Thanks to the increase in cloud-based solutions, more and more businesses are beginning to look into the benefits of a hosted IP PBX. While on-premises phone systems were once the standard for companies of all sizes, vendors are now offering the cloud as a solution or a hybrid approach.
Businesses considering switching should be aware of the number of hosted IP PBX benefits, including:
- Increased flexibility
- Simple set-up and a quick deployment
- Reduced up-front costs
- Reduced or eliminated maintenance fees
- Little to no change in monthly billing
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced burden on IT resources
- More power to the end user
Telecom market research firm Infonetics Research released a report in August 2014 stating that the market for hosted PBX and Unified Communications (UC) will reach $12 billion by 2018. Underscoring this trend, the report found hosted services seats increased by more than 20 percent worldwide over the year prior.
Choosing a Vendor
With an increased interest in the cloud, the biggest issue appears to be the wide array of options from vendors, which can lead to some confusion as to what features are best. Businesses can mitigate some of this confusion by comparing services, prices, and billing structures across as many vendors as feasible.
The Best of Both Worlds
For large businesses and those with multiple locations, a hybrid service may be the best solution. With a hybrid option, businesses can have access to both the cloud and internal phone systems. The ideal vendor will offer the same features and the same platform for both halves of the hybrid. This can also lead to easier integration.
With easy installation, less up-front costs, reduced fees, and improved efficiency, switching to the cloud or to a hybrid solution for phone systems offers many benefits. Research, comparison, and knowing the features for specific business needs will help make selecting a vendor easier, and with hybrid solutions, businesses can still have the benefits of hosted IP PBX with the security of an on-premise system.