Virtual PBX

Take Your Phone System Anywhere Tuesday 27 June 2017 @ 12:59

MyNetFone appointed to VIC Government voice services panel



Don't let an old-fashioned office phone system tie you down. Give your business the freedom to move, change and grow with the flexibility of the cloud.


Background: Business Phone Systems

If you run a business and you want to give a separate phone number to every staff member, you need a PBX phone system.

Nerd note -- An office PBX (short for Private Branch Automatic Exchange, and sometimes also referred to as a PABX) acts as an electronic switchboard operator, that automatically directs calls to the right staff member or team.

A PBX is essential to operating multiple business phone lines. A good quality phone system allows you to setup your office telephony in a logical, scalable and cost-efficient way.


Challenge: PBX equipment ties you down

In the past, a PBX phone system would need to be installed, configured and maintained on premise. An on-premise PBX is, essentially, a big computer box wired up to the network cables and phones within your office.



Figure 1: PBX, PABX...whatever you call it, it's expensive



Some businesses still choose the traditional approach of purchasing and configuring an on-premise PBX.

That approach is suitable for some larger offices that have very specific needs and technical know-how. But it comes with drawbacks like a long setup time, ongoing maintenance cost and general complexity.

And there is one even bigger challenge. With an on-premise PBX - because your phone is tied to your office, you are too.



Opportunity: Cloud phone flexibility

Today, small and medium businesses have a choice whether to sign-up for an on-premise PBX. At MyNetFone, we believe that SMBs are usually best served by the flexibility of a cloud phone system.

Cloud-based business phone systems operate without the need for expensive on-site installation and operation. Instead, the phone system is configured and maintained within the cloud (technically, within an external data centre run by your service provider).

Nerd note -- This external setup is is called ‘hosting’ – hence a cloud phone system can also be called a hosted PBX.

The cloud approach is often simpler, faster and cheaper for small business. At a technical level, the cloud does away with old-fashioned phone lines. Instead, all your features and calls are delivered through the internet.

And that creates the key business benefit: wherever you have internet – you also have a phone system.



Cloud phone system - your office anywhere

Figure 2: Take calls in and out of the office



Nerd note -- A hosted PBX is the equal of a traditional on-premise PBX in terms of capability. Different phone system providers will offer features and inclusions at different costs, but generally, cloud phone systems provide all the essential call handling features your business will need.


Benefits of a hosted business phone system


Benefit #1: Simple phone system set-up

Having your business phone system in the cloud makes installation simple. Your desktop or cordless handsets are typically preconfigured to operate with your system. Setup is as simple as Plug-And-Play. To get your phones up and running, plug them into a data socket.


Once your phone handset is online, you’ll be able to make and receive phone calls. And your team will be able to perform basic call handling like Extension Dialling, Call Hold and Transfer. All those features are available from the keypad of your handset.




Figure 3: Desktop phone handsets are plug-and-play 


You’ll also want to setup your PBX features so that you can automate and streamline call handling. As a starting point, aim to setup Voicemail to Email, Time of Day Routing and Line 'Hunt' Groups.

Some providers require you to contact them if you want setup PBX features. But it is best if you can take control of these features yourself - such as via an online portal or app. Having direct control means you can make any changes in real-time, from any device.


Benefit #2: Easy phone system relocation

If you’ve ever moved office, you’ll know that the process can be gruelling. However, with a hosted phone system you have one less thing to worry about. As discussed above, preconfigured desktop handsets and web-based management make it easy to setup your phone system anywhere.


When the time comes to move offices, the hosted PBX’s simple plug and play technology streamlines your move to the new destination. Simply unplug your handsets at old site, and plug them in at the new location.

With MyNetFone, your PBX handsets will plug into a standard UNI-D port - and you’re up and running once again.

By reducing the time and cost to setup voice communications, a hosted phone system can pay for itself many times over.



Benefit #3: Expanding your business phone system

A phone system that is easy to set-up and move, is also perfect for an office with big ambitions. A hosted phone system can scale from 2 – 50 staff, or more depending upon your provider.


Traditionally, an on-premise PBX had a limited number of lines. This was a physical limitation based on the size and design of the phone system equipment. If you outgrew that capacity, you needed to upgrade and re-purchase all your equipment and install additional phone lines.

By contrast, with a hosted phone system, all you need to do is plug-in an extra handset and setup an extra phone number. This means you can start with an economical small business phone plan, and upgrade incrementally as your business grows.



Benefit #4: Every office connected with a single phone system

An added benefit is that these phone lines don’t even have to be operated from the same building. If your business is spread over several locations, you can operate the one phone system across all sites with ease.


Moreover, with phone system features that work across all sites, inter-office communication can be totally seamless for callers.

For example: if someone calls your Sydney number looking for sales, the hosted PBX auto attendant (IVR) feature can automatically transfer them to the sales team in Melbourne. Or if they are looking for the accounts, they can be transferred to the team in Sydney.



Benefit #5: Travel with your phone system

With a hosted phone system you can present a professional caller experience no matter whether you are in the office, on the road or working from home.


All you need to do is re-direct your incoming office calls to a number that you’ll be able to answer while you’re away from the desk.

(MyNetFone makes this easy with an online management portal, but other providers can setup this redirection over the phone).

With a redirect in place, you’ll receive calls as normal. This allows you to take business calls while you’re visiting another office interstate, or even while you’re overseas. If you’re always on the move and can’t be tied down to the one location, you can even have calls routed to your business mobile.

Most importantly, the caller experience remains the same. Your customers will never know that you’re out of the office. And if your customers contact you via 1300 numbers, they will still only ever pay the cost of a local call. (Or in the case of 1800 numbers, the call is completely free). 



Benefit #6: Your phone system follows you

For next-level call management, setup business phone system features like Time of Day Routing and Voicemail to Email.


Time of Day Routing is a powerful but often underutilised feature. It allows you to setup a different caller experience for business hours and after-hours.

For example: A local Vet Office might set their PBX so that from 9am – 5pm calls ring through to a receptionist. Then, after hours, callers hear an Auto Attendant greeting menu. Something like:

"For operating hours press 1, for emergency call-out press 2, to leave a voicemail press 3..." 

Here, Time of Day Routing improves the caller experience by giving relevant information at exactly the right time. 

If the caller leaves a voicemail, and the Voicemail to Email feature is setup, the Vet’s Office will receive an audio file of the customer’s message. This email can easily be checked on a smartphone if required.


Is a cloud phone system right for you?

At MyNetFone, we recommend hosted phone systems as a flexible, scalable and mobile communications solution.

To begin a discussion about your next phone system, contact our business communications experts by calling 1300 733 995 or enquire online.