PBX Phone System

A PBX Phone System is a telecommunications system used within organisations to manage and facilitate telephone communication.


In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about PBX Systems: from what PBX is to the various types of PBX systems and their effectiveness in fostering company cohesion and growth, the benefits of PBX, and the factors to weigh when selecting the right PBX System. 


PBX Phone System

As your company progresses from its initial startup phase to becoming a successful business, you’ll likely be exploring Private Branch Exchange systems, also known as PBX Phone System, to enable telephone connectivity for your staff. A PBX system manages internal and external phone communication within organizations, serving as a central switchboard for efficient connectivity between extensions and the external network. It’s valuable for businesses, especially those with multiple offices or advanced phone needs.


In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about PBX Systems: from what PBX is to the various types of PBX systems and their effectiveness in fostering company cohesion and growth, the benefits of PBX, and the factors to weigh when selecting the right PBX System. 


First off, let’s start with the basics: what is a PBX System and why is it so important?


What is a PBX Phone System?

A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system is a telecommunications system used within organisations to manage and facilitate telephone communication. It acts as a central switching system that allows internal phone extensions to connect with each other and to the external public telephone network.


In essence, a PBX system provides an efficient way for employees within a company to communicate with each other and with external parties, making it a valuable tool for businesses, especially those with multiple offices or a need for advanced phone features.


A PBX or Private Branch Exchange System, serves as a telephone network facilitating the connection of extension phones in one office to the broader telephone network, bridging communication between various office locations. 



Several decades ago, the majority of businesses relied on traditional PBX systems, essentially compact telephone exchanges located within their office premises. These systems connected all employees through physical handsets, facilitating internal calls on the office network.


However, PBX solutions have undergone a notable transformation over the last few years. You may encounter terms like “cloud PBX” or “virtual PBX” systems, essentially PBX systems that have integrated the capability to make calls over the internet, a technology known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).


While a PBX is a private telephone network within a company that connects calls using standard telephone lines, a VoIP is a device that manages calls over the internet, offering a way to combine the two technologies. Modern PBX systems utilising VoIP technology generally still involve hardware, but this hardware is typically situated off-site and maintained remotely, a concept often referred to as Hosted PBX or Cloud PBX that we’ll clarify later on in this article. 


What’s more, modern PBX systems offer additional telephone features not typically accessible through regular phone lines, including enhanced security measures, call routing, voicemail, call forwarding, conferencing, the ability to conduct conference calls, and more.


However, there are different types of PBX systems, and knowing the difference between them is vital when it comes to choosing the right one for your business. Let’s got through them in the next section.


Types of PBX Phone Systems


Traditional PBX Phone System

Conventional PBX systems offer a rudimentary, tangible telephony service for a workforce. This service encompasses both incoming and outgoing calls, as well as internal calls among staff members. Business leaders had to incur substantial initial expenses for procuring new equipment and hardware, in addition to hiring telephony experts to install everything correctly. 


Furthermore, a dedicated room in the office was essential to house all the equipment. Expanding the system necessitated temporarily halting operations, engaging experts, and relocating everything to a larger space. These inconveniences contributed to the declining popularity of traditional PBX systems in the business world.


IP PBX Phone System

The advent of the internet revolutionised PBX systems, connecting office-networked phones to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). IP (internet protocol) PBX systems introduced greater flexibility by enabling phone numbers to be transmitted over the internet, facilitating remote dialling for employees and offering additional features like messaging and video conference calls. 


These systems harnessed SIP trunking (session initiation protocol) to run phone services across office networks and establish phone system connections over the internet. While more flexible than traditional PBX, IP PBX still entailed significant upfront expenses and the need for technicians to oversee IP phone management.


