Differences between Hosted and Non-Hosted VoIP PBX Solutions

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Communication technologies are undergoing contiguous change from the last few decades. Hosted PBX technology is one among them which offers more facilities than the traditional PBX systems.

Hosted PBX and the non-hosted VoIP PBX solutions have a lot of differences even though both rely upon the VoIP technology. The PBX systems and services based on the VoIP (Voice over IP) technology can be used in your business in two ways; either as a hosted service from the VoIP provider or as non-hosted PBX service from the VoIP provider. Both have merits and limitations, hence before choosing a VoIP PBX solution for your business, you need to know the major differences between them.

Hosted IP PBX Solutions

The Hosted VoIP PBX system, as the name implies provided as a hosted service from the VoIP service provider. Hence the expensive PBX hardware, equipment and all other essential technologies will be handled and managed by the VoIP service provider at their own site. It frees up the user from purchasing expensive equipment and managing them at his office or home. It is also referred to Hosted VoIP or Hosted PBX or Virtual PBX systems.

With the VoIP PBX systems that are hosted, the only equipment required by the user are IP phones and the router. The user only need to plug his IP phones into the routers while the calls, signals, connections and all other features are handled by the suppliers in-house IP PBX servers. For these services, the VoIP provider charges reasonable monthly fees for the users.

Most of the hosted VoIP providers deliver both the IP-PBX functionality as well as the diverse Unified Communication (UC) services. The hosted VoIP providers give services to multiple customers through shared hardware to gain both capital & operational cost benefits. The IP switch in the network of the VoIP providers will control and support all sorts of voice calls either station to station or outside calls.

The Hosted VoIP PBX systems and services are enriched with lots of advanced features and advantages. The major features and benefits of them include the following;

  • Hosted VoIP reduces the initial equipment cost and lowers the set up cost. This is achieved because the user need not have to purchase and set up the expensive PBX hardware at his site.
  • It cuts down the maintenance and operation costs.
  • It only incurs reasonable monthly charges and service fees.
  • Hosted VoIP PBX systems offer enhanced features for businesses at affordable costs.
  • It supports the dynamic expansion of businesses and business communications. The Hosted IP PBX systems can be easily scaled up or down based on the business requirements.
  • Upgraded software and trendy features are part of it.
  • It offers more secured and flexible infrastructure for business communications.
  • Users are completely freed up from the overheads concerned with the management and maintenance of the PBX hardware at their offices or homes.
  • Since PBX is hosted, it helps to save the space and power of the company and also the time and work of employees.

Non-Hosted VoIP PBX Solutions 

 

The non-hosted IP PBX system is also known as the Premise –based IP PBX systems. The configuration and architecture of the non-hosted IP-PBX systems are more or less similar to the traditional PBX systems. They consist of a lot of hardware or equipment placed in the office or the premise that makes it possible for the phone system to work. In this system, the calls will either transmit via a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) or via VoIP along with SIP trunking or can be a blend of both. The IP PBX can be purchased from a telecommunications hardware company. Gateway cards are normally used to connect your IP PBX system with your supplier. These suppliers will manage your calls usually.

The premise based IP PBX systems also possess some benefits but they are overruled by their limitations. The short-comings of non-hosted VoIP systems include;

  • You need an expert person to manage and maintain your IP PBX system.
  • It incurs high costs which include the PBX purchase costs, maintenance costs, staff training costs, cost of power required to operate the PBX hardware, etc.
  • It is very hard and complex to expand.
  • Well trained technicians are required for software upgrades and patches, and also this increase the business expenditure.

In short, both the hosted IP PBX systems and the non-hosted VoIP PBX systems have benefits and limitations. But the features and benefits of hosted VoIP PBX solutions are more compared with the traditional IP PBX systems. This gives the hosted IP PBX systems more popularity and wide acceptance.

Major Tips to Improve Your Business Productivity

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The ultimate aim of every business is the optimization of its productivity and in turn the profitability. In order to maximize the productivity, the business people are continuously researching for better strategies and methods.

Achievement of good hike in business productivity is not really simple. Every successful businessman has a story of hard work, determinism, perseverance, etc. Modern successful businesses say that along with the factors the intelligence of using exact technology is also essential.

