VoIP Solutions for Small to Medium Sized Businesses
For companies that fall in the small to medium size (between 5 and 100 employees) there are a number of options when choosing a VoIP phone solution. One option is the Hosted PBX provider. A hosted VoIP PBX is an internet based management service that houses the PBX equipment in its own network operations center. The system operates just as a standard in-house PBX does in an office; however, the main difference is that your company does not have to buy, install, or maintain any of the PBX equipment. The equipment is constantly updated and maintained by the service provider which saves you from regular IT administration and upgrade costs in addition to not having to make the initial capital expense.
In addition to cost savings, there are a number of other advantages to a hosted PBX provider. First, the system is limitlessly scalable; allowing you to add or cancel extensions at anytime. Second, a hosted PBX has additional features such as voicemail to email and other types of integrated functions that allow you to fully customize your phone system. The PBX is configurable through an internet based interface which gives you the ability to modify features and configure the system with absolute ease. And lastly, you can expect the equipment to be of the highest quality; most providers use reliable equipment producers like Edgewater and Cisco. Because of the scalability and the cost savings that are associated with a lesser number of lines, hosted PBX options tend to be the best option for small businesses with udner fifty employees. Companies with more than fifty employees can also benefit from a hosted PBX provider; however, they may find that an in-house PBX is a better option. We recommend that you research the available solutions to determine which type of PBX will generate the highest value for your company.
Now for a description of how a hosted PBX actually works. For this particular Business VoIP market, the VoIP service provider typically provides you with a voice enabled router that connects to a T1/T3 line; however some providers will host this equipment for you too. This device supports both your voice and data transmission needs for your company and assures that your voice packets take priority over your data packets during high traffic times; this is meant to insure your call quality. Next, a large switch connects the router to your Local Area Network and any IP based device can then be connected to the switch whether it is a computer, IP phone, an analog telephone adapter connected to an analog telephone. This is just one possible configuration of a hosted PBX, some providers will host the routers and switches which only requires you to have the phones and an internet connection.