Virtual PBX Phone System

Unlike an IP PBX or hosted PBX, a virtual PBX is not a complete phone system; rather, it functions as part of a hosted system. Essentially, it serves as an automated call answering and routing service designed to handle incoming calls, particularly suited for contact centres


However, given the advancements in UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) technology, which incorporates virtual PBX as just one aspect of its software, it is not particularly useful, even for very small businesses. Adding even basic functionality, such as making outgoing calls, would result in additional costs, necessitating the use of a hosted PBX service.


Hosted or Cloud PBX Phone System

A hosted PBX, short for Private Branch Exchange, is a phone system provided by an external service that takes care of hosting, maintaining, and managing the required physical servers and equipment to support your phone network. In essence, a hosted PBX service provider hosts the entire phone system infrastructure for your organization, enabling you to have a robust and reliable phone network without the need for in-house maintenance or management.


A hosted PBX provider manages aspects such as software and features like conferencing and call forwarding. Unlike virtual PBX, hosted PBX constitutes a comprehensive phone solution, with equipment hosted off-site and IP technology used for making and receiving calls over the internet. Hosted PBX systems are highly scalable and suitable for businesses that want to reduce their IT infrastructure.


What’s more, some Hosted or Cloud PBX Systems come with additional advanced features that will take your efficiencies and your business communications to the next level. More on this later.


Hosted PBX phone systems are well-suited for small to medium businesses and start-ups due to their ease of setup, competitive pricing, and diverse range of features. These systems are especially beneficial for companies looking to establish a strong brand presence from the outset and focus on core business operations without the burden of managing a complex phone system. For small and start-up businesses, hosted PBX offers an efficient solution that not only facilitates communication but also helps in projecting a professional image to customers and partners.


As businesses evolve and grow, hosted PBX systems provide the flexibility to scale up by adding additional lines and features as needed. By choosing a hosted PBX, small to medium businesses and start-ups can leverage a comprehensive communication tool that not only enhances connectivity but also contributes to the overall functionality and professionalism of their operations.


Benefits of Hosted or Cloud PBX Phone System

  • Cost-Efficiency. No need for on-premises hardware, reducing upfront costs and maintenance expenses.
  • Scalability. Easily scale up or down based on business needs, ideal for growing or changing organisations.
  • Remote Accessibility. Enables seamless communication from various locations, supporting remote and distributed teams.
  • Automatic Updates. Providers handle updates and maintenance, ensuring access to the latest features without manual intervention.
  • Reliability and Redundancy. Built-in redundancy minimizes downtime, ensuring high availability.
  • Quick Implementation. Rapid deployment compared to traditional solutions, facilitating swift integration.
  • Business Continuity. Ensures communication continuity during disasters or office inaccessibility.
  • Flexibility of Features. Offers a variety of customizable features to meet specific communication requirements.
  • Centralised Management. Administrators manage the entire system through a centralised web-based interface.


A hosted PBX phone system can assist a business in staying connected, saving money, and enhancing its professional image through a range of features and scalability options. By leveraging a hosted PBX system, businesses, especially small or startup companies, can achieve their communication goals while projecting a more professional image. The flexibility offered by a hosted PBX allows employees to make and answer calls from any location and device, ensuring constant accessibility whether they are in transit, working remotely, or managing a distributed team.


In terms of cost-saving benefits, a hosted PBX solution typically entails lower initial setup costs and reduced maintenance expenses compared to traditional on-premise PBX systems. The scalability of a hosted PBX also means that businesses can easily add or remove features and phone lines as their operations grow or change, without incurring significant additional costs or complexities. These scalable options provide a cost-effective way to adapt the communication infrastructure to the evolving needs of the business without being tied down by costly equipment upgrades or maintenance requirements.


Furthermore, the diverse features that come with a hosted PBX system can give the impression of a larger and more professional organization, even for smaller businesses. These features not only contribute to improved communication efficiency but also help in presenting a polished image to clients and partners. The convenience of adding new features or lines as needed, without the hassle of purchasing new equipment or dealing with complex installations, allows businesses to stay agile and responsive to changing demands while maintaining a professional appearance.


