The Cloud — what is it and where did it come from?
Most people hear ‘the cloud’ and their eyes glaze over (or they grab an umbrella). The Cloud, though, is just a techie's highfalutin term for the Internet. It all started a few years ago when a computer science geek decided to use a cloud-shaped symbol to indicate the flow of data to and from the Internet on a data flow chart. The term evolved into ‘cloud computing’ and ‘data stored in the cloud’. And now we’re talking about Cloud PBX telephone systems. Go figure.
Now, let’s get our heads out of the cloud for a minute and talk about PBX.
PBX (Private Branch Exchange) telephone systems have been around for decades. In plain English, it means a telephone system that’s able to receive an incoming call and direct it to one of many available extensions. This lets businesses manage calls to lots of employees in multiple locations without having to install a phone line to each employee.
Over the years, the PBX phone system has taken some hard knocks because of its expensive hardware and high maintenance costs. Cloud technology eventually found its way to the business phone industry — and now we have Cloud PBX.
A marriage made in heaven — PBX and the Cloud.
It’s true, when PBX and the Cloud tied the knot, business owners around the globe celebrated. No more computer hardware to buy and maintain. No complicated installation to worry about. Your virtual PBX service provider handles the capacity requirements, performance analysis and configuration of the entire system. Your job is to purchase or lease the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) compatible phones and plug them into your internet service. You can log in to your business account on your service provider’s website and customize greeting menus, messages, departmental routing…everything you need is at your fingertips.
For a monthly fee, you get a PBX phone system that’s easy to manage, easy to upgrade as your business grows and a system free of the hardware headaches that plague non-cloud, traditional businesses.
You might be asking yourself, “What’s in it for me?”
With a Cloud PBX phone system, you’ll enjoy:
- Easy installation
- Lower set up and operating costs
- Online technical support
- Mobile apps that integrate with smartphones and tablets
- Call forwarding that makes it easy to maintain a professional brand with minimal staff
- The ability to upgrade via the Internet as technology advances
- Scalability that accommodates business growth on the fly
So, now you know. Cloud PBX is a modern business phone service provided through the Internet. And a whole lot more. Life is good in the Cloud.