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Cloud PBX: Smarter Features & Seamless Presence

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Fastmetrics Business Phone System Reviews

5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 3 user reviews.

Beyond saving us Six Thousand Dollars a year in our VOIP and Internet Access costs, Fastmetrics has been providing faster, more features and more reliable service to us since 2010. And with superb sound quality. But our hats come off to them in our recent move from San Francisco to Oakland. Keeping our phone numbers, we left San Francisco on a Friday and were up and running in Oakland on Monday. Not a single problem!! THANK YOU FASTMETRICS!

I have never had better call quality, more uptime, more call control, more reporting capability or better productivity from the call center my business runs. Their Support Department is 5 stars as well. Always there, rapid response for any issue - and especially great training.

Fastmetrics provides our business with reliable, high speed fiber internet. metricFIBER is symmetric, so we get more done and use cloud based services efficiently. In addition, Fastmetrics provides a feature-rich business phone system for 50 users, with excellent local support. Always willing to answer our questions. Vital to our business operations. Highly recommended business ISP!

Cloud PBX Phone System Benefits

There are many more than 9 benefits of a cloud PBX business phone system. he main benefits of cloud PBX phone service are summarized below. From decreased phone service costs, increased flexibility for remote offices, to environmental benefits, a cloud PBX phone system from Fastmetrics offers many advantages to businesses today.

benefits of cloud pbx business phone system

Is cloud phone service suitable for my business?

Cloud phones offer flexibility to businesses of all sizes.
Service caters to startups to Fortune 500 companies with call center requirements or large sales departments.

  • $0 install costs
  • $0 maintenance fees
  • No physical space
  • Redundancy
  • Presence
  • Faster install
  • Flexibility
  • Energy saver
  • Reduced carbon footprint

Cloud PBX User Guide Videos

Watch this short video from our voice technician Matt. See how easy it is to manage your business phone service from the cloud.

Video Transcript

Hi guys. This is Matt from Fastmetrics here to give you an overview of the user level web portal for the Fastmetrics metricPHONE hosted PBX system.

Here we are at the URL, I’m going to log into extension 100 here at Logging in, we see the home screen. Here we see any new messages, the recent call history, the active answering rule and any phones that are currently registered to my extension. Moving over to the Messages tab, we can see the number of new messages we have. We click on it. We will also see those messages. We can listen to it from the browser here. Download it to our computer. Save it to the server. We mark it as red or delete it. We can check on the saved messages and recently deleted messages from this drop down. Currently we don’t have any. We can also change these settings for the voicemail, such as reading off the time that the voicemail was received, the incoming caller ID. We can manage multiple different types of voicemail greetings if you want to have custom ones for a vacation or certain times of the year. You can also send your voicemails to email as a link or as an attachment. The next thing to look at here are answering rules and time frames. First we’re going to take a look at time frames. Let’s say we want to change our extension to forward the voicemail all the time on Saturdays and Sundays. We’re going to go ahead and add a time frame, select certain days of the week and times. Select Sunday and move our slider to have all the days selected. We will name this “Weekend”.

Come back over to Answering Rules. Add a rule. Select our weekend time frame here and click Do Not Disturb to have it sent directly to voicemail. Once we save that, we just want to make sure it’s the top rule because it’s going to check the top one first and go through the rules in order. Once we click Save, now all of our Saturday and Sunday calls will go directly to voicemail. You can do that in a number of different ways and it also accepts dates too if you know you’re going to be on vacation from a certain day to a certain day. You can set up rules for that too. The next tab here is the Contacts tab. This will list every user in your organization or every extension. When you see a green icon here, it means that their phone is registered and that they are not on the phone and all of these links are click-to-dial. Finally we have the call history. This will be a comprehensive call history for your extension. So incoming, outgoing and missed calls are all available here and you can set filters to get the data that you want. You can also export these to CSV for data crunching on your own time.

Finally we have the profile link in the upper right here. You can edit your name, your time zone that you’re in, add an email address. This is for the voicemail, the email system. You can also edit your area code, the caller ID and update your password from this interface. So that’s the user level interface for the metricPHONE System. Thank you very much.

Our cloud PBX features make business phone service more efficient. Watch how easy it is for Staff to set up Out Of Office for inbound calls, from their desktops or on their mobile device via our free iOS and Android apps. Any time you are out of office, you can simply redirect calls to your voicemail, smartphone or any other number. Full transcript of the video below.

