What is a cloud PBX?
A private branch exchange, or PBX, is a telecom switch that typically exists on the physical premises of a business, requiring IT teams to maintain costly on-site phone system hardware. A cloud PBX is the virtual version of the PBX system, with the cloud business phone system using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to automatically answer and route calls.
A traditional PBX is hardwired with the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to initiate a call. With virtual PBX solutions, the PSTN network uses an internet connection to route the call. Cloud PBX services are hosted in secure, remote data centers, versus physical locations.
Why switch to a cloud PBX system?
Physical, on-premises business phone systems were fine when the majority of the workforce was in the office, though they came with expensive hardware and maintenance burdens. But with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees everywhere suddenly had to operate within the confines of their own homes.
As a result, companies faced unprecedented communication challenges, with IT teams struggling to manage the mix of environments and address the lack of hardware accessibility. These challenges are only going to evolve with the future of work, as businesses prepare to support a distributed, hybrid workforce .
Today’s businesses need flexible and agile business phone systems that can keep pace as their organization evolves. Switching to a PBX cloud phone system is fundamental for enabling an everywhere workforce so employees can communicate and collaborate easily, no matter where they are.
With cloud PBX solutions, all you need is an internet connection. You can avoid large, hidden costs that come with phone system equipment and infrastructure management and enable users to make and receive calls from a device and environment of their choosing.
Despite its growing popularity, there remains a lot of confusion over VoIP phone systems and how they work. You may have heard the terms fixed VoIP or non-fixed VoIP. Both VoIP phone services use essentially the same technology, but understanding the key differences between the two is critical to choosing the right option for your business.
Advantages of Cloud PBX vs. Hosted PBX
Massive on-site phone system hardware that comes with hidden maintenance costs and charges for long-distance calls.
Up-front costs are tempered by the ongoing ease of a cloud PBX. Maintenance costs are nearly nonexistent — businesses simply upgrade the desktop or mobile app when there’s a fix or update.
With employees often receiving one dedicated piece of hardware each, a legacy PBX system requires workers to stay at their desks to receive phone calls. If they need to move desks, they have to change phone numbers.
A virtual PBX frees users from their desk phones, giving them the ability to communicate regardless of their location or their device. With cloud PBX business phone systems, employees have the flexibility to communicate from anywhere, transfer calls to video meetings, streamline global telephony carrier management, and more.
IT administrators provision users through a lengthy, manual process. They can’t roll out updates, monitor usage, or troubleshoot issues their phone systems might have.
IT teams can easily provision and manage users, as well as intelligently monitor business interactions with a centralized administration portal.
Businesses are forced to rely on business phone hardware in their office and their local phone service provider, which can be an issue if there are equipment issues, power failure, or local outages.
As long as users have an internet connection, they can make and receive calls from a PC or mobile device. If a building has a power outage, users can still make calls from another location.
Traditional PBX solutions typically leave businesses stuck with one single hardware provider. Employees don’t have the ability to connect phone communications with other business applications.
Some cloud PBX providers, like Zoom Phone, integrate with leading business applications, as well as work with a select number of hardware partners. Users may also have the option to use their current phone service provider to power a cloud PBX service.
Maintenance calls for expert IT technicians and service changes typically result in a lengthy request process.
A Cloud-hosted PBX service like Zoom Phone offer quality monitoring dashboards and call detail reporting, giving administrators the power to proactively monitor and troubleshoot call quality issues.
Zoom Phone: Cloud PBX from a trusted service provider
Easy to manage, easy to use
Zoom Phone is a cloud phone system natively built for the Zoom platform. Seamless and secure, Zoom Phone streamlines the telecommunications experience with enterprise-class features on a unified platform that includes video conferencing and team chat. It offers centralized management, enabling IT teams to easily provision and manage users, as well as monitor call quality and usage data in the Zoom administrator portal.
Seamlessly move calls to video meetings
Zoom Phone easily flows into other Zoom solutions. Zoom Phone users can make and receive phone calls, move the call to video conferencing without requiring participants to hang up or dial into a separate bridge, share content, and send chat messages from Zoom desktop and mobile apps.
Secure, reliable & clear
Operating on the globally distributed Zoom cloud platform, Zoom Phone is designed to be easy to use while maximizing voice and video quality. It comes with numerous security features and operates on 256-bit AES-GCM encryption.
Simplified plans & pricing
Zoom Phone offers a variety of plans tailored to your unique business needs. You can select a pricing plan that lets you pay as you go or select from local phone numbers and domestic calling in 40+ different countries. There are also optional add-on plans available to businesses that have at least one licensed user.
Enable modern collaboration with chat, phone, whiteboard, and video meetings in a single offering.
- Start a phone call or video meeting from a chat message
- Collaborate on a whiteboard from your desktop or room, and easily share it with others
- See whether a colleague is available with presence status
Unify your communications
Disparate communication systems are costly, complex, and ultimately unsustainable in today’s complex business landscape. To remain competitive, businesses need agile and flexible solutions that enable employees to work efficiently from anywhere. They need a comprehensive communications platform — one that includes video conferencing, phone service, team chat, and more.
Zoom Phone comes as part of Zoom’s entire suite of solutions. With Zoom Meetings and Team Chat, Zoom Webinars, Zoom Phone, and Zoom Rooms, we solve the challenge of juggling multiple tools by combining business communications on one streamlined platform.
Entirely cloud-based, the Zoom unified communications platform offers greater flexibility, reliability, and scalability. You can spend less time managing different systems and contracts, and more time improving productivity, enhancing collaboration, and getting work done.
Zoom Rooms Hardware as a Service
Cloud PBX FAQ
The price of a Cloud PBX depends on the phone service you choose, the number of users, and any additional features. A standard cloud PBX system plan can range between $120 and $300 /year/user on average, depending on the type of plan.
Migrating to a PBX cloud phone system is easy — just connect with a Zoom Phone product specialist to learn what it takes to adopt a system and select a plan to suit your business needs. Once a system is provisioned, IT administrators can navigate a straightforward, step-by-step process to set up company phone numbers, add users, provision devices, and more.
With Zoom Phone, you can add or remove licenses easily if you need to add or remove users. You can also upgrade your account, change the frequency of payments, and purchase add-on plans at any time.
While it depends on your plan, some cloud PBX services provide unlimited calling to certain countries. For Zoom Phone specifically, we offer an “International Calling Add-On” that provides unlimited international calling to the following countries/territories: U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Puerto Rico.
In many locations, you can use existing phone numbers by porting the number to the provider. Zoom Phone works with your previous service provider and ports the phone number to your Zoom Phone account. Once the porting process is done, you can assign the ported phone numbers to users.