The Traditional PBX
Traditionally, a PBX (private branch exchange) was a physical cabinet that sat in your office building, into which every telephone in the building was hardwired. The role of the PBX was to route incoming and outgoing calls to and from these phones. You can think of the PBX as a network router for telephone calls, managing voice traffic as it comes into a building and then routing that traffic to the correct telephone.
The Hosted PBX
A hosted PBX, by contrast, is 'hosted' by the provider in the cloud. Therefore, 'hosted PBX' really means 'cloud-hosted PBX'. Rather than in a physical cabinet, the function of the traditional PBX is taken care of by your VoIP provider’s platform on a cloud server. The platform takes care of the routing of all of your incoming and outgoing calls programmatically, bypassing the need for a physical, ‘analogue’ means of achieving the same end.
In case you weren’t aware, before telephone calls were routed via the internet and its infrastructure (thanks to the power of VoIP), they were routed via traditional copper telephone lines. If you’re not with a VoIP provider today, it’s quite likely that your calls still run through these same copper lines.
Today, it is strongly advised that you make the transition to newer VoIP technology. Soon, however, it will be imperative.
BT are phasing out traditional copper phone lines beginning January 2025 in what is being dubbed the BT Switch Off. Some countries, such as Germany, have already completed this transition, meaning the UK is actually behind the curve.
Consider the advances in technology over the last 20 years. The modern smartphone bears very little resemblance to traditional telephone handsets from 20 years ago, and yet these phones used the same infrastructure to make their calls as your current desk phone if you’re still using analogue phones. Now is definitely the time to switch to a provider of a hosted PBX service.
Advantages of a Hosted PBX
As mentioned above, cloud-hosted PBX solutions perform their function programmatically. By being fully digital, hosted PBX services can leverage the power of modern technology to its fullest potential.
By removing the physical hardware, you not only save on space but on every monthly bill.
Ease of Maintenance
Calling out a technician every time you need to add or modify an existing telephone line or perform some other form of maintenance on your PBX is costly and time-consuming.
With a hosted PBX, there is no need to perform maintenance checks on equipment, since this responsibility is passed onto the VoIP provider. Alterations to call routes or other functions can be performed programmatically. Since such a need is common, providers build the capability to make such changes right into the platform, meaning you have full control and transparency over your business phone system.
Powerful VoIP Features with Cloud-Hosted PBX Systems
With the power of modern technology, your business phone system can really start to flourish. Call recording, powerful and modular call routing options, call conferencing and more are all available with Yay.com and other good VoIP providers should be able to offer the same.
Even these features, though, could arguably be made available with a traditional telephone system. So how about CRM integrations, outbound call statistics and one-press caller ID selection? How about fully-featured VoIP apps?
With VoIP, you can make the world your office by bringing your business phone with you wherever you go (brush up on your VoIP knowledge by reading our guide: What is VoIP?).
Download the Yay.com desktop app and conduct business calls from your hotel room or, if the WiFi extends that far, the beach!
Or perhaps work is your escape. Slingshot your business into the technological age by leveraging data on your outbound sales calls. Yay.com’s outbound wallboards and statistics reports empower supervisors and team members to track performance in relation to KPIs at-a-glance and to review these metrics at intervals dictated by you.
How much of that can be done with a hardware PBX?
A Note on SIP Trunking
In the past five or so years, a half-way house for those businesses not confident enough to transition to a fully VoIP phone system has been provided by a technology known as SIP trunking. This process is still sold to businesses today under the guise of being a ‘modern solution’.
However, this technology serves only as an adaptor for your hardware PBX, upgrading it with the power to route and receive calls via the internet. Aside from this basic functionality, SIP trunking does not have much to offer.
To reflect Yay.com’s lack of faith in this technology, we give you unlimited SIP trunks for free, so if you’re the slightest bit unsure, you can try this solution for free with us.
Considering that the aces on our team can get 500 of your staff fully operational on our platform in just one or two short hours, though, we’re confident that you’ll want to bypass the ‘SIP trunking step’ altogether and come straight on board with VoIP.