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What is a PBX Phone System?

January 29, 2021
Image shot of connecting networks for pbx phone systems

What is a PBX phone system and how it works?

When researching office phone systems for your organization, you likely came across the term “PBX phone systems.” PBX refers to Private Branch Exchange, which essentially means that this type of phone system acts as a private telephone network within the organization. A PBX phone system allows for both internal and external communication and offers a host of useful features that foster better communication among different departments, customers, and clients, as well as improve daily operations.

Common PBX phone features

  • Voicemail.
  • Call forwarding.
  • Hold music.
  • Call recording.
  • Directory assistance.

There are plenty of advanced features to choose from, too. Depending upon your needs and your organization’s size, you can install a phone system that contributes to productivity in the office and improves the customer experience, an important aspect of any successful business today.

Different Types of PBX Telephone Systems

The different types of PBX telephone systems all offer better features than traditional residential telephone lines and cell phone services, making them ideal for an office. There are several varieties to choose from, however, so you’ll want to know a bit more about them to enable you to make an informed decision when you select one for your organization.

Traditional Analog Phone System

While this type of PBX phone system has been around the longest, it is not necessarily the most feasible or useful system anymore. Whereas most PBX systems used today are digital or cloud-based, the analog PBX phone system manages calls via other phones or fax machines within the office via a physical wire connection. They are relatively simple pieces of machinery by today’s standards and lack some of the key features most office communication systems exhibit today.

IP or VoIP PBX

This type of PBX phone system utilizes broadband internet to deliver voice calls. Whereas the analog PBX phone system is connected via copper wiring and supported by a complex system that typically resides within a telecom closet, the IP PBX or VoIP PBX phone system does not require physical connections between phones. Instead, the phones all connect to the office Local Area Network (LAN), which is supported by the main server.

These business phone systems are capable of delivering excellent, high-quality audio. They offer a host of useful features that can be of great benefit for an organization with a high call volume. Call queuing, for example, is one popular feature in use in many offices in a multitude of industries. Many of these phone systems can also be integrated with computer applications and other programs to further enhance their capabilities.

Hosted PBX or Cloud-Based PBX System

Hosted PBX or Cloud-Based PBX also sometimes referred to as a virtual PBX. The cloud-based PBX phone system requires very little equipment other than the phones themselves. The network utilized by the cloud-based PBX system is typically hosted offsite, saving you space in the office and also requiring little maintenance or upgrading since they occur off-premise. The cloud-based PBX phone makes it very easy for your organization to add or remove specific features as your business grows.

Supported by a service provider, the phone system allows incoming and outgoing calls via the internet. An office attendant within your organization can use an administrative portal to control functions like:

  • Adding or removing lines.
  • Integrating applications that provide hold music.
  • Creating automated menus.

The cloud-based PBX phone is highly popular due to the large cost savings and the ease in which additional features could be added. In fact, the hosted PBX segment is predicted to grow by 15% from 2019-2025, becoming the fastest growing area of the VoIP market. (Global Market Insights)

They are also extremely flexible. It can be used by employees working remotely or traveling in the field, ensuring calls will always get through to people that aren’t currently in the office.

A cloud-based PBX phone system also offers options for real-time monitoring, call recording, and many other features that can provide you with detailed information on incoming and outgoing calls, as well as reports on active or missed calls, active agents, and even employee performance.

Lastly, these types of PBX phone systems offer more security, a critical consideration in today’s world of cybercriminals and ever-advancing technology.

Learn the three different types of pbx phone systems

Key points

There are 3 different types of PBX phone systems:

Traditional Analog Phone System

  • The simplest type of phone system where calls are routed via other phones or fax machines within the office using copper wire connections.

IP or VoIP PBX

  • This type of PBX phone system utilizes broadband internet to deliver voice calls.
  • It does not require physical connections or copper wiring.
  • Phones are connected to the office via Local Area Network (LAN) which is supported by the main server.

Hosted PBX or Cloud-Based PBX System

  • Referred to virtual PBX.
  • Requires very little equipment other than the phone themselves.
  • The network is hosted offsite.
  • Supported by a service provider.
  • Offer more security against cybercriminals.
  • Highly popular due to the large cost savings and the ease in which additional features could be added.

 

When making your decision, take the time to thoroughly research each system’s benefits and features so you can choose the one that is right for your office. Speak to a business phone expert to simplify the process and guide you to the best phone system for your business.

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