As business environments change, so does the way we communicate. Telephone service is becoming much more than simply a desk phone and a dial tone. Employees are demanding extensive features such as the ability to transition seamlessly between desk phone and their mobile phone. They also want features like visual voicemail, a virtual receptionist, call recording, and conference calling capabilities. Traditionally, these features have been costly for an on-premises phone system using PBX or “private branch exchange” to manage all their incoming and outgoing phone calls. When done in-house and on-prem, these systems require dedicated data center space, equipment, and extensive networking to connect to the local carrier.
With these barriers, it is easy to see why organizations are switching to cloud-based PBX. In a cloud environment, cloud-hosted PBX services deliver private branch exchange and calling platform features. The best part? PBX functionality is managed by the technology partner, so hardware requirements, system updates, add-ons, and configurations are the responsibility of the provider. Cost savings, convenience, and simplified management are just a few of the reasons why leading companies are looking to cloud-hosted PBX. In fact, top research firm Infonetics Research tells us that cloud PBX and unified communications market will reach $12 billion in 2018, and there will be more than 60 million hosted seats in service by the end of this year. (Source: Infonetics Research). Let’s rank the top five reasons organizations are making the switch to hosted PBX.
- Lower hardware and maintenance costs – Hosted PBX is more cost-effective than conventional VoIP phones systems because it doesn’t require a complex internal IT infrastructure. Instead, the technology partner is responsible for all hardware, equipment, and services and a company’s communication services are delivered using an internet connection.
- A better user and customer experience – A significant benefit of cloud-hosted PBX and hosted VoIP phone systems are that regardless of where employees are working from, they can keep the company’s local number. Because calls are routed through a call center, customer and partners never know they’re calling from remote locations. Also, hosted PBX allows businesses to combine personal and company lines on one device (which could support a BYOD environment) so that employees do not have to give out their personal phone number to receive business calls.
- Mobile integration – According to research by Global Workplace Analytics, 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency (Source: Global Workplace Analytics). With more of today’s workforce looking for greater flexibility and options in when and where they work, cloud-based phone systems will continue to become an attractive option.
- Advanced features and analytics – One of the most significant benefits of hosted PBX services is that they provide advanced calling features that employees demand. These services include features like visual voicemail, remote call management, auto attendant, call recording, company directory, and music on hold, for example. With a unified communication suite, these services also include interconnections with email, voicemail, IM, video, and more. Not only that, with a centralized system, internal IT teams can collect data on how features are being used to make better decisions about business spending as well as information about how features allow organizations to deliver effective services.
- Scalability – With a cloud-based phone system and PBX, organizations can instantly expand or contract services, as needed. Businesses can add phone lines, extensions, and connect to mobile devices without adding hardware or making additional capital investments as required with on-premise phone systems.
With a lower capital investment, lower cost of ownership and access to advanced calling features, it’s easy to see why organizations are making the switch to cloud-hosted PBX. Not only that with a phone service delivered via the cloud, but companies also have the flexibility to support and drive today’s increasingly global and mobile workforce, giving them a significant advantage over the competition.