What is a Hosted PBX?
Hosted PBX is a term used for phone services that are made available to the end user over the Internet. These are becoming much more widely used instead of a physical unit at the customer’s location known as a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) or other legacy technology such as key phone systems
There are many services that are being made available in a hosted environment these days. You often here the term in “The Cloud”. A term that implies that hardware technologies are being housed in an off-site or distant location, other than where you are currently located. Because customers are actively seeking out or even demanding the huge cost reductions that come with these types of multi-tenant solutions mainly because they don’t want to invest the huge amounts of money that is synonymous with physical infrastructure that will, in the very near future becomes obsolete at the resident level.
Other examples of popular “Hosted Services” are hosted CRMs (customer-relationship management) applications like salesforce.com and data storage (offsite and again in the cloud). As advancement in technology come to pass specifically those associated to internet access e.g.: increasing speeds, more and more services will be offered as a hosted solution.
What are the benefits of a Hosted PBX?
The benefits of a Hosted PBX over a traditional in-house or on-premise PBX are endless!! Please feel free to view our webpage outlining the benefits of our hosted solution: Benefits.
Here are just a few key points:
- Fiscal Difference. Costly hardware, professional installation and configuration & hard-wired infrastructure make up just a few of the headaches that a company needs to be prepared for when implementing their own equipment. Dynamic Call Solutions’ hosted services eliminates all these mitigating factors when it comes to having a reliable, full functioning phone system.
- High Availability/ “Five 9s”. Dynamic Call Solutions and its Hosted PBX services are housed in a secure data facility located in downtown Montreal which caters to some of the largest names in both the commercial and private sector. Security and infrastructure that ensures redundancy upon redundancy that in turn guarantees that no matter what happens at your current location be it a natural disaster or otherwise, you have the ability to keep your company up and running from virtually anywhere in the world.
- Flexibility, Greater Control and continuous updates. At Dynamic Call Solutions we pride ourselves on the “At a Moment’s Notice” concept. Growing at an exponential rate?? Not a problem!! Adding additional extensions, setting up a new regional office or even subcontracting to a third party for a few weeks is as easy as a few clicks of a mouse. As we constantly strive to better our solutions, continuous updates to our feature rich platform gives new meaning to the term PBX. Options that were never even available with your traditional PBX are now servicing even the smallest of clients giving them a presence in their field previously not available to your smaller, “Mom & Pop” shops. From “Corporate” to “Quiet”, we cover it all!
Will I have to give up my phone number with Dynamic Call Solutions’ Hosted PBX service?
The Answer is NO!
The laws are clear when it comes to your phone number(s) and “Portability”. Below covers the rules governed by the CRTC.
Wireless (or Landline) Number Portability: Keeping Your Phone Number When You Switch Service Providers
Local number portability (LNP) for fixed lines, and full mobile number portability (FMNP) applies.
Wireless (or Landline) number portability means that you can keep your phone number when you change from one wireless company to another; or from a landline phone company to a wireless company (and vice versa). Or in our case, from one of the previously aforementioned to Dynamic Call Solutions. Think of us as if you would the Telephone Company. Beside our Hosted PBX platform, Dynamic Call Solutions can very simply provide you with a telephone line with basic service as you would normally get from Bell Canada and at a much lower monthly cost you. *(1) However, if you move out of your local exchange area, you may not be able to keep your number. Typically, a local exchange area covers a community, town or city. Wireless number portability is available everywhere wireline (landline) number portability is available.
If you want to keep your number, don’t cancel it!
You have to ask your new service provider (DCS) about keeping your phone number before you cancel your current service. You can only keep your present phone number if it’s currently being used. You can keep your phone number if you switch:
- from one wireless service provider to another wireless service provider
- from a landline phone line to a wireless service provider
- from a wireless service provider to a landline phone line carrier, if the location to be served by your telephone number is within the local exchange area for your telephone number. (See *(1))
- from a wireless service provider or a landline provider to a “Hosted PBX” provider like Dynamic Call Solutions
*(1) If you move out of your local exchange area at the same time as you change service providers, you may not be able to keep your number. * Ask your new service provider whether you can keep your number.
*(1) Historically, the above would apply. With VoIP subscribers as with our service, you can take anyone of the phones configured for your account through Dynamic Call Solutions anywhere in the world and continue to make calls within your area code’s calling area free of charge because of the nature of VoIP.
Voice over IP (VoIP) is a technology that provides telephone service. So, number portability applies to VoIP users. This means that you may be able to keep your phone number when switching between VoIP, landline or wireless services.
Rates, costs and fees
Service rates are not regulated. Service providers can charge you when switching your telephone number to a different service provider, and these fees can vary by service provider.
