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What is PBX?

What is PBX or Private Branch Exchange?

It is a telephone system used within a business or organisation that allows for calls between the organisations users on local lines while also allowing all users to share a certain number of external phone lines. For example; a retail shop could use its internal lines to connect sales staff with administrative staff but an external phone line would still operate to allow customers to call the shop.

The external phone line can call all phones simultaneously so that if one user is busy on the phone or in store, another of their colleagues can pick up the phone and handle the customers phone call. The great thing about this PBX system is the ability to always have a person to deal with external calls while also allowing internal calls for quick and easy communication better staff.


Hosted PBX vs On Premise IP-PBX

The original PBX in the 1970s and 1980s used switchboard operators to manually switch lines using cord circuits but things have come along way from then and now most PBX systems are automatic. Since the advent of VoIP most PBX systems use Internet protocol (IP) connectivity to add audio, video and instant messaging as well as simple phone calls.

On Premise PBX means that the system is owned and operated by the business using it rather than a telephone company or VoIP provider. A PBX uses a telephone trunk (multiple phone) lines that terminate at the PBX, a network of line within the organisation and a computer that can manage the switching of calls within the business and in and out of it. With a hosted PBX system all the technology is with your service provider and they use cloud based tech to allow the companies staff to use a whole manner of useful features.

Hosted PBX
  • Lower equipment cost and set up plus low maintenance cost for equipment
  • New features can be easily added and is the responsibility of the provider
  • Upgrades are handled by provider
  • Loss of internet or connection quality can effect phone calls but it doesn’t have to effect operations if calls are set up to be redirected to voicemail or mobile.
On-Premise IP PBX
  • The company has the flexibility to upgrade, adjust and delete users and features as and when they are needed
  • Higher initial cost, set up cost and technology maintenance cost but lower monthly cost and server ownership reduces expenses over time.
  • Requires an experienced technician to operate, maintain and upgrade the system.
  • Loss of internet will effect connectivity and call quality but it can be set up so that calls can be redirected to voicemail or mobiles.