We often get asked exactly what is a PBX Phone System...

what can it do, and what features and benefits a PBX solution offers.

PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, which is essentially a private telephone network used by organisations. The users of the PBX phone system can communicate internally (within their company) but most importantly externally (with the outside world).

Traditionally the PBX Phone System would be connected from the company directly to the phone carrier to accept calls externally and route them to individuals’ handsets. It would also let users dial from the handset to external and internal numbers or extensions.

A man using a PBX Phone System

Today PBX systems can embrace more modern channels than the original phone lines that were available. The sunset of ISDN/PSTN sees modern PBXs using digital networks with cloud-based solutions connected via the internet. As well as allowing traditional phone features, PBX Systems have the ability to:

  • Transfer calls
  • Provide voicemail to email
  • Allow call recording
  • Enable interactive voice menus (IVRs),
  • Facilitate call queues.

Modern PBX systems are often now integrated with computer systems and offer advanced features through the use of VoIP technology and CRMs.

What are the top 5 benefits of a Good PBX Phone System?

A good PBX (Private Branch Exchange) phone system offers several key benefits for businesses, large and small. The top five benefits include:

Cost Savings: A PBX system can significantly reduce costs associated with traditional phone lines. By using internet connectivity (in the case of IP PBX), call costs, especially long-distance, are often much lower. Additionally, it also eliminates the need for separate networks for phones and data, which results in reduced costs.

Flexibility and Scalability. PBX systems are highly adaptable to the changing needs of a business. They can easily accommodate new users and changing call volumes without the need for significant infrastructure changes. This scalability ensures that the system is adaptable and grows with your business.

Advanced Features. Modern PBX systems come with a range of features that are not typically available with traditional phone systems. These include voicemail to email, call forwarding, call waiting, auto-attendant, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Such features enhance communication efficiency and improves customer service.

Improved Internal Communication. With features like extension dialling, call transfers, and conference calling, a PBX system facilitates better communication within an organisation. This can lead to improved collaboration and efficiency among employees.

Remote Connectivity. Modern PBX systems offer VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) capabilities. VoIP allows employees to connect to the office phone system from remote locations such as home or off-site workers. This feature helps businesses with remote workers to stay connected no matter where they are.

How Cloud-Based or Hosted PBX Phone Systems Have improved communications and functionality.

The biggest change in the PBX phone system has been the introduction and evolution of hosted PBX also known as cloud-based PBX’s. Cloud-based or hosted PBX phone systems have brought about a transformation in business communications. This has been done by offering a multitude of benefits over traditional on-site systems.

These systems that are inherently scalable making it easy for businesses to increase or decrease the number of phone lines without the disturbance of physical installations. This benefit also sees the reduction of costs to a business with minimal initial hardware investment and outsourced maintenance.

PBX Cloud Phone System

Hosted PBX services also come with a suite of advanced features like voicemail-to-email, auto-attendants, and conferencing without the need for additional hardware. It can also include integration with other cloud services, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), leading to seamless unified communications. Furthermore hosted PBX services are typically more reliable, with built-in redundancy and disaster recovery options.

The user-friendly, web-based management interfaces of cloud PBX systems also allow for remote modifications and easy performance tracking. These enhancements through dedicated applications allows users to make and receive calls with their business numbers from their personal devices. All regular updates and new features can be implemented by service providers without disrupting the business workflow, supporting your whole organisation.

Lastly but certainly not least, security is a top priority with a cloud-based PBX system, providing stringent security measures to safeguard communication data against emerging threats. This ensures that businesses can rely and trust on a secure, advanced, and flexible communication solution.

Cloud-based PBX Phone Systems Versus Microsoft Teams

There are many communication options available now, compared to traditional channels. We will discuss the features that define a PBX System and which do not. Let’s do this by comparing a PBX to a popular communications system such as Microsoft Teams.

A simple difference can be viewed as a PBX being a tool that takes and manages external customer calls. While Teams focusses on internal communications within organisations such as meetings and collaborations. But let’s look a little further into some of the key differences between the two systems:

Cloud-based PBX Phone System:

Primary Function: It’s a digital version of the traditional PBX system, which routes calls through the internet instead of traditional phone lines.

Features: Cloud-based PBX systems offer features like call forwarding, voicemail, call recording, and interactive voice responses. They are primarily focused on voice communication.

Scalability and Flexibility: These systems are highly scalable, allowing businesses to add or remove lines as needed. They are not tied to a physical location, offering flexibility for remote work.

Integration: Some cloud PBX systems can integrate with other business tools and can enable communication over other channels like text and mobile, but the extent of integration depends on the specific provider and system.

Cloud Phone PBX versus Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams:

Primary Function: Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that integrates chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. Its focus is broader than just voice communication.

Voice Communication: Teams offer voice calling capabilities, but it’s part of a larger suite of collaboration tools. It can function as a PBX system with the appropriate licensing and configuration (like Microsoft 365 Business Voice).

Collaboration Features: Teams excels in team collaboration features like document sharing, real-time collaboration, and integration with Microsoft 365 applications.

Integration: As part of the Microsoft 365 suite, Teams offers extensive integration with other Microsoft applications and a range of third-party services.

In summary, a cloud-based PBX is primarily a phone system with advanced call-handling features, ideal for businesses needing robust voice communication solutions. In contrast, Microsoft Teams is an internal collaboration platform with chat, video, and file-sharing capabilities, and includes limited voice communication as one of its features.

Some PBX providers intergrate with Microsoft Teams, allowing you to reap the benefits of the Microsoft Teams internal communications, and the PBX’s external communication capability.

Conclusion

Modern businesses need to be flexible and agile in their communications as workplaces and consumer demands evolve. In a world where hybrid remote working forms part of a normal organisation flexible solutions are a must. A communication service that utilises all the functionality of a Cloud PBX and works through collaborative applications like Teams provides a complete unified communications tool.

Fusion Telecom’s TransForm Platform offers the perfect solution. Allowing businesses and employees to make and receive calls wherever they are and to plug into apps such as Voispeed, Wildix, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. All this is done in a highly reliable and secure process for protecting customer data and when taking payments.

Find out more about our TransForm Platform here and how it can be a complete and cost-effective solution for any organisation, or contact us on the form below.

Lady on a PBX Phone-System