Writing Your Cloud PBX Shopping List
When you go with a cloud private branch exchange (PBX), you’re exchanging expensive on-premises equipment and maintenance for a virtual PBX run by a cloud voice over IP (VoIP) provider. Going with a cloud PBX can be a big move for some organizations: The number of choices out there means that you must have a list of requirements—a “shopping list”—to keep you on track when selecting cloud PBX solutions. Here are a few tips.
IP Desk Phone Support
Never overlook IP desk phone support as part of your PBX solution. It shouldn’t be so, but some PBXs on the market support only a set number of desk phone manufacturers and models.
Device Clients and Switching
Look for a cloud PBX that supports clients for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android because going to a cloud PBX also means expanding communications support across your workforce. Of course, the cloud PBX you choose should support seamless switching between devices.
Voicemail (Of Course)
Love it or hate it, your employees are going to want a robust voicemail system. Look for a PBX that includes:
Message waiting indicator; and
Speech-to-text transcription and the capability to email your employees when they receive a voicemail.
The chair-borne workforce is a relic of the past now that we have telecommuting, mobile workforces, and core work hours. Employees and managers are often coming and going, meaning that robust call-forwarding rules should earn a place on your list of cloud PBX requirements. Call forwarding rules you should consider include transfer calls between PC, desk phone, and mobile device and forward to voicemail. Of course, there are other features you should seek in a cloud PBX, such as:
- Simultaneous ring across an employee’s phones and mobile devices;
- Call answer for inbound calls across phones and devices;
- Caller ID that pulls from your corporate directory;
- Call history stored in the cloud; and
- Call waiting that registers with an on-screen notification.
Robust APIs for Now and the Future
Choosing a cloud PBX with a robust application programming interface (API) is an investment in future-proofing your enterprise voice communications. You’re going to want to be able to integrate your cloud PBX with your current or future customer relationship management system, partner management solution, or other back-office cloud applications. No application should live in a silo considering the myriad of integration possibilities the cloud and APIs present to organizations seeking a customized workflow to improve their bottom line.
You also want to consider the PBX vendor’s product roadmap when selecting a cloud PBX for your organization. The cloud and VoIP are always evolving, making it necessary to know that you’re buying into a future vision for cloud PBX as well as the current features your employees can use today.
Shop Around for a Cloud PBX
Even with a list of requirements in hand, it’s prudent to do your homework about cloud PBX offerings, especially if your enterprise voice communications are just beginning to crawl out of a dusty phone closet.