For the last two decades, many technological advancements have occurred in the
telecommunication industry. This revolutionized how individuals and businesses interact
with colleagues, stakeholders, and customers.
One such advancement is VoIP and cloud telephony, which paved the way for adopting
virtual phone systems for communications. The virtual business phone system has a
multitude of benefits over old phone systems like PBX (Private Branch Exchange). These
include reduced call charges due to internet-based calling, hardware-free setup,
connecting from anywhere in the world, third-party tools integration, and cutting-edge
call center features.
Let’s see how migrating to a virtual phone system like TeleCMI can improve office
communication, remote working, and save telephone bills.
Table Of Contents:
1. What is a virtual phone system?
2. How does a virtual phone service work?
3. Differences between PBX and cloud PBX (virtual phone system)
4. 9 advanced features in the virtual phone system
5. Advantages of the virtual phone system
6. 6 Checklist for choosing the reliable virtual phone system
What is a virtual phone system?
A virtual phone system is a cloud communication platform businesses, and
individuals use to make and receive calls over an internet connection. It
doesn’t require physical telephone devices. Instead, the virtual phone systems
can be accessed via iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, or Mac applications installed
on the user’s mobile, PC, or computer devices. Users are required to subscribe
to monthly or yearly plans to use virtual phone systems. Typically, monthly
plans range from $10 to $100 per user. The exact cost varies based on the
features, the provider, and calling minutes.
It also comes with a UCaaS feature allowing users to communicate via different
channels apart from voice calling, such as video meetings, SMS, eFax, and team
A virtual phone system can be used for different purposes like office
communication, remote collaboration, call center operations, alternate phone
number, international calling, and cloud calling.
How does a virtual phone service work?
A virtual or cloud phone system uses VoIP technology to transmit calls through
an internet connection. A VoIP is a voice over internet protocol that converts
audio, video, and other forms of multimedia data digitally.
Your virtual phone system vendor maintains cloud-based infrastructure to
facilitate virtual communications, and this includes data centers in multiple
regions, telecom switches, and associations with local carriers like AT&T,
Vodafone, and Airtel.
When a call is made in the VoIP phone system, it is automatically encoded into
packets and digital data and sent to the destination (recipient). Most platforms
use G.711 codec for call termination. The reason why it’s applied in VoIP
environments is it improves call quality through better coding and decoding
To make or handle calls in the virtual phone system, log in to the softphone app
through mobile or desktop devices and enter the extension number in the dial pad
to call colleagues or the recipient’s mobile number. You can also call using
desk phones or IP phones that support VoIP. To use these devices, you have to
finish the basic settings recommended by your VoIP service provider (Virtual
phone system) on your landlines.
Traditional PBX vs. virtual phone system: 9 key differences
Business phone systems come in both traditional (PBX) and virtual. To understand
the advantages and disadvantages of the two, read these nine key differences.
PBX: A traditional PBX is a telephone hardware system deployed and maintained
on-premises. It consists of copper wires connected to the local lines in the
office, a switchboard for connecting inbound and outbound calls, and integration
with the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).
Virtual phone system: It’s hosted on cloud-based infrastructure by the vendor
and sold to businesses as a uCaaS software (Unified Communication as a Service)
on a subscription basis.
PBX: As PBX is physical hardware, it requires IT administrators to maintain and
upgrade the system frequently. These can be time-consuming and expensive for
organizations of all sizes.
Virtual phone system: A virtual phone system operates on the cloud and is
accessible for users as software that can be installed on existing devices like
smartphones, tablets, and computers. The provider takes care of the maintenance
and updates of the system.
PBX: The traditional PBX requires a substantial upfront investment for
installing the physical hardware on-premises. In addition, it also consumes
hefty money on ongoing maintenance.
Virtual phone system: It doesn’t require any upfront fee. Users can buy virtual
phone system software for a monthly or annual fee. The only expenses are
broadband service for internet connection and platform usage fee.
4. Accessibility and mobility
PBX: A PBX can be accessed through landlines or desk phones in the office. It’s
location-dependent, as a result, employees cannot make and receive calls out of
the premise. This makes users get tied to phones to manage calls.
Virtual phone system: The virtual phone system can be accessed on user’s mobile
and laptop devices, as a result, they can manage calls from anywhere, anytime.
This allows flexible communications with employees working in remote, other
countries and field.
5. Reliability and Redundancy
PBX: Traditional PBX systems are susceptible to hardware failures and outages.
Hence, businesses need to have backup power sources and redundant hardware in
place to ensure continuous operation in the event of failures.
