This is an ideal, cloud-based solution for companies that don’t have a full-time, dedicated in-house IT person but want all the features and functions associated with a VoIP solution. It provides a ‘virtual IP PBX’ where all calls are transported over the Internet, and telephone functions such as voicemail, call routing and call forwarding are performed on the service provider’s computers. Calls can be made and received using regular phones (with adapters), IP phones, or ‘softphones’ downloaded directly onto computers, while access to a company’s provisioning and billing system that tracks usage, manages extensions, etc. is made available via a web interface.
Typically, this solution works best for businesses with a small to medium number of phone extensions. However, unlike a premise-based solution, it can be deployed on a line-by-line basis, which means it is easily expandable and less cost-prohibitive since the company only incurs charges for those lines actually used. Also, maintenance issues can be more promptly addressed and efficiently resolved in hosted solutions because of the centralized nature of the service. What could potentially turn out to be a 4 hour downtime window in a premise-based scenario can very well be reduced to a matter of minutes with a hosted solution. That, coupled with 24/7 monitoring and management of the network by the provider, helps replace a set of on-site expert technicians, the cost of which would most likely be prohibitive.
When a business makes the decision to move their phone system out of the server room (premise-based) and ‘into the cloud’ (hosted solution), they alleviate the cost and inconvenience of maintaining hardware at their location. Although hosting does create an ongoing monthly fee typically based on the number of ‘seats’ or end users connected to the system, less customer premise elements (eg. physical PBX boxes, routers, gateways, etc.) means lower capital expenditures and, hence, more predictable operational expenses. This, in turn, aids in planning cash-flow and frees up other necessary resources that can be more effectively utilized elsewhere.
While the stigma surrounding cloud-based (hosted) VoIP is not yet a thing of the past, emerging VoIP technologies have made great strides in tremendously improving sound quality and reliability. Although there are VoIP providers out there that use network technology designed solely to carry data, which is much less bandwidth-heavy and complex than voice, our network of providers are unparalleled in their deployment of Carrier-grade VoIP technology specifically designed to handle the demands of business-class voice traffic. This has helped carry their VoIP solutions to the forefront of a widely accepted and sought after means of providing cost-effective, scalable, redundant, and robust communication tools.