Communication Articles - How to Decide on a Virtual PBX Service

by Robert Bell - Date: 2010-08-14 - Word Count: 629 Share This!

Some of these features include: conference calling, call routing, voicemail, faxing, sending calls to one phone number to the first available party that picks up, and so forth. These are all functions that organizations find useful.

There are two basic options for a business that wants to install PBX service. They can either have PBX equipment installed onsite, or they can use a hosted PBX provider ? an internet service that handles the PBX operations remotely. Smaller businesses often find this latter option easier and more affordable. It requires less technical know-how at the workplace and leaves it in the hands of dedicated professionals used to working with the technology. It also doesn?t require that any installation personnel visit the business site or that any time is wasted in installation work.

Not all hosted PBX providers are necessarily equal. To maximize the benefits of hosted PBX, a business needs to select a reliable and high quality service. The following are some criteria and tips on how to select a good hosted PBX provider:

Does the provider offer all the features you need?

One of the first things you need to decide is what PBX features your business requires. This may be any of the services listed above or others. There is, for instance, a PBX feature that attaches voicemails to emails as audio files. For a smaller business for which voice messages are not as critical this might be an unnecessary feature. For a larger business that gets a lot of voicemails, it may be needed. Go through each possible PBX feature and decide if your business needs it or not. The next step is to ask a number of PBX hosts whether they offer these services and what they charge for them. Are various features included as parts of packages or is there a charge for them one by one?

What kind of support does the provider offer?

Support is one of the critical issues with any communications provider. A good PBX provider will have an easily accessible help desk with knowledgeable IT personnel. What you want to avoid are service providers who have long wait times for actually talking to techs and who often put you in contact with sales personnel who don?t have much technological savvy. The tech support staff should be friendly, quick, and high quality. Anything less is not a great sign.

Evaluate the IP phones offered

Often a business does have to at least buy IP phone sets if they have only ordinary phones. A purchasing or IT professional from a business or organization should look at these phones closely before purchasing them and make sure the employees will be comfortable with their features and general functionality.

Check references, previous customers, etc.

You can usually check any company?s background out in a number of ways ? see if they are a member of the Better Business Bureau and whether there are any complaints against them, ask for references of previous customers, look up background information on the company and see how long they have been in business, and so on. One good thing to verify is if the PBX provider has hosted businesses that are roughly the same size as yours: if they are used to mainly dealing with either larger or smaller companies they may not have the experience level required for effectively handling your business? issues.

Finding the right hosted PBX provider can make the telephony and communications of your business or organization a breeze. So make sure that you do your due diligence when you are looking for one - it will pay off.The author is a creator and researcher of small business tools and solutions on topics such as virtual PBX. Please visit for more information on Virtual Phone Numbers.

Related Tags: hosted pbx, virtual pbx

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