Small businesses are always looking for new ways to save and hosted PBX features are just the ticket. A hosted PBX is the software that connects internal phone calls to each other and connects incoming calls to the right department. These PBXs are hosted off-site and many of them are able to work with traditional land lines services, cell phone services, and Internet calling (known as VoIP). A hosted PBX is a separate service that’s offered by both VoIP and non-VoIP providers.
In the past, most businesses only had the option of an in-house PBX they kept in the office somewhere, quietly humming away and doing its magic. Of course, having it on-site bears no particular advantage unless you enjoy workers installing, maintaining, and repairing it while you’re just trying to get the last bagel in the break room before someone else does. (And who finished the coffee? “If you kill it, you fill it”.)
A hosted PBX option is becoming more popular by the minute, because it transfers the maintenance responsibility (and cost) to the service provider. Hosted PBX plans include some key features in addition to the fact that it frees up valuable office space for a FoosBall table. Here are the top five features of hosted PBX.
1. Reduced Overhead
Never suffer a parade of IT consultants, maintenance, or repair-workers again. A business should only be concerned with conducting business, period. Time wasted on installation, maintenance, and repairs is better spent procuring clients or completing projects at hand. Interruptions in the workflow are not only inconvenient they’re costly. A hosted PBX significantly reduces the costs of phone service, which perfectly suits a small business’ budget.
An auto-attendant is a “virtual secretary” feature to ensure a business never misses a call. The auto-attendant message can stylize your corporate greeting to be as professional or casual as desired, and connects callers to the appropriate party or department via extension or name. The same business can have multiple auto-attendants as well, to allow for flexible segmentation of clients or customers, each with a specifically tailored greeting.
A hosted PBX can connect a fax machine directly to a laptop, desktop, or Internet-enabled device to receive faxes. Avoid replacing expensive toner cartridges, and using countless reams of fax paper. It’s a “green” and cost efficient way to lower overhead, and grow a business at the same time.
4. “Find Me, Follow me”:
In business today, it’s all about mobility. With one phone number, calls can be routed to any number, or numbers. Businesses on the move deserve the advantage and flexibility of having important calls reach them, wherever they are. Calls can be routed to anything with a phone number, from smartphones to landlines, from laptops to office computers.
5. Toll-Free Numbers:
A toll-free “800” number gives a business instant credibility and the veneer of a large, professional organization. Clients and customers are more likely to contact a business when they believe the company is paying for the “expensive long-distance call” and they’re more comfortable to linger on the phone, hearing about the benefits of your services. Both of these facts translate into more inbound calls, and more inbound caller conversions. Most business VoIP and non-VoIP providers include free 800 numbers in their hosted PBX plans.
A hosted PBX is a great investment for a small business. A hosted PBX can easily work with existing equipment, VoIP or otherwise, so business owners have the ease of communication without the high prices to match.
Jennifer Cuellar is a technology writer and editor based out of Southern California. She covers the latest developments in green technology and VoIP news.