What Is a PBX Phone System? Everything You Need To Know – Forbes Advisor

Source: What Is a PBX Phone System? Everything You Need To Know – Forbes Advisor

A private branch exchange, or PBX, is a telephone system that allows extension phones in one office to connect to the telephone network in another office. In other words, it enables employees in one office to those in other offices, making it ideal for businesses with multiple locations. Additionally, PBX systems can provide phone features that are not available through standard phone lines, such as enhanced security and conference calling.

In this guide, you’ll learn about PBX solutions—from what PBX is, to the PBX types available, how much they cost, how well they work to keep your company together and growing, why you might need PBX and what to consider when choosing one.

What Is a Private Branch Exchange (PBX)?

Private branch exchange is a private telephone network that uses different hardware components to manage the setting up and routing of calls so that users can communicate over the phone via internal lines. A PBX phone system delivers business telephony features such as phone calling, call queues, call forwarding and transfers, voice mail and auto attendant.

PBX systems give your company connectivity amongst team members and allow you to make and receive external calls through voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) or analog and digital phone lines. With PBX, you can split your physical phone line into multiple lines so that calls reach different operators or offices within your organization. Also, PBX allows you to make free calls on different phones.

Reasons To Use a PBX

Companies that use PBX enjoy benefits ranging from advanced calling features to wider connectivity and security. Below are a few reasons to jump on a PBX system if you’re still considering how to enhance your communications.

  • Transfer calls with ease: With PBX, you can quickly transfer calls between departments and individuals. You won’t need to first drop a call to transfer it to someone else who, say, can provide the information the caller needs.
  • Access more call features: Beyond making voice calls, you can hold online team meetings and livestream video conferences, so your employees don’t have to be on the same site.
  • Enjoy free customization: PBX allows you to customize your telephone system. You can record greeting messages, include your choice of music and even create custom apps alongside calls, instant messages and conferencing across various devices.
  • Communicate on the go: PBX offers connection via various devices, including your desk phone, desktop computer, laptop and mobile device. You can make traditional voice and video calls from anywhere.
  • Connect multiple business locations: You can use the same PBX system to connect employees across various locations. One PBX system will handle all your calls through forwarding and routing.
  • Gain advanced security: PBX systems now offer built-in encryption to protect all your conversations, even without a VPN. This extra security feature enhances the privacy of your company and clients.

3 Types of PBX Phone Systems

Private branch exchange is available to serve different business communication needs. For instance, the system operates on-site and in the cloud to provide both traditional and improved telephony experience. Below are the types you should consider for your business.

Analog or Traditional PBX

An analog PBX system is installed at your business location. The intra-office system connects plain old telephone service (POTS) lines to a public switched telephone network (PTSN).

The analog PBX phone system provides basic telephony service, allowing you to make and receive phone calls and faxes between company employees. It requires installing copper phone lines and other hardware. You’ll also need to add new telephone wires and jacks to add more employees to the network. And to make external calls, you’ll have to pay for additional phone lines.

On-premises analog PBX connects your employees, but it doesn’t offer modern-day features such as multimedia services, voice mail conversion to email and remote working capabilities.

Internet Protocol PBX (IP PBX)

Also called VoIP PBX, this PBX system is an improved version of analog PBX. It provides more features and allows connectivity between multiple locations. VoIP or IP PBX uses the internet protocol (IP) to link office-networked phones and converts voice to data, which reaches the receiver as voice. IP PBX provides access to unified communications features such as messaging, video conferencing and “bring your own device” (BYOD) mobility, which analog PBX systems lack.

Internet protocol PBX uses session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking to run a phone service on your office network, thereby allowing teams to communicate with each other and outside clients over the internet. All you’ll need to do to get your IP PBX running is set up your SIP trunk with a provider and create a small physical space for data pockets, where your call data is stored. Learn more about SIP vs VoIP.

Cloud PBX

Also known as virtual or hosted PBX, cloud PBX uses internet protocol technology to enable you to make and receive calls without on-site equipment. The setup is quick—buy the service and plug in your phones. The service provider routes incoming and outgoing calls through data packets or a public switched telephone network.

Cloud PBX allows you to manage your devices from your web browser. You can control all call forwarding, call routing, call recording, music holding and auto attendants from anywhere.

What To Look For in a PBX System

While all PBX solutions will enhance your communications and grow your business, choosing one that suits your business’s exact communication needs is important. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a PBX system for your company.

Your Company’s Needs

Cloud PBX systems offer more features than on-premises types, so if you need advanced functionality such as call reports, video conferencing, mobile extensions and CRM integration, you should go for a cloud PBX system. But if all you need are standard call features such as call transfers, ring groups and auto attendant, you’ll do fine with an on-premises PBX solution.

Your Business Environment

If you work from a single office, an on-premises PBX system will be better for you. However, if your employees work from home or are usually on the field, you should choose a cloud PBX system. Also, cloud PBX systems are more suitable for small to medium-sized businesses, while on-premises PBX systems suit larger enterprises.

Your Company’s Strength

To know which PBX phone system your business needs, examine your knowledge of telephony concepts, how skilled your IT staff are, which systems you’ll need to integrate and your access to a strong internet connection. For instance, you’ll need a reliable high-speed internet connection to run a cloud PBX system, whereas you’ll only need phone lines to run a traditional PBX system.

Your Budget

PBX systems come with upfront and ongoing costs, ranging from installation to maintenance. For example, cloud PBX systems majorly require monthly subscription fees, while on-premises PBX will cost you hardware, installation and licensing fees and often requires replacement after some years. Also, VoIP PBX allows you to add and remove lines for free, while analog configuration requires a physical installation and extra payment on additional lines. So find out how much a PBX type will cost you and if your company can afford it.

Bottom Line

Private branch exchange systems will help improve your business communications, which will in turn grow your business. However, you’ll need to choose one that suits your business, considering your unique needs and the functionalities of the PBX types available.

Call Dynam Communications today to discuss your specific needs and find the best solution for your company.  This includes PBX, IP PBX, Virtual PBX, VoIP Phone Services, Business Phone Systems, and Office Phones.

972-663-5010

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