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The Best Cloud PBX for Small Businesses: All You Need to Know

Yasmeily Toledo PerdomoLast updated on January 16, 2024
10 min

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Are you in search of the perfect cloud PBX phone system for your small business? Look no further! A cloud PBX system brings the convenience and power of a traditional phone system to the cloud, offering unmatched flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore all the essential details about cloud PBX phone systems for small businesses. From seamless call routing to advanced features and integrations with your business applications, discover how this technology can revolutionize your communication infrastructure. Get ready to propel your business forward with the best cloud PBX phone system available. Let's dive in!

What is a Cloud PBX? 

A cloud PBX is a Private Branch Exchange phone system that operates in the cloud rather than relying on physical hardware. A cloud PBX system is readily accessible from any location with an internet connection. The calls and messages are transmitted through the internet rather than traditional phone lines. Cloud PBX systems offer small business owners a range of features and benefits, such as the ability to make and receive calls from anywhere, automatic call routing, and advanced call analytics.

How Does a Cloud PBX System Work?

A cloud PBX system unifies communications: calls, texts, email, or chat over the internet. The voice is transmitted from the internet to the cloud server, which then routes the call to the appropriate recipient. This process is instantaneous, so you don't have to worry about significant delays or dropped calls during your communications with customers. 

A cloud PBX replaces traditional PBX systems that rely on physical switches to route calls with a reliable internet connection. Cloud-phone systems integrate with other software small businesses already use for business applications and offer unprecedented versatility and flexibility.

The constantly evolving technology behind cloud PBX systems allows them to offer more features and functionalities than ever before. For example, some cloud PBX systems will enable you to make calls from your computer or mobile device, which means you can work remotely or on the go without missing any important calls.

How to Use a Cloud PBX System?

Setting up a cloud PBX system is relatively easy, and the benefits of doing so are numerous. Could your small business benefit from a cost-effective call management solution? If so, a cloud phone service may be right for you. 

Take the next step toward digitally transforming your small business and consider opting for a cloud PBX phone. Here's a step-by-step guide to setting up a cloud PBX system for your small businesses:

Step 1: Choose a Provider

The first step to setting up a cloud PBX system for your small business is to choose a provider. There are many service providers in the market, so it's important to research available options and find the one that best suits your business needs.

We advise you to look out for a provider that offers specific features you need, such as call forwarding, voicemail, and auto-attendants. Don't forget to consider factors such as pricing, customer support, and reliability, as these will make all the difference in the long run.

Step 2: Choose a Plan

Once you've chosen a provider, select a plan that fits your budget and business needs. Most service providers offer a range of plans, from basic plans with limited features to more advanced plans with additional features and functionality for the smooth running of your business communications—Aircall offers free trials for new customers. Take advantage of these offers as they will help you try out the features before committing yourself.

Step 3: Set Up Your Account

You can set up your account once you've settled on a plan. This step usually involves providing basic information about your small business, including company name, address, and contact information. 

Some cloud PBX service providers may require you to provide payment information, depending on the provider and the plan you choose. 

Step 4: Configure Your Settings

Once you've successfully set up your account, the next step would be for you to configure the settings for your PBX phone system. Create business phone numbers and phone extensions for your employees, configure voicemail settings and IVR flows. 

Don't forget to set up call forwarding, auto-attendants, and other features, depending on your provider and chosen plan. 

Step 5: Start Using Your System

Before you roll it out, test your cloud PBX phone system to ensure everything is working properly, and train your employees to use the system effectively.

Classic PBX vs. Cloud PBX 

Two main types of business phone systems are classic PBX and cloud PBX. 

Classic PBX systems are physical, on-premise systems that require hardware installation and maintenance. Cloud PBX systems are hosted in the cloud and accessed via the internet. Here's a closer look at the pros and cons of classic PBX and cloud PBX:

Classic PBX


  • Designed for larger businesses

  • No reliance on internet connectivity


  • Higher upfront costs for installation and maintenance

  • Limited flexibility and scalability

  • Requires physical space to house the hardware

Cloud PBX


  • Lower upfront costs

  • Highly flexible and scalable

  • Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection


  • Reliance on internet connectivity

  • Learning curve for users

Here is a table comparing the key features and benefits of each phone system:

Feature/BenefitClassic PBXCloud PBX
Physical installation is a must
Quick and easy online set-up
Ongoing maintenance required
Maintenance included in the subscription
Higher upfront cost
Lower upfront cost
Limited flexibility
Highly flexible and scalable
Limited accessibility
Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection
Limited control over the system
Greater control over the system
Not reliant on internet connectivity
Reliant on internet connectivity

It is crystal clear that both classic PBX and cloud PBX phone systems have their unique benefits and drawbacks. However, small businesses can take the next step toward digitally transforming their services by opting for a cloud PBX phone system.

Key Advantages of Cloud PBX for Small Businesses

Every small business needs effective communication systems to compete with big companies. However, traditional phone systems can be expensive and inflexible for small business owners. Cloud PBX systems offer small businesses an affordable and flexible alternative to traditional phone systems. Here are some of the key advantages of using a cloud PBX system for small companies.

1. Cost savings 

One of the most significant advantages of using a cloud PBX system for small businesses is the opportunity to save costs. With a cloud PBX system, small businesses do not need to invest in expensive hardware and infrastructure. Instead, you can pay for the service on a subscription, which is usually much more affordable. Cloud PBX systems often offer features such as voicemail, call forwarding, and conference calling as part of the service, which would cost extra with traditional PBX phone systems.

