Virtual Phone Systems
What is a Virtual Phone System?
In early 2000's, the concept of computer and server virtualization was upon us and became more available to the business markets. As the technology platform strengthened, application developers thought of more creative ways to use this state of the art virtualized environment in order to deliver more reliable applications and reduce things such as hardware and support costs.
Manufacturers of phone system equipment started paying close attention to the impact that virtualization was having on clients data networks and started developing solutions that could reside on virtual servers and infrastructure. Phone system manufactures then introduced software only solutions to allow to be installed on client provided virtual infrastructures at the Enterprise or large business level. This allows clients to start having more reliable solutions within their own corporate WAN.
The onset and maturity of SIP Technologies this was the miss link that allowed more virtual solutions to provide business clients multiple options when looking for a phone system. This ultimately developed into hosted phone system and cloud PBX offerings.
Some Background on Virtual Phone Systems
Virtual in technology terms is considered not physically existing. The onset of cloud computing and virtual servers opened the door to unlimited possibilities of how businesses can leverage more software based solutions that required less hardware. Before the buzz of the cloud phone system, virtual PBX or hosted PBX Solutions, the virtual phone system was commonly used to refer to designs that had all phone system feature functionality that lived off premise. High speed internet at a lower cost allowed virtual phone systems to start picking up tracking as a viable phone system solution offering.
Virtual PBX, Hosted PBX, Managed Phone System, and Cloud Phone System have become pretty interchangeable. Based on the provider each might have a unique name for the solution. However, they all work similarly.
Cloud Phone System (Cloud PBX): Commonly referred to as a Hosted PBX, a Cloud PBX is a phone system where intelligence is located off-premise at a service providers' data center. There are two different kinds of cloud phone systems:
- Public Cloud Phone System: Since this Hosted PBX option is public, the connection is shared among many businesses instead of just yours. This option provides a limited amount of support and feature options, as customization is more difficult among a shared connection.
- Private Cloud System: This option is the most flexible cloud solution out there, with a robust offering of features and customization. It takes your on premise technology a step further, and takes all of your business needs and objectives into consideration.
- Virtual PBX: A PBX (private branch exchange) is a telephone system that switches calls between users- it is a cost-efficient phone solution, but physically requires space. A virtual PBX takes all the programming within a PBX and removes the hardware. Instead, with a Virtual PBX, the PBX is an installable program that is installed on a customers' existing hypervisor that can have many different virtual servicers running on it. This eliminates the need for several servers that are physically stacked. A Virtual PBX isn't a complete phone system on its own, but instead is a part of a complete Hosted PBX system. Essentially, it is an answering service that has routing options to handle inbound calls. However, it does not have outbound calling and call control features. Virtual PBX reroutes incoming calls to landlines, VoIP extensions, or cell phones via an IVR (interactive voice response (IVR) or an auto attendant. A major advantage of a virtual PBX includes the ability to install multiple service on one piece of hardware. If that piece of hardware ever dies or breaks, virtual servers can easily and quickly be moved onto a new hypervisor, rather than having to replace many different pieces of physical hardware.
In order to choose the best virtual phone system for your business, you must first identify your business needs and objectives. Different phone systems are more adaptive, and sometimes all your business needs is the most basic option.
Instead of trying to address these needs yourself, let Converged Communication Systems help you decide what the best fit for your business is. Contact us today at 877-598-3999 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.