Thursday, May 29, 2014

Important Things to be Considered while Choosing a Hosted PBX Service

VoIP technology and Hosted PBX services have a critical role in moulding the business communication strategies. To enjoy and exploit the full features and benefits of the hosted PBX system, a proper service provider should be chosen. Nowadays a number of VoIP service providers are available. In this competitive market, it is very hard to choose a right one that serves your business in the desired way. Hence it is not easy and simple to select a right service provider. Considering some factors will help you to select an appropriate hosted PBX service for your business.

There are many things to be noted or kept in mind for choosing the most appropriate hosted PBX service.

  1. Coverage Efficiency

A major thing to be considered is whether the service provider has coverage in your area. That is, find out whether the service provider can port your business telephone number to their service. If they couldn’t provide service in your area, then you cannot use their service. Some of the Canadian hosted PBX service providers deliver their service only to restricted local area. Hence it is crucial to make sure that the service provider you choose has service coverage in your area. It is better to be with a service provider who has a wide coverage area to support expansion plans.

  2. Satisfies the business requirements

Another important thing to be checked is whether the service provider is capable of satisfying your business and communication requirements. For this, first identify your business needs. The needs can be broadly classified into two; business features and call control features.

       Business features include the following;

The business phone system should support you in branding businesses and operations such as multiple phone numbers for marketing purposes, Possible to keep analytics of your call data, Call recording feature for ensuring customer service and also for further training, and additional features such as Multi-party Conferencing, Dashboard Application to control and modify your system, Call analytics, etc.

       Call Control Features consist of the following;

       Features like Call Forwarding, Call Holding, Call Transferring or  Diverting,Caller ID, etc are important nowadays. It is more efficient if the service provider could extend its services to incorporate big business features such as Call Queue’s, Ring Groups, or Apps for advanced phones.

  3. Infrastructure Facility

The Hosted PBX service provider should review your current network infrastructure for flexibility and compatibility. For example, many businesses lack PoE (Power over Ethernet) which transmits power to the devices plugged into the switch. This can be a phone, camera, wireless access-point or other similar IP device. If you don’t have a compatible switch, then collect one or more from the service provider to support the quantity of phones.

  4.  Security

Security is always a major concern hence ensure that the voice network is secure. There are chances of various hazards such as hacking one of your devices or providers devices and using to launch an international calling blitz can, external interruptions or crosstalk, signal failure, etc. therefore high security should be provided for voice transmission. So choose a hosted PBX service provider who can ensure the safety of communications.

  5.  Quality of Service

The most important factor that determines a best hosted PBX provider is the quality of service. A reliable internet connection and network are essential to support VoIP traffic. The key measures of quality are jitter, latency and packet loss.Jitter is defined as a variation in the delay of received packets. Congestion in IP packets causes jitter. The congestion can occur either at the router interfaces or in a provider or carrier network if the circuit has not been provisioned correctly.
Latency refers to a delay in a VoIP call that is, the time it takes for your voice traffic to go from one spot to another. Most companies recommend that the entire voice path, the Internet, the service provider and your own network should have a combined latency of less than 150 ms.
Packet loss is a dangerous thing and it affects VoIP networks very drastically. Even a 1 percentage of packet loss is intolerable.The good hosted PBX provider will have a fair balance of these three metrics. So choose a service provider who efficiently uplifts quality of service by reducing these measures.Selection criteria of a good hosted PBX service provider include many more factors. Taking into account of these factors will help you to get a fully compatible hosted PBX service for your business. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Major 5 Benefits of Using Cloud Based Phone System for Small Businesses

Phone systems are always an inevitable part of businesses. Businesses of all sizes are relied upon business phone systems for expanding their business communications. Business phone systems are of various types based on the underlying technologies used within them. One of the recent and most advanced technologies used with the phone systems is the Cloud PBX based business phone systems.
Cloud based phone systems are heavily suitable for all scale businesses such as small scale companies, medium scale organizations or even large enterprises. For small businesses cloud based phone systems offer a wide range of features and benefits. In the case of small size businesses cloud based phone systems provide a huge room for scaling their businesses by exploiting the features of the phone systems and the infrastructure.
Cloud telephony exploits the power and merits of the cloud technology for establishing business communications. The major benefits that a small size business can attain through cloud phone system are as follows;

   1. Cost Efficiency

A major problem faced by most of the small businesses is the lack of budget to manage internal IT departments or infrastructures. As a result any fault of the hardware based phone system will incurs considerable amount of money and time. Hence the employees have to suspend their works, contact the service provider for assistance and wait till the problem gets solved. The on-site management of the phone system and hardware causes unexpected cost and creates overhead for the business.
In the case of cloud telephony the phone system is kept off-site. That is, the phony system will be kept at the service provider side which may be far from the business sites. This helps the businesses to reduce the hardware cost, service charges, call costs, and many more miscellaneous expenses. The off-site management of phone system also saves time. Many repairs and modifications will be done silently at the remote locations by the cloud telephony service providers without harrowing the business activities. Most of the service providers offer free calls between the offices and sites. This helps businesses to save the money efficiently.

  2. Easy Implementation
An attractive feature of cloud phone system is that it is very easy to implement and maintain. This is so because it doesn’t require any hardware to be installed or maintained on-site. Also it doesn’t need to visit the company’s premises and all to set up the new business phone system and make it running. Hence the implementation and management of the cloud phone system quick, easy and effortless.

  3. Minimum Downtime
Another advantage of accessing the phone system from the Cloud is that one gets the maximum up-time available. There won’t be any issues such as the phone system going down, unable to make calls, network busy, etc. Cloud telephony ensures smooth and reliable communications over distant locations. If any disruption occurs with the cloud then the service provider will take care of it instantaneously.

  4. Cloud Telephony Expands With the Business
One of the important features of the cloud based phone systems is the ability of the cloud telephony to grow with the business. This proportional expansion of cloud telephony helps the businesses to easily add new connections with the existing cloud. This supports the dynamic growth of the businesses without worrying about upgrading the business phone systems. All sorts of additions and deductions are carried out remotely through a simple phone call or email to the service provider. This feature of cloud telephony promises the fast and reliable growth of businesses within short span of time.

  5. Multiple location servicing
Most of the businesses today are managing multiple offices or branches at different locations. Usually in such cases the company has to maintain multiple phone systems and contracts to coordinate the various branches. The Cloud phone system has the capability to service multiple locations with one phone system. This helps to considerably save the company’s money and time. Only requirement is to expand the Cloud system to the newer area. Almost all processes are carried out by the service provider based on the company’s requirement.
 These are the major benefits that small businesses can enjoy by using the cloud based business phone systems. The benefits are not ending here. Not only small businesses but also all size businesses are heavily depending on cloud telephony. This shows the real adequacy of cloud telephony.