2. Flexibility and scalability 

A cloud PBX phone system lets you make and receive calls from multiple devices. Your smartphone, laptop, or tablet can just as easily place and answer cloud PBX calls through softphone apps. A cloud PBX works from anywhere in the world with a stable internet connection, making it ideal for remote workers and business with teams worldwide. A cloud PBX system allows companies to increase or decrease the number of users and phone features at any time.

3. Advanced features 

With a cloud PBX system, you can access various advanced features not available with traditional phone systems. You can multitask communications using multiple tools simultaneously thanks to a host of automation and advanced features like interactive voice response, call recording, voicemail transcription, call screening, and integration with other business software. These advanced features help small businesses improve customer service, increase productivity, and streamline communication workflows.

A cloud PBX system is a cost-effective and flexible solution for small businesses to improve communication systems, increase productivity, and better compete with larger businesses.

How Much Does it Cost? 

When considering implementing a cloud PBX system for your small business, it is essential to understand its associated costs. The good news is that cloud PBX systems are typically more affordable than traditional ones, and their benefits can easily justify the cost. 

A cloud PBX system's cost usually varies depending on the provider and the features you need. Most providers like Aircall offer flexible pricing plans that can fit the needs of small businesses. The pricing plans depend on the number of users, phone lines, and the features you require.

Is a Cloud PBX System Profitable?

A Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting revealed the financial benefits of adopting Aircall cloud-based phone system. The study demonstrated a remarkable combined return on investment (ROI) of 373% over three years for companies that made the switch. 

Leveraging Aircall's solution, businesses experienced increased productivity, significant time and cost savings, seamless integrations, and more. Operational productivity improved by 20%, agents saved 8 minutes per hour by streamlining workflows, and customers enjoyed cost savings on equipment, international calls, and service maintenance. With improved call quality and ease of use, Aircall cloud PBX system proved to be a profitable choice for businesses seeking enhanced communication solutions.

How to Change Your Phone System to a Cloud PBX or VoIP?

You can easily migrate from a traditional PBX system to a cloud PBX or VoIP system without glitches. Here's a walk-through step-by-step guide to help you make a smooth transition:

Step 1: Evaluate Existing System

Evaluate your existing phone system. Take note of the features and functionalities you currently use and the ones you would like in your new phone system. Doing this will help you determine the right cloud PBX or VoIP system that suits your business needs.

Step 2: Choose a Provider 

Choose a cloud PBX or VoIP service provider with the features and functionalities you need and a good reputation for quality and reliability. Check past customer reviews and ratings to ensure you choose a provider that meets your business needs.

Step 3: Plan the Migration Process 

Put a good plan in place for the migration process. Determine the timeline and the resources that you need for the migration process. You may need to involve your IT team, so it's essential to inform them about the migration process and provide them with the necessary resources.

Step 4: Configure Your New System 

It is crucial to configure your new cloud PBX or VoIP system properly. Set up user accounts, assign phone numbers, and configure call routing rules. Seek assistance from the provider's support team if you're unfamiliar with the system's configuration process or need help at any point.

Step 5: Test Your New System 

Before you switch over to the new system, it's essential to test it out to ensure that everything is working perfectly. Make test calls to check if all the features and functionalities work as expected.

Step 6: Switch Over to the New System 

Once everything works correctly, it's time to switch to the new system. Divert your phone lines to the new system or port your phone numbers to the new provider.

Migrating to a cloud PBX or VoIP system does not have to be a complicated process. Just follow the right approach and plan for a smooth transition. 

Which is the best cloud telephony solution?

For anyone looking for the best cloud PBX solutions for small businesses, several options are available. It can therefore be overwhelming to choose the right one for your business. So, let's take a closer look at some of the top cloud PBX providers, including Aircall, Dialpad, and RingCentral, and see how they stack up against each other:


Aircall is one of the leading cloud PBX providers in the market. Its cloud-based phone system is designed with businesses like yours in mind and offers a range of advanced features and tools to help companies improve their communication and productivity. Moreso, Aircall can easily adapt and evolve according to business needs.  Aircall stands out in several ways with the following:

User-friendly interface

Aircall's user interface is intuitive and easy to use; extensive training is unnecessary. 

Easy scalability

Aircall's cloud PBX system is highly scalable, meaning it can grow with your business as your needs change.

Seamless integration

One thing that makes Aircall unique is its seamless integration with other business tools like Salesforce, Slack, and Hubspot. Easy integration makes it easier for businesses to manage communication across multiple channels and platforms.

Call quality

Aircall works with multiple carriers allowing for dynamic switch capability to avoid disruptions and provide consistent call quality. 

Market-leading infrastructure

Aircall works with best-in-class global voice carriers and additional local providers in select markets to ensure excellent call quality.


Dialpad is another cloud PBX provider that includes different features like voicemail and transcription. Dialpad offering makes it an option for big businesses that don't prioritize integrations.


RingCentral is another popular cloud PBX provider offering features like video conferencing. RingCentral's system is customizable, which means that you can tailor it to meet certain business needs. However, Aircall has numerous features and over 100 integrations, regardless of your plan.

Regarding pricing, Aircall offers a range of plans to suit different budgets and needs. Its pricing is transparent, and there are no hidden fees or charges. Dialpad and RingCentral provide different pricing plans, but they are slightly above Aircall price offer.

Why Choosing Aircall?

If you're a small business looking for a reliable and efficient phone solution, we highly recommend trying Aircall's phone and communication platform. Aircall offers a range of features and benefits, including easy set-up and customization, cost-effectiveness, seamless integration and excellent customer support.

Don't miss the opportunity to streamline business communications and improve productivity. Get started with Aircall today!

Published on January 16, 2024.

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