With global internet speeds increasing & dependability on communications so prevalent, many organizations are considering making the move to a VoIP phone system. Hosted PBX is a type of VoIP system that allows a business to eliminate expensive, on-site phone system hardware and utilize cloud PBX infrastructure to run their phone system. Moving to this type of service has many benefits along with its associated risks. When implemented correctly, a Hosted PBX phone system can significantly improve the way an organization communicates & reduce expenditure by up to 50%.
Below are 5 key questions to ask your supplier when you are evaluating the transition to a Hosted PBX phone system.
- How secure is the VoIP system?
As Hosted PBX phone systems are located on servers on the internet, they can be prime targets for hackers. If the system is not properly protected, an intruder is able to make calls from your phone system and run up massive costs in a very short period of time by calling international premium phone numbers. If you are considering a Hosted PBX solution, it is essential to make sure the security measures of your VoIP provider are up-to-date and that they have state-of-the art hardware and software firewalls in place to protect your system from unwanted intruders.
- Are your current phone requirements supported?
Even though VoIP phones have more features that traditional phones, sometimes the VoIP phones will not support simply functions that you use on your current PABX phone system. Ask your supplier if their Hosted PBX platform supports functionality such as call parking, BLF (Busy Lamp Field) indicators on phones, intercom functionality and call queuing. These are basic functions that 20-year-old PABX phone systems can support, yet some Hosted systems cannot replicate. Request a demo of the proposed phone system so you can try before you buy.
- Is faxing supported on VoIP?
Sending & receiving faxes over VoIP technology can be both challenging and erratic. Fax technology was only designed with analog networks in mind. If faxing is essential in your business make sure you have a fax service that will work over VoIP and work the way you need it to. Some suppliers provide an ATA (analogue telephone adapter) that works with your existing fax machine while others provide full cloud fax solutions. Understand how faxes work over VoIP with your provider prior to switching.
- What happens if the system goes down?
If the Hosted PBX provider’s system is not available, your phones will not be able to access the system at all. This means you will not be able to make or receive calls. Missed calls can cost an organization millions of dollars of lost revenue depending on how long the system may be down. However, in the event of a system outage Hosted PBX systems have unique & flexible abilities to automatically forward calls to another network, such as a mobile phone or backup PSTN service. It is important to find out what backup measures are offered by your provider for in the event of an outage. A total internet network outage maybe be when there is a local power failure, or a physical on-site hardware fails or potentially when the provider’s system/server goes down. Automatic failovers are essential for continued operations when running a Hosted PBX.
- Can the system be scaled or upgraded?
One huge benefit of a Hosted PBX system is that there are often no restrictions to how big or small your system can scale to. Providers will structure their plans and infrastructure differently so ask them what restrictions there are on extensions & simultaneous calls. Make sure you think ahead because how you communicate today is completely different to how you communicated 3 years ago, and it will be completely different in another 3 years’ time.