Everything you need to know about hosted PBX providers – From services included to the pricing structure
What is a hosted PBX provider?
A business that provides hosted telephone systems. This may be their system, developed internally, or a system they resell.
The system will typically be stored in their datacentre, meaning that all energy costs, support, installation, and updates are carried out by the provider and will either be billed or included within the cost, for the customer.
What services do hosted PBX providers offer?
A hosted PBX is almost always delivered through an application, this will be available on desktop and mobile. The application is one of the key differentiators between hosted PBX providers and should be something that is researched before being purchased.
Good applications allow staff to use the phone system’s features quickly and easily. Interfaces should be intuitive and allow staff to find their way around the system without the need for additional support.
The application allows users to have the phone system with them, wherever they are located and whichever company device they are carrying. It should seamlessly switch from device to device without the need for human interaction.
Essential call features
There is a list of essential call features that you would expect every phone system to have. Call transferring, voicemail and call logs to name a few.
in2pbx allows users to easily use these essential tools, even if it’s the user’s first time.
To view the full list of features available on in2pbx, see the feature list.
These days businesses are used to different systems communicating with each other. It makes life a lot easier for everyone.
This capability is made a lot easier through IP enabled devices that can communicate with each other over an Internet connection. IP phone systems are no different.
Most business uses Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Depending on the two providers most IP phone systems can integrate with the main CRM providers such as Zoho, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics.
For example, the user can call the customer from the CRM interface. When the call is made, the record will automatically be stored in the CRM along with any other information.
How do hosted PBX providers price their service?
There are different approaches when it comes to pricing a hosted PBX, however, the primary services will remain the same, the two key services being:
- The phone system
- Calls and minutes
Phone system costs
Most providers use a per user, per month, licensing approach.
Set pricing packages are normally available to meet as many customer’s feature requirements as possible, with most providers willing to create bespoke packages if required.
At in2tel, we have two pricing packages, Essential and Plus. Essential giving the most common feature requirements and Plus, providing additional services, larger business and call centres may require.
Calls and Minutes
Most providers including in2tel, offer free internal calls that may be department to department, or even office to office, if the call is made on the same hosted phone system as the recipient, it can be free.
When you make a call to a landline or a mobile outside of your phone system, you incur a charge.
A hosted PBX provider can bundle its PBX with a specific number of minutes each month. Some providers choose not to do this and will bill calls and minutes separately to the monthly phone system price. It’s worth checking the T&Cs to see exactly what you will be charged for and what will be included.
A provider will either own or lease a network to carry calls from the phone system to the phone system. Hosted PBX providers who don’t own their network may have increased their charges to cover rental fees.
What are the benefits of choosing a hosted PBX provider?
Even within large businesses, it’s rare for a company to hire staff that are solely experts in communication systems. This can fall under the responsibility of an IT manager or an office manager, and for smaller businesses, it may be the business owner.
Choosing a hosted PBX provider gives you access to a team of communication experts but a team who specialise in the chosen product and know it through and through. This can save time and effort if problems do arise, as they can be handled without the need to allocate business resources.
With the infrastructure being located in the provider’s facilities, the requirement for onsite support is heavily reduced.
A hosted PBX provider should be running a helpdesk/support desk. This allows for quick contact over the phone, via email, or through live chat and can be accessed by anyone in the business.
Disaster recovery should be built into the product so that if a piece of hardware was to fail, communication channels won’t go offline.
Reduction in costs
One of the main benefits of an IP phone system is the cost benefits. No longer is the expensive infrastructure required to own a modern phone system. IP phone systems can be acquired for a very little upfront cost.
Not only do you save on infrastructure but the costs of calls is much cheaper. With an IP phone system, you generally pay per user, per month, which can save up to 60% over a comparable business landline plan.
Then are the hidden savings, that come from employees being able to use mobiles and desktops as phones, saving the need to buy additional desk phones for hotspots and environments where employees are on the move.
Looking for advice on a phone system?
We have a team of experts who will be more than happy to answer any questions about either solution and which more suitable for your business.
If you would like to ask questions, please speak to our Sales Director over the live chat. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 91 1800.