The move to a cloud-based hosted PBX from a traditional on premises PBX is growing as more businesses recognize the value of having a phone system built on cloud technology rather than circuit switching. But if you are considering making the move, you still have important choices to make. Do you go with an in-house PBX system or instead opt for a hosted PBX solution? There are pros and cons to each so here are some things to consider as you work through your decision-making process.
On Premises PBX
The two main reasons to consider on-premises PBX are control and complexity. If you have a highly-centralized organization with complex, specialized needs that change often, having full control of your system in house can be the right choice. You manage all the equipment and lines and are in complete command if you need to modify the system.
The downside is that you have to invest in the equipment and personnel to manage the system and those costs can be significant.
Choosing to have a hosted PBX system eliminates many of those costs. You don’t have to pay to purchase or install equipment in house or hire extra manpower to manage the system. You can get the same full feature set as you do with an on premises system for one monthly fee, thus you can avoid the upfront investment costs and scale up or down with user licensed as needed.
Installation is significantly faster since you don’t have to wait for purchased equipment to arrive or be installed. Transferring phone numbers can typically take 30 days or you can get new phone numbers instantly. You always have the most current system since upgrading features and functionalities are upgraded automatically. A cloud PBX system is especially beneficial for a widely-dispersed organization with many remote workers. A hosted solution allows you to consolidate everyone’s extensions within one system.
Microsoft Cloud PBX
There are many options if you decide to go the hosted PBX route, but not all systems are the same. Microsoft Cloud PBX provides all the benefits of a hosted PBX system with the added advantage of tight integration with the full suite of Microsoft applications, especially Outlook. Microsoft Cloud PBX works seamlessly with Office 365 so users can use Skype for Business Online to handle basic call control tasks and easily connect from their address book or inbox.
Microsoft Cloud PBX provides a host of cool functions.
- Enterprise calendar call routing uses your Exchange calendar business hours to enable or disable call forwarding and simultaneous ringing in Skype for Business automatically
- Team calling – sends your calls to your team when you are not available, this helps ensure that important calls are answered.
- Call on Behalf – ability to make and answer calls for a boss or team member.
- Availability call routing – using presence in Skype, calls can be routed only to team members who are available.
Here is a partial list of other Microsoft Cloud PBX features:
- Automated Attendant
- Call answer / initiate
By Name & Number
- Business Hours
- Call hold / retrieve
- Call History
- Call Delegation
- Call Queuing & Routing
- Call Routing with serial or parallel options
- Call Transfer
Blind, Consult & Mobile
- Caller ID
- Call Waiting
- Call forwarding & simultaneous ring
- Clients for PC, Mac & Mobile
- Device switching
- Distinctive ringing
- Do-not-disturb routing & call blocking
- Enterprise calendar call routing
- Financially backed SLA
- Integrated dial-pad
- Music on Hold
- Qualified IP Desk Phones support a wide number of vendors
- Skype & Federated calling
- Team calling
- Voice Mail with Transcription
This all builds on the features that the basic Skype for Business plans that users probably already use like video conferencing and web meetings.
If you’re thinking about moving to a cloud PBX, Interlink is giving you the opportunity to try Microsoft’s Cloud PBX for 25 users with their Skype PBX Energize pilot offer. Designed for Office 365 users, this offer will get Skype Voice in your environment quickly while allowing you to test the Skype Voice PBX phone system and verify that it will fit your needs.
Interlink Cloud Advisors is a leading system integrator for Microsoft cloud solutions including Skype PBX. We specialize in helping customers seamlessly migrate to Office 365 and Cloud Voice. Contact Interlink to learn how your organization can participate in the Skype PBX Energize pilot program.
About the author
Matt Scherocman brings more than 25 years of experience in the information technology industry to Interlink Cloud Advisors. His experience includes both the system integrator and manufacturer sides of the business. During his time at the Microsoft Corporation, he was responsible for all the Large Account Reseller (LAR) relationships in the four state Heartland Area of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Prior to Microsoft, Scherocman led a Cincinnati based IT consulting company to grow 5000% and become a Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year. He is actively involved in the strategic vision and operation decisions of the company including finance, selling strategy and marketing. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Business degree from Miami University and is a Certified Expert in Microsoft licensing including speaking engagements at both Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference and Channel Partner Summit. He is a frequent contributor to leading industry publications.
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