Now that your business is expanding, you need to streamline various aspects of it. The big problem is how to communicate with your customers when your team spends time on the road.
This is where hosted PBX, or Private Branch Exchange, comes into its own. Purchasing a hosted PBX system isn’t very expensive when compared with how much business it can generate. Hosted PBX pricing combines hardware plus costs per line. Hardware ranges from a one-off payment of $900 to more than $3,000. But, line costs range from as little as $30 to $60 per line per month, depending on your required services. Furthermore, many PBX providers mean prices continually fall, so you might find some very affordable deals if you look around.
But why would you want to have a hosted PBX solution for your growing business? We’ll cover the entire range of benefits later on. But, for now, we can say that you can customize the various pathways for incoming calls into your company. For example, route direct extensions to desks and divert calls from desk to cellphone if your team member spends time on the road. You can also enjoy menu-driven recorded information and complex voicemail systems. Furthermore, with Covid-19 rampant, you can include your employee’s personal phone or laptop into the system if they work from home.
Top 10 Best PBX Providers
The table below gives a quick price comparison of the top providers for business–hosted PBX systems.
|PBX Provider||Minimum Monthly Charges per Line|
Note: These PBX costs came from the company’s website and were current at the time of writing (February 2021) but may have since changed.
Overall, the basic modules are very similar across all the PBX companies. To avoid repetition, we’ve tried to concentrate on those features unique to one or two providers. Remember that the features and benefits aren’t exhaustive. So, if we haven’t attributed a feature to a specific PBX provider, it doesn’t mean they don’t supply it.
You must also be aware that these aren’t like-for-like comparisons, as each provider offers different solutions. Therefore, the order in which they appear bears no resemblance to their position within the market. Instead, use this guide as a starting point for more research based on your requirements.
Some of the features and benefits of RingCentral’s hosted PBX systems include
- One month’s free trial, so you can “Try Before You Buy” and see if their product fits into your business model.
- Higher service tiers offer features that are unique to RingCentral. In general, the company gives a complete service to each subscriber. And a fully scalable business VoIP solution for today’s global method of working.
- RingCentral has been providing affordable hosted PBX solutions using cloud-based systems since 2003.
- RingCentral Office, one of their products, gives unlimited calls and a complete suite of features. This includes the ability to customize the phone set–up and system to suit your unique business.
- The company also offers US-based support and implementation to help set-up the system to how you want it. And help manage your phone system to keep it working efficiently. RingCentral is one of the top hosted PBX providers in America.
Some of the features and benefits of Ooma’s hosted PBX systems:
- Ooma Office is designed as a phone system for small businesses but nevertheless includes a full set of features.
- They provide unlimited calls to USA and Canada.
- Unlimited lines, all with private voicemail and virtual assistant.
- Ooma systems offer conference calling, call waiting, hold, and forwarding.
- Set–up takes less than 20 minutes so that you can be ready for work in a very short time.
- The complete package comes with all the PBX machines for connecting your existing phone system to the internet. All you supply is a high–speed internet connection, a computer, and a touch-tone phone.
- It’s very easy to set-up a nationwide toll–free phone number, so your company appears professional and receives more customer calls.
Some of the features and benefits of Grasshopper’s hosted PBX systems.
- It uses a desktop or mobile app to access the Grasshopper phone system, so it couldn’t be simpler.
- Adds a business line and virtual assistant to your personal phone.
- You can choose from a selection of toll-free numbers, vanity numbers, and local numbers for your new business line. Or use an existing number you already own.
- It’s ideal for freelancers, small businesses, and remote workers.
- Offers a 7–day free trial.
- Make your company sound professional with an automated greeting. It welcomes your callers and directs them to appropriate departments.
- It’s probably one of the easiest to use hosted telephone systems available for small businesses.
- Includes voicemail, call transfers and forwarding, business texting, and an option to use live US-based receptionists to answer your calls.
Some of the features and benefits of GoToConnect’s hosted PBX system.
- It offers a cloud–based phone system for voice calls and video meetings.
- High–quality audio together with free local and long–distance calls.
- GoToConnect offers web and desktop applications to provide flexibility and convenience for your office–based or remote workers.
- Supplies a complete set of admin tools to set up your business phone system easily.
- High–powered analytics monitor your business calls to provide insight into communication and collaboration.
- You have all the usual features, including call forwarding, routing, and on-hold. A virtual voicemail takes messages when you aren’t available.
- A fully customizable, virtual, menu–driven assistant directs calls to the appropriate department.
Some of the features and benefits of Vonage’s hosted PBX systems include:
- Vonage offers great deals to attract new customers. And, their entry–level package is one of the cheapest hosted PBX systems on offer.
- Companies new to the idea often know very little about hosted PBX phone systems. So, they prefer systems that work with their businesses while they get used to the capabilities.
- One feature is a flat rate charge with no metered costs for toll-free numbers.
- Another feature is the ability to link each extension to a separate meter. Hence, you only pay for the time used. This is especially useful and cost-effective if you have some phones rarely used during the month. It’s a real welcome boost to small businesses who might not afford unlimited use lines.
