PBX v hosted: why the cloud is ideal for your business communications

You’re most likely making use of a number of cloud-based systems, both in and out of the workplace, already. But is your primary communications service enough for your business now? And what about in the not-too-distant future?

Here, we explore a little about the more traditional PBX network, its modern hosted alternative – and what this modern communications method can do that PBX simply cannot.

What is PBX?

It’s possible that you have encountered a PBX (private branch exchange) system within your organisation, or in another workplace, over the last decade or so. This telephone system essentially switches calls between different users on local telephone lines, and became popular as it cut down on the need for every person connected to have their own phoneline.

Traditionally using analogue telephony systems, more recently PBX incorporated digital technology. Now, when external calls are made, the digital signal is converted back into analogue whenever connected to the external phone network.

What is a hosted network?

Whereas a PBX network is managed onsite by an individual business (officially known as an ‘enterprise’ in the world of communications), a hosted system resides solely in the cloud.

Users connect with the system via an IP handset or softphone, and calls are made and received over a hosted broadband network. From here, the calls are then routed to relevant mobile devices, or the standard PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).

Crucially, a hosted network can be managed via one simple interface – which requires no additional maintenance costs.

Why now is the time to make the switch

As more and more employers and employees prefer to work remotely, hosted networks allow all business communications to take place over the single hosted service. This immediately leads to reduced expenditure on external calls, and allows the flexible modern worker to keep in constant contact with the office – without concern over rising communications costs.

Also allowing employees to make the most of collaborative working software, hosted networks simply make sense for businesses that want to adopt this modern, progressive way of working.

Even if you feel the switch isn’t necessary now, you should ask yourself how many of the following items of hardware and software you currently use independently. Naturally, you’ll have a desktop or laptop computer of some kind, plus a mobile device and perhaps an office phone.

But do you also use Instant Messaging applications for work, or a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programme? And what about work calendars, spreadsheets, and similar applications? All of these different devices and pieces of software can be seamlessly linked between users within one hosted system.

Finally, one of the key benefits of a hosted system is its scalability. Allowing businesses to easily add users during expansion and link all of their locations via one platform, cloud-based hosted systems mean you can add or remove users at will. To find a hosted system for your business in the UK, look for companies like Gamma that specialise in communications platforms for many business sectors.