If you’re looking for a communications solution for your business, you must have heard about PBX. What is it and how can it help you? Let’s take a look at it in detail.
A PBX or a Private Branch Exchange acts like your business’s own private telephone system. It’s used to switch calls between local lines and your internal users. The system allows the users in the private network to share a limited number of outside phone lines. When the external lines are shared among several individuals, it saves costs for the business and allows them to have a secure system that is owned and operated by them.
While earlier PBX phone systems used analog technology, modern day systems are digital and support VoIP. They consist of hardware as well as software. The common devices used in a regular PBX phone system are telephone sets, telephone adapters, routers, switches, and hubs. When you use a VoIP-based system, you need an internet connection too.
The functionality and size of the VoIP-based PBX phone system can vary from one business to another. While there are basic cloud PBX and virtual PBX plans available on a nominal monthly fee, there are also some full-fledged corporate communication systems. And then, there are simple residential PBX systems for large households that allow you to have faster communication. You can even get free VoIP for non-business purposes.
A PBX (with or without VoIP) makes communication within a business easier and more affordable. There are a number of basic features that all PBX systems have. Some modern systems with VoIP offer a lot more functionality than this, but you’ll find the following features in almost any PBX system:
VoIP is a way to make cheap and affordable phone calls. With VoIP, you get a lot of advantages over regular telephone systems. For example:
There are a number of benefits to using a PBX provider, like Vonage, for your business:
When you call someone through a regular telephone line, the call is routed through the local exchange. So even if you call your assistant in the next room, it will travel through the exchange and come back to your office. With PBX, everything is right there, which makes calling system simpler and faster.
With the automated system, you don’t have to hire a receptionist to answer calls. An auto-attendant can handle that job.
Internal calls made inside an organization are free. This will save a lot of money for your business. Setup costs are generally cheap too, such as with RingCentral or 8×8.
Your business might be small now but hopefully, it will grow in the future. PBX systems are easily scalable, making them an excellent choice for small to medium-sized business establishments, or fast-growing businesses.
International and long-distance calls can be made via the internet, which makes it possible for you to work from any location. A virtual switchboard lets employees handle work calls from their mobile phones. And with VoIP, you get even more features.
PBX systems come with many features that are not available for traditional telephones. For example, they have call recording, auto response, video calling, and more.
A Hosted PBX is a type of PBX provider that comes as a hosted service from PBX providers. It is a complete business phone system that provides inbound routing and outbound calling. If your business has more than 12 employees with a large volume of calls, it’s best to get a hosted service from PBX providers.
Hosted PBX systems let organizations fully utilize the phone system features such as fax, voicemail, conferencing, and automated greetings. When you get a hosted service from PBX providers, they will handle all call routing, switching, and maintenance activities – it supports VoIP as well.
In most cases, the PBX providers that give you the hosted service will completely replace your existing phone system. When this happens, you will need to use VoIP enabled IP phones and all your voice calls will travel through an internet router. Such a system is ideal for a business with several geographical locations.
A hosted PBX also provides a lot of VoIP features such as conference calling, auto attendants, voicemail, call holding, and call forwarding etc. It has all the features of a PBX and can work in multiple geographic locations with a centralized system.
Find the top PBX systems and VoIP providers by using our VoIP comparison page to find the best VoIP provider for your business.