- As a further sweetener, Vonage also offers leading CRM sales software such as SugarCRM™ and Salesforce™ with their system.
Some of the features and benefits of OnSip’s hosted PBX services include:
- 30–day free trial.
- Free Polycom phones ready to plug-and-play.
- Customer support based in USA.
- Up-scale your phone system as your company grows.
- Its basic functions include auto-attendants, voicemail to email, ACD queues, groups, and advanced call center. You can also analyze calls using Google Analytics and Zendesk. And, alter all functions when your company needs change.
Some of the features and benefits of Nextiva’s hosted PBX systems include the following:
- An auto-attendant gives menu options to incoming callers.
- They forward incoming calls to any desk phone or cellular device. You can also forward callers to specific numbers if you receive out–of–hours calls or if the recipient is on holiday.
- Organize call queues to route callers to the next available representative.
- Record all calls for legal or training purposes. You can access recordings for up to six months.
- Have online sales meetings with voice and video.
- Screen pop-ups show enhanced caller information to help your call–center agent with customer–related information. When the phone rings, you’ll receive account numbers, purchase archive, and more.
Some of the features and benefits of ClarityTel’s hosted PBX systems include:
- The company’s plans offer low–cost monthly charges. This makes them more affordable for struggling start-up businesses.
- They help save money by removing unnecessary phone management costs.
- Modern technology is flexible and provides unlimited scalability. Therefore, your system automatically becomes future-proof to help your company in years to come.
- Their new plug-and-play devices connect to your existing phone system.
- They offer no-contract and no-package plans to relieve you of the associated problems.
- They advertise 99.999% uptime, so your company doesn’t lose out on customers.
- 24/7 technical and customer support.
9. VoIP Studios
Some of the features and benefits of VoIP Studios’ hosted PBX systems include:
- The company offers five pricing tiers. You choose the correct one for the number of users in your business.
- You receive call management services and remote office connection, as well as including cellphones into your system.
- When they ship their PBX equipment to you, they’re already set up and ready to plug-and-play.
- The cheapest tier gives you unlimited local and long–distance calls. Additionally, you receive voicemail, call queues and conference calling.
- They have an excellent online knowledgebase designed to help you along the way.
10. Alliance Phones
Some of the features and benefits of Alliance Phones’ hosted PBX systems:
- Alliance Phones concentrate their services on small and medium–sized businesses. They offer competitively priced feature-filled plans. Thus, making them more affordable than other market solutions.
- The company offers 3 different cloud–based plans. They include no annual contract and comprehensive PBX features.
- Alliance Phones focus only on their customers’ business needs, not on the residential market.
- They own all their technology, so troubleshooting is easy. Alliance Phones fix and maintain their technology and upgrade their systems regularly.
Benefits of Hosted PBX Systems
Many companies find that using hosted PBX phone and video systems gives them an added advantage in the marketplace.
Compared to the set–up, maintenance, and cost of upgrades for a standard PBX, a cloud–based system’s costs are relatively low. Furthermore, a hosted PBX doesn’t have the extra fees from operating your company phone system in-house.
Easy to use
The PBX service provider handles the initial set-up, and they’re the experts. After which, you have the online account management dashboard to add lines and change features. Simple!
PBX providers can supply an unlimited amount of local numbers. These give your company a local feel and lets your customers know you care.
Cellphone and desktop computer softphone applications allow your workforce to operate from anywhere.
You can scale your system, from the dashboard or with a switch.
A hosted PBX system complete with the added features gives a good impression. Your company will seem a large and substantial enterprise, even if you are a small start-up.
Software upgrades and maintenance are done online at the provider’s end, so you don’t have the hassle.
Because everything is in the cloud, you pay far less compared to traditional PBX.
What is the difference between PBX and VoIP?
PBX (Public Branch Exchange, and we mean the traditional ‘nuts and bolts’ version) is a miniature telephone network. It’s installed into a company so that all employee’s phone lines can connect to an external phone company’s lines. Therefore, many employees can phone in and out at the same time.
A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a modern advance in communication systems. Using digital voice data, the phone company can fit more conversations into the same bandwidth. Usually, the hardware is digital and designed for the purpose. But, sometimes, the software apps can be installed onto normal cellphones. Overall control and all administration reside in software on a computer or purpose–built console.
Get Hosted PBX System Quotes
No matter how large or small your company is, you must allow it to compete on the open market and reduce business overheads. Bringing your company into the 21st century needs a hosted PBX phone system with current benefits and features. Furthermore, it must be able to upgrade in the future. Thus, your communication system continues to compete favorably with your competitors.
There are many providers currently touting for customers, so hosted PBX system costs are very competitive indeed.
Do some research and let the cloud PBX provider convince you that they can supply your company with what it needs to succeed. Then, let the software run the phone lines while you concentrate on running your business.
Jason is a B2B sales veteran spanning 3 decades and Founder of ApprovedCosts. Jason has scaled sales and marketing teams at a variety of enterprises and is a recognized expert in the field. Jason holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.