Full video transcript: Hey guys, this is Matt at Fastmetrics. Going to show you how to use the metricPHONE web interface to set up a couple of out of office answering rules that may be helpful to you. We'll set up one for working from home and one to ring your cell phone when you're out of the office. So, the first thing we're going to do is set up two time frames. So, just click on time frames. Click add time frame. We want these rules to apply all the time, so we can toggle them from our default rule, which will probably ring our desk phone to our cell phone or, our home rule. So, let's go ahead and create a rule for our house and leave it as always. Click save. And let's create one for our mobile phones. Label that mobile, leave it as always and click save. So now we want to add some answering rules to apply these time frames to. So we click answering rules, we're going to click add rule, select our home time frame. Then we're going to click Simultaneous ring.

And we're going to enter an 11 digit phone number here, so your phone number leading with a 1. We don't want any punctuation in here, no parenthesis, no dashes, anything like that. We just want your numbers. And if you wanted to, you can add multiple numbers to this list by clicking this green plus icon. You can also get rid of them by pressing the red X. So now we have a rule that's going to apply all the time, and it's going to simultaneously ring this number. So one thing to note here is we're not going to forward it always to that number. And the reason why we're not going to do that is for voice mail. So if we forward a call to this number, if this is your home number and you have an answering machine set up or something like that, it's going to eventually reach your answering machine. So with the simultaneous ring, instead of having that happen, is it'll ring this number the same amount of time as it'll normally ring your desk phone and once that times out, if you can see in the background here we have it set at 25 seconds, it'll go to your work voice mail, or your extension voice mail, instead of your home voice mail. So that's why we're going to use simultaneous ring. So just click save. So now we have our home rule. So we're just going to do that again for our mobile rule. Select mobile. Again, Simultaneous ring. You can un-check this. This just means that it's not going to ring your desk phone, so it'll keep it quieter in the office for you. Again, put the 11 digit phone number in there with no punctuation and click save. So now we have 3 rules here. As you can see our default rule is going to ring extension 100 which is the phone number on my desk here. And we have these 2 rules which we can apply at any time we want to. So if I'm working from home, what I'll do is you see the default rule is active, I can go ahead and slide this up there, or slide the default rule below the home rule. Click save.

And now any call that comes into my extension is going to hit this home rule and go to this number. And so, the way that these are processed is from the top to the bottom. So when a call comes in, it's going to check this first rule on the very top, say hey, this applies all the time and execute this action. So, if we want to, if we're going to go back in the office the next morning, we going to want to flip this back up to default, or drag this below default, click save. Now it's going to ring our desk phone again. Same thing for our mobile number here. If we want to be out of the office, we can just drag the mobile up there, click save and now it's going to ring our cell phone. You can also change those on the front page here. Any answering rules that would apply to the current date and time will be available to you in this drop down. So the default rule if we select it, is going to ring our phone right here. Our mobile rule is going to ring this number, or our home rule will ring this number. So that's just a quicker way than having to drag it. And that's all there is to it.

The metricPHONES hosted cloud PBX make setting up business phone service features easy. more efficient. Watch how admins or users can to set up linear call queues for inbound calls online. An example of a linear call queue might be when an inbound call is directed to a Sales Team Member. If this Team Member is not available, the call is forwarded onto your Office Manager, after a designated number of rings. Full transcript of the video below.

Hey guys, this is Matt at Fastmetrics, bringing you a video of the metricPHONE web interface. Today, we're going to be going over linear queues. So here's a domain I have set up. We have 4 different users. Agent Matt, Agent John and Manager Beth.

So what we're going to do is we're going to do is set up a queue that hunts through the users in this order. So we want it to ring Matt first, John and then Beth. So every call that comes in, it's going to try and ring in this order. So each one, will come into the first one, ring for a certain amount of time, time out, ring for the second one, ring for a certain amount of time, time out and third and so on until we've reached a certain time out. So let's go ahead and get started. We're going to click on call queues, add call queue. The name is a descriptive name, so we'll say, Sales Queue and give it an extension 900 and we're going to select linear for type. So, some initial values here. The Agent ring time out is the amount of time we spend ringing each individual person before going to the next step. So by default, it says 10 seconds. So it's going to ring Matt for 10 seconds, when it's done doing that, it's going to stop ringing Matt and ring John for 10 seconds and keep going down your list.