Nowadays, technologies are playing a vital role in boosting up the business productivity and its economy. Some of the major tips that elevate the business productivity graph are as follows;

  • Secure and Consistent Information Accessibility

    Information accessibility has a major concern in all businesses. The faster and easy availability of information can make employees perform their tasks within a short span of time. The easy availability of information questions the security of information. Businesses are changing continuously and hence you should react faster towards your business changes. Unsecured data management and communication networks can make hard for your business to cope with the changes.  A secure and reliable company network, communication system, and data storage facilities are essential for the secured and consistent accessibility of information. This helps in the overall improvement of the business productivity.

  • Business Portability

    Portability of business actually refers to the freedom of employees and the employer to continue their business from anywhere in spite of their work locations. Efficient communication technologies are relevant to achieve this business continuity. The VoIP (Voice over IP) technology provides enhanced mobility features for businesses. VoIP services such as Cloud PBX, Hosted PBX services, SIP trunking, etc with advanced business phone systems offers the wide range of features and facilities for employees to work from anywhere at any time. This freedom allows the workers to be more productive and thus hikes the productivity and profitability of the business.

  • Economically Feasible Communication Technologies

    An important aspect of every successful business is the economic feasibility of the technologies and services it using. Today’s businesses are spending more revenue for communication technologies and services. The reduction of the communication costs can definitely make the business economically beneficial.

    Communication cost reduction technologies such as Cloud PBX and SIP trunking along with VoIP medium can definitely elevate the scale of your business growth. The capability of Cloud to deliver its unified services over long distances at lower rates considerably reduces the costs of business calls and monthly bills. The usage of SIP trunks instead of traditional PRI lines offers you reliable and flexible business communication infrastructure. The effective means of communication exchange within a business can unify employees & their works together to attain the business goal.

  • Use portable phone systems

    Portable phone systems allow the employees to take their business phone systems to where ever they go. Missed calls in business may waste better opportunities, lose revenues, create project delays, cause communication gaps, etc. Advanced business phone systems that can be moved to anywhere can resolve the missed call issues. Those phone systems offer a number of enhanced calling and call management features. The workers can have one phone number that rings concurrently on multiple devices through the use of networked voice and data solutions. Hence the customer calls can be reached to the most appropriate person and it can deliver the best customer service. Workers will have access to all their business calls from anywhere, checking their voice-mail, email and faxes from a single inbox. These features benefit the business by improving their business communication standard and quality.

  • Effective Collaboration of Work

    The efficient and smooth collaboration among the employees, employers and clients can increase work efficiency by reducing communication costs. Communication facilities such as Video Conferencing, Unified Communications, Interactive Calendaring, etc provide you easy and better collaboration with an affordable cost.

  • Improve Employee Satisfaction and Better Working Environment

    Outdated phone systems and slow networks can make your staffs and clients frustrated and irritated. This can affect the employee productivity highly. It also hikes the maintenance and management charges. Hence always upgrade with the latest technologies. Sincere rewards and motivation can make the employees work more dedicatedly and productively.

    A pleasant and healthy working environment also has a considerable role in improving the overall business productivity.

The above tips will surely help you to improve the productivity of your business to a higher level. Every business should find its own limitations and then should apply these factors in the right way will elevate the productivity and profitability of the business.

How to choose the right Business Phone System for your Business?

How you should choose Business Phone Systems for Small Businesses

 

New technologies are emerging day by day in the field of business phone systems which results in the gradual reduction of costs incurred on meeting communication needs. In the current scenario small and mid-sized businesses don’t have to think small when it comes to business phone systems. A company’s communication system plays an important role in its growth by providing reliable communication services both internally and externally.

Modern IP phone systems like IP-PBX, hosted/virtual PBX systems, VoIP, Unified communication Systems etc. can provide high quality sound and reliable service along with rich calling features like call monitoring, auto-attendant facilities, distributed workgroups and many more. While choosing the right phone system for your business, consider several factors like the number of employees working in your office which can decide the hardware you should choose for your business. The most important thing is to select a phone system that is highly scalable and that can grow along with the company’s requirements.

Why is Business VOIP accessible and affordable for any Business?

