A substantial percentage of communications between businesses and their customers continue to be via the telephone. This is why it is vital that businesses have reliable PBX phone systems in place. No longer do we have to deal with analog, huge exchanges, however. Today, PBX systems are compact and digital, as well as widely available. However, the variety of choices and the technical specifications can make it difficult to choose the right one.
What Are PBX Phone Systems?
PBX, or Private Branch Exchange, is a private network that a business can use. Users share a number of outside lines for external calls, which go through the PSTN (public switched telephone network). In the past, PBX systems were suitable for large organizations only, because they were bulky and expensive to install and run. Today, however, this has changed.
You can expect a number of features to be included as part of good PBX phone systems, including:
1.) Call holding
2.) Welcome messages
3.) Automatic call distribution
4.) Call conferencing
5.) Call records archiving
6.) Extensions directory
Other features can often be added to the system.
Three Types of PBX Systems:
1.) Traditional or Analog PBX Systems
Traditional or analog PBX systems, where a physical exchange box is placed in your business premises. All telephone lines are connected to the phone box. These systems are quite expensive, unless you have a lot of employees, in which case the price per employee decreases as you increase the number of ports. They also cost a lot to install, maintain, and support, because they are highly complex. Indeed, certified engineers have to design, install, and maintain them. Most of the time, businesses who choose these options have an in-house communications team that is trained on these systems to reduce costs.
2.) Hosted PBX Systems
Hosted PBX systems, which were developed when it became clear that there was little added value to the bulky, analog boxes. One of the key difficulties with the traditional setup was that adding features or extensions was a complex piece of work, which required engineers to come out and do it. With hosted PBX, however, new features and plugins can simply be downloaded and they will instantly be operational. The exchange box, meanwhile, is located elsewhere, where the telecoms provider continues to be responsible for service and maintenance. These solutions are the most appropriate for small businesses that do not have an in-house communications team.
3.) VoIP/IP PBX Systems
VoIP/IP PBX systems, which deliver video or voice data over a data connection. This is done as packets across the entire network. The greatest benefit of this system is that it reduces the cost of long distance and international phone calls, while also being cheaper than traditional telephone line rental options. Furthermore, it is able to switch calls between traditional and VoIP lines, while retaining the functionality of PBX systems. It is different from cloud-based or hosted solutions because the business owns the IP PBX, which is how it is very similar to the traditional PBX system. Additionally, this type of product can be a hardware and software solution, or a software only solution, which is particularly suitable for small but growing businesses.