Cloud PBX vs Hosted PBX

When it comes to different PBX systems, some are easy to pin down; like traditional PBX. Everybody knows that this is the oldest version of PBX, and its defining nature is on-site infrastructure, but how does this compare to cloud PBX

We will also look at the subtle differences that set them apart and discuss which phone system might be the best choice for your business.

What does ‘hosted’ mean?

“Hosted” simply means that your PBX phone system is being managed off-site by a specialist telephony company. This company is called a hosting provider. 

It’s rather interesting how this partnership works. When you make a call, your provider connects the call to their own servers before routing it toward the recipient. It might sound cumbersome, but in real-time, this process happens at lightning speed. 

Opting to shift your phone network to a provider has benefits. A major advantage is getting rid of all telephony hardware in your own office, and that includes cables, servers and old handsets. A hosted PBX system is also maintained and updated off-site by your hosting provider. This leads to great cost savings.


Is hosted PBX the same as cloud PBX?

The terms “hosted PBX” and “cloud PBX” are often used interchangeably. However, one cannot fault some people for doing this. 

On the surface, the two phone networks are so similar that it’s easy to believe that they might just be the same system, but in reality, there are differences between hosted PBX and cloud PBX that we will discuss shortly. 


Which type of business would benefit from hosted PBX?

Hosted PBX is a flexible solution that can be utilised by almost any entrepreneur or company. Indeed, you’ll find that many small to medium businesses gravitate strongly toward this phone network, as well as large enterprises. 

The main reason is affordability. In particular, this phone system is welcomed by companies and institutions that rely heavily on constant telecommunications. This is why so many hospitals, schools, universities, telemarketing companies and other types of businesses that are looking to cut down on their phone bill (without making fewer calls) make the switch to hosted PBX. 


The similarities of cloud PBX and hosted PBX

Both networks outsource their infrastructure to a hosting provider. As mentioned earlier, this removes the costs of installation, maintenance and repairs from your budget. The hosting company is responsible for the upkeep and running of your phone network at all times.

The price of traditional analog landlines is a headache. Every call is charged, and the longer the call, the more expensive it is. This is no longer feasible in today’s business world, where expenses must be kept to a minimum. B

Both cloud and hosted PBX offer companies a more affordable pricing model. Instead of racking up a massive bill calling prospective clients, you only pay per user or a flat monthly fee. The number of phone calls no longer matters, and this provides more freedom to collaborate and communicate.

Since hosted networks do not have a physical infrastructure (at least not at your office), it provides more mobility. This makes both types a popular choice for companies with a remote workforce or employees who must go out into the field from time to time. For example, safety managers who visit construction sites to perform inspections can stay in contact with the office. 

Two more shared traits include disaster recovery and scalability. Both systems are backed up regularly, so even if a natural disaster damages your premises, you can rest assured that all your data is safely stored on the provider’s servers. The latter also provides an extra layer of security against hackers. Regarding scalability, both systems can swiftly expand or downscale according to your needs. Your provider can simply add or remove users as you need them. 


What is the difference between cloud PBX and hosted PBX?

There are two main features that separate cloud PBX from hosted PBX. This includes their “location” and the path that calls travel before they connect with the recipient. 

A hosted PBX service hosts everything at the location of a third-party service provider, including all of its PBX features and the call platform; but, while some elements of a cloud PBX system are similarly kept at a provider’s location, a large portion is also based in the cloud. 

When you also make a call with hosted PBX, your business connects to the service provider using Internet Protocol (IP), and the call is made through the hardware or a computer at the provider’s location. With cloud PBX, your calls don’t go that route. Instead, they are transferred over the Internet.


Can you change from cloud PBX to hosted PBX?

Yes, there is no reason why you cannot change from cloud PBX to hosted PBX. If this solution makes the best sense for your business needs, then go for it. If you’re uncertain about which system is the best choice, you can always contact United Telecoms for a bespoke assessment and advice.

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What equipment is compatible with hosted PBX?

Ironically, one of the reasons why hosted PBX is growing in popularity is that it doesn’t need a lot of equipment. All you need on-site is a router, compatible handsets and access to a strong, stable internet connection. The rest of the system is in the cloud or taken care of by the service provider off-site. 

The handsets are the only hardware you’ll need to obtain if you don’t already have IP or VoIP phones in the office. If you’re not familiar with this type of phone, no worries. United Telecoms can suggest the best models for your needs and also install them, as we carry all the top brands in the business, like Yealink. 


Which PBX system should my business choose?

Since cloud PBX and hosted PBX are so similar, the decision to choose one or the other isn’t always easy. What compounds the matter is the fact that both systems also cater to the same market. 

Instead of trying to choose between two systems, it might be better to look for the best provider package. Assess your company’s telephony goals and needs. This will give you a clear idea of what features your new system must have in order to support these requirements. 

The next step is to simply look for a package that can do the job, and since the two systems are so similar, it could fall under either cloud PBX or hosted PBX. 

Even though the final decision lies with you, it’s important to note that you might need an expert’s input, as switching to a new network remains a big decision that will affect your company’s finances, productivity and communication. Don’t hesitate to contact United Telecoms for advice. Our staff has decades of experience with all types of PBX, client assessments, installation and support.

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