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January 19, 2022

The Best PBX Phone System for SMB Flexibility

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A cloud-based PBX is truly about customization and automation.

Any established business, with several employees, will want to have a PBX phone system to facilitate phone calls. This applies even to small or medium businesses, especially as they continue to grow. 

Having an effective communication method is an essential aspect of running a business. If no one can get in contact with a company or employees can’t reach out to their coworkers then the company has no way to conduct their business and is doomed before it can really take off. Looking at a quality PBX system to help ensure the success of your business is something to take seriously. 

However, choosing and setting up a PBX system is not a simple task, as there are many different components that make up the system, and it’s important to find the best PBX phone solution that meets your needs. 

For a long time, only traditional PBX phone systems were available and they could get to be quite costly, as they require on-site installation, hardware, and a full-time IT person to manage the system. Advances in technology have allowed this system to evolve over the years to better serve companies. 

Today, PBX phone systems can be selected as an on-site solution (meaning a landline) or a VoIP solution (relying on the internet). Then there is a cloud-based VoIP system, which offers the best of both solutions and then some.

If you are trying to choose a PBX system for a small or medium business but don’t know the right one you should go with, then this article will break down the PBX system and which one is going to be the best option for you.

How does a PBX system work?

First, how exactly does a PBX system work? A PBX system may sound or even look simple if you see a PBX system diagram, but in reality, it is a little more complicated. 

PBX phone systems can be selected as an on-site solution (meaning a landline) or a VoIP solution (relying on the internet).

The standard PBX system relies on landlines, which are connected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN), and requires physical hardware that needs to be stored and can take up a bit of space. Copper wires actually connect to the phone system located on-site, which connects to the PBX box kept in the office building. The PBX box utilizes telephony switches to receive calls and route them appropriately to desk phones.

A VoIP system (voice over internet protocol), which came along a few decades after the traditional PBX, operates by converting voice into data that is transmitted over the internet and then converted back to voice for the person on the receiving end to hear. The VoIP system can be integrated with traditional PBX systems, but they can operate with only a reliable internet connection (meaning little to no hardware is needed). The number of lines that a VoIP system provides is unlimited, as opposed to traditional PBX systems.

Choosing your PBX system as an SMB 

While traditional PBX systems were once a modern advancement that spurred businesses to be able to grow, they have since become slightly outdated in comparison to the options that are now available. But there may be some instances where you might need this type of solution. They are not the most cost-effective though, so a virtual or cloud-based PBX solution is going to make the most sense for most companies in today’s digital age.

A traditional PBX system might be right for you if…

If you are a small business that does not yet have a steady internet connection then you may want to consider a traditional PBX system. As established, these systems are connected through landlines, which means that they have a stable connection and are still more reliable than a VoIP or virtual PBX system. So, if you live in a rural area then you should probably go with this phone system until you are able to get established in a place that has better internet access if that’s your plan.

Also, if your business offers any type of emergency services then it is absolutely vital that your phone system is able to maintain a connection and a traditional PBX system is most likely the better option. 

A cloud-based PBX solution truly has the most to offer

Traditional PBX systems may still have their merits, but to really get the most for your money then you will want to find a cloud-based PBX. It is the most flexible option, as it has many capabilities that allow you to scale your business overall. 

Also known as a hosted PBX or a virtual PBX, this type of phone system is available through the cloud and utilizes a VoIP provider server. Although, it can also use the PTSN or even both. Since it operates in the cloud, with an internet connection, then there is no hassle of having to store in-the-way hardware. 

A cloud-based PBX system price is typically based on a monthly fee, per extension. Long-term this will save you money, compared to a traditional PBX system.

One of the most important aspects about a cloud-based system, in terms of flexibility, is the ability to access it from any location. If you are away from your office building then you can still be easily reached. You can even have your voicemail sent to your email for even greater access, ensuring that you are always able to check in and know what’s going on. 

As you have undoubtedly heard by now, remote work is here to stay. This phone system is definitely the best option for a fully remote company, or one that offers teleworking options to some employees. 

Included dashboards are a major benefit too, as you have the ability to manage your phone system all from your computer. Configure things like call routing rules and update voicemail/greeting. Also, conveniently get statistics on your calls from your dashboard. Real-time analytics, available as reports or charts, can give you insights into how your company is doing.

A cloud-based PBX is truly about customization and automation, so you have nothing to worry about.

Ultimately, it is important that your phone system offers at least enough phone lines, call transfers, extension dialing, voicemail, call queues (especially for customer service departments), international calls, and any feature you deem essential. So, be sure to do your research when searching for a phone system.

Why choose LiveVox PBX?

If you are currently looking for a PBX phone system that will best support your business then consider LiveVox’s all-in-one PBX solution. This phone solution has been carefully designed with both the business and customer in mind. With features like an easy-to-access portal (includes unified CRM and ticketing system), VoIP service that can move seamlessly to the cloud, hardware, scalability, and simplified billing you can’t go wrong.

What is a PBX system used for?

A PBX system (Private Branch Exchange System) is specifically used within a business or organization for external and internal phone calls. It allows an employee to use their landline phone or a headset connected to the internet to make outbound calls or calls to other employees in the business. It also allows inbound calls to be made. For example, a sales call made to the business will come in through their PBX system.

PBX systems provide extension lines for all employees and give the company the option to manage voicemail, auto attendants, IVRs, transfer calls, and recorded messages. They also control call routing.

What is the difference between a PBX and a call manager?

A PBX system is simply a phone system that receives and routes phone calls within a company or organization or allows people to make outbound calls. A call manager is more complex in that it includes features such as IP phones, media processing devices, voice over IP (VoIP) gateways, and multimedia applications.

Why is call center software better than a PBX solution?

While a PBX solution may serve a small business well enough, it is limited in its abilities, and cloud call center software is multi-functional. Some of the biggest reasons call center software may be a better choice is because it offers features such as omnichannel integration (SMS, email, social media, CRM, chatbots, virtual agents, and more), statistics for data-driven decisions, records of customer interaction history, and smart/AI features.

Call center software can also be more cost-effective than PBX solutions, as it helps save on equipment and maintenance costs.

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About LiveVox

LiveVox (Nasdaq: LVOX) is a next generation contact center platform that powers more than 14 billion omnichannel interactions a year. By seamlessly unifying blended omnichannel communications, CRM, AI, and WEM capabilities, the Company’s technology delivers exceptional agent and customer experiences, while helping to mitigate compliance risk. With 20 years of cloud experience and expertise, LiveVox’s CCaaS 2.0 platform is at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. The Company has more than 650 global employees and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Atlanta; Columbus; Denver; New York City; St. Louis; Medellin, Colombia; and Bangalore, India. To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox or visit livevox.com.

To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox, visit www.livevox.com or call one of our specialists at (844) 207-6663.

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