Why Virtual PBX is Better for Business
For many years now, corporate communications have been dominated by on-premise PBX hardware.
PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, and it is basically a private phone network operated by a company for their own internal use.
There were numerous advantages to this system, because it provided an increased amount of control over the network for businesses, but there were many significant drawbacks as well.
These systems were costly, because third party vendors would find ways to lock clients in once they start using their services.
For instance, they would supply their clients with proprietary phones, which could not be re-used under any other system.
That meant that switching providers would be incredibly costly and inefficient. It was also an inflexible system, in the sense that it couldn’t adapt to the particular needs of a business, since the hardware involved could hardly be modified for such a purpose.
The advent of the Best Virtual PBX Systems
With the rise of the internet and the increase of it speed, however, this all changed. The internet has allowed billions of people worldwide to connect to one another instantly, no matter the distance.
Some corporate PBX providers saw this as an opportunity to improve their business model, so they came up with the Virtual PBX system.
This meant that systems could be developed faster, and could be made to fit a particular business perfectly. It also allowed the providers to offer their services at a significantly lower cost, since there was no expensive proprietary hardware to be installed.
Virtual PBX systems use existing phones, but they are set up so as to use the Internet to place and receive calls, create conference calls with multiple participants, add a customized automatic message, and much more.
This added flexibility also means that calls can be placed or received from any phone, at any place that has an internet connection.
That means employees can conference on the go, since Virtual PBX also works on individual mobile phones, as long as they are connected to a Wi-Fi network.
All these features proved revolutionary and have helped businesses, especially small and medium businesses, to grow and expand with a professional and reliable phone network.
The Advantages of a Virtual PBX System
It is precisely the small and medium size businesses that stand to benefit the most from using Virtual PBX phone systems.
All the major providers offer very affordable packages for various numbers of devices used, but the packages on the smaller end of the scale would not set you back much for such a valuable and professional service.
Though the comparative advantages of Virtual PBX systems may be evident from the previous section, I am going to provide a list of the specific benefits in sufficient detail. There will also be references to certain drawbacks that Virtual PBX systems may entail as well.
1. Much better security – In Business, it means everything
Traditional PBX systems offer a decent amount of security, seeing as though they are operated and checked by a dedicated IT team on the premises, or hired from a third party company.
However, this state of affairs is precisely what could lead to an increase in security risks to your data over your PBX.
Having a Virtual PBX network in place mitigates these concerns, as there is no need for on-site IT support.
Virtual PBX systems are hosted on remote servers in guarded and secure locations called data centers.
These sites feature state of the art security measures, including multiple fall-back options, biometric security measures in addition to physical security guards, complex encryption algorithms that make the data un-hackable, and all the facilities are monitored around the clock.
This remote hosting system is also useful in case of emergency. If you are experiencing a major disaster, for instance, all your data will be safe, and your services will be able to continue uninterrupted.
Likewise, in the case of power outages or other unforeseen events, you will be able to resume operations because the PBX network can also be used on employees’ mobile phones. This gives you a great deal of flexibility and adaptability in circumstances beyond your control.
In addition to these security benefits, one should also mention the fact that Virtual PBX systems offer a reliable up-time and quality of service.
In fact, the quality of the service is completely on par with what you would expect form a traditional PBX system. That is because most PBX systems are hosted in state of the art data centers, with all the major telephone carriers, so that the response time is exactly the same as a traditional line.
2. Lower your expenses – Not your standard or quality
When you opt to change from an on-site PBX system to a Virtual one, you lower your initial expenses, since there is little to no installation required, as well as lowering your long-term costs, as you get rid of many of the accompanying elements that come with having a complex communication system inside your office building.
With Virtual PBX systems, you are freed from having to constantly pay for expensive upgrades to your communication system, because all the necessary upgrades are taken care of by your Virtual PBX provider. You are also no longer liable to pay for the upkeep of the hardware that is involved, since this is also done in remote data centers for you.
This state of affairs makes sense, seeing as though the costs of upgrades and maintenance are in effect shared by many clients worldwide.
That means that it ultimately costs all the clients’ way less for maintenance and upgrades than it would have if they had all paid for it individually.
On top of that, the Virtual PBX providers have access to the latest and most efficient software for their systems, which you would likely not have access to if you chose to go it alone.
You also get to save money on having specialized on-site teams of IT experts to troubleshoot and fix your network problems, since this is all done inside the specialized data centers used by the Virtual PBX providers.
Older systems require a team of experts for even the simplest of modifications, from regular maintenance to the addition of new extensions. These individuals must be trained and re-trained for every type of hardware used.
That is because the different companies intentionally make it difficult, and almost impossible to know how to fix their particular system if you’ve been trained on another company’s system.
