Cloud based PBX: for small business or just corporations?
Cloud based PBX for small business has its pros and cons, but as our previous article states, the pros far outweigh the cons. With increased Internet reliability, increased speed, and increased security measures, SMB’s can enjoy the same benefits as huge corporations with a state of the art phone system.
Cloud based PBX for small business and bandwidth
On average, SMBs use less than 10% of their total Internet bandwidth capacity. Exceptions exist, of course, but even with constant web surfing, downloading, and video streaming by every employee, a typical SMB wouldn’t even come close to reaching its bandwidth capacity.
Even with a cloud based PBX, SMB’s would likely have plenty of Internet bandwidth. At most, one call consumes at most 60KB of bandwidth. This means a 1MB Internet connection, considered very slow, would reach capacity at about 12 simultaneous calls. More than 12 calls would result in performance issues.
The numbers above, though, assume that no one else is using the Internet connection. Watching a YouTube video at standard hi-def resolution (1080p) consumes roughly 500KB/second of bandwidth. So, on a 1MB Internet connection, between 3-5 simultaneous calls can happen while watching a hi-def YouTube video (taking data overhead into account).
Asterisk PBX software forms the basis of Astoundant’s cloud PBX architecture. It powers millions of phones worldwide in over 60 countries. Almost every Fortune 1000 company on the planet uses Asterisk to meet their telecommunications needs.
As an open source project, the worldwide community supports Asterisk, and it allows for custom development. Astoundant adopted Asterisk as a modified multi-tenant application, allowing multiple customers to be supported on a single cloud instance. Modifying and adding features is as simple as changing codes, dialplans and scripts with the right expertise.
Delivering cloud based PBX for business
Back in 2010, Astoundant began deploying services to its customers using on-premises equipment. We quickly switched to a cloud-based infrastructure, with phones and endpoints connecting to PBX servers through the Internet. This reduced our overhead because we no longer had to visit a customer’s site to maintain an on-premise PBX. VoIP endpoints tend to be low maintenance, and Astoundant programs endpoints to be plug and play only, limiting any features shared with Asterisk.
By having the cloud deliver features instead of endpoints to the customer, this allows for a greater ability to centrally manage the entire system, provide uniformity in features, and lower overhead. Astoundant then passes the overhead savings to our customers.
Astoundant has touted the cost savings of a cloud based PBX for business versus a traditional analog system. Businesses save as much as 80% using a cloud based PBX compared to traditional analog. But the savings don’t stop there.
Cost differences exist between cloud based providers as well. Many providers require purchasing phones that are proprietary to their system. Try to switch providers and use your current phones? There’s a high risk of “bricking” the phone — rendering it inoperable, like a brick — when attempting to reset its configuration.
Astoundant, on the other hand, follows the recent BYOD trend. Customers can bring their own devices to our network, and we provide configuration instructions. We also sell telephony equipment, but keep them open source so customers can use them with other providers should they decide to move on.
Keeping the BYOD trend also keeps our overhead low, making our system cost competitive.