The early days of telephone calls being run through a switchboard have evolved into highly technical and efficient solutions that rely on internet connectivity. The digital revolution of communication has made it much more affordable for businesses to stay connected to their customers, clients, vendors, and employees with private bank exchanges adopting automated features that rely on superconductors rather than a human effort to connect calls. These PBX developments have grown to includes services that include IP PBX, and VoIP systems. The following breakdown is a PBX for beginners, so you can make an informed decision for your company’s communication needs.
Comparing PBX, IP PBX, and VoIP
Though voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) is highly popular for use in a small business, this isn’t always the best choice for a company. There are pros and cons to each system, with these differences being better suited for unique situations. Let’s take a look at the pros of each category.
- PBX. One of the leading benefits of a PBX system is that it is still operated through traditional phones line, reducing downtime on account of power outages or internet failure. These systems can also be maintained in-house, giving a company total control over the software and the ability to access the equipment. The sound quality is the best over a long period of time, and since telephone lines date back several decades, most companies are already outfitted with the lines.
- IP PBX. With this system, usability is a prime benefit since there aren’t a lot of technical components. Your company doesn’t need an IT department with significant training to update or use the system. An IP PBX also has a cheaper monthly operating cost than a traditional PBX, even if the company has a lot of users on the plan. Maintenance issues and upgrades are also less costly since you aren’t tied to a contract with a phone company for service. There is more mobility with this tool since the IP-based connections let users move their phones to different locations without issue. You can also add extensions in different physical locations from the original location since there is flexibility with the IP and internet connection.
- VoIP. The prime attraction with VoIP systems is the cost. There is not a lot of required equipment, leading to reduced costs for maintenance. Your company won’t be paying a fee for calls, even when made internationally. There is a fixed subscription fee for services. You also have the flexibility of receiving a call in any location from any number of devices. You can use a cell phone or a computer, depending on when your user is. You will have access to features like call waiting, conference calling, call transfers, voicemails, and interactive voice responses. The sound quality corresponds to the quality of the internet connection, but it isn’t lag with multiple users. Even when a disaster hits and the internet isn’t working, calls will be received through remote hosting and sent to voicemail.
Knowing the Negatives
You will never find an option that doesn’t have some flaw or weakness, but depending on what your system can tolerate, you may not have an issue with a particular negative aspect. With IP PBX, your connection depends on the internet connection, so if the power goes out, your phone system will go down. When there is a poor internet connection, the sound quality may also be reduced as well as increased risk of a dropped call. Your company would still need an IP phone to operate. With VoIP systems, these are also dependent on internet connections, though calls aren’t entirely lost.
Evaluate your company’s size and communication needs, as this will help you choose the most affordable and efficient phone system. These are three leading options.