Mobile Phones &Software &the web Wes Novack on 21 Aug 2014

Telephony in the cloud

Yeah, we’ve all heard of Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts. These little software gems are fantastic, free(!), voice & video calling products that are just sitting out there on our smartphones (or PC’s), just waiting for us to use them, almost magically, over the interwebs.


Perhaps you even have a VoIP service at home, such as Vonage or Ooma, but if you’re a small or medium sized business and you need a professional-grade telephony system, without the costs of buying, supporting and maintaining an infrastructure and support staff, you might want to consider looking at telephony solutions in the cloud.

You can get this type of business-class telephony by using a virtual hosted Private Branch eXchange (PBX), which provides many advanced features that are simply just not available with a regular consumer phone line. Let’s take a look at a few of the advanced features offered by PBX solution providers.

Toll free numbers

Providing a 1-800 or another prefixed toll-free number is the ultimate show of professionalism to customers. If a potential customer can call your business at any time, from anywhere, for free, they’re more likely to contact your business, compared to no toll-free number being available.

Greetings and phone trees

If you want your customers to receive a customized greeting every time they call, you can do this with a virtual PBX. You can announce your business name, address, hours of operation, offerings and other general information to callers. You can also present a set of options (a phone tree) for callers to select from. For example, press 0 to reach the front desk, press 1 to reach the sales department, etc.

Call forwarding

Virtual PBX systems have very advanced call forwarding capabilities. You can configure one number to provide an announcement and then forward to one or more internal phone numbers, which you don’t publish to your customers. The other great thing about call forwarding is that it can be reconfigured and changed at any time, without the customers seeing any differences.

Other virtual PBX solutions

The possibilities are almost endless with the various virtual PBX solutions that are available. Other offerings include virtual answering services, audio conferencing, cloud fax solutions, soft phones/VoIP clients, smartphone apps, SMS/text messaging, and much more.

To learn more about virtual PBX providers and services, check out

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