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Written by
Katy Ratican
27 Jun 2022
4 minutes

Hosted PBX: Your guide to getting started

Considering a hosted PBX? Here’s your complete guide to cloud PBX including its advantages and disadvantages
Hosted PBX

Businesses are considering moving to hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange) due to its perceived advantages. If you have thought about it, you will have heard that it’s a cloud-based system. But what exactly does it mean and how can it benefit your business?

Across the business world, there’s an increasing realisation that the infrastructure has to be upgraded. The old ways of doing business may not work anymore. Technology adoption can reduce expenses, increase efficiency and help in business growth. The shift to hosted PBX is in line with this.

What is hosted PBX?

It will be easier to understand hosted PBX once you know what the standard PBX does. A PBX is a set of hardware that directs incoming calls to a business. It provides other functionalities including call waiting, call routing, phone extensions and conferencing. The hardware will be located on the premises of the business.

In other words, it’s the system that manages the phone network of a business. In hosted PBX, also known as IP PBX, an external provider manages the PBX, which will be hosted in the cloud. That’s why it’s also called a cloud PBX.

How does hosted PBX work?

Once you opt for a hosted PBX service, your phones will be connected to the hosted PBX through the internet. The hosted PBX service will manage your phone system and all incoming and outgoing calls through software located in the cloud.

So, how do you make and receive phone calls? All you have to do is log in to an online portal. From here, you can adjust your settings without having to change any hardware in the office. You can add users or track your calls through this portal.

The benefits of hosted PBX

Like with any cloud-based service, businesses can benefit from hosted PBX in several ways.

Low costs

The biggest reason for opting for a hosted PBX service is that you don’t have to worry about the costs associated with an on-premise system. Your business won’t have to buy additional hardware and pay for its installation and maintenance. You also don’t need technical staff on your payroll to manage problems as your provider will handle those.

Better features

Hosted PBX gives you several tools to enhance your business communication. You’ll get auto-attendant, phone menus, business caller ID, voicemail transcription, conference calls, call queueing and call recording, to name a few. These will make your business seem more professional.

Remote capability

On-premise PBX limits you to a location. With hosted PBX, your office is wherever you have an internet connection and connect to the system. If your team has remote or hybrid workers or employees who constantly travel, hosted PBX should be one of your options.

Scalability

When you compare PBX and VoIP, one thing becomes clear. Any cloud-based system is easier to scale. If your business grows, you can easily add phone lines through the web portal. While being cost-effective, it also allows you to empower more employees with a business phone.

Reliability

If there is any damage to your on-site PBX, you can expect disruptions to your communication. You’ll have to wait for someone from the phone company to arrive at your location and solve the problem. If something goes wrong with your hosted PBX network, the system can easily route your calls to a different network, which makes it more reliable.

The disadvantages of hosted PBX

Good broadband required

Broadband reliability could be a problem when you consider that your office will also require the bandwidth for other internet usage. If the broadband connection can’t handle a large volume of traffic, there could be congestion.

Higher charges for large groups

If your business has a large number of people. you can expect higher charges. This is because the monthly recurring charges are calculated per user. But this only applies if your business has more than fifty or so people.

What equipment do I need for hosted PBX?

You don’t need that much equipment for hosted PBX. You only need broadband access, compatible handsets and a router. Of course, you will also need a reliable internet connection.

Traditional PBX vs hosted PBX

The traditional PBX is hardware that you have to install and maintain at the location. The good news is that your business will have control over it. But you would need trained staff to manage it, solve problems and run updates.

Hosted PBX doesn’t require any hardware on the location. Businesses don’t have to worry about maintenance either. Compared to on-premise PBX, hosted PBX comes with several business tools to optimise business communication.

Chalkboard: A second number alternative to hosted PBX

Hosted PBX does provide demonstrable advantages over on-site PBX. But how about a simpler, smarter and feature-rich solution where you don’t have to worry about who’s hosting it? Meet Chalkboard, the second number for work that every small business needs.

Now you have a number dedicated to work that you can easily share with customers and on your marketing collateral. This helps protect your personal number. Chalkboard also gives you auto-reply that you can use to respond to calls that you might miss.

Your team can share their phone numbers, which will improve collaboration. This also means that at least some of them will be always available. You also get advanced chat that lets you talk to your customers like friends.

Chalkboard also takes care of your marketing. You can send automated requests to your customers for online reviews, which will help establish a positive online reputation for your business.

Download Chalkboard and start your free trial. It’s affordable, user-friendly and comes with tools to grow your business.

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