Hosted telephony: what is it and how does it work?

The increased cost of living, ongoing load shedding and the era of digitisation has many business owners questioning their communications’ offerings. No matter what is happening, businesses require open lines of communication and to keep overheads down. Fortunately, hosted telephony provides the ultimate solution.

What is hosted telephony?

This is essentially where an outside provider hosts and manages your business phone system via the cloud. Hosted telephony is well-suited for almost all businesses, from small start-ups through to call centres and customer support departments. The remote location where the service is hosted is the PBX – private branch exchange – which can be accessed through leased lines or other high-quality internet connections. Calls can be accessed via a desk phone or mobile application, whereas traditional phone lines are only accessible via desk phones.

Some other terms for ‘hosted telephony’ are:

  • Cloud PBX
  • Cloud phone system
  • Hosted voice
  • Hosted PBX
  • Cloud telephony
  • Hosted VoIP (voice over internet protocol)

How does hosted telephony work?

You will engage the services of a hosted phone provider who offers cloud PBX as an option. Your business is then connected to their off-site data centres and all phone calls go to your hosted PBX system. This system converts the call data into digital packets which are transmitted via the internet connection – the VoIP. The PBX then sends the incoming call to your office phone, at which point those digital packets are converted back into voice messages. As long as you have an internet connection, you can make and receive calls.

–        What’s the bandwidth?

Your hosted telephony needs appropriate bandwidth to make and receive calls. This is essentially the rate or speed that data is sent across a network, and will be checked by the service provider.

What are the benefits of hosted telephony?

Hosted telephony is fast becoming one of the preferred methods of telecommunication, particularly with the rollout of ever-more reliable and faster internet accessibility. Here’s a look at some of the key benefits you can enjoy when installing this system.

1.     Flexibility

If your business is looking to downsize, grow or even relocate to new premises, then you’ll need a telecommunications’ system flexible enough for these changes. It’s also scalable, allowing you to add or remove telephone lines as and when needed.

2.     Savings

Once you’ve switched over to a hosted telephone solution, you will enjoy anywhere between 30 and 75% in cost savings. Your service provider will charge a monthly fee to assist in budgeting, and internal calls are usually free. Added to this, there are no upfront costs with a hosted system and very little maintenance requirements.

3.     Simplicity

Depending on your business location, the set up of hosted telephony is incredibly simple with your business up-and-running in a matter of days.

4.     Space saving

The PBX hardware is all kept off-site which means that your business has extra space which can be used for business-enhancing opportunities.

5.     Additional features

Another great thing about hosted telephony is that it has customised features for your business operations. This means you’re not paying extra for unnecessary features, rather streamlining operations and just implementing what you need. Features include an automated attendant, on-hold messages, voicemail, call history and others!

6.     Automatic updates

Because the system is all internet based, your hosted telephony will benefit from automatic software updates to improve operations and keep your business at the top of its game.

7.     Sidetrack loadshedding

Because the hosted PBX system can be located anywhere in the world, your business will not be impacted by loadshedding interruptions. With the ongoing blackouts throughout South Africa, this is hugely beneficial. The system also has disaster recovery and backup so if anything does go wrong, calls can be re-routed to another site.

8.     Better customer service

The feature-rich, uninterrupted service makes for happier customers. You can use a virtual attendant to take and re-direct calls to the requisite department, assist with common complaints and queries and ensure open conversation.

9.     Statistics

The hosted telephony system can be managed and configured, providing detailed information on real-time call statistics. This helps with business management and planning.

The movement away from traditional phone lines to hosted telephony is well underway. Don’t miss out on the massive cost savings, increased reliability and added features of this system!

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