What Is A Cloud PBX Phone System?

By Pete Williams, - In General Tips

Image of a pink phone

Photo Credit: pixabay


Cloud PBX is the new best thing in business, and this article will cover the question that many business owners have; “What is a Cloud PBX  and how do they work for small businesses?”

The NBN will change the face of communication forever. Faster internet speeds will open up many new opportunities for small businesses, giving everyone access to the same technologies that large multinationals in Australia have been using for 10+ years.

One of the biggest opportunities small businesses can now take advantage of is the fact that their communication systems will be drastically improved, which carries with it a whole lot of productivity benefits. With the NBN improving internet speeds, many small businesses are moving to cloud hosted phone systems, and because they’re such a change from the conventional PBX systems we’ve been used to for decades, this article will explain what they are and how they work.

How The NBN Will Affect Our Communications

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Up to this point, most of our communication has been via analogue devices run over copper cables.

As the country moves to the NBN, all those analogue cables will be replaced with fiber, which means digital devices are going to replace our analogue ones.  Because all of our communications will change from being analogue to digital, all of our communications will now be via the internet.

This will affect every device we use in business, from our internet and phone systems to our EFTPOS machines and security alarms,  and that means every single one of them must be NBN ready. For most devices in your office, this will mean they need to be IP enabled.

Check out The Small Business Guide To The NBN to learn more about how the NBN will affect your company.

What is VoIP?

‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ is also known as Voice over IP, VoIP, and IP telephony. It includes a group of similar technologies that are used to deliver voice and media over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as fax, SMS, and voice and video calls.

Where these communications have happened using the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in the past, VoIP refers only to communications that take place using the public Internet.

In Australia, the NBN is taking the place of the public switch telephone network (old copper wiring), which is gradually being phased out. When that happens, VoIP is going to be the main telecommunications protocol nation-wide and for businesses, this is great news…

SIP for Business

SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol and, while they are related, it’s different to VoIP. While VoIP manages only voice calls, SIP can also handle your multimedia communications, including video calls, instant messaging, media distribution and a whole lot more.

SIP is a specific type of protocol that facilitates VoIP, and we often refer to it as the ‘VoIP Superhighway’  because several devices (or endpoint) can communicate simultaneously, it’s scalable, calls are clearer, Quality of Service is higher, and line rental and phone calls are a lot more affordable. It’s no surprise that SIP is becoming the number one communication solution for businesses across Australia.

While VoIP is great for its purpose in households, when it comes to business phone systems and cloud based applications, it can’t compete with SIP.  If you’re running any kind of PBX or other unified communication systems in your office, then SIP is the way to go. We can’t go into great detail here, but to find out more about the difference between the two (and why SIP is better for business), read this article on the benefits of using SIP vs VoIP.

What Is A Cloud PBX

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Cloud PBX’s is referred to by many names, including Hosted Phone Systems, Cloud PBX, VoIP Phone Systems and NBN Phone Systems. Some of these terms do have some very geeky and technical differences in the way their technology differs, but if you hear any of the above terms, people are talking about the same kind of phone system.

Many businesses around the world are switching to cloud services for their computer equipment, data servers, and software applications because the cloud is revolutionising the way we all communicate. Hosted Cloud PBX Phone Systems, are no different.

The Equipment Needed to Run A Cloud PBX Phone System

Unlike traditional PABX phone systems that require a large box and a gazillion cables, the only Cloud PBX equipment that’s actually located in your office are your phone handsets. They come pre-programmed with all the information that’s required to connect back to the brains of the hosted phone system – no longer a big box, now simply a heap of digital data that lives in the cloud. It’s a lot easier because these handsets only need to be plugged into your office internet service to be able to access your phone system.

So, if you like the idea of getting rid of that PBX box and all the maintenance that goes with it, plus the fact that you can eliminate the need for a phone technician to visit when you need to change your call flows or handsets labels, then read on!

How ARE Cloud PBX Phone Systems Managed?

Because the brains of your entire system lives in ‘the cloud’, all of the features and programming can now be managed remotely by your chosen provider. Rather than having to come to your office and access an actual box to make the changes you need, they can actually access a secure database from their office and make the changes you need from there. You don’t have to do anything but make a phone call.

Plus (if you get the right provider) it won’t even cost anything! All those adds, moves, and programming changes can be done instantly as part of your monthly plan.

What Features Do Cloud PBX Phone Systems Have?

Cloud Hosted PBX Phone systems have the same number of features as a traditional PBX – if not more. When it comes to having a redundancy plan in place especially, Cloud Hosted systems actually make it really easy to have a backup plan in the event of an emergency.

Another great reason to get a Hosted system is the fact that you can utilise the one system for use across multiple offices and locations. Any handset that is programmed into your Cloud PBX phone system can be plugged into any internet connection, anywhere in the world, and it will instantly act as if it was on a desk in the same room as the rest of your team.

Not only does this save you from having to invest in a new phone system for every office, it also means that remote staff will always be connected, and offers greater flexibility, scalability, and future-proofing.

The bottom line is, if you’ve got the NBN or another high-speed and reliable data service, you would be mad not to seriously consider a Hosted Cloud PBX phone system.

Conclusion

If you’ve read this article, you’ve now got a better understanding of what a Cloud Hosted PBX is and how it can benefit your business. Of course, there’s always room for more, and you may have questions, so feel free to give our team a call on 1800 850 214 and we’ll give you the information you need, and help you understand how a Cloud Hosted PBX would fit into your business. if you’d like to know more about how the NBN will affect you, why not download our FREE Small Business Guide to the NBN? It’s full of comprehensive details that will help you prepare for switching your business communications to the NBN, whether you have a Hosted phone system or not.

If you’ve already made the switch to a Hosted system, why not let us know how it has benefited you and your staff in the comments below?


Pete Williams