Private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems refer to the hardware and software that allow businesses to utilize multiple extensions. In addition, PBX systems enable automatic call routing, interactive voice response (IVR) menus, call scheduling, and other key features to take your business communications to the next level.
It is worth noting that these systems can range from absolutely free to thousands of dollars, meaning youíll want to know all the ins and outs before choosing the right PBX system. Below, weíll walk you through everything you need to know, from what a PBX system is and how it works to the most trusted providers in the industry.
Why Businesses Need PBX Phone Systems
PBX systems are what give businesses the ability to offer their employees individual extensions. This also means a business requires fewer lines from its phone company, saving it money. As a result, itís one of the most popular forms of business phone service on the market today.
The way that the software and hardware works together depends on the type of PBX system and how it is implemented. Older PBX systems, for example, were completely on-premise, meaning all the necessary components were installed locally at your office. However, advancements in voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) technology empower modern businesses to use a hosted PBX, which is a cloud-based system and reduces the equipment.
How PBX Phone Systems Work
PBX systems route your company calls from your PBX through landlines (or the internet with VoIP) to another businessí PBX system. The call is then connected to a specific line or extension.
Before PBX systems and VoIP technology, calls were routed by actual humans (switchboard operators) whoíd physically wire a connection to the appropriate extension. Now, that entire process is updated and automated. Hereís how it works:
Components of a PBX System
Components of a PBX system
You get to determine how calls are handled when you configure your phone systemís settings. Youíre able to determine how incoming calls are greeted, routed, and ultimately answered by the appropriate end-user.
Todayís best PBX systems are hosted by VoIP providers, such as RingCentral and Nextiva. These platforms host the PBX systems on their own servers, meaning you donít need any on-premise hardware or software to get started. You simply sign up, download the necessary apps, and can get started with your business PBX system. Hosted PBX systems are popular with businesses of all sizes, from small startups to call center teams with high monthly call volumes.