Your telephone system is one of your businesses most important assets. It allows you to keep in touch with your customers, prospects and colleagues.
When you look to upgrade your telephone system, it can be a daunting procedure. With so many options on the market, from so many different providers, you need to cut through the noise and understand exactly what each type of telephone system is, how it works and how it might be able to benefit your business.
In this feature, we’ll explore the world of hosted telephone systems. Finding out what they are, how hosted telephony works and why your business might want to upgrade to one.
What is a Hosted Telephone System?
A hosted telephone system is a cloud-based platform that controls all of your businesses incoming and outgoing call traffic. The platform distributes these calls to the right users, and handles all dialling, transferring and forwarding of calls.
Hosted telephone systems do come under different names. Sometimes, they’re also know as:
- VoIP phone systems
- Cloud phone systems
- Hosted PBX
- Hosted VoIP
But don’t worry, these are all essentially the same thing.
Before hosted telephone systems were a thing, a business needed a physical telephone system in their office. This ‘box on the wall’ had multiple telephone lines coming into it, with each line carrying one call at a time.
But with a hosted telephone system, you remove the need for a box on the wall and these multiple telephone lines. All you require is a broadband connection, and VoIP compatible handsets.
Sounds complicated, but let me explain…
How does a hosted telephone system work?
A hosted telephone system works by cutting out all of your on-site telephone system hardware, and replacing it with the cloud. Rather than your calls running through old fashioned telephone lines, they use a technology called VoIP, which allows your calls to travel through your broadband connection.
As you can see from the diagram, a hosted phone system is very similar to traditional on-premise phone systems. In fact, they both do the same exact thing. They both control your businesses calls.
Hosted phone systems are essentially an updated, newer and better version of their on-premise counterpart. In the same way that cars, computers, smartphones, and all other technologies improve over time, so do phone systems.
Features of a hosted telephone system
Of course, if you’re looking to upgrade your businesses telephone system, then you want to make sure that it provides you with a good feature set. One question I get asked very frequently is: “do your telephone systems have as many features as an on-premise PBX?”
The answer is yes. A hosted telephone system comes with loads and loads of features—often more than a traditional telephone system. Here’s a few of my top favourite features of our hosted VoIP telephone system:
1. Mobile app
Our hosted phone system comes with a free mobile app. This app allows you to connect to your telephone system while you’re on the move—enabling you to make and receive calls as though you were sat at your desk.
2. Full call control
No phone system is complete without call controls. From call forwarding, transferring, holding and more. It also gives you access to auto attendants, which give the callers a menu when they call up; allowing you to direct incoming calls easily.
3. Home working
It’s no secret that more businesses are choosing to opt for home working set ups. Because hosted telephone systems use the cloud, they are the ideal solution for businesses that utilise home workers.
4. Modern handsets
To compliment the modern nature of a hosted telephone system, we’re offering free, modern, VoIP powered handsets for your business. These handsets connect right to your telephone system and transmit HD voice over your internet connection.
Because a hosted telephone system is based in the cloud, you can use something called a softphone. Softphones are software based telephones that act as a physical desk phone or handset. You can use a softphone on your laptop, computer or tablet. It allows you to dial and accept calls as though you had a deskphone.
There are so, so many more features that I could go through—if you want to check them out have a look at our VoIP phone system page.
Why should you choose a hosted phone system?
There are a myriad of reasons why you would want to choose a hosted telephone system for your business. But I would argue that the main reason would be cost saving.
Upgrading to a hosted telephone system could save your business up to 90% on its running costs. Seriously. This is because a hosted phone system doesn’t have a lot of the associated costs with it that a VoIP system does.
Another great benefit of a hosted telephone system is that it is future proof. When you’re making an investment for your business, it is important to ensure longevity. In 2025, Openreach will switch off the UK’s ISDN network. This means that all old analogue on-premise telephone systems that don’t make use of this new technology will cease to function.
While there is no need to panic - we still have plenty of time - it is something to consider when you’re in the market to upgrade your telephone system. Choosing a hosted telephone system lets you to rest easy in the knowledge that your communications aren’t going anywhere.
If you’re considering upgrading to a hosted telephone system, then get in touch today.