Back in the dark and dim days before the cloud, one of the biggest headaches for new small business owners was setting up their office phones. If a business needed to provide phones for more than a few employees, they would have to invest in a PBX. PBXs were chunky bits of hardware — frequently unreliable and expensive to maintain — that squatted in a basement or closet and handled call routing for the office.
PBXs were a necessary evil, but they were of limited functionality and don’t meet the expectations of modern employees. Today, most people are used to using mobile phones, and if they use desktop phones at all it will be at work and with reluctance, because they lack many of the features that people have come to expect from a phone — the most obvious ones being comprehensive contact management and portability.
As in many areas of modern business, cloud-based IP PBXs offer a significantly improved experience with more capabilities, increased flexibility, and a lower price.
We’re all familiar with Skype, which is an VoIP application that is excellent for making low-cost calls over the Internet. While Skype is great for home use, it doesn’t provide the level of functionality that a business needs and if anything says “unprofessional,” it’s giving out a Skype address rather than a phone number.
If you’re starting a business or have an existing business and want to replace an ancient and inconvenient PBX with something better, a hosting IP PBX system is probably the answer.
A Low-Cost Professional Phone Presence
IP PBX solutions will handle everything that a traditional PBX does, including switching between multiple “local” lines and extensions while presenting a single number to the outside world. I put “local” in scare quotes, because with an IP PBX “local” just means “associated with the company.” Because IP PBXs are based in the cloud and the system uses mobile phones as the endpoints, they will handle switching for phones located anywhere.
Additionally, high-quality IP PBX services will allow a company to publish a nationwide toll-free number, just like large Fortune 500 companies.
Integrated Answer Services
For new businesses, hiring someone to answer the phones and route calls to the right people is an expense that uses up capital that can be better used elsewhere. A good IP PBX service will include automatic answering and routing along with voicemail, taking the place of a human receptionist and presenting a professional front to customers.
Integration With Online Presence
Because IP PBXs are software systems, it’s fairly easy to integrate them with a company’s existing services, including customer relationship management systems and websites.
An IP PBX provides a complete telephone communication solution for business.