There has been much discussion about the cloud in recent years as more businesses and sectors began putting cloud-based technology to work for them. In a recent CloudTweaks article, contributor Rachel Greenberg explained how virtual public branch exchange phone systems are the latest offering in business phone service technology. A virtual system uses a off-premise switchboard to route calls appropriately to various extension lines.
TMCnet contributor Ed Silverstein recently outlined the differences between virtual PBX vs cloud hosted PBX phone services, suggesting that while these phone technologies may sound identical, there are a number of notable differences. Virtual PBX is an answering service that is automated to handle all calls, and while it is not entirely complete on its own, it is part of cloud hosted PBX systems.
“Virtual PBX systems reroute calls to cell phones, landlines or VoIP extensions,” Silverstein wrote. “It is achieved through an automatic attendant or interactive voice response feature. It does not have call control features or outbound calling. A cloud hosted PBX is a more complete business VoIP system. It may need to be considered if businesses have more than five to 10 employees or experience higher volumes of calls. Hosted PBX solutions also offer small-to-medium-sized businesses enterprise-level features.”
However, Greenberg noted that while terms like “hosted,” “virtual” and “cloud” are often used separately, they all refer to generally the same thing: a phone system hosted by and based out of a service provider’s data center which provides customers with a switchboard operated through a cloud platform.
Virtual PBX vs Cloud Hosted PBX
Because hosted PBX systems are run by service providers, businesses can enjoy a greater ease of communication and less administrative hassle. As Greenberg explained, tech troubleshooting can possibly be eliminated with hosted solutions as all of the hardware components of the system are not on-premise, instead stored at the service provider’s data center.
“This means that with a hosted PBX solution, customers spend much less on hardware, software, maintenance and storage,” Greenberg wrote. “Customers interface with their PBX through a control panel that they download onto their own computer.”
As running a business can be an expensive endeavor, making adjustments to technology used for daily operations can be an effective way to reduce costs. While PBX phone systems are extremely affordable business solutions, connection reliability doesn’t suffer. In addition, because cloud PBX systems keep all hardware off site, it becomes even easier for a business to scale phone services according to their needs. If a business should hire a few new employees, the service provider can quickly make necessary modifications to plans without delays that would come with legacy communications providers traveling to perform alterations of on-premise hardware.
AccessDirect’s PBX phone system offers SMBs attractive options for managing a virtual workforce, complete with rich features like voicemail, fax mail, automated attendant, conference calling, on-hold music and call forwarding functionalities.