So what is hosted PBX? A hosted IP-PBX is a hosted (provided outside your company) service that uses IP (Internet Protocol ) to provide PBX (Private Branch Exchange, or phone system) functionality. In shorter terms, a hosted IP-PBX, or hosted VoIP PBX, is a business-class phone service provided over the internet.
The first hosted PBX was not a hosted IP-PBX. That first system, developed by VirtualPBX in 1996, used the copper wires of the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), to provide a hosted business phone service. It is still in high demand today for companies that don’t want or can’t use internet telephony. The advent of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which made it possible to transmit phone calls over the internet, has now made it possible to provide a hosted phone service using VoIP- hence the hosted VoIP PBX, or hosted IP-PBX.
A hosted IP-PBX includes the ability for businesses to make and receive phone calls over the internet, route incoming calls to the right individuals or teams inside the company, and adds standard standard business phone system features like an auto-attendant or virtual receptionist, business voicemail, call transfers between employees, and more.
Many hosted IP-PBX systems are fairly exclusive regarding standard, or analog, phones. Many allow phone calls to be forwarded to a cellular phone but still require a VoIP phone on the same line. Some don’t allow cell phones or landlines at all.
VirtualPBX believes in a blended approach. In our hosted IP-PBX, companies can use any mix of cellular, VoIP, and analog phones desired. Employees can have more than one of any mix of phones, and the hosted VoIP PBX will reach the employees at whichever phone they are currently using. Employees in the home office might rely on VoIP phones for low cost, use cellular phones when travelling, and take calls on landlines when working at home. So a hosted IP-PBX, or hosted VoIP PBX, doesn’t really need to use VoIP at all times.