A PBX is a phone switch located at the customer’s premise. A PBX comes in many sizes, from 2 lines to thousands of phone lines. Common features can include an ACD for call distribution and IVR that can process incoming phone calls prior to routing to call stations. Some PBX’s support outbound dialing protocols such as autodialing, progressive dialing and Predictive dialer. A PBX usually has many more features than a standard phone system.
A Hosted PBX (sometimes called a Virtual PBX) offers similar functionality and features, but the switching is located a central location and only the phones are at the customer site.
What does PBX stand for?
A PBX, which stands for “private branch exchange,” is simply a way for a telephone system to have internal switching. It’s mainly made up of a variety of different telephone system branches that are linked together and allows connections to be made in between them, which causes the telephones themselves to be linked together.
What are PBXs used for?
A company will generally have a ton of phones, often one for each worker. Rather than getting a separate phone line for each one of these, they utilize a PBX in order to link all of their internal phones together to be used to link to the external world in a much more efficient capacity. It allows a variety of people to use just one line, which allows the company to have one phone number to connect with to the outside world.
A PBX vs a Phone
A PBX is not the same as a traditional phone. The numbering format is not the same, as it uses an internal numbering system specific to that business. If you’re inside a PBX, you’ll only need to dial a three or four digit number to make another call within the network. These are what are referred to as ‘extensions.’ If a person were to call into the system from outside, they’d be able to reach the person they want to speak with directly by dialing an extension after the overarching business number.
The Main Roles of a PBX
- To ensure that resources are kept in order to keep connections in the same place.
- To create connections by acting as a switch between telephone users.
- To record any data associated with a call, such as quantities, call volume, metering, and statistics.
- To correctly terminate a call once one of the users hang up the phone.
Functions of a PBX
- It allows a company to have one single phone number that people can use to contact a number of different internal representatives.
- It uses an automatic call distribution (ACD) feature, which allows calls to be distributed evenly amongst the various employees of an answering team.
- It can provide automated call answers and provide anyone calling in with a number of menu options that’ll be used to select which department or extension they want to go to on their own.
- It allows for automated greetings that are customizable.
- It provides a host of management features.
- It allows providing custom music to callers that are on hold while waiting for an internal employee to answer.
- It can be used to record separate voice messages for each extension.
- It allows internal calls to be made in between stations.
PBXs have been around for a long time, as they were originally created during the age of landline telephone systems. Today’s technology allows has made it so that PBX systems can be used by Voice over IP (VoIP) services using IP PBX (internet protocol private branch exchange).
Before this time, PBX systems used to only be something that larger companies could have, but with the rise of the internet, virtually any sized business can afford to get the same benefits of a PBX system. Some money will have to be invested up front, but it allows smaller businesses to utilize a host of great features and also look much more professional.
The main things that IP PBX systems bring to the table is scalability, enhanced features, and better management. Since IP PBX systems are based around software rather than physical devices, it’s much easier to upgrade and move than earlier PBX systems.