We're going to set that to 5 for now and let's leave everything else to the defaults for now. So click add and I already had these set up so go ahead and remove them so we can add them again. So, we have a blank queue we're going to go ahead and add somebody. Just type in the extension. We'll say, Agent Matt. We want to set them to online. The wrap up time is the amount of time before somebody gets re entered as available. So if you're on a phone call and that phone call ended, you have the wrap up time in seconds until you're eligible to receive another call. So that time is usually used to enter information into your CRM like salesforce. Make simultaneous calls - usually you're going to have this set to 1. You can set it to as many calls as you want to send down to that person, it's just going to show more calls coming in on their actual phone, versus say, you want to focus on a single call. Order in the linear hunt - so the order that we're looking at is literally their position in the queue. So this is the 1st user so we're going to have it on 1. Queue priority for agent - we're not going to worry about. And we can usually leave those unchecked too and click save. So now it's just repeat for the other 2 users. Online, no wrap up time, this user's 2nd in line. And 200 and this user's 3rd in line.

Ok. So, from this screen we can see that all these icons are green which means available and online. If I dial between the 2 of them, so now I've made call between these 2 people and now they appear on a call. And, if I unplugged one of these phones, it will turn grey. And that means that the phone is either off, or they're logged out of the queue. So, that's all there is to actually setting up a queue. The other thing we're going to check out really quick before we go ahead and make a test call in, is check out the user I made, when we added that queue. So I've created a user on extension 900, called Sales queue, which is the name that we entered in. If we go there and click on Answering rules, we'll see that any call that comes into extension 900 is automatically forwarded to a queue of the same name, 900. The important thing here is, is this field, the ring for X seconds. This is the absolute max amount of time, that a person can sit in that queue. So if you set this to 30 seconds, at 30 seconds they are going to be offered a chance to leave the queue and leave a voicemail, or get re-queued. So let me go ahead and set this down to 10 and then we'll make a quick call in and you guys can hear it. So right now, the 1st person is ringing and then it'll switch over to the 2nd person. Auto attendant: PRESS 2 TO LEAVE A VOICE MAIL. PRESS ANY OTHER KEY TO RETURN TO THE QUEUE. OR YOU MAY HANG UP AT ANY TIME. And if you don't press anything, it's just going to re-queue as if you pressed any button. So that's the very basics of it. Alternatively, we can force someone out of the queue, so they aren't just sitting there going through that repeating, over and over again. To do that, we would edit the default answering rule here and set the When unanswered rule here to send it to voice mail or another telephone number, or an extension.

So if we want to send it to the voice mail of the extension 900 here, we would just click save there and now if we dial in it's going to ring our guys for 10 seconds and then go to voice mail. Auto attendant: NINE ZERO ZERO. IS UNAVAILABLE. TO DIAL ANOTHER EXTENSION, PRESS 1. Just like that. And we can adjust that menu as well. So that's how we set up a very basic call queue that lands into a voice mail inbox. There is a typical use case that people come across, in that they have a Support or Sales Team of 10 or 20 users or something and they want to ring all of those people. And if for some reason, no one answers that call, they want to ring a manager's phone or maybe a backup group of people. So, if we look at our list here, it would look something like this. This might be our Sales Team and we're going to ring these guys for 30 seconds or some amount of time, and then we're going to fall over to our Manager, who is going to clean up the rest of the calls. And if that person doesn't pick up, we're going to roll over into voice mail. So, to keep thing short here, we're going to have these guys ring for 10 seconds. Let's have this person ring for 5 seconds. So what's going to happen is it's going to ring for just 10 seconds on these 2 phones....let's change that to 10 seconds....and then it's going to start ringing this phone, in addition to these two phones. So from 0 - 10 seconds it's going to ring those phones from 10 seconds to 20 seconds, it's going to ring all 3 phones. So the way we set that up is we go back into our queue and hit edit queue. Come to Agents to ring initially, Agents to add after time out. So the way that we set this 10 seconds is to have the Agent ring timeout to 10 seconds. Agents to ring initially, so if we have our list; 1, 2, 3 - we want the first 2 people to ring initially and have that set to 2. And Agents to add after timeout, is how many more people we want to add after that. We just want to add one person.

