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A Hosted Phone System is a PBX (private exchange branch) that is delivered to businesses as hosted service. Hosted phone systems are also known as virtual PBX. These systems are hosted by a telephone company and using them means that a business does not have to install the system. In addition, businesses do not have to undergo maintenance and operation costs if they decide to go for hosted phone systems, as their service provider will host the systems for them. This saves a lot of extra expense and worry.
Pros of Hosted Phone System
Hosted PBX or systems allow businesses to utilize and take full advantage of the features in these systems such as automated greetings, faxing, voicemail and conference calls among others. It is cheap to implement a hosted phone system because companies that offer these systems as a service handle all call routing and switching, including maintenance of the systems. Businesses have various options when it comes to purchasing hosted phone systems. Businesses can either choose PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) or Internet based phone systems (these are hosted IP phone systems that can be accessed via Voice over IP or internet telephony) or choose a combination of both. These systems are ideal for small businesses because they can eliminate all office boundaries to allow employees work from any location and use a virtual phone system to communicate. This means that orders can be modified or changed on the fly and the employee does not have to return to base.
Points to consider before choosing Hosted Phone System
- Scalability – this is an important consideration to make when choosing a Hosted Phone System. Scalability will allow your business to add or remove extensions and phone lines. Scalability also allows the hosted phone system to offer the same services even when the business grows.
- Ease of use – one thing about hosted phone systems is that they do not provide end-to-end user management. This means that a hosted phone system should guarantee ease of use because it will offer more productivity and functionality and also eliminate the need for opting for the traditional phone system.
- Features – there are many features that should always be available in a hosted phone system. Some of the most important features hosted phone systems should have include voicemail, automated greetings, faxing, conference calling, touchstone menus, calling logs and call auditing.
Sample costs of Hosted Phone Systems
The cost for Hosted Phone Systems varies based on the provider. However, most providers offer an unlimited plan for domestic calls and this is where a comparison of prices can be drawn. Prices can typically start from $19.99 to $49.99 per month. It is also important to understand that some providers do not include taxes in their pricing list and this could mean that the cost could go higher. For example, a bill from a hosted phone system can carry at least $15 in regulatory and tax fees. It is recommended to get quotes from different providers to budget accordingly.