What is a “Hosted Solution”?
Hosted Solution is a general technical term used to describe any IT offering (telephone systems, backup and computer offerings, etc.) whose main computing software and hardware are located at a site outside of their client’s business or home. Clients access the service entirely from a remote server globally, through the internet. The “hosted” offering is created and managed by a company other than the client utilizing the system. The hosting company’s sole purpose in the customer relationship is to offer services to others, while maintaining the systems’ integrity and backup functions so that the business owner doesn’t have to spend the time and money to do so. Hosted offering has many advantages, the biggest one being that the responsibility of software upgrades, general maintenance, and repairs falls on the company hosting the services.
What is a “hosted” telephone system?
A hosted telephone system is a system built and maintained off-site that has the capability of managing 1,000’s of business phone systems and calls. Instead of purchasing a PBX, KTS, or standard telephone system with circuit boards, voicemail and other capabilities built into a computing box mounted in your back office or IT closet, you simply pay a monthly fee per seat or telephone. In effect, you’re tapping into a giant phone system that you never have to purchase, maintain, fix, and then replace every 8-10 years. The responsibility of building and maintaining the hosted system lies with the company offering the hosted solution, not you. Clients using the service pay a monthly fee towards dial tone.
Is a hosted telephone system right for my business?
Each business has to determine if a hosted offering is a smart match for their business model - in many cases, it is. Here are the advantages of a hosted telephone system:
- Easy set-up - In most cases setting up a hosted telephone solution is fast and surprisingly easy - a plan is selected, the hosting company takes an order over the phone, and the phones are shipped to the client’s site. Once on site, the client simply plugs the VoIP phones into a data jack in the wall and the system is up and running.
- Low up-front costs - Ordering and installation of the system is typically a fraction of the cost of a traditional telephone system.
- Emergency backup - Most hosted telephone solutions come with failover offering. If your hosted office telephones or internet connection fails, the hosting company can easily re-route your business calls to one, or several other phones, including mobile devices.
- Last telephone system you have to buy - Once installed, your company never has to purchase another telephone system. While an actual telephone handset that sits on a desk may fail, the main computing system of a hosted solution is fully maintained by the hosting company. If anything fails at the hosting level, their people, not yours, are responsible for repairing it.