What is a Cloud PBX System?
A cloud-based PBX system is very similar to a hosted PBX system.
In fact, the two terms get used interchangeably at times. This is because the difference between Cloud and Hosting is a matter of degree and you will sometimes read or hear the term “Cloud Hosting”.
In general, it is best to think of Cloud-based systems as accessible by many customers via the Internet. A hosted system in comparison may be dedicated to a single customer and it typically uses a private network.
It pays to have the provider explain what they mean when they refer to either Cloud or Hosting.
Advantages of Cloud PBX Systems
Reduced Ownership Costs
The difference between cloud and hosted telephony is not easy to define. In fact, many of the benefits of having a hosted system also apply to cloud systems.
However, the main and most important difference between hosted and cloud is that cloud systems are not owned by customer. Cloud based systems are built for a large number of customers and the service is delivered through the Internet.
This is not to say that hosted systems cannot have large number of customers and be delivered via the Internet; it just means that it is a characteristic of cloud systems that appears to be universal.
A key advantage of cloud is that a new site can be quickly deployed or expanded without the need for new equipment or upgrades in the data center.
The carrier may combine the voice with other data functionality such as email, web, cloud storage and other types of hosted application.
Disadvantages of Cloud PBX Systems
High Speed Broadband is Essential
As with hosted systems, the broadband connection to the customer site needs to have sufficient bandwidth to handle the calls.
This can limit the number of phones that be deployed to a site; especially if the customer is making the voice traffic share the broadband service with other Internet traffic – this is an “Over the Top” (OTT) type solution.
The main drawback with cloud based telephony is that the number of features provided is generally far lower than that provided by hosted or on-premises systems.
The reason for this is that cloud based systems must cater for a large number of customers and supporting customised features is difficult to implement and manage in that situation.