Small Business PBX: A 5 Minute Lesson

Small business PBX phone systems today are wildly more sophisticated compared to their humble roots back in the early 2000′s. And when you compare hosted VoIP services to a traditional service that you’ve probably grown used to, there’s really no comparison. Sure you’ll still get business-class features with both a VoIP and an analog, hard-wired system but you’ll also greatly reduce your ability to present a unified appearance, telework, customize your system and more.

Here’s a quick comparison of a conventional PBX system and a unified communications system using a small business PBX with Hosted VoIP.

Small Business PBX

Traditionally, a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) was a physical telephone switching system that managed incoming and outgoing calls for a company’s internal users. The small business PBX was a physical piece of hardware stored at the business, and was connected to phone lines to automatically route incoming calls to specific extensions. It also shared and managed multiple lines. A typical in-house business PBX system included external and internal phone lines; a computer server or electronic console that managed call switching and routing; and a console for manual control. The PBX itself was not easily customizable, and any changes to extensions, additions, or feature upgrades required a maintenance person from the phone company to come to the business.

Cloud Based Small Business PBX

A hosted PBX can do everything a traditional small business PBX can do and more. It performs the switching and connecting of Voice over IP as well as landline calls. However there is no physical PBX equipment (except for the phones and perhaps a small router) to store at your location. All the features and functionality of your phone system are delivered over the Internet. Businesses can manage their own systems, without having to wait for a maintenance person to come to their location. Plus, you can use IP phones or softphones (which don’t require any phone hardware beyond a computer and a microphone headset).

With a cloud PBX, you can connect employees all around the United States with the same phone system using the same extension setup and the same area code. You have an expanded ability to telework with work anywhere features and 24/7 online portals, and you also have the ability to fully customize your extension settings and add or remove features at any time.

Moving Beyond the Basics

Small businesses require also specialized features to support their particular workflows. With a traditional PBX, businesses had to pay for individual features, as well as for the minutes of phone usage, on top of buying the physical PBX itself. With a hosted PBX, you get unlimited calling for a flat monthly rate, all the features your business needs are included, and there’s no PBX equipment to buy.

If your business does want to add an advanced feature like Call Monitoring, it’s as easy as simply calling Vonage Business Solutions’ (formerly Vocalocity) Customer Support department. Instead of having to configure each employee’s phone like in the old days, advanced features automatically work (once configured) for each designated extension on a small business PBX account.

Are you ready to learn about how Vonage for small business is a PBX option that can help your office expand or work from anywhere? Get a free quote today!

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