Hosted PBX Phone Systems: The Guide to Getting Started
In this article you’ll learn about hosted PBX systems, how to set up a PBX, and how to get the most out of a PBX system.
What is a hosted PBX?
A PBX is a piece of hardware that is programmed to route incoming calls to a business phone line. A hosted PBX then, is a software that does the same thing. The PBX provides functionality like phone extensions, call routing, call waiting, and conferencing.
A hosted PBX means that the provider manages the phone system infrastructure, and customers license the use of the system. The telephone system is essentially an off-premises PBX.
In telephony, PBX stands for private branch exchange. The term hosted PBX is interchangeable with IP PBX, cloud PBX, and virtual PBX.
In short, a hosted PBX is a business phone system.
How does a hosted PBX work?
There are two things you need to set up a hosted PBX solution - the internet and a computer. A hosted PBX system works like any web-based subscription service. The administrator logs into the website portal to manage the hosted PBX services, where they can do things like design the inbound call routing and create other users.
Some of the features they can manage includes but is not limited to:
- phone numbers and plans,
- users and extensions,
- auto attendant and greetings,
- voicemail transcription,
- business caller ID
- phone devices,
- call center features, and
- call recordings.
The hosted PBX provider such as Telzio, would be the one building and managing all the phone system components. The provider is responsible for hosting your phone numbers as well as maintaining the PBX software, and replaces the need for a landline phone service or phone system equipment.
As for the hardware, that’s all been updated to software. Telzio as the PBX provider stores the software across redundant data centers around the globe, which keeps the phone system secure and running reliably.
A hosted PBX phone system can work with mobile phones in addition to desk phones. PBX phone users can use the mobile app, webphone, and/or desk phone to connect to the phone system. From the portal, the administrator can assign extensions and phone numbers to users, and set up call routing to users' phones.
Who uses a hosted PBX?
A hosted PBX is for any small business that uses a phone. If you have a business phone number being answered by multiple employees - this is a sign you would benefit from a hosted PBX service.
A hosted PBX enables you to:
- design automated attendants to route calls 24/7,
- direct calls to employees on cell phones and desktop devices,
- upload custom hold music and create call queues,
- enable SMS text messaging on toll free numbers,
- customize your business caller ID name,
- get real-time call data and monitoring tools,
- and other PBX features.
Many companies switch to a hosted PBX from a traditional phone system for a more unified communications strategy. With a hosted PBX system, other mission critical business applications can be integrated, such as CRMs, helpdesks, team chat, and more. This way, all your tools can be talking to each other, and you can give users the most optimal workflow.
Companies with an existing business phone service can upgrade to a hosted PBX system by simply porting their phone numbers.
How to get the most value out of a hosted PBX
Once you’ve signed up for a hosted PBX service, how can you make it work for your company? The best way to maximize your communications with a hosted PBX is to take advantage of the features. As the administrator of your company’s phone system, here are eight tips to optimizing your phone system.
1. Set up an automated attendant
An automated attendant is a must have for every business. Auto attendants route incoming calls 24/7/365 with a personalized greeting, and puts callers into a call queue if no one is available to answer the phone. The auto attendant saves your employees valuable time by answering common questions, transferring calls, and preventing distractions. You can monitor phone records and call analytics to then make improvements on how the communication is managed.
2. Enable the robocall blocker
In addition to entering numbers and regions manually into the ‘blocked numbers blacklist’, you can automatically block robocalls and spam telemarketing calls to your phone numbers. Telzio provides a Spam Filter that reaches into a large database to give each call a spam score. You can then set how aggressively you want to block spam calls based on their spam score.
3. Set up the business caller ID name
Register the company name with CNAM so that it shows up as the caller ID when users dial out from the phone system. This makes your company look more professional, and informs people being called that it’s not a spam call.
4. Create call routing schedules and tell users about DND
Make it as seamless as possible for your users to start and stop answering calls from the queue. It’s easy to log in and out of call queues with one touch during breaks and sick days if they don’t want to be bothered. This is in addition to the customized call routing schedule you can make in advance, so agents are only sent calls during their allotted times.
5. Give users mobile and desk phone options
Do your users prefer to talk on the mobile app, the webphone, or a desk phone? Many prefer having all three to use depending on their location. A hosted PBX gives you the capability to add a user’s phone line to multiple devices. If needed, you can send an auto-provisioned phone to the user that’s plug-and-play ready.
6. Enable voicemail transcription to email
Voicemail transcription sends voicemail messages to email with the voicemail message transcribed as text. This is a very nice feature that users appreciate because it saves them time. From their email, they can playback, read, and search for voicemail messages.
7. Customize user profiles and hold music
Add avatars, custom hold music, personalized greetings, and authorization levels. When you add a unique avatar image for each user, other users will be able to see them in the company directory where they can one-click dial. For managers, you can give them access to restricted parts of the phone system, like call recordings, billing, and SMS.
8. Create parking extensions
Parking extensions enable users to park a call on an extension and resume the call from any other phone. Call parking is a handy alternative to call flip, when you switch to another of your own devices. Simply tell them to call the extension where you parked the call to be connected.
Request a personal demo to learn more about what you can do with a hosted PBX.
What is a Telzio Hosted PBX?
A Telzio Hosted VoIP PBX provides capabilities for SMS and phone calls on local and toll free numbers, personalized auto attendants when your business phone number is dialed, and business caller ID name on your phone numbers. Telzio provides a complete business phone system that is cloud based, cost-saving, and works with your existing internet connection. With Telzio you don't need a separate VoIP service, SIP trunk, or PBX hardware.
How to set up a hosted PBX
Setting up a hosted PBX phone system can be done within minutes. Everything is configured on the website, and goes live instantly. Call Flows make it easy for anyone to customize the functionality using a visual drag and drop method.
In brief, this is how you set up a hosted PBX:
- Create an account at Telzio
- Add users and extensions
- Design a Call Flow
- Assign users to their devices
- Port numbers or get new numbers
Learn more about how to set up a business VoIP system.
Thomas has an education in electrical engineering and background in software development.