PBX Telephone Systems: 2023 Guide
Are you looking for a reliable solution to communication inconveniences, but don’t have the budget of bigger companies?
Do you want flexibility, such as a system that’s compatible with your existing infrastructure?
For businesses looking toward operational control while maintaining low costs, a PBX business telephone system might be the answer.
In this guide you’ll find:
It may sound complicated, but a small business Private Exchange Branch can make your company’s communications more manageable.
What is a PBX Telephone System?
For starters, a PBX telephone system is an alternative to large-scale phone systems.
Rather than establishing a separate phone line for every employee in your company, a PBX lets users share lines.
At the same time, the user experience is seamless, with automated routing and line management.
Your PBX telephone system includes a computer server that controls incoming and outgoing calls, sending each contact to the right line or extension.
You’ll have manual controls, too, but for the most part, the computer system manages the ins and outs of the operation.
The point is, a PBX system eliminates the need for expensive phone management while giving your business a professional and reliable communication network.
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Types of PBX Systems
Not all PBX phone systems are the same, especially with technology changing so rapidly.
Updates and improvements are happening all the time.
For now, here are the types of PBX systems available.
A conventional PBX phone system uses telephone lines to route calls.
While it relies on a computer server for managing the calls, it’s still using the tried and true landline for transmission.
There are also two network requirements, one for data and one for voice.
The traditional PBX system includes a computer server that handles incoming and outgoing calls, trunk lines to connect the PBX to external phone lines, and internal PBX lines that connect internally.
Everything is automated today, but some systems will still include a manual option for directing calls.
In contrast with conventional PBX systems, an IP-based uses an IP data network to transmit calls.
Rather than having two separate networks, IP PBX options streamline everything into one system that’s digital.
With an IP-based PBX, your employees don’t even need a landline to receive calls.
You can use IP phones, softphones, and landlines all on the same network.
Softphones are often an economical option for businesses since they don’t require hardware or software other than a computer and headset.
IP-based PBX telephone systems have flexibility when it comes to transmitting phone calls between two landlines or among VoIP business phones.
You also have scalable options that take these systems from small business to more prominent organisations.
VoIP PBX Boxes
Like a standard IP-based box, a VoIP box uses an IP network to route calls.
The difference between an IP-based and VoIP system is that VoIP options work best with the smallest businesses that don’t require scaling up.
If you need a plug-and-play system with the less technical knowledge required, a VoIP box might be the option you need.
However, there are limitations to what you can do with a hosted VoIP box in comparison with a conventional or IP-based PBX.
Benefits of a PBX System
Although the overall benefits of a PBX system can include the cost in comparison with professionally managed phone systems, there are other benefits to each type of PBX.
So, let’s take a closer look.
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Benefits to Traditional PBX Systems
A traditional PBX phone system is the most straightforward option for small businesses.
All the equipment will be on-site at your organisation, the connection is reliable, and you are in control.
Remember that manual option?
You can even take over the computer’s routing responsibilities if you want.
But there’s more.
The PBX system is self-contained and doesn’t require upgrades of your current system.
Its reliability comes from the fact that it keeps operating even if the internet fails or your computer crashes.
Plus, if you’re even slightly tech-savvy, you’ll be able to maintain the system on your own.
No need for additional tech help is another perk to a telephone system.
Benefits of IP-Based and VoIP PBX Systems
Because an IP-based PBX can accommodate both data and voice, you can run video calling on it.
Of course, you’ll need the right devices, but in modern times, that’s not difficult to do.
You can also use text and audio communication through the internet network.
You’ll be using a single network for all needs, which is a benefit over traditional systems.
Plus, technology is ever-changing, and there are updates made continuously as IP-based systems get more efficient.
You can quickly scale these types of systems as your business grows.
Plus, cloud capabilities mean you may not need as much on-site equipment as traditional boxes.
Hybrid models can mean remote hosting plus tech help if you need it.
Other benefits of IP-based systems is lower costs for international and other long distance calls. Because you’re using the internet, you avoid the costs of landline dialling. These systems can also cost significantly less than standard PBX because they use less equipment and on-site upkeep.
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Potential Drawbacks to a PBX System
It’s true; there are a few potential drawbacks to choosing any one of these options. Here’s what you need to know before buying.
Drawbacks to Traditional PBX Systems
Once you have it installed, a traditional PBX doesn’t require much maintenance.
But you will probably need a professional installation, which can get expensive.
Once the system is active, you might be able to learn what you need to know for regular upkeep.
But if you don’t have basic technical knowledge and understanding of PBX equipment, you may need to enlist some outside help.
That could mean more costs later as you manage and upgrade the system.
Drawbacks to IP-Based and VoIP PBX Systems
Because they’re relatively newer, the public perception of IP-based PBX is a little lower than that of traditional options.
This is because many people consider VoIP less reliable than a conventional network.
The truth is, technological advances happen so quickly that there’s no reason to avoid newer tech.
Plus, the benefits of cloud data transfer and management are too critical to overlook.
PBX System Costs
PBX phone systems are often reasonable in cost when you compare them to other office phone systems.
So what’s the catch?
It’s the fact that every company or provider has its fee structure, service plans, and minimum requirements.
Ultimately, the cost of your system depends on the size of your organisation, the services available in your area, and the need for upkeep.
Ultimately, however, you must compare the costs of a phone system against other similar services and setups.
Factors to consider include:
- Installation and setup costs
- Routine maintenance costs
- Monthly service charges
- Service deposits based on credit
- Number of users
- Number of extensions
- Feature selection
Whatever solutions you choose, the up-front price can seem daunting.
It’s important to keep in mind that alternatives to selecting a PBX and how those options would affect your business’s bottom line.
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Let’s recap: Now you know what a system is, what benefits it can offer you as a customer and business owner, and what options are available.
The last step in the process is to compare prices with ExpertSure to confirm you’re getting the best deal possible.
Once you choose the virtual telephone system that works for your company, it’s back to business as usual with your professional and reliable communication system.