The best PBX phone systems have evolved far beyond their traditional roots, from being on-premise solutions to becoming accessible from everywhere, thanks to modern technology. Read more to learn PBX technology and decide if it is the right solution for your business.
What is PBX?
Private Branch eXchange (PBX) phone systems are private phone systems that allow users to communicate. A PBX system manages the routing of inbound and outbound calls within a network. PBX technology will enable users to have affordable communications options that don’t incur massive telephone bills. PBX phone systems also allow users advanced features such as:
What Type of PBX Is Used in Most Companies?
There are two primary varieties of PBX systems when you decide to go with PBX: on-premise PBX and Hosted/IP PBX phone systems.
This PBX version entails a PBX vendor installation and usually involves a higher equipment, installation, and maintenance cost. On-premise PBX phone systems are an excellent option for businesses not looking to expand. It is often not a scalable version of phone systems; hence, it is essential to consider the future growth plans of your business before considering an on-premise PBX system.
Hosted or IP PBX
Businesses opt for the newer IP PBX variety due to the increased mobility features and scalability brought on by cloud-based technology. You can access the PBX functions of your phone system using a web browser or a dedicated mobile app on mobile devices. This deployment type is much more cost-effective and faster since there is no expensive equipment cost or maintenance involved. Your business can continue effective communication using your own devices. You can add new users by scaling your subscription model to IP PBX.
How Do You Set Up a PBX Phone System?
Setting up a new PBX system isn’t as daunting as expected. The amount of work that goes in depends on the type of PBX phone system you choose. If you decide to go with the traditional on-premise PBX phone system route, you will need the assistance of trained professionals for installation and maintenance.
You will need a router to provide the proper bandwidth to operate a PBX system and SIP trunks (Session Initiation Protocol) to operate the PBX phone system with standard PTSN lines. SIP trunking allows businesses to conduct PBX calls digitally without relying on a traditional phone service provider.
If you choose to deploy a hosted or cloud-based IP PBX phone system in your business, the setup process is much faster and smoother and can be done without the help of a professional. Most IP PBX phone systems are plug-and-play, meaning you only need to configure your network once to enjoy unlimited calls without monstrous phone bills.
Hosted PBX phone systems are highly scalable options where more users can be easily added to the system, unlike traditional PBX phone systems. Since cloud-based phone systems don’t require the maintenance of any physical equipment, phone system vendors can provide automatic updates and improve security features with simple software updates.
How Do I Choose a PBX Phone System?
If you have decided that a PBX phone system is a right office phone system purchase for your business, there are some key considerations:
Type of Deployment
Do you want an on-premise phone system or an IP PBX system? this is a crucial decision to be made with your team with the complete vision of the business in mind. If your business is content with the current operation and has no plans to expand, an on-premise phone system would suffice. Meanwhile, if your company has plans to extend or accommodate remote workers with a hybrid workplace model, choosing a cloud-based phone system deployment might be best.
Number of Simultaneous Calls
How many calls does your phone system need to support at a time? If your business operates a customer service call center, it might be safe to assume that you must handle multiple calls simultaneously. Hence, it is essential to consider the number of phone lines your business would need for seamless communication.
While businesses may opt for on-premise PBX systems due to guaranteed security features due to total ownership, it should be noted that IP PBX systems also feature the latest security measures to ensure that your data will not be mishandled. Multi-factor authentication methods and user-based roles can ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive information in your phone system.
Maintenance and Support
Traditional PBX systems may require manual intervention by a trained professional in case of downtime. However, when you move to IP PBX phone systems, maintenance and support can be provided by the phone system vendor with your monthly subscription. Most vendors offer 24/7 customer support at all times to ensure no hiccups in communication.
PBX vs. VoIP
While both PBX and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems seem to work the same to provide business communication solutions, there are some critical differences:
Implementing a PBX system can incur some costs initially to get the right equipment or configure your existing equipment to be compatible. Meanwhile, VoIP phone system implementation can be much more seamless since it can be used with your current IP equipment. And VoIP installation may not even need any professional help.
Maintenance costs might be associated if your traditional PBX setup involves any infrastructure and equipment. Meanwhile, IP PBX or VoIP vendors can automatically update their software.
Although VoIP technology went through growing pains in its early days, both PBX and VoIP technology can provide crystal-clear communication solutions. While VoIP clarity depends on having suitable bandwidth, having the right router requirement may resolve this issue.
Cloud technology has allowed both business communication solutions to evolve beyond the premises of your business. Now employees can communicate and work from wherever, which has made VoIP and IP PBX solutions just as flexible. Companies can expand more freely with the scalability features afforded by cloud technology.
If a PBX phone system is the right move for your business communication agenda, it is essential to consider all available vendors. Compare the best PBX phone system vendors using our phone system software page.