More businesses across the globe are realizing the benefits of using VoIP—Voice Over Internet Protocol. This service is relevant for businesses of all types and sizes. It doesn’t present a learning or adoption curve and offers immediate ROI. Within the niche of VoIP, Virtual PBX has become the most preferred option. It is essentially a telephony service provided via the Internet. Virtual PBX is equally useful for mortar & brick businesses and corporations with remote offices and hundreds of employees.
Overview of the Virtual PBX Journey – The Past and Present
The PBX was first seen among switchboard operators. This was a laborious process that used cord circuits. The most significant development happened during the 90s when PBX systems evolved with the growing demand for data networks. As Internet connectivity became widespread and cheaper, voice over PBX systems came to prominence.
Integrating Voice & Data: Exactly What is Virtual PBX?
Private Branch Exchange or PBX is a smarter, leaner telephone exchange system. Historically, PBX systems were created for organizations to manage their phone systems. This meant employing in-house operators. The need to have an internal PBX infrastructure and dedicated employees to keep it running meant substantial costs. This is where Hosted PBX systems came to the rescue—these PBX services are provided by an external vendor. The vendor is responsible for the organization’s VoIP system. This is a cheaper way to have a fully-functional PBX system at reasonably low prices. Rather than developing an in-house VoIP system, all requirements are handled by the VoIP host.
Contemporary Virtual PBX Practices
The present-day PBX technology connects calls, fax machines, and other sources of digital communication like computer modems. Virtual PBX service providers are constantly evolving, offering more packaged or additional services. This includes features like call waiting, call forwarding, and messaging. Advanced features like automatic dialing make communication faster and easier to manage. Some Virtual PBX providers now offer widgets. These can be easily incorporated on the business website. With a single click, communication between a browser and the company can be established. These widgets are also found on social media profiles. Virtual PBX services also include voice and video conferencing, helping businesses interact with remotely-located employees and customers. Without the need to install special software, managers can collaborate online at minimal costs.
Clearing the Confusion: Virtual PBX or Hosted PBX?
This might sound confusing at first—Hosted PBX and Virtual PBX refer to the same kind of VoIP technology. Technically, a hosted VoIP is also a virtual VoIP because both are configured and managed outside the place of business/office. For easier understanding, you can refer to both these technologies as VoIP PBX systems.
6 Advantages of Hosted/ Virtual PBX Every Decision-maker Should Know
Let’s discuss the kind of advantages associated with a typical VoIP PBX system:
1. Get Affordable-yet-Efficient Services with Virtual PBX
Installing a PBX phone system at your place of business can be very expensive. Also called premise-based PBX systems, the cost can translate into hundreds of dollars for each user. More costs are incurred in the form of maintenance. Manpower resources are wasted in managing the entire system. Virtual PBX systems are hosted and managed by the VoIP provider. From repairing small glitches to ensuring that every point of customer interaction is addressed systematically, your involvement is limited to paying the monthly fee. You can upgrade or customize using bundled services to ensure that you have the most relevant, money-saving Virtual PBX system.
2. Get Empowered with Efficient Online Management
To have the most efficient and personalized Virtual PBX experience, you should always opt for online management—a web-driven digital interface. It helps you manage calls and different Virtual PBX accounts effortlessly. You can alter routing options within seconds. Rather than depending upon customer support, just click on the online interface.
3. Get Easier, Always-there Mobility
Once you have signed for a Virtual PBX system, it will always be there, irrespective of your location. Even if you move your office across a county or city, your Virtual PBX system will not be affected. You don’t need to make any transition changes. The Virtual PBX service provider takes care of this aspect. At the most, you might need to make a phone call to the service provider.
4. Get Automated Capabilities
Virtual receptionist services are eagerly sought by businesses using virtual PBX services. These are also called auto attendant features. The auto attendant ensures that each call is handled professionally. Callers are properly greeted, conversations are recorded, and callers are routed towards appropriate personnel/departments. Further, the auto attendant can handle numerous calls simultaneously. With callers never getting a busy signal, you gain the assurance of never missing a dialing customer. Some virtual PBX providers might offer this feature for free or as a part of discounted add-ons.
5. Get Smarter Call Routing
Virtual PBX systems are rather smart. Calls are routed according to logic and your preferences. You can feel assured about the most preferred personnel or department answering each customer. You can customize the call routing pattern. For instance, every call can be routed to the user’s home landline or personal mobile phone. The call will be forwarded simultaneously at these preferred sources. The user can pick the call according to the company protocol or personal convenience. You can choose routing options like:
- Forward When Busy – If your phone lines are busy, the call can be routed to the second most preferred user. This could be a colleague or assistant.
- Call Forwarding – All calls received after a certain time can be routed to your personal mobile phone.
- Follow Me/Find Me – You can feed a list of numbers into the system. Automatic routing system will route the call at each of these numbers in succession. This means that a call will never go unanswered. You can even specify the number of rings or call duration after which the call should be routed to voicemail.
6. Get Future-ready Scalability
A virtual PBX phone system can be scaled according to your needs. As your business progresses, more functionalities can be added to the hosted PBX service. You can start with the most humble packages and slowly, graduate towards more comprehensive Virtual PBX services. Using various online tools provided by the VoIP provider, you can evaluate the utility of different features and bundle them according to your business requirement and budget.
VoIP is definitely the most preferred form of modern telephony services, particularly for businesses. Recently, many open source projects have collaborated with cheaper modem hardware to make PBX ownership cheaper. We believe that a certain blend of technologies or new approaches might arise in this segment. For instance, a hosted & circuit-switched PBX system or hosted & packet-switched IP system seems very plausible. Mobile PBX solutions are being eagerly researched and the future looks extremely promising.