Over the course of the last decade we’ve seen a huge amount of change take place in the technology and telecommunications industries. A raft of new buzzwords have been introduced – the cloud, big data, etc. – and with them the need to better inform clients on how tech can help to change their business. For IT support companies, we’ve also seen a fundamental shift from the reactive break-fix model to the more proactive managed services. This allows support companies to sell services in a different way that aligns with the goals of the business. Rather than being called out only when something goes wrong, the IT support company that offers managed services can continuously monitor client systems and often fix issues before they become too apparent or worse, take the client network down. Managed services are an excellent way for support companies of old to bring themselves in line with the most up-to-date technology and pricing models to further grow their business. Margins can be quite tight though, although it’s thought that best in class managed services providers can and do make a decent living from it. However, it’s always a good idea for support companies to extend their portfolio of services and offer something that perhaps the competition hasn’t thought of. Hosted PBX and IP telephony is one of those things that can help a managed services business to stand out, whilst offering another service to clients that can help to boost customer loyalty and retention. With that in mind, let’s have a look at what Hosted PBX is, and why your IT support company should be offering it to your clients.
What is Hosted PBX?Hosted PBX is a business-class IP telephony system that provides Private Branch Exchange functionality over the internet. It first appeared in the 1990s as telephone systems began to integrate with computing, which improved call handling and cut costs. However, it’s not really until recently, with the introduction of faster internet speeds and the growth in the popularity of the cloud, that we’ve seen Hosted PBX really take off. Traditional PBX systems are costly both to build and to maintain and for this reason, advanced telecoms have only been the domain of fairly large companies. Hosted PBX and IP telephony have changed all of this and are now much more accessible to smaller businesses than ever before. This is largely thanks to the cloud, which isn’t a new technology but one that’s taken a while to gain any traction, and has brought down costs considerably. With Hosted PBX, there’s no need for hardware, so capital expenditure is immediately reduced, and cloud payment models also tend to be provided on a pay monthly basis, so it’s simple to scale up and down as necessary when a business is growing.
Why Sell Hosted PBXJust as every modern business needs an IT infrastructure, so too do they need a telecoms solution and as a support company, you’re perfectly positioned to offer the complete solution. Managed services and support providers these days really need to position themselves as an outsourced CTO and ensure that businesses look to them for all of their technological needs. The recession bit deeply into a lot of IT budgets in businesses worldwide and due to this, we’ve seen internal IT department staff slashed. This has left a gap to fill that’s perfect for support companies to step into the breach and offer more services than they did before. Hosted PBX tends to offer:
- Unified communications
- Rapid deployment
- Video and voice conferencing
- Cloud-based management console
- Enterprise-level security