PBX stands for private branch exchange. But what does it do?
It sounds like a secret network where dogs might go to have their most prized tree branches valued and trade them or an interaction between libraries to trade books between branches on the sly. But, the private branch exchange is none of these things. Although, I do love the idea of dogs trading their favorite sticks, barking over an undervalued manzanita branch.
The PBX is a private telephone network used within a company or organization to communicate with customers, members, prospects, and colleagues.
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of PBX phone systems.
What is a PBX Phone System?
Organizations use PBX phone systems but, what makes a PBX different from the phone system you or I use to call our friends and family?
- Residential telephone lines connect callers to each other at cost. Each phone connected to the residential telephone line hears the one conversation happening on that line.
- PBX systems can communicate internally or externally. Multiple conversations take place on different trunks within the system without overlap. They enable features like extension dialing, customer waiting queues, conference calls, auto receptionists, hold music, and more.
The Evolution of the Private Branch Exchange
Analog PBX system
This is the traditional PBX system. It manages calls by being physically connected to telephone service lines by copper wiring. It predates the internet and the technology it can use reflects that.
Many features of the modern call center like voicemail to email and high definition calls are unavailable on an analog PBX phone system. Although it is still possible to purchase analog PBX systems, it is not the first choice for most call centers.
Rigid PBX services that do not have the ability to be expanded or upgraded are undesirable in an industry where the only constant is change.
Internet protocol (IP) PBX system
An IP PBX system uses broadband internet to place phone calls. Phone lines connect to your organization’s PBX using your local area network (LAN), leveraging the same internet connectivity your office computers do.
Both outgoing and incoming calls are made using voice over ip (voip) solutions like Primary Rate Interfaces (PRI) or SIP trunking services. These connect your IP PBX to the public switch telephone network (PSTN).
IP PBX systems can be easily upgraded to incorporate new features. This makes them much more flexible than analog PBX systems. The downside with this type of system is the required ownership and maintenance involved, which can cost you valuable time and money.
Hosted or virtual PBX system
All of the features of an IP PBX are available on a virtual PBX system without the hassle of ownership and maintenance. A hosted PBX system lives on the public internet, managed by a host, and is accessible from anywhere with internet connectivity.
Call centers that use this type of PBX have high flexibility and don’t have to worry about upgrading their systems to incorporate new features. Features are easily added and modified. They allow users to apply changes across the organization making them uniformly scalable.
Virtual PBX also allows you to increase the range of your service. Your call center does not have to work within business hours of your physical location. You are more available to your customers, on their schedule.
The New Normal
Along with much of the rest of the world, the global pandemic beginning in 2020 brought your call center into the realm of work from home. This migration made the IP PBX problematic as not all users were on the same LAN.
The hosted or virtual PBX presented itself as the best solution. Because it is hosted on the internet, it can be accessed from anywhere, including an agent’s home.
A Simple, All-in-One Solution
There are many PBX options out there, but it’s not just about finding any system. It’s about finding the right system. And we believe the right PBX is one that’s purpose-built for your business and your customers.
At LiveVox, we offer a complete connectivity solution at the leading edge of PBX technology. We have everything you need for your business phones, including cloud-based VoIP phone service, SD-WAN, wireless backup, and Internet Service Provider (ISP) management that eliminates connection issues while reducing expenses.
Our solution is custom-built based on your unique needs, can be rapidly deployed, and easily grows as your number of employees and/or locations increases. With LiveVox, there’s no capital expense or server infrastructure needed, making our platform ideal for one storefront or thousands.
With all the advanced phone features your company needs to succeed and scale, it’s
easy and seamless to make the move to our powerful cloud-based platform.