Overall, a hosted PBX phone system offers businesses the advantages of enhanced connectivity, cost savings, and improved professional image through its versatile features and scalability options, making it a valuable asset for modern enterprises striving to streamline their communication processes and elevate their brand perception.


Benefits of Advanced PBX Phone Systems

Cost Efficiency

Older phone systems, despite having fewer features, often incur higher maintenance and monthly phone bill expenses. In contrast, modern phone systems, utilising internet connections and existing LAN infrastructure, offer significant cost savings.


Simplified Maintenance

Traditional phone systems with dedicated wiring and hardware require specialised service, while modern counterparts facilitate maintenance through a computer interface. Users can easily add a second phone line within minutes, enhancing system flexibility.


Internet Connectivity

Leveraging an internet connection provides businesses with the flexibility to access their phone systems from any location, simplifying communication across multiple offices.

Mobility and Remote Work

Regardless of physical office presence, users can manage communications through web browsers or mobile phones. Web and mobile apps enable functions such as calling colleagues, answering incoming calls, viewing caller ID, transferring calls, and setting up call forwarding. Some systems also integrate video and business texting.


Cloud PBX Phone Systems are the best choice for companies looking to implement remote working options
Cloud PBX Phone Systems are the best choice for companies looking to implement remote working options


Effortless Expansion

IP phone systems offer ease of expansion, with the addition of new extensions as simple as setting up a user online and connecting a phone.


Advanced Call Centre Features

Modern phone systems surpass manual switchboards, offering online switchboard options, Dialler solutions, Omni AI, auto attendants, call routing rules, and advanced queue strategies. Supervisors can record calls, listen in, or take over for training and improved customer service.


Diversified Business Communications

While traditional phone calls remain prevalent, professionals and customers increasingly favour alternatives like video calls, web conferencing, instant messaging, and social media. Modern business telephone systems, particularly those equipped with Omnichannel functionalities, encompass tools for all communication channels.


Software Integration

With business software transitioning to cloud computing, an IP PBX can seamlessly integrate with CRMs. This integration enables businesses to synchronise contacts and manage information in a centralised location.

Advanced Features of PBX Phone Systems

Call Recording

Call recording, an advanced feature of some PBX Phone Systems, provides businesses with a powerful tool for documentation and quality assurance. This feature allows organisations to capture and store audio data from phone conversations, facilitating later review for training purposes, compliance adherence, and dispute resolution. 


With call recording, businesses can ensure accuracy in communication, analyse customer interactions, and enhance employee performance. This valuable feature not only contributes to maintaining regulatory standards but also serves as a strategic asset for continuous improvement in communication practices within the organisation.


Call Analytics

Call analytics can play a pivotal role in enhancing business intelligence and communication strategy. This feature provides valuable insights into call patterns, duration, and frequency, allowing businesses to make data-driven decisions. By analysing call data, organisations can optimise their phone systems, improve customer service, and identify areas for efficiency enhancements. 


Interaction analytics also facilitates performance monitoring, enabling businesses to track key metrics and assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns or customer support initiatives. Ultimately, this advanced feature empowers businesses to refine their communication strategies for greater productivity and customer satisfaction.


Call Routing

For businesses handling a high volume of daily calls, a reliable call routing service is essential. Numerous PBX Phone Systems may have limitations in terms of easily customizable and flexible call routing. Setting up basic routing can be a complex procedure, so it’s advisable to conduct a test run to assess its functionality.


However, Connex’s Flow feature offers an easy customer service workflow automation solution by providing a variety of easily configurable call routing options. With just a click or two, you can set up and manage your preferred call routing preferences. 


Mobile App

To facilitate flexible remote work and enhance mobility for staff, allowing your team members to take and make business calls with their mobile phones and computers (and with their business’ Caller IDs), your best choice is a PBX Phone System equipped with a mobile app version. 


This seamless connectivity ensures that users can maintain ongoing conversations while working remotely or on the go, preserving seamless communications without interruption.


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