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Compare Virtual PBX Providers: Best Services, Prices & Reviews

Virtual PBX service has taken the business world by storm in recent years. As IP phone and other communication technologies have stepped in to replace poorly-aging telephone solutions that involve antiquities like copper wires and maintenance contracts, advancements in PBX have come to provide growing businesses across the globe with suite of essential features that they previously didn't know they were missing out on.

Companies everywhere are switching to hosted or virtual PBX providers, and with good reason: it's the perfect way to maintain a world-class, reliable, and professional communication network, all without sacrificing quality or paying a hefty premium.

What Is It?

Virtual PBX (private branch exchange) is a communication technology used primarily by businesses to route external calls in new ways. Unlike traditional PBX solutions which were largely hardware-based and required invasive installation, virtual PBX solutions are software-based. As such, this type of telephony provides quite a few features that previous generations of this technology could not offer.

So what exactly are these features? They typically include things like advanced call routing, conferencing, call queueing, voice mail notifications, virtual international numbers, web calling, call recording, convenient scalability, and many more. It probably goes without saying by now, but this is a far cry from the sort of traditional phone service that you may be used to.

The Advantages and Benefits of Virtual PBX

Among the many advantages of this type of telephony is the fact that it's compatible with just about any IP phone system, whether analog or software-based. What this means is that there won't be any significant growing pains while you transition to this new technology; the transition will be an effortless and seamless one.

Another of the chief benefits of virtual PBX is the fact that it introduces powerful call routing features previously unavailable for businesses that relied on traditional PBX solutions. Because it is software-based and uses the power of cloud communications, newer generations of PBX technology are better able to route calls to (for example): your cell phone, your desktop or laptop computer, an IP phone, or even a fax machine.

Quite simply, each of your communication devices are connected and unified through the Internet, which means you can receive all of your important calls no matter where in the world you happen to be.

What all these features mean for any customer-centric business is that customer satisfaction could very well see a significant boost after the adoption of a virtual PBX provider solution. Greetings can easily be customized to reflect changing business hours or shifting departments, and you can be certain that callers will be sent to the proper destination the first time, without a great deal of hassle or frustration on their part.

The bottom line is that everything is handled remotely, removing the learning curve and potential technical complications from the employees who are using the system. This is why a majority of customers prefer using a PBX that is virtual and cloud-based.

Who Can Use It?

The short answer to this question is "just about everybody." The somewhat longer answer is "any company that wants to improve their productivity, the effectiveness of their communication, and their bottom line."

Unlike traditional phone services, virtual PBX providers offer a solution that is extremely scalable. What this means is that it's ideal for companies that are consistently expanding. Whether you have hundreds of employees or just a handful, hosted PBX is capable of expanding any communication network to accommodate a growing workforce.

Just as importantly, it's extremely conducive to geographical expansion. New company offices that spring up in other cities or even other states can easily be brought into the fold.

It's also a perfect fit for companies that rely on sending employees out into the field (to attend conferences or meet with clients, for example), or for a workforce that relies on telecommuting or teleconferencing. Hosted PBX services are capable of routing incoming calls to cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers as needed, which means that employees can effectively escape from the confines of a desk and work from wherever it is that their business takes them.

How Is It Different?

A virtual PBX takes a great deal of the pressure off the company using it. In years past, companies needed to invest in expensive installations and costly physical infrastructure and equipment. Instead, this next generation of hosted PBX technology is remotely managed, thereby dramatically lowering the cost of adopting and maintaining the company's telephone service.

You may have often heard the term 'cloud communications' used when referring to a virtual PBX system. That's because these terms are essentially interchangable: it is a phone system handled and managed "virtually" in the cloud. Cloud PBXs minimize equipment costs by hosting everything in the cloud; there is no need for a business to have on-site equipment. Furthermore, consumers do not need to worry about increasing, updating, or maintaining their systems, as all of that is handled by the virtual PBX provider. It is an easier, cost-effective way to reap the benefits of VoIP without worrying about system upgrades and maintenance.

What this does is effectively level the playing field for startups, small businesses, and offsite freelance workers. By providing advanced features at a fraction of the cost they used to carry, hosted PBX can help smaller companies to more effectively compete with larger ones, and provides them with the same advanced features that they need to succeed in the fast-paced world of business.