Virtual Phone System: Virtual phone systems typically operate on highly
redundant and geographically distributed servers. Service providers employ
redundancy measures to ensure high availability and minimize downtime. They
often have built-in failover mechanisms and backup systems to maintain service
PBX: It has basic and limited call management features like call conferencing,
call forwarding, voicemail, call recording, and extension dialing.
Virtual phone system: It’s packed with advanced features to meet modern
communication requirements. These include video meetings, CDR (Call Detail
Reports), agent performance analytics, voicemail-to-email, SMS, IVR, auto
dialer, intelligent call routing, work tool integrations, and more. Apart from
these, providers also roll out new features to enhance the platform’s
7. Multi-location support
PBX: Traditional PBX phone systems can be used in single-location only and
cannot support connecting multiple offices.
Virtual phone system: Virtual phone systems act as a unified phone system and
can be accessed in multiple locations enabling communication across offices
based in different locations.
PBX: PBX doesn’t support integration with other software like CRM, email
automation, team collaboration, and resource management.
Virtual phone system: Virtual phone systems can be integrated with other
business tools like Zoho, Zendesk, HubSpot, Zapier, and Salesforce. You can
enable app integration within the dashboard in a few clicks.
PBX: Scaling the phone system is time-consuming and costly as it requires
purchasing new phone devices and hardware and might also result in downtime
Virtual phone system: You can onboard as many users as you want, from 10 to
10,000+, through single or bulk upload. You don’t need to install dedicated
landlines. Instead, you can create a user extension number for all users within
the admin application.
9 Advanced features in the Virtual phone system
Automatic call distribution
A business can receive a large number of sales and customer support calls every
day, especially it’s true for businesses in the e-commerce, banking, and real
estate. Any missed call might bring lost business opportunities and frustration
to clients. Hence, having an advanced phone system in place is crucial to handle
massive calls at any given time. As a virtual phone system have an in-built call
router, it automatically assigns incoming calls to the right agent and ensures
each call is attended instantly.
You can gain visibility to advanced call center metrics like the number of calls
attended, missed, and made. Including the average call duration, number of
queued calls, number of active calls, agent-wise call reports, and agent working
status like online, offline, or break. These analytics can be used for
decision-making, planning the resources, and evaluating the productivity of the
call center and individual agents.
This feature can be used for multiple purposes, which include (1) protecting the
privacy of both participants (caller and recipient) and (2) displaying a
different phone number to the recipient to increase call answer rates. For
example, when the number or call masking is enabled, a caller dials through 123
and the receiver sees 321 in the caller ID, and the original number is hidden
for the receiver and vice versa.
The call monitoring feature is used in the contact centers to monitor live calls
between agents and customers through either call barge or whisper. This function
helps call center managers to listen to conversations live and assists agents in
solving a query or closing the deal.
The click-to-call feature saves time for sales, support, recruiting, and other
teams by allowing them to call a phone number without typing the contact number
in the dial pad. When integrated with your working tools like CRM, the call icon
will be automatically displayed next to the phone number, and the user can make
a call by simply clicking it. The click2call can also be integrated into the
website so visitors can contact your business by clicking the number.
Auto dialer is a dialing software that is a built-in feature in many VoIP phone
systems like TeleCMI. It can be helpful for running telesales and telemarketing
campaigns as the system calls bulk leads in the list without human intervention.
Once the prospect picks up the call, it will be connected to an available sales
rep to close the deal. It’s used in political campaigns, government bodies, and
marketing campaigns for voice broadcasting, collecting votes, and announcing
product offers. Auto dialer comes in different types, such as progressive
dialer, predictive dialer, and preview dialer.
Local, toll-free, and vanity numbers
In a virtual phone system, you can register and use any number of business
numbers without purchasing SIM or installing new phone lines. These numbers are
called virtual phone numbers and work in the cloud. You can buy local phone
numbers with city codes, international numbers with country codes, and toll-free
numbers. The virtual numbers cost $5 to 10 depending on the provider and
function like real phone numbers. You can make, receive, and forward calls
flexibly using these numbers.
Call flow manager
Using call flow designer, you can control how your incoming calls should be
routed and handled. For example, you can create a call flow for a business
number 983xx 322xx with a voicemail activation, so when a customer makes a call,
the system asks the customer to leave a voice message and businesses can arrange
a callback later. Likewise, you can create an IVR menu for your business number
with options like press 1 for sales, press 2 for support, and press 3 for
connecting with the live agent. So when a customer presses the relevant number,
appropriate action will take place.
API and webhooks
Your virtual phone system partner has features like Voice APIs and webhooks,
which are designed for developers to integrate advanced voice calling solutions
into their applications. Using these APIs and SDKs, you can implement advanced
cloud communication features in your business tools.
