Hosted PBX Service Explained
Let OnSIP replace your business phone system with a robust & reliable hosted PBX platform delivered through the Internet
We're going to let you in on a little secret. Internet business phone service providers love to throw around the term Hosted PBX, but it's actually a bit of a misnomer. Our industry uses it because it provides us with a quick way to explain what we do, but there's actually very little 'PBX' about how it's all done.
Let me explain.
PBX stands for private branch exchange, a telephone exchange that typically serves a single organization.
The "traditional" PBX is a box that sits somewhere in your office (Or, if you want to go way back in time, it's a manual switchboard manned by a telephone operator sitting in your office). It links all of your internal phones and is connected to the outside world (the public switched telephone network or the PSTN) by what's called a trunk line. The initial advantage was the savings from free internal calls, but as the PBX got more popular, it got features and upgrades unavailable elsewhere: extension dialing, ACD queues, music on hold, etc.
With the 1990s came the Internet and packet switching. Being able to turn all transmitted data into data packets made the voice over IP (VoIP) PBX possible. With the VoIP version, there is technically no longer any 'exchanging' going on.
Organizations and businesses also began to outsource their operations, one of those being communications. This allowed for the increasing popularity of what we now call the Hosted PBX. In a hosted deployment, the system is managed off-site by the business phone service provider (someone like OnSIP) while calls and PBX features are all delivered through the Internet. Businesses don't buy any PBX hardware; instead, they subscribe to someone who manages all the equipment just like they would for any other web service. Business customers are typically managed on a single platform, so there's technically nothing 'private' or 'branch' about the arrangement.
So if there's no 'exchanging', nothing 'branch' or 'private' about a Hosted VoIP PBX, then why do we still use that acronym? Simple - It's been around for so many years now that it's widely understood. Throw 'Hosted' or 'Cloud' in front of it, and you have yourself a term that's both buzz-worthy and recognizable.
OnSIP: Not Your Average Hosted PBX provider
With OnSIP, your hosted PBX is managed along with our largest customers on a single platform, with completely redundant databases, servers, routers and Internet connections. It doesn't run on a single box that can fail and bring your service to a screeching halt.
You can expect:
- A completely scalable service – Technically, there is no difference between you adding 500 new users or 500 customers adding 1 user. Add users as you please.
- Redundancy – Every account is delivered across a farm of servers, routers and network components.
- Reliability - You will never hear us tell you that someone else on your shared server caused a problem that has impacted your service.
Services to Avoid
Our service delivery model is in sharp contrast to what many other VoIP service providers are calling hosted PBX. In many instances, service providers are simply installing individual instances of Asterisk or other IP PBXs on individual servers. In this model, it is in the best interest of the provider to oversubscribe the number of users on a particular piece of hardware, much like a shared server at a hosting provider, often at the expense of service quality and reliability. This alternate approach comes with issues such as:
- Your PBX service may fail if the physical server you are installed on goes down.
- Other “tenants” on your assigned server can overwhelm the server and cause your service to fail.
- Maintenance and upgrades, both planned and unplanned, can impact your continuity of service.
With OnSIP, you leverage our entire redundant and reliable platform and all of it’s capacity with our largest and smallest customers.
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