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PBX-Less: Is A Hosted Phone System Right For My Business?

In recent years, thousands of companies and organizations across the world have trashed their traditional on-premises phone system and moved to a hosted platform. The primary advantage is obvious: with a hosted service all you need is a phone and internet connection; no server required.

Unfortunately, many organizations become blinded by this fact. They tend to ignore or completely overlook additional factors that mus be considered before moving your voice services off-site.

Before your organization invests in a hosted platform, take the following items into consideration:

1. What exactly do you need your phone system to do? Is it something as simple as making sure every phone rings simultaneously when a call comes in over your main number? Or, do you require multiple ring groups based on the number called? Do you have multiple "main" phone numbers? (maybe one for each department)? Some hosted applications have very basic call group and Auto Attendant functions. The simple fact is the system nay not have the options you require.

2. How often are your employees on the phone? Do they live on their phone, or are they only making a few calls per day? Be sure to check the local and long distance rates offered by the hosted provider. While most these days offer unlimited local and long distance minutes, some only provide you with a limited number of toll-free minutes. This limitation may also apply to inbound calls to your toll-free number.

3. How much bandwidth do you have? Is your facility served by a massive fiber connection, or are you running of a DSL line that can barely stream Pandora? A stable and reliable internet connection is critical when using a hosted phone system. VOIP traffic is extremely sensitive to things such as latency and packet loss. If you are already saturating your internet connection, chances are your call quality will suffer. The type of internet connection is also important. Cable internet providers use what is called a shared connection, meaning your bandwidth capabilities are dependent on the surfing habits of those nearby.

4. Does your current network infrastructure have Quality of Service capability? Do your network switches and firewall allow you to prioritize traffic? In many cases call quality issues can be solved by implementing QOS on your network, but your existing equipment must support this feature.

These are just a few of the questions an organization must consider before making the leap into the hosted voice world. Fortunately, with a proper network and internet connection, a hosted application can be just as clear and reliable as an on-premises PBX.

Thinking about moving to a hosted voice solution? Give us a call. We can assist you with this transition. Visit the Contact page on our website for more information.

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