What is cloud PBX?

The ultimate guide to cloud phone systems

The last two years have taught us that modern businesses must deploy the right tech to adapt quickly to societal changes. These new tech innovations are built on the foundation of cloud computing, utilising cloud infrastructure to provide app-based software that maintains data in multiple serves spread across different locations.

Cloud technology enables businesses to be more agile, and with no infrastructure commitments, these solutions empower companies of any size to transform processes and daily operations for an affordable cost.

Because a business-class communication platform is vital for success in a digital-first world, modern businesses have identified a cloud PBX migration as the first port of call in their journey to full cloud adoption. For this reason, the experts predict that the global cloud PBX will expand at a CAGR of 14% until 2030 as companies continue to move their enterprise tools to the cloud.

So, are you ready to go above the cloud to find the strategies and tools to accelerate growth and drive business success? If the answer is yes, kicking off your business transformation with a migration to a cloud phone system is the smart approach.

We know information gathering could be strenuous, so we have created this in-depth post to answer all your questions.

Read on to learn more about how it works, its main features and why you should consider making the switch.


. What is a cloud PBX?

. What is a PBX platform?

. How does cloud PBX work?

. Is cloud PBX the same as VoIP?

. On-Premise PBX vs. Cloud PBX

. Feature upgrades that come with cloud PBX

.  How businesses like yours are using cloud-based phone systems




What is a cloud PBX?

Cloud PBX, short for cloud-based Private Branch Exchange, is a business phone system that allows users to communicate and route calls over the internet by leveraging VoIP technology. 



Traditionally, businesses would have to utilise on-premise hardware in a comms room of individual premises to route internal and external calls. Similar to classic switchboards, but with an upgrade that automatically connects different parts of a telephone system to establish a call without the assistance of a human operator.



Human switchboards have been replaced with digital ones


Cloud PBX, on the other hand, is stored and managed in the cloud - no, literally. Your call data, stored in your VoIP provider's data centre, is accessible to you by signing into a web portal that acts as a control centre for your cloud phone platform.

With the key to your telephony possibilities in your hand, you can add users and phone line extensions; configure advanced call routing, and store call recordings and voicemails. 

Unlike on-premises PBX, which requires expensive hardware, lengthy contracts, and dedicated IT maintenance and support, cloud PBX is maintained by your provider. All you have to do as the end-user is customise the cloud PBX to your business needs. 

Once you have your bespoke cloud PBX built, each user gets access to all features and functionality from any location on any device.


What is a PBX platform?

Once you decide to switch, you will be given a cloud PBX by your VoIP provider - this is a PBX Platform. IP Telecom's business phone system platform is called IPT Hosted Phone - a specialised cloud phone system with features including:

  • Unlimited free calling to Irish and UK Landlines
  • Browser-call Chrome extension, to call any number online with one click
  • Limitless free internet calling
  • Call recordings
  • Visual voicemail


How does cloud PBX work?

Cloud-based PBX is built on the original innovation of the on-premise PBX systems to manage incoming and outgoing calls to your organisation. So when someone makes a call, the call data is transformed into digital data packets. Your cloud PBX then routes these packets over the internet to your provider's server in their data centre to establish a call path between inbound and outbound parties. In case you're wondering, the data packets (let's call them digital packages like a mail post) may also be sent to PSTN (traditional landlines) to a recipient that doesn't use digital lines. Once the data reaches the recipient, the PBX system will convert the packets back into voice sounds, sending the call.

Phew! That sounds like a lot.

The reality is, with the power of the internet, this takes a second to complete. 


Is cloud PBX the same as VoIP

If you are this deep into your cloud phone system research, you most likely have come across the term "VOIP".

Tech terminologies are often confusing, and some might even use them interchangeably - although cloud PBX uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to work, the two terms refer to different things.

