Communication is the cornerstone of successful business operations. This is because, without communication, there can be no collaboration. This in turn has organisation-wide effects, from reduced productivity levels to low morale amongst employees.
However, facilitating communication within a business is a complex task. Not only do employees have to communicate with each other, but they also need to converse with clients, customers, and other key stakeholders.
The Private Branch Exchange System (PBX) can facilitate this level of enterprise communication. Enabling companies to communicate both externally and internally, PBX also includes advanced solutions that modern workers now require in order to operate effectively.
With a host of attached benefits, PBX also comes in a variety of forms. This way, organisations across multiple market segments can deploy the right communication solution for their needs. Whether the organisation is a small, medium, or large business.
While technology is advancing, businesses have not moved past the need for a functioning PBX system. In fact, in the age of hybrid work, having a dedicated communication system helps to bridge the gap between remote and office workers and keeps operations flowing.
By working to make communication seamless for modern business operations, the various forms of PBX offer businesses a steadfast solution. Moreover, a PBX ensures that businesses always have the platform needed to connect with not only workers but also with customers and clients.
When it comes to exploring PBX and its importance to business enterprises, a good place to start is by answering the question, what is PBX? As previously mentioned, PBX is an acronym for Private Branch Exchange System.
Essentially a private telephone network used within a business, PBX allows users to have more phones than physical phone lines. This is because, rather than using actual phone lines, PBX uses extensions in order to redirect calls to the business number.
A PBX can handle all internal communication traffic. Importantly, PBX acts as somewhat of a gatekeeper when it comes to communication requests from the outside world.
While PBX performs call processing functions, there are other key questions of functionality to consider, that is, how does PBX work? In short, PBX establishes a circuit between two communication endpoints by mapping the dialed number to an endpoint like a telephone.
From there, PBX actively maintains the established connection through the process of channeling voice signals between the two endpoints. Once the call is disconnected, the final function is to provide information detailing the metering of calls for reporting requirements.
PBX systems' added benefits include business setting and extension dialing, music on hold, call conferencing, and route call after hours. A PBX working system also enables free desk-to-desk calling within an organisation at no extra cost. In this case, calls are made through different extension numbers without the risk of incurring any additional cost.
Some of the incredible features on offer with PBX include:
How is PBX Different from PSTN?
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), is the plain old telephone system whereby all telephones are connected to dedicated networks. As long as one has a telephone number, one can call another person anywhere on the network. In addition, the collective switches and all infrastructures enable phone access worldwide. Unlike PBX, it is mostly used in the public sector and can scale to hundreds of thousands of phones. It also uses an open standard protocol between switches and telephones.
Both PBX and PSTN are switch systems that enable telephone communications in various settings. However, PBX allows telephone networks within a private or enterprise setting, supporting local calls and connections with users on the outside. The system was designed to save costs of needing a line for every user looking to contact the central office. While it is mostly used in the private sector, it can scale to thousands of phones and uses proprietary protocols to control telephones.
What are the Different Types of PBX Systems?
When it comes to PBX phone systems, there are currently four dominant types in operation. These varieties include traditional PBX, hosted PBX, cloud-based PBX, and on-site IP PBX systems.
However, it’s important to note that another type of system is currently gaining popularity- hybrid PBX. With the rise in hybrid working arrangements, it makes sense that PBX technology should also evolve in order to meet these new, key working needs. Let’s take a closer look at these different types of PBX systems:
While utilising traditional landlines such as copper wire, traditional PBX systems are able to connect callers through multiple phone lines. As such, the PBX is stored at the same location as the business.
In terms of features, traditional PBX can facilitate the use of extensions and transfers. Functions such as mute, re-dial, speed dial, and voicemail are also available to traditional PBX users.
It’s worth noting that, as the system is housed on the premises, the business will be required to employ an IT team or schedule technicians for things such as maintenance or technical support.
A hosted PBX means that there is no physical machine installed in a company’s office. Therefore, under this system, an external provider will be responsible for housing the PBX system and maintaining and upgrading the servers.
The main benefit of such a system is the fact that providers will always keep software up to date. This means that the business will have access to the latest features as they arrive. Making this a very flexible solution.
Additionally, a hosted PBX system is a scalable solution. By not having to move physical equipment, a company can transition to a new location easier and more efficiently. With this in mind, there is also an efficient use of space associated with a hosted solution.
Cloud-based PBX is often considered to be one of the most evolved PBX systems available. When discussing cloud PBX, it’s important to note that this system has all the features of traditional PBX, however, everything takes place in the cloud.