So, if we wanted to add, if this list went on 4, 5, 6. We could say hey, ring four more people and it's going to get us 3, 4, 5 and 6. Just like that. But for now, let's just tick that and click save. If we bring up this interface here, we'll see who's actually ringing. So there we go, we're ringing these 2 guys and then it'll bring on the Manager. Auto attendant: NINE ZERO ZERO IS UNAVAILABLE. We had that timeout kick in first, so we'll adjust that to go a little longer. So what happened there is, before it can fall over to the next person, we hit that 10 seconds. So let's make that 20 seconds. Now it's updated. Go back to call queues, double check everything 10 seconds, it's going to ring these two for 10 seconds, then ring them for 10 seconds. So at 20 seconds it's going to kick out. So that looks good and let's try that again. So there we go. And now our other phone just went off. Auto attendant: NINE ZERO ZERO IS UNAVAILABLE. And there we go, we're in the voice mail. So that's how you set up a tiered linear call queue. The other options we can get into here, if you are going to allow your agents to log in and out of the queue, it allows them if say John went to go to lunch or something, we can actually remove him from the queue, so it skips over him in line. If everybody goes home for the day, eventually you end up with nobody able to take calls, so that's where this toggle is very useful. If there's no agents around and everybody's logged out and you have this set to yes, users will automatically skip going to the queue and go directly into your no answer rule. So right now we have it set to voice mail. So if everybody is logged out, it will go directly to voice mail.

This next setting goes hand in hand with that, to log out an agent on a missed call. So if somebody gets offered a call and they don't answer it, we can log them out automatically. So that's usually used if you close up for the day and somebody leaves themselves logged in, once they miss one call, they will be logged out. So if we want to see those two in action, the first call I'm going to make in here is going to actually log these guys out, so they can see them go grey, once they miss that call. And the second call will actually go straight to voice mail, because there's not going to be anybody available. Ok. So now that person has logged out, which is what the grey represents. And now, that person's logged out. And now they're all logged out. Auto attendant: NINE ZERO. So right now, everybody's logged out, until they log back in manually. They can do this either with the web interface, or use a star code. So if we call in right now, with nobody available, Auto attendant: NINE ZERO IS UNAVAILABLE. It goes directly to voice mail. And as the admin, we can also make sure they're set back online and that'll bring them back on....and you'll see it says available. And one last setting to go over here is the Max queue length. If every one of your agents is on the phone, the queue starts getting added to. So if you want to keep your queue to a certain level, or a certain length, you can set it here. So what this means is, if everybody's on the phone, we're going to let 10 people sit in that queue. And the 11th person that calls in, if there's 10 people still sitting there, is going to follow your Forward busy rule. So, if we set this to 1 and click save...and I'm going to log a couple of these guys out, so we can see it. Ok, now we come back over to our user to set up that rule...the busy rule. We'll also send that to voice mail.

Ok, so what I'm going to need to do, is actually call them 3 times. So I need to call in and make this person busy...Agent Matt, then I need to call in one more time, that person is going to sit in the queue and then that third person, is going to be the 2nd caller, the 2nd person in the queue, which we're not going to allow. Because we have our max queue length set to 1. So let me make those calls. Ok, so we have 2 calls in there. 1 is in the queue. Auto attendant: NINE ZERO ZERO IS UNAVAILABLE. And then this one here, this is our other call which is going straight to voice mail. So that's all the settings we have available. The other 2 that you're going to see here, is max time. So what this does is basically the same thing that the timeout back on the user. So what we usually tell you to do is leave it at unlimited. Expected max wait time is going to be a feature that we're hoping to get in very soon, but for right now, just leave it as unlimited as well. And that is all there is to, linear queues in the metricPHONE system.

See how to set up date based answering rules for inbound calls online. An example of a date based answering rule could be for the 4th of July long weekend. Specify any inbound call for specific dates, to redirect to voicemail or any other number during this time. Full transcript of the video below.

Full video transcript: Hi guys, this is Matt at Fastmetrics. I'm going to show how to use the metricPHONE web interface to set up a date based answering rule. This video is going to show you how to set up a date based answering rule, that will send all calls to voice mail over the July 4th weekend. This is also applicable to any date based routing you want to do, so, holiday schedules, vacation routing, etcetera. If you don't have access to this web interface, have your designated Fastmetrics contact get in touch with Fastmetrics Support and they will help you get set up. So, the first thing we're gonna do is create a time frame for the dates that we want. Click time frames. Click add time frame. Let's name it July 4th. Click specific dates or ranges. And select July 4th, which is a Friday. Then select July 6th, which should be Sunday. And these dates are inclusive, so as soon as it ticks onto July 4th, it applies, and as soon as it ticks off of July 6th, onto July 7th, this time frame will apply.

