This article outlines the top things to consider when evaluating Hosted PBX Solutions. The tips provided below will help your company identify and choose a quality Hosted PBX System that fully meets your business needs.
Hosted PBX solutions are a great way to control phone expenses for your business. The cost of maintaining a traditional phone system really adds up, when you consider what you’re spending on service contracts, service calls for broken phone equipment, service charges for add-ons and moves, installation charges for additional landlines, and other costs that are associated with on premise phone systems. Your business can eliminate virtually all of these expenses by switching to Hosted PBX. Your company can also save money on phone equipment when switching to Hosted PBX, because many providers have the ability to connect your existing desk phones to the cloud, which helps your business avoid the cost of buying or leasing new phone equipment, when moving to a Hosted PBX system.
It’s important to consider the calling features that your business currently uses and may need in the future, when evaluating Hosted PBX solutions. Different features are supported on different Hosted PBX systems, and your company may not have access to all of the features that it needs, if you choose the wrong Hosted PBX provider. You should consider what your users’ calling needs are, comparing your list to the available features that different Hosted PBX solutions offer, to decide which Hosted PBX System is right for your business. For example, a company with a mobile sales team would need call find-me / call follow-me service, which automatically routes calls to a series of different phone numbers until the user answers the phone, allowing them to receive calls anywhere while on the go. On the other hand, call find-me / call follow-me service wouldn’t be needed at an automotive parts warehouse. IP phones with cordless headsets that allowed employees to move around the facility untethered to check inventory and fill orders, etc. would be needed instead.
There are a couple of different ways that Hosted PBX Solutions can be configured on your provider’s network, which can greatly affect the reliability of your Hosted PBX phone services, especially when it comes to the call quality that your business experiences. Some vendors deliver their Hosted PBX services over the public Internet, which may allow them to sell their phone services cheaper than some of their competitors, but the downside to this is the high potential for lower call quality, due to fluctuations in Internet band width, which is outside of the Hosted PBX provider’s control. On the other hand, there are also many Hosted PBX solutions in the marketplace, which are built on the hosting provider’s own IP infrastructure, assuring the highest call quality available, with built-in fail-over protection through redundant power, connectivity and processing capabilities. It’s a good idea to find our which network options different Hosted PBX provider offer, to know what level of service you can expect when using their Hosted PBX Solutions.
Most Hosted PBX providers will configure any phones that you lease or purchase, before they arrive at your office. You should also be able to make minor changes to your Hosted PBX configuration after the phones arrive, like creating a speed dial list, etc. Most Hosted PBX providers also use auto-configuration tools from a central location to initially set-up your phone system, and they also typically provide access to an account management web portal, that allows on-site administrators to manage system users and make other changes to your Hosted PBX system. However, even though the installation process is designed to be fast and efficient, things do not always go as planned. Therefore, you should also check with any Hosted PBX provider that you consider using, to ensure that local on-site installers are available for all of your office locations, in case any conflicts or connectivity issues arise between your Hosted PBX system, your enterprise network firewall and your IT systems.
- Maintenance & Support
When it comes to maintenance and support, there are several important things that your business should be looking for. Most importantly, any Hosted PBX Solutions provider that your business is considering should have around the clock, 24/7 technical support, to ensure that your phone services are always available. Second, it’s always best to choose a local and/or regional provider for your Hosted PBX services, to ensure that a technician can be sent on-site to rapidly resolve any technical issues with your IP phones or Hosted PBX configuration, otherwise your only protection may be shipping your phones back to the manufacturer for support, or paying for 3rd party on-site support, which can blow your company’s productivity and put a dent in your communications budget.
A high quality Hosted PBX provider will offer top-of-the-line features, as described in this article, in addition to other key features, like regular automatic updates to their Hosted PBX platform, including feature enhancements that keep your business phone system up to date with the latest cloud phone technology.