In a fast paced world where technology constantly changes, it is difficult for businesses to keep up with the latest trends. With so many phone systems and features available, choosing the right system for your business presents a challenge. A popular trend for modern businesses is to switch to a Cloud-based phone system or a Cloud PBX.
As the first port of contact between current and prospective clients, a phone system is a valuable asset to any business. And, due to lack of product knowledge and overall cost concerns many organizations still use traditional on-premise PBX phone systems. In this article, AVOXI discusses the benefits and cost of moving to a cloud-based PBX system, the features it offers, how it simplifies operations and improves overall productivity.
What Is a Cloud PBX?
A Cloud or Hosted PBX is a virtual PBX system that allows you to operate your phone system through the Internet. Unlike outdated traditional on-premise PBX systems, a Cloud PBX requires no expensive on site equipment. Maintained and hosted by your VoIP provider, your phone system gives you the flexibility to work remotely by forwarding calls to an alternate number or device. Since the system runs in the cloud, you can take your communications anywhere there is an Internet connection. This gives your staff the ability to be mobile and flexible—allowing you to manage their productivity.
Most Cloud PBX phone systems come with state-of-the-art features like voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, IVR / auto attendant and call forwarding. And be sure to check on redundancy and failover options. You don’t have to worry about missing calls in the case of an emergency--with no land line based telephone wires, Cloud PBX phone systems give you the ability to connect anywhere in the world.
What Factors Affect Cost for a Cloud PBX?
With limited upfront costs, a cloud-based phone system serves as a revenue enhancing asset to your bottom line by eliminating the need to purchase, install and maintain an expensive premise-based PBX phone system. Cloud PBX phone systems have lower set-up costs, offer reduced local and international call rates, and ensure consistent monthly fees. Typically, all connection costs are included in your monthly fee. And, a flexible setup lets you add extra lines as required. Your VoIP provider generally handles maintenance, updates, and technical assistance as part of the hosted service.
The standard costs for a cloud-based PBX phone system to consider including in your budget, are as follows:
- Start-up cost include VoIP (IP) desk phones or softphones, dependent on which best suits your company’s need. Each employee require his/her own VoIP phone (and headset if needed)
- Monthly Internet service fee
- VoIP provider subscription fees for the access to Cloud PBX connectivity.
As cloud-based PBX Phone system operates using Internet, it is imperative you have a high-speed reliable Internet service. Your VoIP provider is able to provide guidance for minimal standards. A good rule is to use high speed (10Mbps+) cable or fiber-based Internet speed. If you require a bandwidth upgrade, check with your local Internet Service Provider (ISP). Satellite and wireless Internet services have limitations in supporting VoIP voice quality.
Cloud PBX Subscription
Most Cloud PBX providers offer services based on a monthly per user fee. For example, say you have 20 employees in your office. That means you’ll pay a fee for each of your employees to have access to the Cloud phone system. The cost depends on not only your VoIP provider but the calling features you want. You can find plans starting as low as $15 a month per user but you’ll see the cost rise as capability increases.
If your current PBX phone system is several years old, your phones may not be compatible for VoIP, and they may not be able to use the more advanced features. Upgrades to some traditional phone systems are possible; however, it’s important to do a full cost comparison. It can save you money in the long run.
When updating your phones, you have two options available:
- Desk phone: plugs directly into a router port and interfaces with a VoIP service. Theseusually cost about $60 per phone.
- Softphone: a phone application used directly on your computer with a headset. Softphones cost range from $4.99 to $15 per phone, excluding the headset.
Choosing a reputable established provider helps ensure reliable service and competitive fees. Compared to the $5,000 it can cost to have an on-site phone system, a Cloud PBX offers an extremely cost-effective alternative. When comparing a Cloud PBX phone system to a traditional on premise PBX system the flexibility, simplicity and cost-effectiveness of a cloud-based PBX make it an easy decision. Talk to your VoIP provider about making the switch today.