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Adopting VoIP phone services is an easy way to save money on monthly communication charges for your home or business. VoIP services are accessed via Internet, which most businesses already have in place. An enterprise with a fair Internet connection can get a reliable and high quality VoIP service. VoIP offers extremely low cost telephony solution that is very important in today’s economy. But the up-front costs for buying new VoIP enabled business phone systems can be an issue for small business owners. The move towards hosted PBX systems which eliminates the need for buying and maintaining of expensive hardware can solve this issue and can help small business people to try the excellent features of VoIP.

Why VoIP is said to be affordable?

VoIP communication services provide immense cost saving benefits compared to traditional phone systems. As all modern businesses already have access to the internet, the migration to VoIP is very easy. Hosted VoIP services provides a fully automated call answering and routing facilities that can be installed up and running in a matter of few minutes. It doesn’t require buying and maintaining costly hardware equipments in the office. The advanced features and upgradations from the service provider can help the business to stay competitive and can focus more on serving the best to their customers. It allows the employees the freedom to choose any IP enabled device of their choice and can access all the advanced features that they offer from anywhere in the world.

VoIP requires few to no additional equipments installations, and switching to VoIP is as easy as plugging in and powering on. VoIP allows for calls to be made at a small monthly fee throughout the country at an affordable calling plans and it usually have very low rates for international calls. It’s a great advantage for customers and business enterprises that look for cutting down their call costs.

The affordability of VoIP depends on the services offered by the broadband provider. So the availability of an affordable broadband service is an important issue to be considered while migrating to VoIP from traditional phone services. 90kbps upload and download speed is a minimum requirement for accessing VoIP services using your internet connection. If the desktop computers are used for browsing the web and for accessing VoIP services, then you may require more bandwidth to function in-order to handle data and voice requirements separately.

The accessibility of VoIP

Accessibility is the process of enabling hardware, software and services to be used by people or enterprises either directly or collaborating with other technologies. VoIP is a highly decentralized technology with low up-front costs for its installation. VoIP features can be added at any point which encourages rapid innovation in products and services and at the same time reduces the costs. VoIP is a promising technology which can provide new benefits which are not possible by the legacy phone networks. VoIP has the ability to collaborate voice, data and video services into one application which makes it applicable for the VoIP service providers to include the accessibility service which were not previously available.

Separate voice and data communication lines in VoIP can provide clear audio communications possible for people who are hard of hearing which is beyond the capabilities of a legacy PSTN. Video calling facility in VoIP enables communication through sign language possible.           Softphones can be customized easily and cheaply to take the advantage of accessibility features in the PC such as text-to-speech for audible caller ID & message waiting indication. It allows simultaneous transmission of information to customers in form of text, audio and video for making its services accessible to people with disabilities.

The acceptance of Voice over IP as a mainstream business communication technology by enterprises is occuring at an increasing rate. VoIP companies have already taken many innovative steps to make their services affordable and accessible.

 

Various Ways to Save Money with Hosted PBX

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In today’s expensive world, people are continuously looking for cost-effective and cheaper means of communication technologies and services. Not only in the communication field, but also in each and every field people are developing newer strategies to reduce cost and expenses. This is so because; nowadays everyone is thirsting for money and nothing else. Hence the one who can save the more can survive in the best ways.

Considering the business sector, more money is spent for the business communications. Hence, more demand is for cost-effective business communication technologies. One of the most cost reducing communication technologies prevailing nowadays is the Hosted PBX technology.

Hosted PBX which relies upon the VoIP (Voice over IP) technology offers many diverse ways to save money. The VoIP benefits such as extreme reduction of phone costs, improved efficiency, enhanced functionalities, lower labour charges and time, etc help users to make more revenue by avoiding overheads and stress. Since Hosted PBX is a VoIP service, the Hosted PBX offers all the benefits and features of VoIP along with some additional advantages.

Cost Reduction Using Hosted PBX

The Hosted PBXs offered by VoIP providers enables the companies to save money by enjoying a better quality phone service. The best ways through which a Hosted PBX can save business money include the following;

  • Cheaper Phone Bills

    VoIP technology reduces phone bills considerably. Hosted PBX which uses the VoIP Internet phone services allows the companies to reduce their monthly phone bills to a considerable amount. The reduction of phone bills is achieved because the calls are transmitted through the private Internet connection of the VoIP service provider instead of public networks. Making telephone calls over Internet allows the users to make long distance calls at local rates. Most of the VoIP providers offer unlimited business calls over a particular region and some gives free calls and offer calls. As a result, the hosted PBX phone systems and VoIP services reduces the business communication costs and phone bills to an unbelievable range.

