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Virtual PBX

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We give you an overview of the different plans and feature sets offered by various VoIP service providers. Choose which option suits your style of business communications. Read full reviews of and information about each service provider, and make comparisons. If you’re completely new to the world of virtual PBX, check out the rest of our pages.

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What is a Virtual PBX System?

A virtual PBX system is a network of telecommunication channels that functions without physical connections. It runs via Voice over Internet Protocol, allowing users to connect their existing phone devices to one main number.

Virtual PBX has revolutionized business communications by making previously expensive advanced enterprise phone capabilities accessible to smaller businesses and independent professionals. Since it does not require you to purchase and maintain complicated hardware, you’ll find that it’s affordable and easy to use. Phone calls also cost much lower with virtual PBX, and long distance charges only apply to international calls.

By enhancing VoIP capabilities, virtual PBX gives users the ability to achieve more with their telephony. Apart from calling, they can also manage faxes and voicemail messages almost like the way they manage their email and chat logs.

Because the system runs via the Internet, it’s much easier to incorporate phone-based tasks with computer-based tasks. For example, you can fax your documents via email or through an online dashboard. Microsoft integration also gives users the ability to handle a continuously growing contacts list.

Any business, whether large or small, can find many benefits in using a virtual PBX system. It is a sophisticated telecommunications solution that doesn’t force you to overspend.

Features and Functions of a Virtual PBX System

Auto Attendant

The auto attendant, also known as the automated receptionist, is a standard business phone system feature designed to answer all the calls coming into the main phone line. It lets callers choose the appropriate extension from a menu of choices (e.g. Dial 1 for Sales, 2 for Support, etc…). There is no need to hire a human receptionist anymore. While this was first used in traditional PBX, it has become far more advanced thanks to virtual PBX.

The virtual PBX auto-attendant is far more sophisticated than what you’d find in a traditional PBX. You not only have the ability to quickly and easily modify the greeting the attendant uses through an online account; you also have the capacity to tweak the extension directory according to organizational changes. Any customization you make to the system can be applied in a matter of minutes. You can also program your automated attendant to play music and messages on hold to keep callers entertained and informed while they wait for their calls to be picked up.

Flexible Answering Rules

It’s a well-known fact that legacy systems are difficult to configure and usually require technical knowledge for modifying features. Thanks to virtual PBX, customizing PBX features like answering rules can be done quite easily even without much technical know-how.

These days, you can use virtual technology to screen caller IDs and handle calls accordingly: have calls outside office hours routed to voicemail, or calls during your lunch hour routed to available colleagues. Or, you can just have the calls routed to your mobile phone. You can do this because your virtual system isn’t dependent on specific devices. On your online dashboard, you can change your answering rules and have those changes applied almost immediately, making your phone system adapt to your work schedule.

Internet Fax

Internet fax is a great alternative to costly traditional fax. Internet fax removes the need for a fax machine, letting you send and receive fax documents online by using your existing computer – no need to spend on paper, toner, or a separate machine. Fewer machines means lower maintenance cost.

With internet fax, you can send fax documents through a web-based tool or through your email. You can send fax documents via email in the form of attachments. Just attach the appropriate document and input the fax number, as instructed by the service provider. You can also check for faxes received and browse these faxes based on subject heading, time received, and sender. There is no need to print and scan the faxes you receive.

Voicemail

Voicemail was revolutionary when it first came about, and for a very good reason – people really couldn’t be expected to answer all their incoming calls. But, at the same time, they don’t actually want to miss calls. Voicemail solves that problem.

Virtual voicemail, its latest incarnation, lets you prioritize and organize your voicemail more effectively. With it, you take voicemail features to the next level. Rather than checking your messages on your answering machine, you can use your mobile phone or computer instead. This means you can check for new messages no matter where you are. If you have an advanced voicemail feature and a smart device, you can scroll through a list of voicemail messages you have received and listen to the more important ones first. This is a big time-saver compared to regular voicemail, with which you have to listen to each and every recording in the order they were received.

Toll Free Numbers

Toll free numbers allow people to place automatic collect calls to a business. Usually recognizable via the prefixes 800, 888, 877, 866 and 855, toll free numbers used to be associated with big business because they are expensive to acquire and maintain. Thanks to virtual PBX, they have since become more affordable. If you have a start-up, it’s advisable to get a toll free number to give your business a boost of credibility.

You can hardly find a virtual PBX service provider that doesn’t offer toll free numbers these days; more often than not, they also offer vanity numbers. With these numbers, you can attract more business and improve brand/business recall. Aside from using toll free numbers as your main business number, you can also get them for marketing campaigns and customer service hotlines. Paired with a great phone system, your business stands to gain a lot of benefits by going toll free.