Why you should choose a virtual phone system: 5 Advantages
Lower communication charges
As the virtual phone system uses VoIP technology, it reduces the call charges
for subscribers by connecting calls through an internet connection rather than
using PSTN networks.
It also reduces the reliance on hardphones because the system can be installed
on existing devices like mobile and laptop devices. Some providers like TeleCMI
offer unlimited calling plans for businesses that make and receive a large
number of calls. This further cuts down additional charges for enterprises and
A virtual business phone system is deployed on the cloud, i.e., the software is
installed and accessed through the user’s mobile or PC. This eliminates the need
for setting and configuring on-premise telephone hardware like PBX and desk
Call from anywhere
Staffs can make and receive calls from anywhere, whether they are in the office,
home, or field. They can use devices enabled with Wi-Fi or fiber net to perform
audio and video calling.
Hassle-free user management
Virtual phone systems make admins' and supervisors' work easier when it comes to
adding, deleting, and managing team members. Unlike PBX systems, They eliminate
the technical burdens involved in configuring devices and setting new landlines.
Features like IVR, click2call, automatic call distribution, CRM integration,
call recording, and auto dialers accelerate user productivity and save time on
basic call center actions. As a result, you can witness overall growth in sales,
customer service, and team communication.
6 checklist to consider when buying the virtual phone system
1. Call quality and reliability
Makes sure calls can be connected without jitters, echoes, and disconnections.
Check the service provider’s reliability measures like QoS (Quality of Service),
SLA (Service Level Agreements), and uptime guarantee.
Evaluate how different providers’ pricing structure works, such as whether they
charge per user, per line, or a flat rate. Check the number of features included
in each plan. Basic plans include limited capabilities, and premium plans
consist of high-level features. Some vendors offer few features as an add-on
service which may consume additional costs for small businesses and large
3. Security and Compliance
In the virtual communication industry, VoIP service providers should comply with
security and data protection regulations and local laws such as HIPAA, GDPR,
FCC, and VNO. This ensures your partner is a qualified service provider and they
have the required license and certifications in place. Also, check the
encryption protocols of your partner to make sure all your conversations are
4. Integration capabilities
Ensure the virtual phone system can be integrated with third-party business
tools that your organization is using. This eases the workflow and improves the
productivity of employees and agents. Also, check the API resources your
provider offers for seamless data exchange.
5. Customer support
The provider’s reputation can be judged by how quickly they respond to a
complaint or ticket. You can check the provider’s support hours, channels, and
average response time on their website or during onboarding. You can also read
customer testimonials and reviews to understand the client’s experience with the
6. Product and technical training
Check if the provider has a team to provide a demo and training to new clients.
Understand how the platform works and the capabilities of the platform. Most
virtual phone systems take a slight learning curve for freshers and absolute
beginners. You can always refer to the knowledge base and FAQ section on the
provider’s website to resolve doubts and questions.
We encourage you to go through the above checklist to make an informed decision
and buy the right business phone system that suits your business requirements.
Virtual, VoIP, or cloud phone system provides great flexibility for businesses
to communicate from anywhere. Switching to this communication platform reduces
financial costs and elevates productivity among employees and agents. Getting
started is effortless, which takes only signing up with the service provider.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, if you own a phone number with the other provider or carrier, you can
transfer it to a new provider through number porting. The requirements for
number porting includes a Letter of Authorization (LOA), PIN number, recent
phone bill, and continuation of the service until the number is moved to a
new service provider. Based on the matching information, it takes 1 to 2
weeks to port all your phone numbers completely.
The VoIP plans cost $10 to 100 monthly, depending on the provider you choose.
The features available to access also change based on the plan you choose.
When you purchase a plan annually, they provide a yearly discount. Mostly,
each plan contains allocated free minutes, like 4000 minutes free. After
exceeding, a user needs to recharge or pay the required charges to continue
virtual phone service without interruption. To avoid paying metered charges,
you can upgrade to an unlimited plan for a flat fee, suitable for businesses
that place a lot of inbound and outbound calls.
The important features to look for in the virtual phone system are 4-digit
user extension, multi countries coverage, VoIP calling, call blacklist, HD
voice quality, IP whitelisting, auto attendant, call transcription, webRTC
(Web Real-Time Communication), CTI, custom IVR/voicemail greetings, call
forwarding, call transfer, call conferencing, and smart routing.
Considering affordability, state-of-the-art platform features, and service
quality, we suggest you try a TeleCM virtual phone system. You can try it
risk-free with a free trial or schedule a free demo to explore the
product functionalities. TeleCMI is used by 1,500+ enterprises like Hyundai,
Porter, Zebronics, and Dr.Reddy’s for customer support operations and