So we click save and now we have our time frame. If we hover over this blank, it will show which dates we have selected. Now we wanna add a rule. So we're gonna click answering rules. Then click add rule. Select our time frame from the drop down and click on Do not disturb. Do not disturb is going to send any incoming call directly to voice mail, without ringing any of your devices. So now we have 2 answering rules set up. We have our default rule, which is going to ring our phones, and we have our July 4th rule, which is going to send our calls to voice mail. When calls come in, they check these rules from top to bottom. So your default applies 24 7, 365 days a year. So it's always going to apply and you're never going to be able to check any of the rules below it.

So, if it's July 4th and somebody calls in, it's going to check the default rule, which applies all the time and it's going to ring your phones. What we want to happen is for the call to come in, check your July 4th rule and then go to do not disturb. So, we'll just drag the default rule below July 4th and click save. Now when an incoming call comes in, it's going to check our July 4th rule, see if it's July 4th, 5th or 6th, if it is, it's going to execute this action and if it isn't, it's going to go onto the next rule. And so that's how you set up a date based answering rule.

More Info on Cloud PBX Phone Service

Choice of new Yealink or Polycom phones with business voice service.

  • Free Setup & Support
  • Unlimited Free Local Calls
  • Advanced Features Included
  • Managed Service For Voice Quality

There are many more than 9 benefits of a cloud PBX business phone system. he main benefits of cloud PBX phone service are summarized below. From decreased phone service costs, increased flexibility for remote offices, to environmental benefits, a cloud PBX phone system from Fastmetrics offers many advantages to businesses today.

benefits of cloud pbx business phone system

Cloud phones offer flexibility to businesses of all sizes. Service caters to startups to Fortune 500 companies with call center requirements or large sales departments.

  • $0 install costs
  • $0 maintenance fees
  • No physical space
  • Redundancy
  • Presence
  • Faster install
  • Flexibility
  • Energy saver
  • Reduced carbon footprint

PBX (Private Branch Exchange) FAQs

What is a PBX?

PBX is the abbreviation of Private Branch Exchange. It's a phone system that is used to make internal calls (employee to employee) as well as external calls (employee to outside callers). A Private Branch Exchange typically includes voicemail, call transfers and auto attendants, which replaced telephone switch attendants or operators. PBX's provide a much more efficient way to make call connections and handle increased call volume.

Today, Private Branch Exchange services are commonplace over traditional switchboards. The latest and most advanced version of this exchange based phone system utilizes the Internet. Hosted, or cloud based Private Branch Exchanges are efficient for phone call management.

How does a PBX work?

A traditional PBX setup consists of on premise hardware, such as a cabinet. It allows phone users within an organization to make internal and external calls. To make external calls, it uses phone lines that connect employees with a Public Switch Telephony Network (PSTN).

Today, organizations are using cloud based or hosted Private Branch Exchanges. These often require an Internet connection with adequate bandwidth or setup of MPLS to prioritize voice traffic. The basic function of a cloud hosted Private Branch Exchange, is the same as a traditional on-premise setup. A major difference is an external phone or voice service provider will “host” and manage the exchange for end users. Cloud or hosted PBX's are commonly located in data centers. Instead of routing calls through on-premise hardware, voice data is sent using the Internet to the hosted or cloud Private Branch Exchange.

What is a hosted PBX?

A hosted Private Branch Exchange, also called 'cloud based', is a private telephone service that enables organizations to make internal and external calls and connections via the Internet. A hosted or cloud solution offers access to a variety of different calling and communication features. Some of these features may include;

The aim of modern features associated with a cloud or hosted phone system, is to create a streamlined and efficient phone service. This applies to users both internal and external users of the phone system. A hosted exchange is managed and maintained by a voice or Internet Service Provider.

How does a hosted PBX work?

Like a traditional setup, a hosted phone system connects callers and phone numbers internally and externally. Instead of connections occurring over phone lines, they are made via the Internet and IP based phones with a hosted system.

