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PBX Phone Systems for Your Business

PBX, or Private Branch Exchange, is an internal phone system (also known as a PBX system or a PBX phone system) specifically designed for businesses and organizations that have a need to connect many users to the same phone system. PBX systems are also known as PABX (private automatic branch exchange) or EPABX (electronic private automatic branch exchange).

Traditionally, a PBX handled internal phone calls to cut communication costs for offices. Local circuit switching (in essence, a local phone system) reduced charges for phone service. And originally, PBXs were manual systems, called PMBX, run by switchboard operators. Because of the cost equipment and salaries involved, PBXs were only practical for large businesses.

Today, with packet switching technology, VoIP has become the efficient, cheap, and feature-rich service option for PBX systems. Improved computer technology has also made PBXs much, much cheaper and feature-rich.

But what is VoIP? VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol and is a communication method that transmits your phone call over the Internet at broadband speeds instead of using slow analog telephone lines across the public switched telephone network, thus delivering higher audio quality for less money.

standard VoIP phone

What are the Benefits of a VoIP PBX?

A VoIP PBX affords businesses more features at a lower price point than traditional on-premise PBX options.

Many VoIP providers package their phone service with a PBX system; this is known as hosted PBX. Hosted PBX provides many advantages to VoIP and PBX users.

  1. Cheaper

In general, Hosted PBX with VOIP uses less equipment than a landline PBX. In some hosted PBX setups, there is no extra equipment required, outside of VoIP phones and compatible router. A PBX, on the other hand, usually requires several additional pieces of equipment, in addition to the cost of the phones. Less equipment means that VoIP PBX is cheaper.

VoIP PBX is also good at handling extra phone extensions - it can set up new phone extensions without purchasing new lines or new equipment to handle those lines (except for the new phone). When you don't need to buy multiple phone lines, you can save money with VoIP PBX.

  1. Feature-rich

Some of the features now standard with PBX started with hosted PBX, such as "follow me" calling. There are many features now available, for free, with every VoIP PBX system.

Some PBX features include:

  • auto attendant
  • extensions
  • direct inward dialing
  • call waiting
  • conference calling
  • custom greeting
  • follow-me/find-me calling
  • music on hold
  • voicemail
voice over internet protocol pbx questions

Exactly What Does a PBX Do?

In its most basic of terms, a PBX is a telephone switch operator within a business.

A PBX assigns extensions to employees and departments and transfers calls accordingly. without a PBX, a business would have to purchase a new phone line for each employee.

One of the main features of a PBX is an auto attendant, which will answer callers with a message and help them reach the proper extension.

An auto attendant assures that a customer or caller will never hear a busy signal. Instead, they will be transferred to an available employee or to a company voicemail. You can also set up rules for after-hours callers, callers from specific numbers - basically, an auto attendant means that you can always control the impression you make on your customers.

Types of VoIP PBX Solutions

Hosted PBX

More about Hosted PBX

Hosted PBX is the cheapest solution for a professional office phone system. Hosted PBX works very well for small businesses, under 20 or so employees.

No equipment is required for the PBX system - you only need VoIP service and an Internet connection. The VoIP provider hosts, maintains, and operates all the equipment at its own site (Hosted VoIP is also known as Managed VoIP). Configuration is easy or even non-existent in some cases, and the phone system is already set up - so you don't have to configure it on your own.

Hosted PBX usually charges per seat or per user.

IP PBX

More about IP PBX | Digital PBX

For larger business phone systems, IP PBX is a more appropriate option. IP PBX, Internet Protocol PBX, can interact with both VoIP and the public switched telephone network. Basically, IP PBX allows you to implement your own PBX, which can save you money with a large business or operation.

IP PBX can be either hardware, software, or both. It is sometimes called digital PBX when you run your own IP PBX software.

Equipment for hardware IP PBX systems can run into the thousands of dollars, but after paying upfront costs you can save money in the long run because you are only paying for Internet service, not telephony.

SIP Trunking for PBX

More about SIP Trunking

If you already have a hardware PBX, you can use SIP trunking to convert the phone system to VoIP. You'll be able to pay cheaper VoIP prices for each phone line, instead of paying for analog phone lines.

Usually IP PBXs work with SIP trunking to set up a new phone system or renovate an existing system.

Virtual PBX

More about Virtual PBX

Virtual PBX is much like hosted PBX but it is a more basic service overall. You get essential features like voicemail, call forwarding, and extensions. Outbound calling is not usually included. For a complete phone system, you will have to get an additional PBX service.

using a voip-enabled phone

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