Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Hosted iPBX – A Feature-Rich Hosted VoIP PBX Service

In today’s market place there are many small to medium sized businesses that are choosing hosted telephony as an alternative to installing an office based phone system – why?

A hosted service with its cost effective price tag and advanced feature set offers a benefit to the smaller business or start up that cannot be matched by a traditional phone system. Not only does a hosted phone service deliver advanced features it also allows for the projection of a corporate and professional image from day 1.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is delivered to your office or home via a broadband network connection directly to your office or home. Sometimes a hosted service is delivered to you over the same connection to the internet (broadband) as the data connection. Depending on the number of users and network traffic it is recommended that a separate broadband service is installed for voice only traffic. A typical broadband connection, offering around 1mbps upload, will allow for 6-7 concurrent calls. Broadband services offering this sort of upload speed cost around £25.00 per month. As a comparison, six channels of ISDN would cost around  £76 per month ,a saving of £550pa or more per annum (dependent upon existing supplier)

A hosted VoIP PBX delivers a variety of phone features that allows for the delivery of an efficient communications service within the business environment; portraying your business in an efficient manner.

Features such as Auto Attendant, call routing and IVR allow you to develop smart services no matter what the size of your business thereby projecting a more professional image to your clients.

Other system features such a conferencing, hunt groups and call recording together with call waiting, music on hold and call queuing gives you that edge over the competition.

Built in email to fax/fax to email allows for efficiency savings on fax delivery, toner and hardware costs.

Easily installed plug and play phones or individual Softphones makes a hosted PBX phone service a “doddle” to deploy within your business including adding remote sites and home-workers  a breeze.

Site to site calls are free, and this, coupled with cheaper call charges to local, national and UK mobile numbers makes a hosted VoIP service worth consideration. The ROI on a hosted system is far higher than a traditional in-house phone system.

A simple to use web based control panel allows for the administration of the service at a corporate level and even a user level. Extension billing allows you to review what an individual employee, or the company,  is spending on calls in real time and so allows you to have an insight into upcoming bills. Real-time reporting allows for stats to be produced so that you can look at the business and make strategic decisions moving forward.

Contracts for hosted services vary but you want to investigate services that offer a short contract period, typically on a 30 rolling day basis, plus low per second call charges which are not rounded in anyway.

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