Hosted PBX & IP Centrex

By Robin Wilding
Updated: February 04, 2011

IP Centrex and hosted PBX systems are to telephones what the cloud is to computing—the next generation. An IP Centrex/hosted PBX solution provides companies with VoIP cost savings while still providing rich feature-based calling, without any initial hardware outlay.

An IP Centrex system is an IP-based PBX solution that is entirely hosted by the service provider. The client connects via their LAN instead of by telephone wires or IP-hardware. Unlike an IP-PBX solution IP Centrex requires no initial hardware costs as the solution is entirely owned and operated by the service provider. An IP Centrex or hosted PBX solution provides not only VoIP services but also other IP-based services such as video conferencing.

Features

The features offered by IP Centrex systems can include: call hold, hard hold, call block, direct connect, automatic ring again, account codes to track and manage expenses, anonymous call rejection, call forwarding, call return, station restrictions, call park, call selector, call transfer, caller ID, code restrictions, directed call parking/directed call pickup, distinctive rings, hunt groups, intercom dialing, executive busy override, hold music, 3-way conferencing, blocking, toll restrictions, speed dialing, and more.

A single IP Centrex solution can be spread across multiple locations while being managed remotely from one location. The scalability ensures the solution fits the size and growth pattern of each specific business.

Benefits

The companies that benefit most from this technology are those in the small-to-medium business space, as they rarely have the budget for an expensive PBX system implementation. The need is not only financial though as growing companies need scalable solutions that will change according to their needs.

An IP Centrex system is ideal for companies in any vertical that have high call volume, that need the business intelligence features that it offers without the initial hardware costs, and those that manage multiple locations and satellite offices remotely. Most national businesses are using hosted PBX solutions as they offer the portability and scalability needed.

An IP Centrex system is important for businesses that need:

  • To cover multiple locations simultaneously and remotely.
  • To relieve overworked IT departments and free-up resources and manpower for other projects.
  • To unify and standardize tele-communications.
  • Support for a mixed infrastructure consisting of both analog and IP-phones from multiple vendors.
  • To upgrade from an existing outdated system but without implementation or hardware costs.
  • Reliability through roll-over services and disaster recovery plans.
  • To free up floor space and cut-down on cooling costs.

Conclusion

IP Centrex can be a solid idea for most businesses but currently is most critical for multi-location companies with overworked IT departments and limited technology budgets.

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