A cloud or hosted system eliminates the need for expensive and bulky on-site hardware. Management, servicing, maintenance and updates are included by the service provider, which ‘hosts’ the system offsite. Unlike traditional on-premise PBX services, a hosted phone system allows users to accept and make calls from a variety of devices. If a user’s device is connected to the internet and has the required application or software, a user can ‘mimic’ or maintain their office phone system presence from anywhere.

What are the main differences between a hosted PBX and a traditional one?

The major differences are;

  • A hosted or cloud setup operates utilizing Internet service.
  • No onsite hardware requirements for hosted or cloud based PBX's.
  • A hosted or cloud Private Branch Exchange requires compatible IP phones or devices, such as soft phones or mobile apps.

Due to the above, a cloud or hosted phone system can provide significant cost savings, due to a variety of factors including;

  • No large initial costs to purchase and physical phone hardware or equipment.
  • No need for an on-site installation.
  • Less space requirements - no room needed to house physical hardware.
  • No specialist management or on-site technicians for phone system maintenance.
  • Often free calls due to the use of the Internet to make connections.

What are the benefits of going hosted over a traditional setup?

Tasks such as scaling phone service or adding new users is simple. This makes a hosted system ideal for businesses who anticipate growth or large seasonable fluctuations in phone users. Going hosted provides a cost-effective, feature-rich business phone solution. More reasons how this type of system provides benefit;

  • A hosted business phone system negates the need for costly on-site equipment.
  • No lengthy installation, management or maintenance time required by staff.
  • IT or technical personnel can focus on larger projects, instead of maintaining or troubleshooting a phone system.
  • Online portals and free phone apps make it easy to customize and access phone service from any Internet connected device.
  • Many cloud-based systems offer extensive features that can improve business communications. A hosted PBX can make communications easy and efficient.
  • Access to enterprise level calling features, can be at more affordable costs than traditional services.
  • A hosted service ensures redundancy. Multiple servers can provide phone service in the case of an emergency. This minimizes the risk of relying on a single piece of hardware or equipment.

What features are available with a hosted PBX?

Most hosted or cloud-based services provide users with basic, custom or even advanced features with phone service. Some features are included with basic service fees for each user, ‘seat’ or phone line. Other features are not. Extra costs can be added to base phone service pricing for add-on features and functions.

What type of businesses can benefit from a hosted PBX?

A hosted PBX offers businesses of all sizes a flexible, reliable, and feature-rich business phone solution. Whether a startup looking for a business phone service that can grow and adapt to changing needs, or a Fortune 500 company looking to service a call center or large sales department, a hosted PBX can meet requirements.

Are there any downfalls associated with a hosted PBX?

For many organizations, a hosted PBX is an excellent solution to business phone service needs. However, there are some potential downfalls that are associated with this internet-based service. Businesses that have a poor internet connection or frequent internet outages may experience outages or service or voice quality degradation. It is important to consider current internet capabilities before making a switch.

How much does a hosted PBX cost?

Hosted PBX services are typically more affordable then traditional PBXs. The exact cost varies based on the provider. Costs are often applied on a per user, line or ‘seat’ basis. Additional fees may be applied for setup, support or extra features such voicemail, CRM integration, auto attendants, etc.

Are there any installation fees with a hosted or cloud-based PBX service?

Each voice provider is different. The best way to determine install or setup fees is to contact a provider directly. Also check whether a provider offers an assisted install (installation instructions are shared with you) or in person setup at your office or business (a tech comes to you. This is a nice to have if you will be using phone hardware which requires connecting). As an example, Fastmetrics charges $0 for voice service setup and install, in person or assisted, as well as free training in using your phone system.

Do I need hardware, or can I use a softphone with a hosted PBX?

Many hosted PBX services allow for the use of hardware (an IP phone for example) or a soft phone. A soft phone such as Bria for the iPhone or X-Lite 5 for desktops is software that provides a phone interface. Once configured, users can make / receive phone calls using a keyboard, mouse, or cell touch pad.

Can cell phones be used on a hosted PBX?

Yes – cell phones are compatible with this type of phone system. Many hosted or cloud PBX's allow users to access their business phone system anytime, anywhere.

Many providers offer free smartphone apps allowing a user to make / receive calls from a mobile device, even when away from their desk or office. These apps allow phone service users to maintain business call presence anywhere. This feature is popular with large mobile or remote work forces. Or, for users who frequently travel.