How long to complete a transfer
Whether you choose a standard DID or Toll-Free, timelines are the same. If you choose to continue utilizing your existing toll-free serviceexisting DID whereby we are not providing you with a new TFDID number simply having Dynamic Call Solutions port over your existing TFDID number you must allow up to 20 days for Canadian Toll-free and up to 30 days for a US Toll-free. * some restriction may apply in certain areas across North America from an accessibility standpoint).
I know that I can get my 1-800 service from Dynamic Call Solutions but am I able to choose a vanity number like 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
YES! Provided the numbers in the sequence you would like are available & Dynamic Call Solutions can do that for you and at long distance rates far more competitive than most Toll Free service providers in the industry today. Please keep in mind that 800 numbers, for the most part are pretty limited as they were the first Toll Free numbers available. Today’s TFs usually begin with 888, 866 or 855. Local (vanity) telephone numbers are unavailable.
What sort of Internet connection do I need? (What are my bandwidth requirements?)
Upload requirements: 100kb per phone
Download requirements: 100kb per phone
VoIP has come a long way in recent years but if you are unable to meet the above mentioned bandwidth requirements, your experience using any VoIP service (Dynamic Call Solutions included) will result in poor audio, jitter or audible delays.
We have provided you with an online VoIPBandwidth testing tool as part of our pre-service checklist. Please go to http://voiptest.dcserver.ca/ to test your current connection.
After running the test and gathered the necessary information, you can then calculate the bandwidth available through your current internet connection and decide whether there is enough bandwidth to support the desired number of telephones and simultaneous phone calls. If after you’ve completed your calculations and your results are insufficient to support the number of lines you require then you’ll want to contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and increase your package to support your needs.
If your intentions are to implement 10 phones then you will need at least 1000kb for upload and 1000kb for download allowing your environment to run your desired set-up. Please bear in mind that you do have other devices on the network that will use bandwidth as well. Computers, printers and other peripherals all take up bandwidth. (1024 KB = 1 MB)
Will I still be able to send and receive faxes?
The old adage applies….”Where there is a will there is a way”
Traditionally, we have sent faxes using bulky fax machines over your standard analog, copper pair telephone lines. In an effort to reduced costs, some have chosen to do away with this old and obsolete technology all together. Conversion equipment such as an ATA device makes this possible over VoIP connections but is not always 100% reliable. Although, 9 times out 10 you WILL achieve success.
In most cases, even if an office decided to go 100% VoIP and whether you’ve decided to use Dynamic Call Solutions as your provider or not, most offices keep a traditional telephone line to for an alarm system. If you have one at your place of business you can have that same line double as your fax line.
As an alternative, incoming faxes can be sent directly to your e-mail inbox using an internet fax service provider or IFSP (FacSys, RightFAX, MyFax) or any of a number of third party softwares thus allowing you to send faxes electronically as well. If you were concerned in the case of having to send printed matter via fax, then you may do the following. You would scan to file be it a PDF, a tiff or any number of other standard document types and send it electronically via email, which is preferable for the majority of our small-business customers as it allows them to become more “paperless.” This being another cost effective way to reduce overhead.
We have an alarm system that currently connects over one of my existing telephone lines. Can we run our alarm system through your hosted PBX service?
The answer, unfortunately is no. You would need to keep one traditional analog line for this purpose. However, as mentioned in the above, you could use this same line for all your faxing needs and would help to offset any additional costs that may be associated to a third party IFSP.
How much does it cost?
Costs vary depending on your needs. Please feel free to visit Our Plans and Pricing page for some of our offerings but we feel a little one on one discussion to better serve you is the way to go. Please fill out our “Get a Quote” form for information or contact us via telephone anytime to discuss the future of business telephone systems and see how you’ll save more with Dynamic Call Solutions than any other “Hosted PBX” service provider out there today!!!
What if my Internet connection goes down?
In the event that you experience an interruption in your internet service then both your internet access as well as your telephone system will no longer be available. However this is not as catastrophic as you may think. Unlike with a traditional on-premise PBX, your auto attendant and all IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems will still be operational. Clients will still have the ability to reach desired extensions or departments and leave messages on a given voicemail or one of our valued added features is the Find Me/Follow Me function which in the event of an internet outage will keep you in touch with your clients 24/7/365 if you should so choose. For the most part, ISPs and their internet connections are very reliable and very rarely suffer any interruptions.
Redundancy, as with many other technologies is always an option. To avoid disruption at all costs you can have a second ISP’s service in place, on standby and with additional hardware to assist in the “rollover’ or by simply unplugging one cable from the back of one modem and plugging it into the back of another you are up and running in a matter of seconds.
