Effective communication is key in business, and understanding the advantages provided to you by a Cloud PBX phone system will help take your business to the next level.  Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is the latest technology standard to help simplify overly complicated dial plans, cut-down on restrictive networks, and ultimately streamline your business’ phone system.

cup-of-phonesYou may be wondering how traditional phone lines compare to those utilizing VoIP, and those differences start at the signal.  Traditional phone lines use an analog signal, which converts audio such as the human voice, and translating that into electronic pulses.  This is the same principle behind why connecting two cups together with string can actually work in a crude fashion to transmit audio.

Voice over IP uses an internet signal which breaks up, and then packages the audio into binary code- that’s 1’s, and 0’s.  It then transmits that data, and unpacks them at their destination in their original order. The break-through with using an internet-based signal is where the data being transferred is far closer to its original form because it can correct errors after transmission.  This results in a clearer, distortion free phone call.

Analog lines are very simplistic, although now-a-days providers are limiting their Analog services, driving up costs. These lines, also referred to as POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines, are capable of supporting faxes, standard phones, and modems.  If you’re unsure whether you have a POTS line or a digital one, check the back of your phones for anything that states that it “complies with part 68, of FCC rules”, and contains a Ringer Equivalency Number or REN on the back.  VOIP based phones do not have a port where an analog line can plug into.  These phones work over Ethernet, and transmit data over your office’s network.  Using the office network to service your VOIP phones allows for far more flexibility, and opens up more options for your office to benefit from.

Many of the options that VOIP has to offer on top of a stronger, cleaner signal, are a bountiful set of features which can be included with your VoIP service.  Some features include the ability to have a software component in addition to your physical telephone device.  This software can allow for text chatting, dialing directly from your computer, and keeping contacts organized, among other things.  At img_20161208_145759-minNatural Networks, we offer the best software companion's to go with our  San Diego VoIP services.  Kara Deyermenjian of TechTarget makes an excellent comparison of the differences in terms of features that you get with a VoIP service versus a POTS line.  Overall, VoIP’s Pricing, Scalability, Remote Extension Capabilities, computer integration features, and future proofing are all easier to work with, and typically come included at no extra costs depending on your VoIP provider.

One of the most unique features of VoIP is that depending on your provider you can choose to have your VoIP PBX located physically on site, or you can choose to go with a hosted solution.  Voip-info.org gives a great analysis of the pros and cons of a hosted solution versus one physically located on site.  An on-premises PBX solution is one in which the equipment responsible for providing your internet-based phone system is located in office, hence the name ‘on-premises’.  Your office phones and signaling go through the Local Area Network (LAN), and calls are handled by your Internet Service Telephone Provider (ISTP).

Hosted PBX solutions on the other hand, host and keep all of the phone equipment used for handling signaling, and calls, at the ISTP’s location, or one where they keep their equipment such as in a Data Center.  The office desk phones plug into your router, and the phone provider handles the rest.  Hosted Solutions are becoming more popular all the time, as costs for internet service continues to decline making it more affordable to host the equipment remotely rather than on site.  A Hosted PBX solution also comes with the added benefit of not having to physically keep the phone equipment on-site.  See more of what Natural Networks VoIP Business Telephone Systems can offer your organization.

We can surmise the main points of difference between a Hosted and On-Premises PBX below

Hosted PBX

  • Moving to a new office is easier
  • You get to keep your phone numbers
  • Grows with you
  • Critical equipment is hosted in the cloud
  • Patches and Upgrades are handled by the provider
  • Phone audio traffic goes across the internet directly to the Phone Provider

On–Premises PBX

  • Phone equipment is stored on-premises (in your office)
  • Current carrier does not have to be changed
  • Expansions can be complicated and expensive
  • Loss of power or PBX failure results in no incoming or outgoing phone calls
  • Costly support agreements

Cloud PBX solutions are the way of the future.  As hardware has become more streamlined over time, and overall cost-of-bandwidth from ISP’s continues to fall, more of the major VOIP providers are offering hosted solutions.  Natural Networks has been a Hosted-PBX provider for several years, and partnered with 3CX we have brought San Diego companies and organizations in the surrounding area the best possible voice experience with their phone systems.  If you’re considering upgrading or buying a new phone system and have questions, give us a call today!