What are the benefits of a hosted phone system?
So, you’ve been thinking of upgrading your existing phone system? There’s a lot of talk about a hosted phone system being the best solution around at the moment.
Well, why is a hosted phone system better than a traditional pbx which sits in your office with all the phone handsets connecting back to it through the internal office LAN (Local Area Network)?
Why switch to a hosted phone system
Download our guide on why you should be using a hosted phone system. And how it could help how your business communicates
Here's our guide to the key benefits of a hosted phone system.
To gain insight into why a hosted phone system might benefit your business we need to take a quick look at what hosted PBX systems are and what the ‘Cloud’ is.
The cloud has been bandied about over the past 10 years as if everyone knows what it is. We’re told it will make our lives better but sometimes we need to have at least a basic understanding of what it is to be able to judge for ourselves if it will indeed improve our lives, or our businesses.
The Wikipedia definition of the cloud communications or unified communications:
Cloud communications are Internet-based voice and data communications where telecommunications applications, switching and storage are hosted by a third-party outside of the organisation using them, and they are accessed over the public Internet. Cloud services is a broad term, referring primarily to data-centre-hosted services that are run and accessed over an Internet infrastructure.
Until recently, these services have been data-centric, but with the evolution of VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), voice has become part of the cloud phenomenon. Cloud telephony (also known as hosted telephony) refers specifically to voice services and more specifically the replacement of conventional business telephone equipment, such as a Private branch exchange (PBX), with third-party VoIP service.
The Quotonga, simplified definition is:
A Cloud communications platform is one which has a centralised Phone System that can be connected to using an internet connection or data connection. Using voip phones via sip trunking it provides a very good solution for most businesses.
There we go, the slightly complicated bit over with. Now onto the benefits of a Hosted pbx System to you and your business.
The way unified communications infrastructure is built in a Hosted Phone System means it is naturally scalable beyond any capabilities of most traditional phone system manufacturers.
Having a centralised ‘brain’ which is hosted in data centres across the UK and potentially Worldwide means it can instantly be increased.
Should your business grow at the rate we all hope it does you would no longer need to spend money on adding cards, voicemail ports, additional modules/units or upgrade to the next level of processing unit in the range.
You can simply click a button, add a new user and set them up as you need to. From 1 to 1,000’s pretty much instantaneously.
Flexibility to work anywhere
Have employee’s spread throughout the UK or maybe even across the globe? With a hosted system, you can have a centralised phone system that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection.
Have a holiday home in the Bahamas? No problem, have a handset there for any emergencies while you’re away or even the all-important weekly conference call you can’t miss.
Cost savings vs traditional telephony
You can get great savings with hosted telephony. Some providers even offer everything you need in one monthly amount, including all calls.
You no longer need to worry about your business network being hacked or having your phone system hacked and used for toll fraud. The security of cloud telephony is taken care of by the provider themselves. All those headaches, gone!
The beauty of technology and certainly business communications technology itself means its constantly evolving and improving. With a traditional PBX it would need further investment to make sure the business can capitalise on any technology advancements.
With a cloud based phone system, updates are automatically sent out to your voip handsets.
Never miss a call and work from anywhere
The dream of having one number is finally here! You can twin your Direct Dial number with a plethora of devices.A great example is having a handset at the office and one at home. Someone calls you on your DDI number and both the handsets ring. Even better you can, on some systems, integrate it with your work calendar meaning it can automatically ring or go through to voicemail or send it to another device etc
Phone System on your Smartphone
With the installation of an app on your smartphone device you are now able to get all the functionality of a phone system on your mobile phone. You don’t need a business mobile any longer. Just have your one main work number and have it ring on any device you have. BYOD (Bring your own device) has never been easier.
Self-management of system/ no maintenance
With most all of the Hosted Providers you will get access to an online portal. This online portal will enable you to make changes to your set-up and configuration. From simple changes for example changing a staff members name on the handset screen to adding or updating your music on hold file via mp3.
Disaster Recovery built in
You can have handsets anywhere in the world. A road worker accidentally cuts through the electric cable or the internet line running into your office premises, the phone calls can just be rerouted by the online portal to a new number, handsets elsewhere or even to staff mobile phones while everything gets back online. The perfect disaster recovery solution for our business.
Call Logging & Monitoring
Online portals form the PBX providers mean you have an endless amount of phone call data you can interrogate.
A number of them, such as Gamma Horizon’s platform come with in-built reports and also allow you to build bespoke reports on the fly.
Recording in the cloud
Whether you just want call recording for the purposes of customer service improvement or you have a legal obligation such as financial services based businesses to comply with regulations, a hosted phone system can record calls in the cloud for you to retrieve at any point. There is normally an additional cost to this but it works out much lower than having it all on premises.
So, Hosted Phone Systems are massively beneficial to a business but what are the potential pitfalls you need to be aware of?
VoIP based pbx system. Meaning it needs a good level of data connectivity or internet connection to be able to function properly. The upload speed of your internet connection is one of the vital things here but also the data packet loss rate.
Each line or voip phones used on the system will need a suggested bandwidth of 100kbps both download and upload to make sure that your calls go through without an issue.
Our suggestion is to make sure you talk to your potential provider before ordering a system. They can advise you on how well your existing data connection will handle the hosted voice across it. Normally by using a speed test specifically designed for hosted voip.
If there is an option to get a dedicated, guaranteed service then go for this to as its then not something you need to worry about.