Business telephone systems. Burtech, your business telecommunications support specialists

Cloud hosted or on-premises PBX, which one is right for my installation?

What is a hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange)?

A hosted PBX is essentially a cloud-based phone system, as it is hosted off-site and over the Internet rather than at the physical location of the business, referred to as on-premises, this results in cost savings and limited maintenance.

PBX is an acronym for Private Branch Exchange; it describes a business telephone system that enables phone calls to be switched between different lines within an organization. The term originates from analogue PBX’s where telephone operators would manually field and switch lines so the calls would connect to the relevant person.

These days the operation is conducted over the internet, therefore the name IP PBX. You’ll also often hear hosted IP PBX called Virtual PBX and Cloud PBX, the terms are interchangeable, and they all refer to PBX in the cloud.

As hosted PBX is managed completely off-site, this eliminates the need to invest in software, hardware, training, and day-to-day maintenance; there is little in the way of installation costs. These are just some of the reasons why businesses are increasingly switching over to a hosted PBX service provider for an affordable and efficient business phone system solution. We will explore further benefits of PBX cloud services later in this guide.

If you consider a hosted PBX phone system for your business, our detailed guide will provide you with everything you need to know to get started.

How Does Cloud Hosted PBX Work?

To keep it simple, there are three basic components to a virtual PBX: the hosted PBX provider, a VOIP phone, and the Internet. Once it is set up, your phones will connect to the PBX host via the Internet, and your connection will always remain open to make and receive calls.

When you switch to cloud phone services, your Hosted PBX service effectively takes your phone company’s place with all inbound and outbound calls going through them. Your service provider maintains your complete phone system. If one of the data centres goes down, all your calls will be routed to another of their data centres, ensuring that your phone system is always running smoothly. The hosted PBX provider will have a team of staff working to ensure that you are provided with efficient and secure phone services.

As everything is configured and maintained by your service provider. If you need to make any adjustments to your settings, these changes can be updated within your online portal instantly with just a few clicks of a mouse.

The Difference Between Hosted PBX & On-premise PBX:

The fundamental difference between a hosted PBX and on-premises PBX is the latter phone system is housed in your office.

As the PBX is installed at your premises, the need for dedicated space with access to power and internet is required; as well, adds, moves and changes may require the attendance of a technician to facilitate and complete.

Otherwise, the functionality of the systems side by side are relatively the same.

Problems With Traditional PBX Systems:

One of the most significant drawbacks of an on-premise PBX system is the ongoing maintenance costs as a technician would be required onsite if something goes wrong. Unlike a hosted PBX where any updates are the responsibility of your service provider.

Another issue is scalability; upgrading a traditional system may be costly and demanding to implement, especially when compared to the flexibility of cloud systems where new users can be added easily.

Now we understand the differences of traditional PBX systems, let’s answer the question of why then would a business use a traditional PBX?

Why Businesses Still Use Traditional PBX?

On-premise PBX systems tend to suit guest and resort accommodation or larger businesses. For instance, an established company with a large IT team on-site might be able to comfortably absorb the extra duties needed for maintenance and upkeep. A large company will also likely have the budget to assimilate any setup and running costs. If the business requirements are projected to remain unchanged for the next few years and if all employees are based on-site and are not remote working are two other reasons why a traditional PBX could be a viable solution.

For many businesses that still stay with an on-premise phone system, it is more likely that they are afraid of change or on the fence. At some point, the change may be inevitable, and businesses may have to embrace IP PBX systems.

The Advantages of Hosted PBX:

There are plenty of benefits to setting up a hosted PBX, but the most significant advantage over on-premises PBX is the savings made for the initial configuration and set up as well as recurring and maintenance costs.

Some of the main benefits of Hosted PBX include:

  • The ability to quickly scale up or down depending on demand.
  • Removes the extra costs such as setup, maintenance, and upgrades associated with a traditional PBX.
  • New features are added, and existing features are upgraded easily.
  • Simple to install a handset off-site for remote telecommuting.
  • Advanced infrastructure with dedicated servers ensures business continuity with minimal downtime.


Remote Working Is Not A Problem!

As the COVID-19 pandemic has proven, enterprises prepared for remote working allowed their employees to work from home seamlessly, ensuring that business was carried out as usual without a hitch. A hosted PBX allows your employees to access your phone system anywhere on the planet as long as they have an internet connection. Calls can be forwarded to their phones or laptops without the cost of any additional software or equipment.

Set Up Quickly, Low-level Maintenance:

It only takes a day, usually sooner, to set up hosted PBX with no disruption to the business. Unlike a traditional PBX, there is no on-site infrastructure to implement other than handsets, and once you are set up, all the maintenance and updates will be provided by your service provider. As discussed earlier, this negates the costs of employing someone full-time to manage an on-site PBX and pay for ongoing operational costs.

Flexibility More Than Imagined:

Hosted PBX offers unparalleled flexibility, with businesses being able to change call settings in an instant. Cloud PBX allows you to change settings such as voicemail to email effortlessly, call forwarding and call transfer, and switch them on and off whenever you choose. You no longer wait for your telecom provider or incur costs to implement the call setting you require. Instead, hosting PBX puts you in the control seat.

Reliability with Highly-Performance:

Another considerable benefit a hosted PBX will offer to your business is an increase in reliability. Business continuity is guaranteed as your service provider may have a network of redundant data servers located all across the country. If, for some reason, your business is impacted by some type of physical setback, be it a technological fault or natural disaster, you can be safely assured that your telephone system will still be up and running on-site or if need be remote.

#burtech #hostedpbx #telephonesystems #WiFi #datacabling