  • Scalable Extensions

    The Hosted PBXs support dynamic business expansions and connection extensions. A PBX can connect any number of lines to any number of connections. Therefore adding of new connections and removal of existing ones will never incur high costs for the companies. The company only has to pay for what it is using at any given time. This flexibility of Hosted PBX systems allows the business to scale up or down at any time without worrying about the PBX system modifications and upgrades. PBX services changes silently as the business changes and hence no connections or calls are lost. PBX system upgrades are efficiently done through a mere software modification or online system modification and it will be carried out by the assigned technician. It avoids the time and overheads of system modifications from the company.

  • Convenient Remote Working

    VoIP services in businesses provide many telecommuting facilities. The Hosted PBX services such as Instant Messaging, IP video conferencing, IP faxing, Web services and SMS services, etc allow the workers and employers to connect and communicate in spite of their physical locations. This helps to provide a virtual environment for communication among the workers which gives the same feel of a real-time communication. The availability of VoIP services on mobile devices such as Smart-Phones, Tabs, etc allow the telecommuters to take their work anywhere they travel and thus continue their business efficiently.

  • Maintenance

    A striking feature of the Hosted PBX is the off-site management of the PBX hardware. Installing and maintaining PBX on your work-site will be very expensive and cumbersome. The installation costs, constant maintenance fees, labour charges, space for server and hardware set up, power for its operations, etc of the company can be avoided through the Hosted PBX services. In this case, the PBX will be hosted off-site by the VoIP service provider. The users or companies only have to pay low monthly fees as service charges for VoIP service providers and this will be very low compared with the on-site PBX management expenses.

  • Cheaper Remote Office Locations

    The hosted PBX will efficiently connect all the offices of a client company even if it has offices/branches remote locations. This means that no separate device is required for each and every office location. The actual VoIP hardware can be easily expanded to any range which only incurs affordable monthly fees.

In short, the Hosted PBX solutions and services deliver companies enhanced business phone services at very low rates. Businesses are heading towards this newer Internet calling technology since it can turn the business economically feasible.

Video Conferencing Solutions for Small to Mid-sized Businesses

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The emergence of new technologies has increased the necessity for business to perform better while increasing the productivity. Since small businesses are less financially flexible than larger organizations, they should spend each dollar wisely. In the past years, video conferencing was implemented only by large organizations who can afford its expensive video communication solutions. Now video conferencing solutions are becoming scalable in cases of both number of users and cost expenses. Some critical pieces of information like the number of sites the company have, the required calling pattern between these sites, and the number of people involved in video conferencing at each end point.

Unified communication technology is empowering business communication processes in ways never imagined. Adding video conferencing facility to it results in increases productivity, reliability, strengthens the business relationships and improves the business’ bottom line. As the travel and transportation costs are increasing day by day, it becomes hard to afford expenses like car rentals, air fare, hotel rooms, travelling expenses etc for a small/medium business for meetings. It’s a time consuming task and sometimes wastage of employees working hours. Many communication service providers provide high-quality web and audio conferencing solutions, which saves both time and money.

Hosted Video Conferencing

A hosted video conferencing solution is the availability of video conferencing services as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering. It has brought a revolutionary advancement for organizations that wish to reduce their communication expenses. Leading telecommunication service providers like BroadConnect Telecom provides, both room-based and ‘Personal Telepresence’ video conferencing solutions which can be afforded by all types of businesses. Virtual video receptionist for answering customers, remote technical assistance through video, video call centres for greater customer satisfaction, business-to-business video for smart business management etc. are some solutions of video conferencing technology that every business people can adopt in their business now by subscribing to a hosted video service provider.

How can a business benefit from Video Conferencing Solutions

Small business people can use video conferencing for providing outstanding customer service, to stay competitive in the market space, and to create more efficient processes that can keep bringing back the customers. Using video conferencing you can generate leads by marketing webinars, conduct meetings with customers, suppliers and partners, conduct online training, providing remote technical assistance, presenting sales demos etc. Here are some ways through which video conferencing technology can benefit business organization:

  • Improves Customer Satisfaction

Video conferencing allows face-to-face interactions that help to build strong relationships with customers. It allows meeting customers ‘in-person’ without leaving the office which can provide more feeling of trust to customers than a telephone conversation. It gives the ability to provide better and more immediate results to the customers.

