Let’s start with understanding what a PBX is. A Private Branch Exchange, which is what the acronym PBX stands for is more commonly known as your business telephone system. That desk phone at your workplace and the equipment it communicates with combined is your telephone system or PBX. It is the intelligence that provides your work voicemail, allows the buttons on your phone to do what they do, routes callers to your extension, and many other features. It is also the equipment that connects your phone with your phone service provider, enabling the ability to make and take calls to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). This is obviously a condensed explanation, but sufficient to serve the purpose of this post.
A Hosted PBX simply means the PBX functionality, or the brains of your PBX is hosted in the cloud by a service provider. Rather than your desk phone communicating with the PBX in your office, it communicates with a PBX in the cloud, via an IP network (like an internet connection, although there are other options.). A hosted PBX is often referred to by different names from VoIP PBX, Virtual PBX, Cloud PBX, Hosted VoIP, and many other variations.
While it is heavily debated whether a hosted PBX is less expensive than a traditional premise-based PBX, the benefits are not debatable. The most popular benefits include: outsourced system maintenance and upgrade, scaling up and down with ease, improved business continuity and disaster recovery, feature-rich for boosted productivity and eliminates the need and expense of having a datacenter like environment at the office.
Lastly, the success of Hosted PBX has introduced countless service providers offering their uniquely packaging and priced solutions tailored for their target demographics. Having options benefits consumers, however, it does require some vetting of service providers to determine which is best for your office environment. One size does not fit all.
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