A cloud-based PBX system means that features, applications, and calling services can be controlled using a virtual interface that has been installed on a personal computer or tablet device.
With no physical equipment, a cloud-based system means that companies can take advantage of valuable real estate within their office space. Additionally, a remote system lowers costs associated with technical support and maintenance.
Also known as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone system, this system uses a business’ internal networks, such as existing internet connections, to deliver key functions. By taking advantage of such connections, a business can enjoy enhanced and stabilised call functions.
VoIP phones work to record voices and then transform them into data. From there, this data file is compressed and turned into a data packet. VoIP providers will then convert and connect to the intended phone. While this process sounds laborious, it is actually lightning quick.
As opposed to older models, VoIP comes with more applications. As such, key features of this PBX system include mobility integration, video calling, caller ID, and call waiting. Additionally, users can benefit from voicemail to email features and an auto attendant.
A hybrid PBX system uses digital PBX and VoIP technology in order to create a blended system. The result? A communication method that is accessible to both in-office and remote workers.
This blended system functions by using the digital phone system that is currently in-house, as well as VoIP solutions. The combination of the two will then work to provide a connection point to external phone numbers.
When it comes to understanding the difference between Traditional PBX and Cloud PBX, it’s important to remember one key distinction. Traditional PBX systems use the public switched telephone network (PSTN) whereas VoIP systems work to transfer calls over the internet.
While the key point of transmission differs, there are also other differences to consider:
Installing a traditional PBX system requires an upfront time and cost investment. A business will have to source and provide a power supply, routers, software, and hardware.
Requires Cat5 cabling or Wi-Fi for each device to operate. While cabling comes at a cost, the only other hardware a business will need to invest in is VoIP phones.
As traditional PBX is housed on-site, which means that the business will need to pay for software licenses, maintenance, and service fees when the need arises, as well as the monthly phone bill.
When operating under a VoIP model, a business will typically have to pay following a subscription model.
PBX call quality is typically high and isn’t subject to variables.
At its peak, VoIP can deliver HD voice calls. However, issues related to insufficient bandwidth or connection errors might impact overall quality.
In terms of scalability, PBX is quite rigid. This is because a business will need to add extra phone lines and install new hardware in order to add new users.
When it comes to adding more capacity, it’s as simple as ordering more phones and adding the user to the plan.
When installed correctly, PBX is traditionally very reliable.
In terms of reliability, this will depend on the provider and internet-related variables.
Typically, an on-site PBX system cannot be used outside the office.
VoIP systems enable users to handle calls from computers or mobile.
As on-site PBX routes external calls to the PSTN, there is no risk of hacking.
VoIP systems have the potential to be infiltrated by external parties.
As PBX and Cloud PBX are different systems, each possesses inherent pros and cons. When it comes to Traditional PBX, infrastructure is a large distractor.
This type of infrastructure features benefits. Namely, the fact that it doesn’t require the use of the broader data network in order to operate. This means that increased phone traffic won’t inhibit the completion of other tasks that rely heavily on data.
There is also an inherent simplicity when it comes to the Traditional PBX. As a streamlined and easy-to-use solution, it can be installed and readily adopted by staff throughout the entire organisation.
However, there are cons. In terms of expansion, there are limitations. This is because, in order to add a phone or line, a card port is needed. Once the card port is acquired, it will need a slot in the cabinet and a cable to the new phone. If the cabinet is full, a new one needs to be procured.
Like Traditional PBX, Cloud PBX systems also have associated pros and cons. As a more modern system, Cloud PBX is feature-rich, which in turn, brings telephony to a new level. Additionally, using VoIP allows users to bring their own devices to the table.
There are also elements of integration to consider. VoIP allows for integration with other technology on the network. Such integration means that users can control phone functions via the device and a computer. Additionally, 5G will further aid the control of devices remotely.
In terms of cons, there are different factors that need to be mentioned. Firstly, VoIP requires IT involvement in order to scale up or down and to provide maintenance or resolve issues. How promptly this is actioned will depend on the availability and expertise of IT.
Additionally, with VoIP, there are many points of failure. Whether it's the switches for the phones, the physical Cat5 cabling, or the NBN connection, everything has to be exactly right in order for this system to consistently deliver.
Communication is key to thriving business operations. In fact, communication is necessary for tasks ranging from customer service and dealing with suppliers and partners to collaborating with team members.