More recent unified communications inclusions for hosted phone service providers is integrated video chat via mobile or desktop. This allows video conferences using mobile apps.

Are there any special requirements associated with a hosted PBX?

For a hosted or cloud-based PBX service, or VoIP to function well, a reliable Internet service connection and appropriate IP compatible phones are required. Bandwidth requirements vary based on a variety of factors. These include the number of users and other requirements. You can contact Fastmetrics for help to determine your bandwidth needs for IP based voice solutions.

What if I need to add additional phone lines?

A cloud hosted PBX allows for the instant addition (or removal) of phone users as needed. As business requirements change, a hosted phone service can efficiently adapt via the use of an online management system.

Can I still send and receive faxes through a hosted phone service?

With a hosted or cloud-based PBX, sending or receiving a fax is simple. This can take place via a traditional fax machine or online. A hosted PBX service allows for seamless integration across your organizational network, so faxes can quickly be stored or saved.

What happens in the case of a power outage?

For traditional PBX's, a localized power outage can interrupt communications until power is restored. However, as long a device is connected to the internet, calls can be made and received via a cloud or hosted phone system.

What type of onsite equipment do I need for a PBX?

One of the reasons so many businesses choose to go with a hosted service is because of the limited equipment requirements, compared to a traditional system. A standard PBX requires a significant amount of on-premise equipment. A cloud or hosted solution requires handsets or devices and a reliable Internet service connection.

What are PSTN calls?

The Public Switched Telephony Network (PSTN) is the network of landline telephones that provides analog connections (basically, the traditional telephone system). For a significant period, the switched telephony network was the only system available for phone calls. However, modern technology and the Internet has paved the way for alternatives. This includes mobile apps and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

As mobile and IP based phone solutions like VoIP increase in popularity and affordability, more businesses are choosing to use cloud or hosted solutions for phone service. However, they still need access to the PSTN. This calling functionality connects a hosted PBX user with the external telephony network.

Can I use my existing phone number?

Should you decide to migrate your phone service to a hosted PBX, you can keep your existing phone numbers in most instances. Most phone service providers offer seamless porting of phone numbers to their managed voice network.

What if I have multiple business locations?

Hosted phone systems are often cloud-based. It is not on-premise hardware. It can meet the communication needs of multiple business locations. Virtual offices, local or international offices with different phone numbers can be efficiently setup. It's efficient to create a unified experience for employees and customers, regardless of how many locations your business has.

Is a hosted PBX difficult to manage?

As on off-premise service, management of a hosted Private Branch Exchange largely falls on the service provider. This negates the need for lengthy training of in-house IT staff. Hosted phone system providers do the work. They are responsible for ensuring a functional phone system. Additional customization or user management needs can typically be met via an online portal by end users. Online portals provide users with easy and intuitive access to their phone own system. Here is a video demo of an online user portal.

Can I make international calls from my hosted PBX?

Yes. In today’s global economy, international calling capabilities are a must. A cloud or hosted PBX provides this service. Businesses making many international calls may find a hosted or cloud based phone service reduces international call bills considerably.

It is very standard today for most Private Branch Exchange service providers to offer free local phone calls. This is often accompanied with have competitive pricing on long distance calls. Rates as low as $0.02 per min for calls to Asia, $0.01 per mute for calls to Europe and $0.03 per minute to South America are common.

What is an auto attendant?

For companies with multiple departments, or those that don’t have a receptionist on staff, an auto attendant can help direct and transfer calls to the appropriate departments or individuals. This makes it easy to properly funnel calls, creating a smoother experience for both customers and employees.

What is call routing?

Call routing systems, also known as Automatic Call Distributors (ACD), allow businesses to route traffic based on a variety of different qualifiers. These qualifiers can include;

  • Time of day
  • Current call volume
  • Requested department
  • Preferred language of the caller

When utilizing call routing through a hosted Private Branch Exchange, businesses can take control and channel calls. Variables like employee departments, business hours and network strain during hours of high call volume can be factored in.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is a phone service that operates over the Internet, as opposed to traditional phone lines. VoIP is common today via services such as Skype. Also apps like Face-time or Whats App calling.

For business phone service, many companies choose VoIP due to cost savings. Like with a hosted Private Branch Exchange, calls over the Internet can be made for free. (Unlike traditional phone lines with a pay per call structure). VoIP service can also offer enterprise-level functionality, without the cost of traditional phone services.

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