VoIP is the technology that allows you to make phone calls over the internet. VoIP calling uses Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections to transfer a bi- or multi-directional audio or video feed between devices. To make a VoIP call, you can use either a dedicated IP telephone or a software program (typically referred to as a VoIP app, virtual phone, or softphone)

Cloud PBX uses VoIP to transfer call data. All cloud telephone systems use VoIP systems, but not all VoIP systems are cloud-based. For example, a VoIP telephone service might still rely on in-office PBX to route calls, whereas a cloud PBX system carries out this task remotely.



On-Premise PBX vs. Cloud PBX

Grey Minimalist Difference And Comparison Between 2 Products Instagram Post

Highlighted: some differences between On-Prem and Cloud PBX


Traditional PBX systems used switchboards (on-site hardware) to route incoming calls to the right user extension or department. With cloud PBX, a remotely hosted PBX system connects all users to remote but secure data centres via the internet in real-time.

With a cloud-hosted system, call queue management, call transfers, IVR menus, and other important functions of a modern business telephone system like voicemail recording and call recording are all carried out on your provider's cloud servers.

Other significant differences to highlight:

  • While a traditional PBX needs specialised hardware to be set up and maintained on-site, most of the set-up of a cloud phone system is done remotely - all you need is the devices to make your calls.
  • Because traditional PBX requires specialists set-up and maintenance, minimum-term contracts are often required, but cloud phones come with flexible subscription per-user packages.
  • The process for requesting services on Traditional PBX is a lot longer due to all the various moving parts (literally)


Feature upgrades that come with cloud PBX

Cloud PBX comes with a host of features (excuse the pun). In addition, it enhances the features that are essential in business communications, such as:


Cloud PBX voicemail

Traditional voicemail on PBX systems and individual phone lines has limited storage capacity and only basic recording functionality. A cloud PBX phone system can give you access to business-class voicemail with recordings delivered via email. Message retrieval and storage are accessible from your Android device, iOS phone, or desktop - and yes, you can get them from your desk phone too.

Cloud PBX voicemail offers unlimited cloud storage and advanced features not available with other systems, which makes you:

  • Access voicemails anytime from your phone system or via a desktop or mobile device
  • Have visual voicemail delivered to your email inbox so you can forward and share with colleagues
  • Use the do not disturb feature to have calls automatically sent to voicemail
  • Return calls directly from a voicemail message
  • Store and file original voicemail recordings and transcripts for a longer period
  • Control who has access to your voicemail within your organisation


Conferencing in the cloud

With remote and hybrid working becoming a permanent fixture in our business lives, facilitating virtual meetings has never been more critical to business success. 

While traditional PBX can add conferencing as a component to enterprise telephony, it is usually limited to one number or user - a cloud phone, on the other hand, gives every user conferencing functionality. 

Additionally, the cloud phone adds video conference capabilities to ensure that the human touch is present in virtual meeting rooms. 

IP Telecom's IPT Meet conferencing solution comes with our IPT Hosted Phone - you can try it yourself here. And if you already have your video conferencing tool, you can integrate it with your cloud phone. 

Microsoft Teams is the leader in business communications, and our IPT for Microsoft Teams is a game-changer in the Irish market - don't worry if you don't use Microsoft Teams IPT Hosted Phone integrates with pretty much everything. You can check your business app here to see if we integrate with it ( basically, we do)


Cut costs, not quality, with a cloud PBX provider

We have already explored the significant difference between traditional PBX and cloud PBX. But, let's face it, most businesses are looking for a cost-efficient way to adopt new tech. For smaller businesses, it is all about saving money - and for large enterprises, the driver is getting the best value out of the IT budget.

A cloud phone system can minimise your spending and improve your bottom line with:

Phone bill reduction: Instead of dealing with pricing that changes every month, you're charged one flat monthly connection fee. This usually covers unlimited local and long-distance calls and free internal calls between offices (even global offices) and voicemail. 

