How to Make the Transition From Analog to Virtual PBX
by Nate Rand
Are you ready to make the transition from legacy PBX to virtual PBX? Maybe you’re read about the myriad benefits of opting for a cloud-based office phone system, like lowered cost, no maintenance needs, scale flexibility, free long distance, and remote access. These systems, also called hosted PBX, are quickly outpacing analogue branch exchange networks for these and other reasons.
If you’re on the fence about converting to virtual PBX system in your office, or if you know you want to convert but aren’t quite sure what the conversion entails, then read on to learn the specifics of how to make the transition. As part of our virtual PBX buyer’s guide series, this article will look at the step-by-step requirements of converting to a virtual PBX system in your office.
- If you don’t already have one, choose your VoIP service provider. This is the organization that will host your web-based phone service. Factors to consider when deciding are price (some providers charge a low monthly fee, while others charge per minute); features and options; reliability; customer service; and ease of user interface. Review providers and customer testimonials to decide which provider is best for your needs. Unlike traditional PBX systems, there is no large initial investment required. Features might include call queuing, call recording, conference calling, fax, virtual international numbers, video conferencing, and more.
- Decide how you wish to configure your actual phones, and acquire the phones you need. Most providers offer will enable you to keep using existing landline telephones by forwarding your VoIP calls to the landline — however, this requires continuing to pay for your analogue phone service. Consider whether this option makes sense for you. Cell phones can also be connected to your virtual PBX system. Another option is to invest in VoIP phones, which are physical desk phones that transmit your words over the web. Also viable are softphones, which are phone terminals created at any computer or tablet using a software interface to make and receive calls. What configuration works best for you? You will need to register all phones with your provider, a step they will walk you through.
- Establish your phone numbers and create your system. In some cases you will be able to keep your old phone numbers. Using your service provider’s setup interface, or with the help of a customer service representative, establish your phone numbers, extensions, and automated messages. Establish a user profile for each person with an extension. Decide how you want to manage and route inbound and outbound calls, how you want to forward calls, what messages you want callers to hear, etc. Most providers offer great flexibility and a range of options.
- Add or remove phones as needed. With many provider interfaces, adding and removing lines is as easy as dragging and dropping. As your organization changes scale, your virtual PBX will adjust quickly and easily.
- Enjoy high-quality, low-cost interoffice, external, and remote phone communication! If you have maintenance needs, just contact your service provider. Enjoy freedom from the hassle of maintaining your own phone system hardware, and the cost of a high monthly phone bill. Enjoy access to your phone number anywhere, from an intuitive web interface on any internet connected device.
The entire process of converting your PBX to virtual is quick and easy, and can be done entirely in one day. Many service providers are out there, so make sure you do your research and choose the best provider for your needs.
Do you have questions or comments about how to choose a virtual PBX provider, why you’d want one in the first place, or how to implement your new service? Contact us here.
December 17, 2015