Which is Better PBX or VoIP?
The new VoIP systems are quickly taking up the places of the PBX phones in our offices. The rapid increase in the usage of VoIP technology is changing the communication methods, allowing employees to communicate in so many different ways.
In addition, businesses are enjoying streamlined communications to interact with their clients. Not just that, the growing demand for remote work makes it mandatory for companies to invest in technologies that can give them advanced features.
A majority of millennials will prefer the jobs that offer them more flexibility. The shift in the employees’ mindset means businesses need to look for robust solutions to enhance their communication processes.
Therefore, you must choose the right business phone solution. You might be wondering about the differences between private branch exchange and VoIP. In this article, we will tell you the distinctions between VoIP and PBX.
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What are PBX and VoIP?
PBX or private branch exchange and VoIP are two different communication methods through which businesses can interact with each their clients or for internal interaction. Here is a brief description of both the systems:
- PBX (Private Branch Exchange)
The traditional telephone network is the PBX system. These phone systems have a box that helps connect all the internal and external lines in the office.
The phone systems in the PBX can be used to transfer any call to another person. You can also enjoy the basic features, such as call forwarding and holding. All of the internal calls to the company employees have no charges.
- VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
The VoIP technology offers a user many features that are simply unmatchable by the traditional phone lines. The VoIP systems have the same function as the traditional phone line, such as call holding, forwarding, etc., but they have a lot more to offer than the PBX.
The best thing about the VoIP system is the exceptional sound quality which makes your communication so much easy with the other person. VoIP is a system that converts your voice signals into data packets.
The VoIP servers then transmit those packets to the other end through the data network, where they are unpacked to become voice signals again.
Do I Need a PBX for VoIP?
A business doesn't need to have a PBX system to use VoIP. One of the best things about the VoIP system is that it does not require any new lines or hardware to work. All you need is a reliable VoIP provider that can give you a 99.999% uptime and a stable internet connection. VoIP can also be used to call landlines and many vendors offer apps for mobile use as well.
If you have both these things, you can set up the VoIP system on your own, or you can ask your provider to do it for you. They will get it up and running without any on-site PBX hardware or special routers in most instances.
What is difference between PBX and VoIP?
We now come to the most awaited question: what are the differences between PBX and VoIP? There is a list of factors that distinguishes both of the systems from each other.
In a nutshell, the main differences between the PBX and VoIP systems are better quality, higher reliability, and easy scalability, and much more. These distinctions are the features that only with the VoIP servers and services as the traditional landline can't offer the same functions. For this reason, many companies prefer VoIP to landlines for business communications.
With clearer sound on the phone calls and better security, VoIP gives its users a plethora of benefits. In fact, VoIP security is more robust than cell phones and gives companies tools to control access, monitor system usage, and protect data.
- Scalability and Reliability
When it comes to scalability and reliability, VoIP phones are much better. Businesses might need to expand or contract their operations from time to time as per the market and economic changes. With the PBX systems, it is difficult to both scale up or down as per the business's operations.
But that is not the case with VoIP technology. All you have to do is increase your internet network speed and you can add as many VoIP phones as you want. Doing the same thing with a PBX system can be challenging as you need to add new lines and buy new hardware.
Also, the reliability of the Voice-over-Internet-Protocol is much higher than any telephone network. If you have a robust internet connection, you can use VoIP services even if the weather is bad. That is a problem that usually occurs with PBX phones which usually stop working during a storm.
- Installation and Running Costs
The installation process of the PBX systems is hectic, lengthy, and involves many other things. You have to make a large upfront investment in installing the PBX system, which can be a burden for a small business or startup. In addition, you need to have an uninterruptible power supply, software, hardware, and other things to get the whole PBX system working.
On the other hand, the VoIP technology is easy to install and does not need a high upfront investment, which is driving more companies to make the move to VoIP. If you have a low-speed internet network, you need to increase the speed of it and get IP phones to use the VoIP systems. You can choose to use the USB headsets with the PC if you don't want to add up on the cost of installing VoIP. VoIP vendors also offer number porting services so you can use your old phone on VoIP immediately without giving up your established business phone number.
VoIP services have a low running cost than the PBX. You can get different subscription plans from VoIP providers as per your business needs. The PBX costs will be higher than VoIP since you will need software licenses, maintenance, and other things. Additionally, when it comes to costs on VoIP vs. cell phone plans, VoIP tends to be more cost-effective as well.
- Quality of Call
The PBX was given preference by many companies in the early days of VoIP due to the quality of the call. VoIP phones did not make a significant impact upon their launch in 1995. However, over time with new evolutions, the VoIP is much better at giving better call quality than PBX systems.
You can get the same high quality with the PBX systems, but it depends on your hardware quality. But even with a good VoIP system, having a fast internet connection is required and will determine speed and quality of calls and video chats.
- Local and International Calls
Businesses operating in the local and international markets need an effective communication tool. Although the PBX system does fulfill the requirement, it is relatively expensive. Businesses can incur huge expenses when making international calls through traditional phones.
On the other hand, VoIP services are much cheaper when it comes to making domestic and international calls. Also, since VoIP has a better call quality than PBX systems, businesses should opt for VoIP.
Remote working is on the rise and set to become the new norm, which means businesses can hire people from anywhere in the world. As a result, they will need effective communication tools that are not very expensive. That is where the voice-over internet protocol technology can be beneficial for them.
- Phone and Customization Options
The hardware you need to make the PBX compatible with other solutions can be costly. It can also take up a lot of time of yours in setting up the entire thing. In comparison, the VoIP solutions are much easy to operate with any IP phone. You can also use it with regular desk phones by connecting it with an adapter.
Also, customizing the private branch exchange system as per your needs is quite complex. You will need new hardware and hire the services of a technical person to get the things customized. But with the VoIP, customization as per your business need is no longer a hassle.
Which is Better PBX or VoIP?
When it comes to choosing the right one, there are a lot of factors that you should consider. For a small-scale business operating in the local market with not a big foothold, the ideal choice will be the PBX systems. It will be more than sufficient to fulfill their business needs.
If you are SME and looking to expand your business operations, the best option for you would be to go with the VoIP systems. The advanced features along with the easy scalability options give you a lot of leverage to get a competitive edge over others.
It is a reliable option that will ensure effective communication between you and your remote team or clients.
Another key thing businesses should consider is their infrastructure and budget. Installing a PBX system needs massive changes to your infrastructure and a huge upfront investment. While the VoIP system does not need any hardware, the only thing businesses need to take care of is the internet speed.
In addition, the needs and preferences of your business should also be the deciding factor to choose in between VoIP technology or PBX. So, before you make a decision, it is wise to sit and discuss with your team to make the best choice.
In a rapidly changing digital world, it is imperative to take advantage of the new technology to get a competitive edge over others. VoIP works by passing business communications (voice and video) via the internet, making it a top choice for modern, digitally-savvy companies.
With the unified communication market in the United States expected to grow and with all the advantages offered by VoIP, more and more businesses are looking to adopt VoIP technology. It will streamline their communication process to make them more mobile so they can easily connect with their remote teams and international clients.