Reduced up-front costs: A cloud-based phone system lowers costs because there's no need to install and maintain specialised hardware. With a cloud phone, you can connect any IP phone to your pre-existing internet connection or download the software onto your preferred device.

Built-in features: We already touched on some of the advanced features that come with a cloud phone PBX, but there are more, and you don't need to pay extra. These include conference calls, video conferencing, caller ID, voicemail, call queues, call recording, call parking, find me, follow me.

No special IT staff requirements: When you choose cloud PBX, the cloud provider handles all the technology. This means you save money by not having to employ a team of IT staff to keep this one system running.

Once you identify your in-house administrator, your provider trains them on how to add new users, configure calls, and pull call reports - and it's as simple as creating and editing a Facebook profile.


How businesses like yours are using cloud-based phone systems

Now that we've explored what a cloud PBX is and the many benefits of switching to a cloud phone - the next question is, "how do I implement it?". 

At IP Telecom, we have onboarded thousands of businesses from different industries on our network - and here are some use cases to start with:


Using cloud PBX as your main business phone system

Traditional and ISDN lines are going to be obsolete by 2025. So if you haven't migrated to a VoIP-based system yet, you should consider it

Opting for cloud PBX is the most cost-effective way to give your employees access to useful features like conference calling, call logs, and call recording. And you don't need the upfront commitment on hardware - you can deploy a softphone solution, dropped to the existing work devices your employees use, just like our customer BFRee foods did recently.


Softphone Apps can supercharge hybrid work


Using cloud PBX for customer support

Deploying a cloud PBX system for your business's customer support requirements helps you put your best voice forward when engaging your digital-first customers.

Using a multi-level auto-attendant is the best way to reduce wait times for callers by automatically routing calls to the correct extension. It lets you automate the customer's initial experience with self-service options, call redirection, customisable hold music or recorded brand messages. Also, save out-of-office messages that can be automatically enabled based on pre-configured settings.

To truly deliver first-class customer service, you can add a call centre solution to manage a high call volume.


All the Integrations

As mentioned earlier, you can integrate your business apps with your cloud-phone system to drive collaboration and productivity and deliver a first-class customer experience.

The leading integration in the IP Telecom product suite is IPT for Microsoft Teams. 

With 270 million active monthly users, Microsoft Teams is fast becoming the default business communication tool for modern businesses.

IP Telecom's integration with Microsoft Teams lets you combine your Office 365 suite with IP Telecom's cloud phone features and make inbound and outbound calls without ever leaving the Microsoft Teams app.


Screenshot 2022-08-10 at 15.25.15

IPT Connect integrates with all your favourite business apps



And everything else...

If you are not a Microsoft house, you can check out all our other integrations; our phone system integrates with all the business apps modern businesses use today.


Unified Communications with or without Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is leading the way in unified communications, but you can still reap all the benefits of unifying all your business communications without our Teams integration with our IPT One offering.

IPT One allows businesses to connect all their essential communication tools in one solution for a single per-user cost.

With IPT One, you get:

  • Unlimited free landline and mobile calls
  • IP Telecom's amazing Hosted Phone System
  • Microsoft Teams Integration
  • CRM Integrations with Salesforce or Zoho and others
  • Call recording with multi-year storage
  • IPT Call Centre software with Wallboards, agent seats and queues
  • Softphone app for remote working
  • IPT Meet video conference solution



Prepare your business for the future

You are limiting your business by relying on legacy telephony systems; with PSTN and ISDN lines becoming obsolete, the time to switch to a cloud PBX is now.

Your competitors are probably leveraging VoIP technology, cloud PBX systems, and other intelligent, cloud-based communications already.

The functions, features, and possibilities for savings discussed above are just some of the reasons why. 

The last years have taught us that you can't afford to be left behind with stale tech. So it's time to free up your business and let it soar!


Ready to get an IPT Hosted Phone for your own business? Contact our sales team to request a demo today!




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