This is what I call ‘hidden costs’, and saving on those can give you a large Return on Investment in the short as well as the long term.
If you are using a Virtual PBX, this is all taken care of by the provider.
Furthermore, not only will you not need any IT professionals to make even the slightest change on your network, but this process is significantly simplified by Virtual PBX systems.
Any user can modify the precise way in which their devices interact with the network. For instance, a particular employee may want to change the way the call is handled, or set up their own voicemail, or include a special greeting for calls to their device.
All this can be done by a layman, and does not require the assistance of an IT team.
Finally, the billing process is significantly simplified if you are using a Virtual PBX system.
A single service provider can take care of all your networking needs, which ensures that you will get only one invoice for your entire network.
All your users and services, including VoIP apps, mobile communication, fax machine data, SMS, voice mail, digital conferencing and many more will be billed on one invoice, no matter the location and features used.
3. Work from anywhere
Using Virtual PBX systems allows you to connect instantly to any employee almost anywhere in the world in an instant.
You can include all your locations, travelling employees, foreign teams and much more, all in the same communications network.
That means your company could benefit from collaboration between all the various teams and employees worldwide, so that everyone can share their own unique perspective on any given problem.
Another feature offered by Virtual PBX providers, but not available with traditional PBX networks is the option to completely integrate mobile devices, both smart phones and tablets.
These devices are then transformed into an all in one business suite, with all the options available at the office, at your fingertips wherever you may be.
The mobile capabilities include simple voice calls, text messages, fax commands, digital conferencing, online meetings, as well as access to your company’s database. This ensures a great degree of flexibility, and gives your employees the tools they need to discharge their duties wherever they find themselves.
It is also possible to choose which exact extension you will send or receive a call on. Whether your employee wants to use their business number, or their direct line extension, they can always choose which number they use, regardless of which device they are using at the moment.
They could place or receive calls on their desktop computer, home telephone, or even a hotel phone, if that feature is available.
4. Adapt your system to your needs
With the added flexibility of a Virtual PBX system, you will be able to choose the precise features and size of your system, to fit your needs.
However, should you find yourself needing more accounts because your business is growing, these can be added almost instantly, at no installation cost.
You don’t have to invest in expensive new phones every time you want to expand. Instead, you can merely contact your provider, and request additional accounts.
Furthermore, you are able to have more flexibility when downsizing or hiring temporary employees. You will have no wasted hardware as you would if you were using a traditional PBX system, because accounts can be closed as easily as they can be opened.
Likewise, you can add temporary accounts which can be set to lapse after a certain period of time, so that a temporary employee only has access to your communications while their contract is in effect.
This all means that you can save your time and your money on frivolous administrative tasks, and get back to the meat and bones of your business, which is the entire point of the enterprise anyway.
Which Virtual PBX system best suits you?
If you decide to upgrade your company’s communications by switching to a Virtual PBX system, you may be wondering where to start.
The world of corporate services can be a jungle, and it can be very hard to get your bearings, but I would suggest taking a look at one of the following three major Virtual PBX providers, if you are serious about using Virtual PBX services.
- Ringcentral – Often considered the industry leader in Virtual PBX systems, Ringcentral provides a great deal of expertise and professionalism to its clients. The services it provides include a mix of traditional PBX systems, VoIP applications, and new and improved features that you would expect form a Virtual PBX system. They have more than 300.000 clients worldwide, and can provide many testimonials from satisfied users. They offer three distinct packages, one for small businesses (1-49 users), medium businesses (50- 499 users) and large businesses (500+ users), so that you can choose the system that best fits your particular company.
- Grasshopper – This US based Virtual PBX provider owned by LogMeIn in Boston is perfect for a more laid-back company environment, but they offer all the same features that you would expect from a Virtual PBX. Their services start at $24 per month for Solo Plan, which means you stand to make great savings as compared to some of the other Virtual PBX providers. They also offer features such as 0800 numbers for an added dose of professionalism, and a dedicated call management service to make your job much easier.
- Nextiva – This is another serious player in the Virtual PBX industry, and can boast some of the world’s most famous companies as their clients. They emphasize the unification of all the various features a company may require, including VoIP communications, text messaging, and collaborative communication. They do not require you to buy their proprietary phones, though they have those as well, and will work just fine with any unlocked business phone. No long-term contract is required, and the service can be cancelled for free at any time.
Summarized of The Best Virtual PBX Phone System
I hope this article has been informative, and has shed some light on the advantages of Virtual PBX systems over traditional ones.
They are easy to switch to, and will save you a lot of money in the long term, so why not consider switching now?
There’s certainly no best virtual PBX on the market but I can assure that you can find the best suited and tailored made services based on your requirements and needs.