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What is Virtual PBX
August 28th, 2017

What is Virtual PBX

Kathi Fuhrman

Small businesses often struggle to maintain efficiency, costs, and service an influx of customers. Typically employees and executives of small businesses “wear multiple hats”. The individual in charge...

Small businesses often struggle to maintain efficiency, costs, and service an influx of customers. Typically employees and executives of small businesses “wear multiple hats”. The individual in charge of accounting tackles human resource duties and the Head of Marketing is in charge of the sales team. One common struggle is utilizing a strong phone system without spending a great deal of money.

Communication technology is a necessary evil.  You need it to take care of daily business operations but the best solutions cost a great deal to purchase and implement. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) continues to be a game changer for many businesses including small businesses.

What is Virtual PBX

According to the Electronic Communications Network.

Virtual PBX is an inexpensive inbound phone system that transmits calls over the Internet as data using VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), that is owned and maintained offsite by a VOIP service provider. Virtual PBX usually only handles inbound calls and is an ideal solution for small business customers with fewer than 10 employees and low-volume telephone traffic.”

Advantages

Virtual PBX systems offer businesses multiple advantages:

  • Lower costs. Service, upfront, and maintenance costs are low with Virtual PBX. Since the system is hosted off-site, upfront and maintenance costs are minimal when compared to a hosted version. Providers offer lower monthly service costs that are scalable to your business’s actual needs.
  • Ability to grow. Virtual PBX gives you the ability to grow a few different ways. You can adjust your monthly service plans to include more minutes and options when needed. If your business adds a new location, implementation is simple and you can use the same hosted solution. If you grow from 5 to 25 employees, most providers give the option to change to an on-premise  solution.
  • Build positive reputation. Be the company that answers and receives every call with Virtual PBX. There are no busy signals to annoy callers and the system offers voice mail and an auto-attendant greeting.

Disadvantages

Most communication technology comes with disadvantages. If you are considering using Virtual PBX for your small business, here are a few things you need to know upfront.

  • No outbound calls. You can’t make outbound calls from a Virtual PBX system.
  • Limited # of users. The system is only made for up to 10 users.
  • Set amount of minutes. You choose a monthly service plan best for your business which typically includes a set amount of minutes.
  • Charge for extra services. Services including fax, international calling, extra local minutes, and conference calling cost extra.

Depending on your business, these disadvantages might have a significant impact on your decision.

Considerations

Who benefits most from Virtual PBX systems?

  • Small businesses with 1-5 employees. Virtual PBX helps them appear professional and larger than what they really are.
  • Businesses who typically only receive calls and don’t have to make outgoing calls.
  • New companies who need a phone solution other than their personal cell phone.
  • Companies with remote employees. Remote employees can answer calls from home through your phone system.

Research multiple communication solutions before settling on one. Virtual PBX, Hosted PBX, and VoIP all come with unique benefits, features, and limitations. Know these upfront to make the best decision for your business.


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