Multi Tenant PBX: What is it and How Can it Help Your Business?

Multi-tenant PBX is a popular form of private branch exchange that provides benefits to both the parties using the service and the parties providing the service. Many modern voice over Internet protocol — or VoIP — networks are built on private branch exchange because of the technology's customizability and cost effectiveness. Hosted PBX gives businesses all of the benefits of PBX, but puts the responsibility of owning, securing and maintaining both the hardware and software on the third-party host. Multi-tenant PBX takes it one step further, hooking the Internet telephone networks of several parties up to a single, hosted PBX provider.

What is Multi-Tenant PBX?

Try to think of multi-tenant PBX as you think of an apartment building. One single entity — a building manager or superintendent, let's say — provides services and maintenance, issues leases, provides upgrades and handles complaints. Each person or family who signs a lease gets their own individual secured structure, their own set of keys and all the amenities of a home — but without the responsibilities or commitment of ownership. Multi-tenant PBX works the same way. The software and storage is hosted and maintained by a third party on a single server, which is a common, shared access point — such as a lobby or swimming pool in an apartment complex. The server is divided up into specific, secure and customized sections for each "tenant" subscriber to the IP-PBX system.

Benefits to the User

There was a time when businesses preferred to own their own licensed software and maintain full control over their hardware and infrastructure. Today, however, cloud-based solutions are sweeping the industry because, frankly, they are easier and cheaper. Multi-tenant PBX is no different. There is almost no up-front cost or investment in software or hardware. It is fully scalable, meaning your system can easily grow with your business. No on-site IT or system administrator is required and subscriptions can be upgraded or downgraded immediately. its costs are controlled, consistent and predictable, and automatic updates guarantee access to the latest technology without expensive hardware upgrades or the purchase and license of new software.

Benefits to the Provider

The pros of getting a third party to provide your business access to a sophisticated PBX system — which they, then, don't have to own, maintain or secure — are fairly obvious. But multi-tenant PBX is beneficial to the provider, as well. Since every client's network is on the same server, there is far less maintenance and administrative cost required. Add-ons and upgrades can come faster and cheaper, since the cost is spread among several tenants. Finally, like a landlord in an apartment building, there is guaranteed recurring revenue from multiple sources.

By subscribing to a IP-PBX host that provides services to several tenants, you are taking off of your business the onus of owning, maintaining, upgrading and securing expensive, complicated equipment and software — all of which was once a major drawback to having a VoIP network. Now, your business can have all of the benefits of a modern VoIP network — integrated communications, a full menu of free extra features, free VoIP-to-VoIP calling, etc. — without the headache of building and owning your own PBX. There are benefits of homeownership,  but when something breaks or needs to be painted, there is no landlord to call — and the same goes for VoIP built on IP-PBX.

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