Telecoms Guides | What is PBX

What Is PBX and Should Your Business Switch to Cloud-Based PBX?

PBX stands for private branch exchange and it’s the modern way to keep your business connected. It has been around for decades and it has greatly evolved over time from analogue telephony systems to advanced and simple cloud-based telephone solutions.

Telecoms is vital for businesses! A good business telephony system is oxygen to keep businesses going. Are you ready to have your PBX system set-up?

(Updated Wed, 12 April 2023)


What is PBX?

In very simple terms, PBX is a telephone system for businesses. Business-grade phone systems are different from your usual residential phones. They need to be! Because businesses require many more advanced features from their telephony systems.

So, a PBX system is able to offer all the functionalities businesses need. It offers employee extensions; it provides automated functions to answer the calls and route them to the proper departments or people. It includes features like call conferencing, waiting queues and hold music, extension dialling, video calls, and more.

There’s traditional PBX phone system, hosted on-site with private hardware, giving companies of all sizes complete control over their internal and external telecommunications.

And then, there’s the cloud-based type that relies on the internet and a VoIP provider to manage all of the necessary phone system gear.

SIP trunking should also be mentioned. It’s a hybrid solution that combines classic PBX hardware and VoIP technology to provide multichannel call services.

iCompario tip

Cloud-based telephony, also known as VoIP, is quickly becoming the new norm. With more and more businesses making the switch to cloud telephony, you might want to keep up. The added benefits of cloud telephones can help to improve your customer service and allow simpler management of your communications.

How does PBX work?

Imagine a switchboard and an operator routing calls. You’ve probably seen this scene in movies. Well, that’s not the case anymore, but the main function of a PBX system is based on this – on handling telephone communications as efficiently as possible.

Traditional PBX systems use copper landlines to transmit data for external calls. The data is sent from the on-site server to the phone company connected to a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). Internal calls are handled through the on-site hardware.

Cloud-based PBX systems, on the other hand, use the internet to make all the communications, internal or external. There’s no need for physical hardware anymore. It’s all been moved to the cloud, where it’s hosted and managed by a VoIP services provider. All support and upgrades are made remotely, so there’s no need to wait around for an engineer to come to your office. That makes it quicker too, so less downtime for your business.

iCompario tip

Cloud-based systems (or hosted telephony) can be combined with tools many businesses use, such as Google or Microsoft easy, which makes the transition to the cloud smooth and easy. Cloud communications are without a doubt the future of telecoms for growing businesses.

Decision time: Should your business switch to cloud-based PBX?

IP phone systems, which is really just another fancy name for cloud-based telephony, is ideal for any type of business.

VoIP (another fancy name, yes!) means less PBX hardware in your office. It means that apps can be centralised. It means that you can communicate through multiple channels in one solution: voice calls, video calls, instant messaging, data sharing. You just need to get creative!

Then, there’s the issue of switching off analogue telephone services (PSTN and ISDN) in 2025. That means you’ll have to make the switch sooner or later. So, why not make the switch sooner, on your own terms?

Main features of the cloud-based PBX system

Whether you want to call it VoIP, IP telephony or cloud-based phone system, hosted PBX systems offer valuable features that make it a reliable business phone system and the most versatile on the market.

  • Call forwarding to forward calls to another number when you can’t answer
  • Call recording to record the calls for evidence or to playback them at a later time
  • Call queues to manage simultaneous calls by placing them in a queue until someone is available to take them
  • Call transfer to transfer calls to your relevant team member
  • Conference calls to add everybody to the same call
  • On hold music to not leave the customers in complete silence while you solve their query
  • Auto-attendant to direct the call to the right department. Like “press 1 for customer support”
  • Voicemail-to-email which sends an audio file or the transcript of the voicemail to your email.
  • Call reports to access the company’s call data
  • Online management to manage your phone system via an online portal. You can add users, view call reports, set phone numbers, and more

Business benefits of switching to cloud PBX

Improved communications should be goal. Future proofing your business should be targeted. That’s exactly what hosted PBX offers. In a word, modernisation. Don’t let your business fall back.

1. Save, save and save again

Lower your costs with cloud PBX. How? It’s simple!

First, there’s no more on-site hardware that you have to pay for. Cloud PBX is software-based, so no more installation fees. You only need internet-connected devices, so laptops (or desktops) and mobile phones.

Then, you save on upgrades and maintenance. Since there’s no hardwired equipment in your office, there’s no need to wait around for an engineer to come to the site. All upgrades, maintenance and support are easily performed online and remote. Also, that greatly reduces downtime during upgrades.

2. Reliability and flexibility

Cloud-based PBX systems are more reliable than traditional ones because they don’t depend on physical hardware. You do need a fast and reliable internet connection, though.

Flexibility means you can add and remove users as needed without having to rewire your office or buy new hardware. Plus, it eliminates the need for being in the office. Your employees can work from anywhere in the world, using the same local number.

You’ve got modern, user-friendly interfaces where you can quickly make changes. Definitely a time and money saving solution!

3. State-of-the-art features

Have you ever felt constrained with the features provided by traditional phone systems? We bet you have. That’s not going to happen anymore. With cloud-based PBX you benefit from intuitive features specially designed to improve the productivity of your employees and enhance business operations.

Unlimited local and long-distance calls, localised and toll-free numbers, 24/7 customer service, integrations with popular business software, and softphones are just a few of the features available.

How do you choose a business phone system?

First and foremost, when choosing a PBX system for your company, you should determine your business needs.

And we get it, there is a general pressure to switch to hosted phone systems with the quick approach of the 2025 ISDN switch off.

There are some questions you can ask yourself that will help you determine what your business needs are exactly:

  • What equipment would you need to buy?
  • What features do you need to support and boost your business operations?
  • How much do you currently pay for your office phone system?
  • How much would you save if you switched to cloud-based systems?
  • Do you have a strong enough internet connection at your office?

Answer these questions and you’ll have a clear starting point.

Then you have to take into account what the provider can offer you.

  • The customer support available
  • The start-up costs
  • The monthly cost
  • Features available

iCompario tip

Make sure you have a stable internet connection that runs at good speed so that your hosted PBX system will run smoothly, without interruptions.

Need any help? We’ve got you!

Deciding which phone system is the best one for your business can be tough, especially when you don’t know the market that well and you lack the time to do proper research.

So, let us help you! We understand the importance of a well-suited cloud-based PBX system. Plus, we know the market, we have the knowledge and the experience.

Fill in a quick form, tell us about your needs and we’ll return to you with a solution. It only takes a minute of your time, we promise!

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