With a PBX phone system, a business always has the tools readily available in order to communicate with workers, clients, and other key stakeholders. Whether these conversations are internal or external.
However, a PBX phone system doesn’t just enable communications. Rather PBX systems enable fast and flexible methods of communication, equipping the business for today’s competitive operating environment.
In a world of instant messaging or uploading to social media sites, the everyday consumer expects to be able to complete tasks quickly. This sentiment also exists when communicating with a business.
As such, a PBX phone system allows a business to satisfy this basic need of customers. Not only does a PBX system allow businesses to answer calls quickly, the system facilitates the transfer of calls to ensure that customers can speak to the concerned person quicker.
Not only do consumers want quick access, but they also want around-the-clock access. PBX helps a business fulfill this need. During non-operational hours, PBX can divert calls to mobile phones to ensure that a business can always stay in touch with its customers.
With this in mind, a PBX phone system is non-negotiable in a variety of sectors ranging from e-commerce to tourism and hospitality and even family-run businesses. This is mainly because PBX provides speed and flexibility.
While speed can ensure prompt customer service, flexibility works to ensure that PBX can be beneficial to your organisation’s key functions. Take a family business for example. The business might start out small and quickly grow. This may mean changing locations.
Thanks to the Cloud PBX variety of PBX, systems will not have to be physically transferred to the new location. Additionally, growing the business might mean adding more employees. Thanks to VoIP, connecting new employees to lines of communication is as simple as adding a phone.
This inherent flexibility also means that PBX systems can service a tourism or hospitality business. During peak season, the last thing workers need is to answer phone queries regularly. A PBX system can enable auto-responding to handle calls efficiently and effectively.
The different types of PBX systems come complete with an array of different benefits for businesses. In order to reap these benefits, businesses must choose the PBX solution that aligns with their communication strategy for both the present and the future.
In terms of traditional PBX systems, benefits revolve around the high upfront costs. It’s also worth noting that, as a business owns an on-premise system, there aren’t any ongoing subscription fees related to the equipment that needs covering.
When it comes to cloud-based PBX systems, benefits include both time and cost savings. With a system that is being managed and hosted in the cloud, a business won't need to invest in additional hardware. Additionally, a business will only pay for the services they need. Cloud PBX also presents time savings. Easier to maintain, upgrade and service, and there is little downtime. This is because the service provider will come complete with a team of experts ready to deploy upgrades or rectify issues.
For those looking into a hosted PBX, it’s important to understand the space benefits. As the hardware is run off-premises in a remote location, a business won’t have to invest in equipment. This also means that key office real estate isn’t taken up by PBX equipment.
VoIP PBX systems are both flexible and cost-effective. Rather than paying up-front hardware costs, voice services can be downloaded through an app, saving money on equipment fees. Additionally, as software can be used, there is flexibility to use either a phone or a computer.
A hybrid PBX phone system can benefit a business exponentially. This is because the ability to facilitate collaboration between remote workers and in-office workers means that communication channels are always available and open.
Communication is the foundation for efficient and effective operations. In an age where consumer demands centre around fast and seamless communication, the ability of a business to facilitate this is paramount to success.
By employing the right PBX system for your business, communication becomes seamless. Whether workers need to communicate with each other, or with clients and other key stakeholders.
Offering speed, flexibility, and reliability, PBX systems can grow or scale back with your business. Ensuring that there are never any barriers to efficient and effective communication and collaboration.
Matching advanced features and cloud security with cost-effective plans, SpinTel can help provide your business with a PBX phone system that complements your needs, both today and tomorrow.
In a world where everything is taking place on the cloud, SpinTel is proving to be a reliable partner for any business looking to save on phone call bills. In addition, it comes with a line pooling benefit that allows you to add more users per line while saving money.
Moreover, it offers advanced features without having to break the bank. You can never miss a message as all voice mails are sent to the email. An interactive Voice Response IVR is also on offer in addition to the multiple-person ring feature, which supports multiple people's phones at any given time. The accessible hold park and transfer feature make it easy to make more calls, while the conference calls feature supports phone calls in a conference setting.
SpinTel’s cloud PBX services run on the cloud while leveraging advanced security features and technology to ensure all phone calls are protected from outside snooping. In addition, you won’t have to contend with messy wire and wall boxes as everything is done online.
If you are looking to save up to 50% on calls, then look no other way. SpinTel offers reliable cloud PBX services and phone systems with enterprise grading calling features. Be ready to pay only for features you need. Get in touch with SpinTel to avail the Cloud PBX 30-day trial today!
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