What Is Virtual PBX And How Is It Different From Conventional Office Phone Systems?What Is Virtual PBX And How Is It Different From Conventional Office Phone Systems?

Recently, I came across a free personalized demo from RingCentral Office offering prospective clients the opportunity to test-run their virtual PBX phone services. Seeing this demo clearly pointed out to me that these web-based cloud phone systems must be gaining in popularity with businesses - both big and small. But what exactly is a virtual PBX phone system and how is it different from the traditional landline phone systems which have dominated the company office for so many years?

Just as the name suggests - this is a virtual web-based phone system, often referred to as VOIP or voice over IP. In other words, just about everything is handled in the cloud, which is another way of saying your phone services & system will be hosted on a remote third party company. Like almost everything in business these days, your phone system will be totally integrated with your computers and the world wide web.

Immediately, many people (myself included), will see red flags popping up. Do I really want to have my vital business calls and information stored on the web - on a third party site, no less? What about security? What about hackers?

However, once the initial panic subsides, I realized, and most people would agree - so much of our personal, banking and business lives are already on the web, and we have to live with that fact. While we do hear the occasional horror story, for the most part - with encryption and increased security measures - our information is safe. Regardless, it does not take a genius to realize, cloud-based services are here to stay and will probably become (if it has not already) the way business will be done in the future.

Now, getting back to the question at hand, how are these virtual web-based PBX (Private Branch Exchange) phone systems different from conventional ones? Perhaps, the best way to distinguish between the two systems, is to look at how they are structured. Conventional phone systems are physically wired or connected to each other, whereas virtual phones can be completely wireless and mobile.

Because they are wireless, installation with a virtual system can be setup within a few minutes - instead of weeks that are usually required with a landline system. Depending on the complexity of your office, you can even use your current smartphones to setup your network. However, many companies do purchase specially designed VOIP phones for the office, especially if the operation is large.

Already, we can see the advantages of using a web-based system, setup can be almost immediate and installation/maintenance costs are nil or non-existent. For small home offices or businesses, this can be a major drawing card since resources may be limited, especially at startup. Keep in mind, as your company grows, your virtual system is completely scalable - extra lines can be added with a few clicks of the mouse.

However, easier setup and cheaper costs are not the only factors why potential clients are drawn to this newer way of handling your company's calls and communications. These virtual phone systems are usually all-inclusive, in one package, you can have voice, text, fax, conferencing, virtual secretary... and even high-quality video meetings.

In addition, these web-based phone systems are completely portable and mobile. Employees, customers, salespersons... can be reached at any time, regardless of where they happen to be located. In other words, your business is no longer tied down to a specific office setting or location - it can be accessed from wherever we have the Internet and these days that's just about everywhere on the planet.

Lastly, what makes and differentiates these virtual PBX systems from their traditional counterparts, is the total integration of all your company's communications with your computers and the web. This flexibility and functionality can make any modern business much more competitive in today's dog-eat-dog business world.

The only other question you have to ask - can your company afford not to have such a virtual phone system in your corner? Can your company truly compete or remain competitive without all these added benefits and features of a web-based PBX phone system? Like all business inquiries of this nature, it is your call?

by Titus Hoskins
References and Bibliography
To discover more about using virtual PBX systems for your business or company, try this link: More information on virtual PBX or simply download our comprehensive online faxing guide here: www.onlinefaxguide.com
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