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Buying a New Hosted IP PBX?

Sometimes we get calls from customers asking what type of Hosted IP PBX (Private Branch Exchange) makes the most sense for their business. 

It’s a little like a doctor writing a prescription. To quote the right Hosted IP PBX solution, we must understand the customer needs and requirements. AVOXI provides business VoIP PBX solutions that are feature-rich and give the end user the flexibility to scale up and down easily based on their changing business needs.

The first step is a “technical discovery.”  We ask the customer to complete a questionnaire so we understand the basics:  number of employees; number of incoming lines (analog or digital); how many concurrent calls; what call handling features are most important or most useful.  We also drill-down on the customer’s internal technical skills, including who will administer the PBX and manage moves, adds and changes.

Getting it right on the front end helps us to properly specify and price a solution that will meet customer needs and it eliminates surprises on the back end.  By surprises, we mean on the day one of the install, the customer gives our technician a complex call flow diagram that we haven’t seen before or tells him he wants the PBX integrated with his CRM system!

Getting it right on the front end – for customers and for us – is the job of our highly skilled solutions engineers.  They match the right solution to customer technical and operational requirements.

Price is another important factor, especially in this economy.  There are lots of low priced PBXs in the market today. Generally, here are the features and functionality that customers should look for in an IP PBX:

  • Extension Management – The ability to manage moves, additions, and changes from a web-based control panel.
  • Automated attendant – The ability to build phone menu systems, add call menus, transfer to voicemail and the flexibility to create and program rules to handle all of these features.
  • Call hold – Placing callers in queues with voice recordings, hold music and having the flexibility to program hold time lengths and messaging.
  • Call menus – Flexible call management menus with user selectable options – a more advanced version of traditional PBX phone tree/menu systems.
  • Voicemail – The obvious with options such as saving, forwarding and preferably notification by email and the ability to retrieve via wav. files; also the administration of voice mail boxes.
  • Call forwarding – Automatic, programmed or manual call forwarding to any number or IP address.
  • Administration – The ability to manage and remotely administer extensions at other offices just as easily as if they were local.
  • Web-based management, administration & reporting – Make it quick and easy to manage your phone system directly from a web browser – this can include the ability to add end-user configuration and management functions as well.

While those are some of the basics, customers should also bear in mind that the solution they need and thus the pricing can also depend on these factors:

  • Concurrent (simultaneous) calls – current and expected volumes
  • Call recording and storage – factors to be considered include concurrent calls, whether inbound or outbound, how many call recordings to be stored and length of time the calls needs to be stored
  • Phone Hardware/software – softphone applications with headsets can be less pricey
  • Enhanced functionality – often associated with call center applications to include but not be limited to call, agent, and queue monitoring.

There is no size-fits-all Hosted IP PBX solution but there are flexible, feature rich and affordable Hosted IP PBX solutions on the market today that can be configured for your unique business.

Hosted IP PBX References

David Wise

David Wise

Chief Executive Officer, Founder at AVOXI
David has more than 18 years of management experience in the telecommunications industry. A graduate of the Citadel, David worked as a Senior Account Executive with Intermedia Communications and later co-founded Rapid Link, a leading provider of International callback and VoIP. David then founded AVOXI in 2001with a focus on providing niche international call center markets with customized voice and data services. read more
David Wise
David Wise

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