What Is PBX?
What is the definition of PBX?
PBX, or “Private Branch Exchange,” is an internal phone system with unique extensions for each caller. It allows a business to use a single line or handful of phone lines for a much larger number of professionals or departments. Incoming calls are routed to specific extensions or departments, while outgoing calls make use of an available line.
However you define a PBX phone system, there are several advantages. This system is far less costly than having a unique line for every person in your company. With today’s definition of PBX and current technology, these systems are also feature-rich and don’t require complex hardware or software.
What PBX Stands For
The term “PBX” stands for Private Branch eXchange. The idea is that each unique branch of a company or organization has its own private exchange for incoming and outgoing phone calls. It’s an intelligent and efficient method of handling calls when your business has many different phone users that customers and callers want to contact.
In the beginning, a Private Branch Exchange represented the physical layout of your fixed phone lines and phones. Nowadays, your PBX goes beyond your brick-and-mortar walls and includes all of the phones — fixed, mobile and computer-based — that you use to conduct your business.
How Does a PBX Phone System Work?
A PBX phone system works much in the way a switchboard operator worked at the inception of phone communications. An incoming call came in through one of several lines and was directed (manually, back then) to any number of other lines with the desired contact at the end.
Of course, in today’s modern world, we’ve moved past physical switchboard operators. Advanced computer software and programming now dispatches calls quickly and efficiently, so there’s no wait for your callers. They can be put through to a fixed line, mobile phone or web-based (VoIP or cloud) telephony system. Your callers get through to the right person every time, which is important for providing great customer service.
What Is a Traditional PBX System?
The traditional PBX system definition refers to a Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) which uses copper wire to physically link calls. These analog systems were common years ago when companies would invest considerable amounts of money into their phone systems. The advantage of traditional PBX systems is that they were very stable and could be customized precisely how a company wanted them. They were set up to reflect exactly the type of phone system required.
That being the case, traditional PBX systems also had many disadvantages. They were complicated and required lots of hardware, which is turn required maintenance. They were expensive to set up and use. Most troubling of all, they required a lot of technical expertise or IT professionals when a company grew and needed to update their system.
What Is a Hosted or Virtual PBX System?
A hosted PBX system offers flexibility — you’ll never miss an important call again.
Now that broadband internet has replaced copper wires, most PBX systems are IP PBX, or virtual systems. What is an IPBX or virtual system? It uses VoIP technology to place voice calls over the internet.
There are different types of virtual PBX systems. On-site systems use your internet connection or Local Area Network to offer a phone system. These phones may still require IT knowledge and investment in hardware. On the other hand, virtual or cloud-based PBX systems do not. These are more flexible systems which do not require technical investment and are highly flexible.
What Is the Definition of a PABX System?
You may see the term “PABX” used, which refers to “private automatic branch exchange.” This term is synonymous with PBX today, since all branch exchanges are automatic. In earlier days, PABX was used to distinguish between automatic and non-automatic private branch exchanges.
Today’s business climate is all about mobility – smart phones, tablets, virtual office spaces, telecommuting and more. Companies are doing business at multiple locations, during extended hours, and have employees and departments all over the country. This migration toward a flexible workplace calls for a reliable, seamless communication system that ensures you’ll never miss an important call.
With a “Hosted IP PBX” system, you purchase the phone system service from an external provider, like AccessDirect, who manages and maintains the software and programming for you. Phone calls are delivered over data networks, it’s easily scalable, and there is no need to change your current phone numbers.
New technologies offer several features with hosted PBX systems: Find Me/Follow Me, Auto Attendant, Call Routing, Voicemail to Email and Fax to Email are just some of the features that make a smaller business look big and compete more easily with larger organizations. Your clients will be able to reach you wherever you are, and you can conduct business as if you were seated in your office.
The Bottom Line
Business basics are the same as always, but the ability to efficiently function in a mobile/virtual business environment has changed. Hosted PBX systems have made it easier and most cost-effective than ever to be a small business in today’s market. A hosted PBX system provides the following benefits to you and your business:
- No equipment to buy or maintain
- System scales as your company grows
- Keep your existing phone number
- Never miss an important call
- Professional greetings make a great first impression
- Local phone numbers present a local presence
- Toll free numbers save your clients money
- Easily screen calls as they come in
- Receive a fax directly in your email
- Send your voicemail to any email addresses
While online and email business is growing, there are still many customers who prefer to use the phone. Make sure you’re offering them a fast and easy way to contact your business with the help of a PBX system from AccessDirect. We’ll set it up according to your current mix of fixed, mobile and web phones and can easily upgrade to add new phones in the future as your business and telephone communication needs grow.
Get Started Today
We help you add and expand to your system when needed, provide professionally recorded greetings, offer 24-hour emergency technical support, and provide many advanced features. Our service requires no maintenance, no equipment to buy, and no additional staff.
Discover what a PBX phone system can do for your productivity, flexibility and advanced features without buying equipment or adding staff. Call 877-599-6500 or contact us for more information about our automatic call distribution solutions.