In order to understand which PBX phone system will best suit your business’s needs, you should understand what a PBX system actually is. PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. The system exchanges and connects multiple phone calls from one user to another or from one department to another (“for Human Resources press 1…” etc) in a company or organization. Incoming calls go to an auto-receptionist who directs the call to the right employee depending on the needs and response of the caller. Outgoing calls travel through the PBX phone systems to connect with outside lines.
The need for a complex business telephone system is still very high for almost any business imaginable. In fact, with so much business being conducted while managers are “on the go” these days, the demands of a telephone system for business has actually become more complex than previous years. Fortunately, the technology for such systems has also improved and there are now a number of options available for businesses to choose from when it comes to finding the right kind of PBX telephone system for them.
Traditional PBX systems use land lines to transfer calls. This limits the number of users on the system as each user must have a line of their own. It also makes the system more expensive than the more up to date VoIP systems which use the internet to reduce costs.
Due to the fact that they use landlines, traditional PBX systems require a lot of hardware which in turn means that the set-up can be both expensive and time consuming. One of the perks of the traditional PBX system though is that it don’t rely on fast internet speeds so if this is an issue, you can still have access to a sophisticated business phone system.
The IP is an upgrade from traditional PBX system. The IP can use internet and landlines for the system which means that it doesn’t have the same limitations as its predecessor. Internet bandwidth is the boundary setter here which means more users can be added without additional phone lines. This kind of system supports both digital and analog telephones which makes it good for businesses who want to use in-house system or those who would like to migrate slowly into supporting a full IP telephone system. There is more flexibility for expanding a company with this option.
Hosted PBX is one of the most popular options for small and mid-sized organizations. All connections go through the PBX system which is offsite and hosted by the service provider, not the business who is using the service. Cloud systems mean minimal outlay cost and minimal monthly fees. The hosted PBX phone system benefits from an instant set up and hardly any need for technical support as all the complexities of the business telephone system are handled by the service provider.
Which is Right for You?
The answer to this question depends largely on the features you need to run your business effectively along with the budget you have.
You will need to:
- Assess your company’s productivity with its existing phone system and find out where the bugs in the system are. From here you’ll be able to learn what features you need to look for in a new and improved system.
- Understand what you need in a business phone line. Do you employ telecommute workers? Will you be using your laptop or a desktop computer as a phone? All of these questions will give you an idea as to what to look for in a PBX phone system.
- Look at how easy the system is to run. Do you have time to manage a hands on in-house system or do you need to look at a cloud system that will allow you to manage all your system settings online without the need for technical IT assistance?
- Work out exactly how you plan to use the new phone system to benefit your company. Then work out how this will increase your bottom line and by how much. This will give you an estimate of ROI for each PBX service provider when you come to investigate them.
Try Before You Buy
There really is a PBX phone system out there for everyone. But finding the right system takes a little careful thinking about your businesses needs and background research on available models. Most reputable PBX providers will offer some kind of test run before purchase. This is a great way to get a feel for how the system will be integrated into your company.
Which PBX phone system is right for your business? You won’t know until you answer all of the above questions. Don’t forget to leave room for expansion as well. With the help of a stellar PBX phone system, you might experience growth sooner than you think.