What is a hosted phone system?
Hosted telephony also sometimes referred to as cloud telephony or hosted VoIP is where a provider hosts and manages your business phone system in a private data centre. When you invest in hosted telephony, you can get a telephone system that covers all your voice communication needs at a highly-affordable price. This gives you a solution worthy of a leading global business without forcing you to make a significant upfront investment.
With hosted telephony, communication is delivered via the internet. Hosted telephony gives small-to-medium businesses the chance to utilise technologies that were previously only available to large enterprises. You will normally only need to pay per-user-per-month, which can be an expense rather than a capital investment. What’s more is that you can scale up or down in line with your business needs.
Hosted telephony solutions are simple and quick to install. The term VoIP refers to voice calls that are carried via the internet rather than phone lines or POTS (Plain Old Phone Lines). People have been able to communicate in this manner for many years, but the levels of efficiency and reliability have grown significantly over recent times. Hosted telephony systems are now just as dependable as conventional PBX systems, and what’s also attractive for many businesses is that they don’t need to cover ongoing maintenance costs or multiple phone lines.
What is VOIP?
Voice over Internet Protocol (also known as VoIP, IP telephony, internet telephony and cloud IP telephony) is a broad term that describes voice calls made over the internet rather than using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The PSTN refers to the traditional system where copper wires transmit analogue voice data to each other over a circuit.
VoIP, on the other hand, refers to any method in which the internet is used to send voice, data or video signals in network packets. Packets may be sent over many different routes between parties and once they arrive the packets are re-arranged in the right order to provide clear communications. VoIP can encompass a number of digital rules or protocols, including propitiatory ones like Skype Protocol, and open-source ones such as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). SIP is an application layer protocol that sets the rules for how two points in a network are able to set up, manage and terminate a connection. Each of these protocols is designed to allow different digital devices to communicate with each other. VoIP is used with either application software (such as Skype), IP-enabled PBX hardware, or a hosted service. SIP is a communications protocol that is increasingly used for VoIP because of its ability to handle data and voice together.
Moving to a Hosted Solution
If you are still relying on a traditional PBX in your organisation, it could be time to consider moving to a hosted solution to realise all the benefits that cloud-based telephony has to offer.
Users access the system through a standard IP handset or a softphone – a screen-based virtual phone with headset. Calls are made and received over a broadband connection and outed to PSTN fixed and mobile devices. Hosted telephony means no costly PBX maintenance or upgrades. We are responsible for the hardware and software, including system upgrades.
As well as giving your organisation access to low-cost and free IP calling, a hosted system puts a huge range of smart call management features at your fingertips. Mobiles and other devices can also be integrated.
Perhaps most important is the degree of control a hosted system gives you. Your organisation’s entire communications, across multiple sites and countries, can be managed easily, right down to the individual user level, through a simple interface. There is no up-front spend on hardware, software or maintenance and it’s great for businesses with multiple sites and remote/mobile workers.Bbenefits of a hosted system over a PBX.
Benefits of a hosted system over a PBX
Hosted telephony offers businesses a full range of communications services, all hosted and supported in our own network for the utmost reliability and security.
- No PBX maintenance costs
- Make changes, moves and additions instantly
- No capital outlay
- Free calls between your offices
- Manage your own calls and facilities
- Great voice quality
- Save money
- Disaster recovery/business continuity as standard
- Lets your staff work flexibly from wherever they want
Considerably cheaper tariffs and possible savings of up to 60% over legacy kit and lines
Enable users to work from different locations, including home, but still be part of the overall communication service
Multi-site deployment – only one system to buy
Connect multiple sites easily and cost-effectively with one system. Transfer calls to different locations seamlessly, integrate with your company CRM and corporate directory and implement call schedules in minutes.
Scalable with support wrap
We provide number porting, provisioning and 24/7 UK-based assistance giving you complete peace of mind.
Built utilising BroadSoft’s market-leading BroadWorks hosted unified communications platform.
We offer end-user training and support for all our products.
Low Total Cost of Ownership
One of the largest advantages of a hosted PBX system is its capacity to utilise VoIP capabilities and eliminate multiple direct line connections. Yet, some companies resist switching – worried about increased cost or equipment. Typically, these systems will save businesses money and are more efficient over the long- term due to lower call connection, completion costs and lower maintenance requirements.
A flood, fire, earthquake or other natural disaster can knock out power to your office making it difficult to manage call volume. A hosted PBX system solves this problem. The solution is a redundant, secure data centre, that allows you to easily conduct business as usual – from outside of your office.
Reduced IT Pressure
A hosted PBX solution takes pressure off information technology and administrative staff, reduces long-term investments and increases productivity and mobility of employees. Simple web-based administration makes phone management straightforward and reduces the volume of IT and administrative support hours required by a company.
To understand more about the benefits and suitablilty of a hosted phone system arrange a consultation with PTC’s design team.