Common Hosted PBX Terms

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shutterstock_79614886Hosted or virtual PBX has revolutionised business by reducing costs and making corporate communication features available to every enterprise. This article looks at what hosted PBX is and the common terms associated with it, which are also its many features.

What is hosted PBX?

A PBX is a multi-lined telephone system common in most businesses with a number of departments and employees. Hosted PBX is a PBX where the system is not onsite, but is hosted by a third party provider.

All the expensive equipment normally associated with a PBX is housed with the provider, and the business merely accesses the services without needing the complex infrastructure or the expertise to maintain it.

Hosted PBX works with existing telephone systems or replaces them altogether, and it can be used with existing landlines, mobile phones and VoIP phones. It also gives a business access to a huge range of features for a fraction of the normal cost.

Common terms and features

Some of the features provided by hosted PBX and the terms used to describe them are as follows:

  • Auto attendant – Also known as IVR (Interactive Voice Response), this function provides a recorded answering service to callers which allows them to access a voice activated menu of call transfer options.
  • Voicemail to email –  When you are unable to answer a call, the caller is asked to leave a recorded message which is then forwarded to you in an email.
  • Hunt groups – This is where the system hunts for the next available operative, routing calls from one employee to the next within a specified group until the call is answered.
  • ACD – ACD stands for Automated Call Delivery and like hunt groups, it routes calls to appropriate operatives with the additional option to set priorities and time limits and to monitor calls.
  • Find me/follow me –  This function allows you to redirect your incoming calls to find you by calling multiple destination numbers one by one, including external numbers.
  • CLI overstamping – This feature lets you set your company number to display in caller ID when making a call from any phone in your hosted PBX network. This allows the caller to identify you and answer the call.
  • Call park and pickup – Call park and pickup lets you park a call in limbo and then pick it up from any other phone in the network.
  • Extension dialling – This allows users to set up a four-digit extension number and call each other free of charge within the network.
  • Click to call – The click to call function lets you click on a link and be connected with a number, without having to dial it.
  • CDR – This stands for Call Detail Records and allows you to view and consolidate calls made from your hosted PBX network at any time.

This list covers just a few of the many features available on hosted PBX and demonstrates why it is fast becoming the preferred communications medium for businesses of all sizes.

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