What is Hosted PBX?
The main purpose of all telephony functions is to allow for clear and efficient communications. Over the years, telecommunications devices for businesses expanded from individual desk phones to central switchboards within businesses that routed calls manually to the phone systems that had the capacity to route calls coming into the business. While for many years this meant the establishment of a large amount of equipment on the company premises, the hosted PBX phone systems of today require minimal equipment, a connection to the World Wide Web via an Internet Service Provider, and some simple programming. To put it simply – this is a phone system that can function from a remote location. The Hosted PBX has made a big difference in the way many companies do business today.
Remote hosted PBX phone systems enable companies with a number of employees working from home to allow their personnel to receive and make calls through the PBX. This can help callers feel as if they are connecting with the company at a central location, even though the recipient of the call may be working from home. This form of telephony support has made it possible for large companies to conduct sales, ordering, and customer care functions without the need for building a huge call center.
Smaller companies can also benefit from the use of these remote systems, since they will have less resources tied up in equipment, buildings and other factors that often drain resources for larger corporations. All the while, the functions of the business can still continue as if everyone were gathered at a central location.
Hosted PBX phone systems are easier to operate and install, as well as being affordable for businesses of all sizes. From the one person home business that wants to appear to be large and prosperous to the corporation that wishes to make the most of company resources, hosted PBX phone systems are a great option.
Hosted PBX Technology Glossary
|ACD Queue||This stands for “Automated Call Distributor,” and is oftentimes referred to as “the queue”. When a customer calls, the call is accepted and is routed to an available agent based on skill or workload. If agents are not available the call can be held in a queue or routed elsewhere.|
|ATA||ATA stands for Analogue Telephone Adapter, a device which allows a user to use a Voice over IP phone service with their regular analogue phone|
|Attended Transfer||The purpose of attended transfer is that you consult with the party before transferring.|
|Auto Attendant||The part of an interactive voice response (IVR) system that replaces the human operator and directs callers to the appropriate extensions or voice mailboxes|
|Blind Transfer||Blind Transfer involves passing a call without notifying the recipient. It is also known as unsupervised transfer or cold transfer.|
|Call Group||A software feature of the telephone system that routes a call to one or more groups of agents|
|Click-to-Dial Integration||Click-to-Dial? Here is how it works: You click on a contact in MS Outlook or Web Browser, CardScan, ACT!. or other TAPI enabled contact management sytem and select the dial option. Your IP desk phone rings and as you pick up the contact’s number is dialed automatically establishing a connection. The key feature is that you can use the convenience of your desk phone with click-to-dial from your PCs address book.|
|Codec||A codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding and/or decoding a digital data stream or signal. The word codec is a portmanteau of ‘compressor-decompressor’ or, more commonly, ‘coder-decoder’. A codec encodes a data stream or signal for transmission, storage or encryption, or decodes it for playback or editing. Codecs are used in IP telephony, voice and videoconferencing, streaming media and video editing applications. A voice or video phone’s analog-to-digital converter (ADC) converts its analog signals into digital signals, which are then passed through a audio/video compressor for digital transmission or storage. A receiving device then runs the signal through a decompressor for display.|
|DID||Direct Inward Dialing (DID) is a service of a local phone company (or local exchange carrier) that provides a block of telephone numbers for calling into a company’s private branch exchange (PBX) system. Using DID, a company can offer its customers individual phone numbers for each person or workstation within the company without requiring a physical line into the PBX for each possible connection.For example, a company might rent 100 phone numbers from the phone company that could be called over eight physical telephone lines (these are called “trunk lines”). This would allow up to eight ongoing calls at a time; additional inbound calls would get a busy signal until one of the calls completed or be able to leave a voice mail message. The PBX automatically switches a call for a given phone number to the appropriate workstation in the company. A PBX switchboard operator is not involved.A DID system can be used for fax and voice mail as well as for live voice connections. Compared to regular PBX service, DID saves the cost of a switchboard operator, calls go through faster, and callers feel they are calling a person rather than a company.|
|E911||Enhanced 911, E-911 or E911 is a North American telecommunications based system that automatically associates a physical address with the calling party’s telephone number, and routes the call to the most appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for that address.|
|Find-Me/Follow-Me||Find me and follow me are two call forwarding services that are commonly used in conjunction with each other. Find me service allows the user to receive calls at any location; follow me service allows the user to be reached at any of several phone numbers.Find me / follow me is often used in IP telephony. The user is assigned a phone number (DID). When that number is dialed the system routes the call through a user-defined list of numbers. The numbers may be called simultaneously or sequentially, either in a preferred order or in accordance with the user’s scheduled activities and locations. Once the list has been called and no connection made, the system may route the call to voice mail.|
|Handset||A telephone set with the mouthpiece and earpiece mounted on a single handle.|
|IVR||Interactive voice response, or IVR, is a computerized phone system that enables a person, typically a telephone caller, to make a selection from a voice menu. The selection is made using touch phone keypad entries or voice responses. The phone system plays pre-recorded voice prompts and the person typically presses a number on a telephone keypad to select the option associated with the voice prompt.|
|POTS||POTS is an acronym for plain old telephone service, which refers to the standard low speed, analog telephone service that is still used by most homes and many businesses.|
(Quality of Service)
|A defined measure of performance in a data communications system. For example, to ensure that real-time voice and video are delivered without annoying blips, a traffic contract is negotiated between the customer and network provider that guarantees a minimum bandwidth along with the maximum delay that can be tolerated in milliseconds.Because dedicated channels are set up between parties, the plain old telephone system (POTS) delivered the highest QoS for years. However, when data are broken into packets that travel through routers in a LAN or WAN, QoS mechanisms are used to give higher priority to real-time data, such as voice over IP (VoIP), than to non-real-time data, such as file downloads. Another option in packet switching is to overbuild the network, ensuring that it will accommodate all traffic fed to it. See packet switching.|
|Call Routing Tree||Call Routing Tree is a set of branching rules within an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) that guide the call received by a PBX based on call source, destination and interactive responses received via IVR.|
|SIP||“Session Initiation Protocol”, is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard protocol used for initiating an interactive user sessions for multimedia environments such as video, voice, chat and gaming. SIP is a signaling protocol for Internet Telephony.|
|SoftPhone||“Software” + “Telephone” – basically a desktop program that resembles a handset on your screen, allowing you to make calls with an earpiece or speakers and microphone.|