What is a PBX phone system?
PBX Phone System (PBX) stands for Private Branch Exchange, which is a private telephone network used to manage incoming and outgoing phone calls and allows internal communication between extensions within a business.
The PBX phone system share a number of outside lines capable of making external phone calls normally these phone calls are carried out of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to the outside world.
A PBX phone system is made up of both hardware and software and connects to communication devices like telephone adapters, hubs, switches, routers and telephone sets.
PBX phone systems used to be very expensive and only reserved for large organisation, but over the years the prices in installation and running costs has gone down therefore any business can now invest in an office phone system.
The most recent PBX have a wealth of very interesting features that make communication easy and more powerful for organisations, making businesses more efficient and boost productivity.
Features of include; welcome messages, call holding, call conferencing, automatic call distribution, a directory of extension numbers and archiving of call records.
There are many other features available depending upon the type of system you invest in.
The three main types of PBX phone systems
Traditional digital or analogue PBX phone systems would be installed on business premises depending on the number of users which would determine the number of ports needed (one per user) it could be in the airing cupboard, a small computer room or even a very large computer room with racks and racks of hardware.
The overall costs of this type of PBX system could be very high due to scaling and costs calculated per employee.
These traditional PBX systems are complex and bespoke and requires a manufacturer certified engineer to, install and fix any issues so the cost of higher.
Many businesses still prefers to operate on traditional PBX phone systems managed by their with their own in-house IT, giving them full control and ownership of the hardware unlike in other PBX solutions.
Telephony has advanced significantly over recent years, the trouble with installing a traditional or analogue PBX system is that it starts losing value as soon as it goes on the wall.
These are called hosted PBX services and work on the cloud. The service is dispensed through the Internet or Leased Lines. Hosted PBX have come a long way they comes in various packages to suite your needs and they are quite cheap and do not require any upfront investment.
With Hosted PBX you do not have to invest on hardware, software, installation and maintenance of your in-house PBX, and as new features are introduced you won't have to worry about the cost of implementing you will automatically benefit from those important features.
There are numerous companies online that offer you the PBX service against a monthly fee without you having anything but your telephone sets and router and adding new features is as easy as downloading a new plugin for your web browser.
You can still have all of the same benefits of a PBX but your exchange box is located and serviced virtually by the telecoms provider. Hosted PBX phone systems are the best phone systems for small and medium size businesses as they do not require an in-house IT team to manage or maintain any hardware.
IP PBX system also known as a VOIP system (Voice over IP) and delivers voice or video over a data connection. PBX has changed a lot with the advent of IP telephony or VoIP.
The analog PBX worked only on the telephone line and switches, we now have IP-PBX, which use VoIP technology and IP networks like the Internet to channel calls.
The VoIP PBX convert the voice into data and transfer it across the network as packets. Using data networks for voice will significantly reduce the cost of long distance, international calls and reduce the overheads of traditional line rentals.
Some traditional PBX solution can support SIP trunk, most business PBX are IP enabled.
IP PBX are today's preferred choice due to the features that they come with. Except for legacy but still-working PBX, and those chosen because they are cheap, most PBX systems installed nowadays tend to be IP PBX.
An IP PBX can also switch calls between VoIP and traditional telephones while still offering the same legacy PBX phone system functionally. VoIP/IP PBX differs from a hosted or cloud based solution as the IP PBX is owned by the business, just as with a traditional PBX.