Also, when using Dynamic Call Solutions’ hosted PBX you have the ability to re-route all of your inbound traffic at a moment’s notice. Departments and extensions can be redirected to cell phones or alternate land lines whenever such interruptions occur or perhaps planned ahead of time should your offices be unavailable due to construction or whatever the situation may present. Because our solution is web based, you may simply make your way down to a local coffee shop or an internet café and its business as usual.
What happens if the power should go out?
As with any phone system whether a hosted solution or an on-premise PBX, the system will go down. Any business that have a call center model or is telephone based type business should consider having back up by way of UPS or alternatively a generator. But really the aforementioned should really only be considered if you are in an area where power outages occur on a regular basis. Otherwise, as monition in the above if your business is telephone-based (such as a call centre) or if it is located in an area that has known or frequent power issues, we recommend a back-up power generator. Consider this scenario very much the same as your internet going offline and dealt with in the same way.
Lets’ say my Hosted PBX telephone line is in the Montreal (514) area code, am I able to bring my phone to another area code and still place and receive calls?
YES!! One of the advantages to using Dynamic Call Solutions’ service is exactly that. Simply connect your phone to any broadband connection anywhere in the world and away you go. Alternatively you may use one of the many free softphones available on the internet and with just little configuring you are placing and receiving phone calls as though you were back in your area code in no time. Local calls placed in the 514 area code remain local regardless of where you are in the world. Placing calls outside of the 514 area code would be treated exactly the same as if you were sitting at your desk back in your office. Dynamic Call Solutions’ various packages come with long distance rates better than most LD providers out there today.
Am I able to receive a collect call?
No. Like cellular phones, our platform does not support collect calls. However, we recommend using our toll-free service. We will provide you the actual toll-free number free of charge and you benefit from our low long distance rates. Please feel free to contact our offices for more information.
Can I call 9-1-1?
Yes but the service is slightly different. VOIP phone calls made to emergency services are similar to emergency calls made from a cellular telephone in the sense that the emergency-service dispatch center will not automatically know your location and that of the telephone, so the caller must provide the information at that point.
Dynamic Call Solutions and its Hosted PBX service offers 9-1-1 service & 9-1-1 dialing capability that is similar to the traditional 9-1-1 service you are normally used to but has some differences and limitations when compared to enhanced 9-1-1 (E911) service found in most cities with traditional telephone service. With traditional 9-1-1 and E911 service your call is transferred to the closest emergency response centre. With the E911 service, call center or dispatch agents if you will, can see your call back number and address. With Dynamic Call Solutions’ 9-1-1 service, the call is routed to a national emergency response centre at which point the operator will ask you for your location & information and then will transfer your 9-1-1 call to the response centre nearest to you. Simply remain on the line, do not hang up unless you are told to do so and should the line drop or you become disconnected in any way, you must dial 9-1-1 again.
Please bear in mind that as previously mentioned in the above concerning power or internet outages, 9-1-1 dialing will not work. Unlike your traditional telephone company, should your account become suspended for whatever reason you will be unable to use the 9-1-1 service. After any type of disruption of service it is important to verify your phone’s configuration to ensure that you 9-1-1 dialing is functional.
Making this information available to your employees or anyone using our service is a MUST.
We limit our liability to you in respect to our 9-1-1 dialing service as we do not have any control over whether, or the manner in which, calls using our 9-1-1 dialing service are answered or addressed by any local emergency response centre. If you are not comfortable with the limitations of the 9-1-1 dialing service, you should consider having an alternate means of accessing traditional 9-1-1 or E911 services or terminating the Service. In such cases where elderly or incapacitated are concerned, a traditional copper pair telephone line may be in order.
Prior to subscribing to the Dynamic Call Solutions’ service, you must review our terms and conditions and applicable limitations of liability set out in the Terms of Service that will be provided to you.
What is VOIP?
Many of us have heard of this technology by now and may have even given a try in the last ten years since its inception. If you had tried it in its infancy than you probably have a pretty bad taste in your mouth as far as its ability to place calls goes. In the beginning calls where broken up with gaps of dead air and sentences incomprehensible. Frustration to say the least and usually resulted with people reverting back to their traditional POTS (POTS: Plain old telephone service) lines.
If you’ve never heard of VoIP, get ready to change the way you think about long-distance phone calls. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a means for taking analog audio signals, like the kind you hear when you talk on the phone, and turning them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet. And believe me when I tell you the technology has come a long way from the “Jitter” you might remember. Call quality is as crisp and clear as if you were talking on your regular PSTN (PSTN: public switched telephone network) copper pair line…..if not better!
