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What is a Cloud PBX?

The evolution of business communications 

PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a telephone exchange that serves a particular business or office building, as opposed to one that a common carrier or telephone company operates for many businesses or the general public. 

A PBX makes connections among the internal telephones of a business or other private organization and connects them to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Traditional hardwired PBX systems have evolved into the technology that makes advanced solutions like Ooma Enterprise's unified communications system possible.

PBX phone systems perform four main call processing features: 

  • Establishing connections between the telephone sets of two users. 
  • Maintaining the connections as long as needed. 
  • Disconnecting connections when users hang up. 
  • Providing information for accounting purposes. 

Cloud PBX systems, also known as VoIP PBX, IP PBX, hosted PBX, virtual PBX or IPBX, use internet protocol to carry calls. Most modern PBXs support VoIP, which simply means voice over internet protocol. A cloud PBX system consists of one or more VoIP-enabled handsets of softphones, and an IP PBX. The phones register with the IP PBX server, and when they make a call the IP PBX establishes the connection.

VoIP phones can be software-based softphones, mobile applications or purpose-built hardware devices that appear much like an ordinary telephone or a cordless phone. 

Cloud PBX systems can be located on the customer's premise, hosted by a VoIP service provider, or can form the backbone for a cloud-based business phone system like the one provided by Ooma Enterprise cloud communication service.

Why do companies choose a Cloud PBX? 

Cloud-based technologies have become ubiquitous in modern life. Many of us do our shopping and banking in the cloud, files our taxes in the cloud, and use cloud technologies like social media networks to keep in touch with our friends, family and colleagues. These tools are popular because they are easy to use, accessible from everywhere and available at a very low (or sometimes no) cost. These are very similar to the reasons more and more companies are choosing a cloud PBX. 

  • Cloud PBX systems require little to no in-house support. Choosing a cloud-based PBX solution is a great way to free up IT resources to work on projects that are more strategic to your business. It's also a good choice for businesses with few technical resources. The best cloud PBX solutions provide expert installation assistance, project management and end-user support. 
  • Hosted PBX solutions eliminate multiple vendor confusion. With a traditional PBX, companies may have a PBX vendor, a telecommunications carrier and a local service provider. Each of these services will have a different invoice, a different point of contact, and plenty of fingers to point at once problems arise. With a cloud-based PBX, companies have only one vendor to manage and one point of responsibility. 
  • A Cloud PBX is accessible from anywhere. Having a phone system freed from a physical location makes it easier to unify multiple offices and remote workers. Everyone is accessing the same system from wherever they happen to be. This means that you can transfer calls, dial with 4 digits and engage in ad hoc conferencing with people in the next state as easily as with people in the next cubicle. 
  • Disaster planning and recovery is easier to manage. If your office location becomes inaccessible due to a natural or manmade disaster, having a cloud PBX means that calls can be re-routed to other locations, mobile or home phones. It also means that you can make changes to auto-attendants or other announcements to let your callers know what is happening without ever going into the office. 
  • Cloud PBX solutions are easily scalable and grow with your company. Business needs change over time, so flexibility with your communications system is key. With Ooma Enterprise, you only pay for what your business needs at the moment. You can easily add capacity later as your company grows, and often the features are scalable too. 
  • Enterprise-class features are available without the additional price. Premium Cloud PBX solutions, like Ooma Enterprise, provide features that were once available to only very large enterprises. This is possible because of the development resources needed to create a quality system are shared across all customers, bringing down the price per feature for everyone. 

These are just a few of the benefits you can expect from Cloud PBX solutions. We are happy to help you learn more about our hosted PBX offering and discuss the specific ways it might be a good fit for your business. 

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