  • Enhances Productivity

Hosted video conferencing service providers provide a variety of services that are reliable and simple and which can be personalized to the needs of the company. It gives the strength needed to stand up along with your large competitors, by improving communication, productivity and efficiency. It allows the employees to have effective communication between each other and with the customers.

  • Cost-effective solution

The high flexibility of hosted video conferencing solutions offers the option to invest only for the required technology, allowing your customers and business partners to communicate with you at no additional cost, which in turn reduces the travelling expenses. Hosted video service providers offer different services like virtual rooms that are accessible from your desktops, room based systems that you can buy or lease, and the ability to collaborate the application in to your mobile devices (BYOD).

  • Helps to connect remote employees

Meetings with employees working in distant locations may add up the expenses quickly. Conferencing can unite the employees working in distant locations together and can conduct discussions, share documents etc, even when employees are not based in same corporate location. It also means that video conferencing have the added benefit of being an eco-friendly technology that lowers carbon emissions. It also allows an employee to access important resources required to complete tasks, no matter where they are located.

  • Fast and smart decision making

Discussions within management teams to resolve business issues can be done efficiently, face-to-face. In-person conversations help to take the correct decision in less time. Desktop applications help the busy executives to stay connected at the touch of a button and to make better decisions.

In short video conferencing provides a cost-effective and time-effective way of meeting with clients, co-workers or colleagues located anywhere in the world. Small business people can get more benefits from cloud based service providers by reducing the expenses of video communication much lower. It also allows the customers and remote employees to select the device of their choice like a smartphone or a tablet to connect effortlessly.

The Advantages of SIP Enabled VoIP Technology in Businesses

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The emergence of VoIP (Voice over Inter Protocol) technology has shifted the prevailing business environments to a newer level. The emergence of the technological services such as integrated voice & email, instant messaging, follow me services, etc provided the employees a more convenient and effective environment for communications. It changed the face and demands of the existing business communication environments. To meet the requirements of the changing business environments, converged data-and-voice networks based on SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) are deployed into businesses.

As the name implies, the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is used to initiate and control the business communication sessions. SIP laid the foundation for developing converged networks which supports the seamless integration of traditional voice networks, email, World Wide Web (WWW) with the next generation communication technologies.

The reliability and availability have become crucial factors in business communication as the businesses start to hike their use and reliance on converged network services. Hence businesses turned towards SIP-based Voice over IP (VoIP) networks. The SIP enabled VoIP networks help the businesses to explore the various features and benefits of both SIP and VoIP technologies in their business communication.

Benefits of SIP enabled VoIP

The service providers will standardize the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) over their VoIP communications systems to inter-operate other vendors, work-sites, etc.

  • Unified Communications

    In spite of the location and expertise, the employees are equally accessible across multimodal communications. The SIP enabled VoIP brings in expert help in the right way without digging through the layers of communication hand-offs.

  • Virtualized connections

    A striking feature of all VoIP based solutions is the offsite management of the PBX hardware. That is, the company doesn’t require installing the expensive hardware at their work-sites instead they are managed by the service providers at their sites. This virtualized PBX enables the company to turn on and manage communication services dynamically at any location, even at home offices.

  • Presence

    SIP enabled VoIP communication solutions always shows the availability of employees to customers. The employees will be available at all time and it avoids the need for manual employee availability checks such as enquiry calls. The online presence of employees can be seen through blinking of the “I’m available” icon on a web page, email or calendar.

  • Deploy the best SIP solution

    The SIP enabled VoIP enables you to integrate the best available SIP-enabled solution for your communication. Hence you no longer have to depend on someone else’s communication protocol.

  • Multimedia

    The use of multimedia in communication helps to convey information more clearly and effectively. It supports visual communications along with voice and text.

The SIP enabled VoIP technology allows a business to open itself by virtualizing operations, reduces the communications to a great extend, increases the flexibility & reliability of the system, elevates the overall efficiency of the business communication system, etc.

Moreover the implementation of the SIP enabled VoIP solutions on your business will increase your voice network’s uptime, and lowers the costs related with the downtime by preventing the outages. Thus the changing business communication environments can be more productive and efficient through the SIP enabled VoIP technology.