What is a PBX (Private Branch Exchange)?
What is Private Branch Exchange and How does it Work?
Designing the ideal business telephony solution requires an intimate understanding of the technology used in communications. Commonly known as a ‘telephone system’, a PBX, or private branch exchange, is a unique system that allows organisations to manage their outgoing and incoming calls, and permits internal communication within a business. PBX services are made up of hardware and software solutions and come with a tonne of add-ons to help your business performance and service levels.
Some of the latest PBX offerings have had a rich selection of exciting features intended to make communication powerful and easier within organisations. The right PBX can even boost productivity for your company. Though the complexity and size of these systems can vary, most will range from expensive and complex corporate systems to basic plans. You can also use simple PBX systems at home to upgrade your standard phone line.
What Can a PBX Do?
Depending on the PBX solution that you choose, the system can be either very complex or basic. However, from a simple perspective, when we refer to a PBX we’re talking about a system that can:
- Use more than one telephone line and manage incoming and outgoing calls for an organisation.
- Split a single phone line into multiple internal lines identified through extensions.
- Switch calls to the appropriate internal line to save organisations the cost of paying for several department lines.
- Allow for free communication within the business.
- Empower communication solutions with VoIP (Voice over IP services), to promote a host of new features and enhancements in comparison to traditional telephony.
- Automate response to calling customers using IVR.
- Ensure a robust interface with customers through features such as voicemail, call recording, and more.
What is IP-PBX?
The function of a PBX system can change dramatically with the use of IP telephony or VoIP services. PBX systems were once analogue-based, working only on telephone line and switches, however today we can access IP-PBX services that use IP networks and VoIP technology to channel calls. The IP-PBX is often preferred due to a host of unique features.
Aside from old PBX solutions that continue to offer reliable services, and cheaper solutions, many PBX systems used today are IP-based.
What is a Hosted PBX?
To make the most of a PBX solution, you may not have to invest in the installation, maintenance, hardware, and software of an in-house PBX service. This is particularly true for those who are running small businesses wherein the cost of ownership might restrict you from benefiting from some of the best features of PBX. There are numerous online customers that offer PBX solutions against a monthly fee without you having to invest in anything more than a router and telephone set. These are known as hosted PBX services.
Hosted PBX services work through the cloud. In other words, you can access a service that is dispensed through the internet. Hosted PBXs are often generic enough to fit a range of needs. However, they are also cheap enough to run from any business, and don’t require extra upfront investment.