Private Branch eXchange and many businesses today still use this traditional private telephone network which comprises of a PBX located at the company’s premises. The incoming and outgoing telephone calls are routed through a telecom provider like Telkom.
With the advent of advancements in high-speed internet, software innovations, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, PBX platforms and the way they operate have changed.
PBX systems are now using the Internet Protocol (IP) to carry voice calls versus the traditional telephone system which ran over what is called analogue lines. Hence the term IP PBX.
The PBX is hosted in the cloud at the telecom providers premises and your company’s telephone network runs through the Internet Protocol (IP) versus traditional phone line infrastructure, but is completely managed by your provider.
With a Hosted PBX solution the entire telephone system and network is managed and operated by a third party. Thus, your business has a lower capital investment as all you need to purchase are the IP phones; the PBX is not located at your premises; and personnel are no longer required to maintain it in-house.
In addition, your company can take advantage of innovative communication features that are being rolled out without having to purchase any costly upgrades or new equipment.
Problems With Traditional PBX Systems
There are a few problems with traditional PBX systems and these include:
The high capital hardware costs required as well as the ongoing maintenance fees should something go wrong.
The need for specialised resources in-house should something go wrong with the PBX system.
Because traditional PBX systems have a single point of failure, if it goes down your company won’t be able to receive or make any telephone calls.
Most traditional PBX’s will require a costly upgrade or may need to be replaced should new technology features become available.
This inhibits the growth of your company as the customer may demand new ways of communicating where you are unable to accommodate them.
The Advantages of Hosted PBX
There are many advantages of Hosted PBX in South Africa as well as cloud pbx providers to choose from.
· Number portability
Your business gets to keep their current Telephone numbers.
Flexibility is important because your telephone system needs to be able to scale up or scale down depending on the needs of your business.
With Hosted PBX you can quickly scale up when you are say opening new branches, or expecting an inbound call spike, and you can scale down when demand is low.
In addition, with Hosted PBX call settings can be changed instantly without waiting for the telecom provider or incurring additional costs. Settings like call forwarding or transferring can be instantly switched on or off.
· Remote working
As the global pandemic shifted us into a remote working scenario, many companies using traditional PBXs did not have the flexibility to shift quickly.
With Hosted PBX working remotely is easy, quick to setup and gives your employees the same functionality as if they were in the office, and your customers a professional communication experience.
With Hosted PBX employees can access the company’s phone system – receiving and making calls professionally – from anywhere as long as they have access to the Internet.
In addition, calls can be forward to their mobile phone, landline at home or their laptop without any additional equipment required.
· Set up & Maintenance
With Hosted PBX setting up your telephone system is much quicker with little disruption to your business or employee working.
Because there is no on-site infrastructure to implement at your company premises, the time to setup is much quicker than a traditional PBX.
Any upgrades and maintenance of the PBX is all taken care of by your service provider and usually included in your monthly budgeted fee.
In addition, you won’t need to hire someone on-site to manage your PBX.
Hosted PBX pricing is cost effective as it requires a low upfront investment and predictable monthly budgeting.
Businesses also take advantage of lower voice costs due to the advantage of Voice over Internet Protocol and the competitive voice rates in the market. This means cheaper internal voice costs enabled by a cloud pbx.
Cloud pbx solutions can easily integrate with any of your existing systems and devices.
This means that if your business only wants to roll out cloud pbx South Africa at say a new branch office, you do not have to replace your existing traditional pbx system.
And you don’t have to buy any new hardware if your existing PBX system supports SIP trunking/Voice over Internet Protocol.
· User Experience
Hosted PBX solutions are designed with the user experience in mind, making it simple and easy to use for your employees to use, with virtually no training required to get started.
Hosted PBX Features
A feature-rich hosted PBX solution is an attractive offering for any business, here are some of the most common hosted PBX features:
Call answering and ability to transfer calls from a smartphone. A mobile phone application is downloaded either for Android or iOS to make sure employees can be contacted off a single number without using their mobile data.
Extension dialling. Allows employees to dial extensions when they are out the office or working from home through their smartphone or desktop software.
Audio and videoconferencing. Easily hold voice calls or videoconferencing with groups from 3 or more people, depending on your monthly package.
Automatic answering. One of the benefits of a Hosted PBX telephone system is that it can virtually answer incoming customer calls and automatically send them to the required department.
Use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology. Allow your customers to interact with your company through voice menus for a personalised experience and also record customised voice greetings.
Voicemail to email or voicemail to text. Voice messages can be setup to be sent either via email or via text message.
Call recording. Ability to record phone conversations, archive, playback and share.
Powerful Telephone Management System gives powerful insight and reporting as well as allowing your business to manage costs and billing.