PBXIf your enterprise has implemented or considered cloud computing, chances are it has encountered the growing phenomenon of cloud PBX. The benefits include cost savings because equipment and maintenance personnel are not needed and streamlined communications between distant parties avoids long-distance travel. A great deal of time is saved, in that hardware and wiring are not a concern, while worker mobility is also fostered to allow for more flexibility.

The standard cloud PBX system offers problem resolution, backup, and disaster recovery as part of the service. All-in-all, the complete solution can cost your business a fraction of running an in-house telecommunications system. There are now many cloud PBX vendors for enterprise customers, so it can be hard to choose, but here are some top players in the industry.

Top 5 Cloud PBX Vendors

Avaya – A worldwide leader in communications systems for business, Avaya provides direct services and those provided through channel partners to support businesses anywhere in the world. While primarily targeting small and mid-size entities, the company’s Avaya IP Office product is scalable up to 1,000 employees in one location and can support a network of 32 locations. Not necessarily the first choice for a large enterprise, the solution’s scalability, security, and centralized management make it a suitable option for meeting changing needs throughout all stages of growth.

Siemens – The company’s communications solutions are geared directly toward the enterprise, ensuring a perfect fit with existing IT environments and network infrastructures. The VoIP services offered by Siemens are focused on bringing down the average total costs of ownership. The company’s OpenScape Voice product, a software-based platform, delivers clear sound quality and supports up to 100,000 users. It is also compatible with public, private, or hybrid cloud deployments. Any business looking for unified communications, video, and Web collaboration will benefit.

NEC – NEC offers a number of solutions for various industries, and even serves telecom operators. Its cloud communications product is available in an enterprise edition and application services for specific industries such as financial, media, and manufacturing are available. NEC can tailor its products to a wide number of needs, so it is important to determine what your enterprise requires in terms of a cloud PBX solution beforehand.

Mitel – Mitel is another big player in the cloud PBX market. Its Multi-Instance Communications Director service directly targets large enterprises in addition to service providers. The service delivers unified communications and collaboration solutions that increase efficiency and provide virtualization. A number of other services are available depending on your enterprise’s needs. All provide numerous benefits, but the range of choices means you have to do your homework before jumping on the bandwagon.

ShoreTel Sky – Cloud PBX and hosted VoIP is the center of what ShoreTel Sky provides to enterprise customers. The company’s basic cloud VoIP service offers all the benefits of cloud-based communications. It is, however, run over the public Internet so voice quality can vary depending on the connection. Plus, the vendor offers minimal support once the system is set up. ShoreTel’s cloud phone system does offer subscribers access to a portal for configuring the system and monitoring it via the Web. Coaching for hosted phone systems is also available. If your enterprise is fine with maintaining a hands-on support staff with the flexibility to learn from the vendor, the ShoreTel solution offers as much as any cloud PBX system provides.

Numerous cloud PBX vendors offer sophisticated alternatives to the traditional office-based phone system. The features your enterprise values the most, along with the options and service each vendor provides need to be weighed before making a decision. A flexible system that grows with your business is the most beneficial. In contrast to smaller service providers, the top vendors offer the most diversity for finding a solution meeting the unique needs of your enterprise.