VoIP is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to completely change the world’s phone systems. VoIP providers have already been around for quite some time and are growing exponentially. Major carriers like Bell & AT&T are already using VoIP calling plans in markets all over Canada & United States, and the CRTC & FCC is looking seriously at the potential ramifications of VoIP service. If anything, VoIP is just a clever “reinvention of the wheel.” which will more than likely one day replace traditional phone system entirely.
VoIP has three different methods to place calls that are in common use today:
- ATA devices – The easiest and most common way is through the use of an ATA (analog telephone adaptor) device. The ATA lets you connect a standard phone to your computer or your Internet connection for use with VoIP. The ATA is basically an analog-to-digital converter. It takes the analog signal from your traditional phone and converts it into digital data for transmission over the Internet hence the VOICE over INTERNET protocol. Providers like Vonage have been bundling ATAs with their service since they started their offerings. You simply plug the cable from your phone that would normally go in the wall socket into the ATA, and you’re ready to make calls. Some ATAs may require some configuration but in most cases they are plug ‘n’ play when provided with your paid service or otherwise it’s a pretty straightforward setup.
- IP Phones – These specialized devices look just like the phones you’re used to. Handset, cradle and buttons. The only major difference is they have an RJ-45 Ethernet connector rather than having the standard RJ-11 phone connectors your old phone had. An IP phone can plug right into your router and has everything they need to place a call right onboard. Wi-Fi phones give you the ability to make VoIP calls from any Wi-Fi hot spot.
- Computer-to-computer – Probably the easiest way to use VoIP. This way allows you to place long-distance calls at no cost at all. There are several companies that offer free or near free software that you can use for this type of VoIP. All you need is the software, a mic & speaker combo, a sound card and an Internet connection. A fast internet connection like that through a cable or DSL modem will prove beneficial. Except for the usual monthly fees associated to your internet service, there is no charge for computer-to-computer calls, no matter where in the world you are trying to call.
VoIP is the driving force behind Dynamic Call Solutions’ Hosted PBX solution.
Why should I consider VoIP and a Hosted PBX solution for my business?
The benefits are as follows:
- Avoiding costly long-distance charges between connected locations (remote extensions on your account). IE: You have offices in Toronto and in Ottawa, with a Hosted PBX connecting the two allowing you to make calls between the two offices over the Internet. This allows you to bypass the traditional “copper wire” phone line and therefore will not incur ANY long distance charges.
- More Bang for your Buck! A VoIP-based Hosted PBX phone system is completely digital and is controlled by software. As a result, expanding and enhancing your business phone system is accomplished with new software instead of having to replace or add new & costly hardware, making it simple and less costly to add new features and functionality. You also get far more features with a Hosted PBX than is possible with traditional PBX and like phone systems. Integrated voice & e-mail messages is just one example. All voicemail messages, through voicemail forwarding can be sent to your e-mail account as sound files when a message is left
- SYNERGY! Connecting employees, home offices, remote office, Road Warriors all on the same phone network. Wherever they are, other employees can reach their colleagues by simply dialing a phone extension.
- A Single Presence – One Entity. With just one phone number whenever anyone in your organization is called upon, they can be reached anywhere in the world without ever having to ask the caller to hang up and try an alternate number.
- Working from anywhere. With a Hosted PBX, anyone in your company can work from home or from anywhere in the world as long as they can connect to the Internet all the while remaining at the same phone number and extension as though they were in the office.
- Expand at a moment’s notice! You are able to add telephone extensions, voicemail boxes and locations with ease. With a few clicks of a mouse, simply plug in a new IP phone your the Internet and you’re ready to go.
What hardware do I need to get started with Dynamic Call Solutions?
All you need to run Dynamic Call Solutions’ Hosted PBX service is a “High Speed” internet connection and a VoIP/IP phone. In cases where your company’s requirements call for a large number of lines/phones, perhaps you would require a larger switching device with QoS capability to direct internal network traffic but in most cases these are not required.
In the world of computer networking and other packet-switched telecommunication networks, the traffic engineering term, QoS, refers to resource reservation control mechanisms rather than the achieved service quality. Quality of service is the ability to provide priority to different applications or users guaranteeing a certain level of performance to a data flow. One example would be a required bit rate the guarantee thereof. Quality of service guarantees are important if the network capacity is insufficient, especially in the case of Voice over IP which often requires fixed bit rate and are delay sensitive, and in networks where the capacity is a limited resource.
Will the voice quality be the same as if it were over traditional telephone lines?
Stick to the guidelines, ensure your Internet connection is sufficient and the answer is YES. As previously mentioned VoIP has come a long way since its infancy and is considered mainstream technology today. Issues associated to VoIP in the early stages have since been resolved. In fact, businesses are reporting better sound quality than that over copper pairs. You remember that scratching or static on the line? A thing of the past as that is strictly an analog problem and will never occur on a digital transmission.