PBX stands for private branch exchange. The very first PBX system involved a single human operator who received and directed calls for a business. Phone traffic was handled by a common carrier until it reached the operator, who then routed phone traffic to individual phone extensions. Modernly, this is done electronically—and extensions can include fax machines, modems and cell phones, as well as individual lines. Businesses prefer PBX systems because they are far less expensive and more efficient than having multiple lines from ATT or another public provider. Most PBX systems provide for VoIP (voice over internet protocol), which in this context is referred to as IP PBX (internet protocol private branch exchange).
The best PBX systems are the ones that meet your needs. Ideally, it should bring your voice, videoconferencing, cellular, data, instant messaging and other business communications within a single network that employees can easily access remotely. When considering what PX systems best meet you needs, it helps to think of features that your company must have. Your vendor should be able to report on call answering features, call management features, call screening features, intercom, call paging and menu-driven systems. In addition to these obvious features, voicemail to email, interactive desktop alerts, private enterprise chat, real-time employee status and others can boost productivity.
In addition to providing switches and routers, Cisco also provides IP PBX systems for both small and large enterprises. Their small business package, called “Systems Unified Communications Manager Express,” is an offshoot of their larger “Systems Unified Communications Manager” which can handle up to 80,000 users. Both are feature-rich, robust systems that effectively handle all communications needs.
The Nortel Meridian PBX system used to be the most widely used in the world. However, just as the breakup of Ma Bell saw the emergence of competitive baby bell providers, the bankruptcy of Nortel brought a crop of new PBX providers. Some of the more reputable include Mitel, Avaya, 8x8, Inc., Talkswitch and Fonality. If you are working with a consultant, he or she should be able to discuss the pros and cons of how these systems fit your company needs. While the initial cost outlay for a new PBX system might seem extreme, especially if this is the first time you have contracted for such a service, it rapidly saves money on expensive phone bills for multiple communication products.
VoIP makes a lot of sense for educational institutions—and it’s not just because of the substantial cost savings. Other benefits include increased efficiency and integration options. Emergency responsiveness can even be improved. more
When was the last time you evaluated the performance of your current business phone system? For most people, the answer is too long ago. Phone systems are one of the most overlooked tools in business, even though they’re also one of the most important in terms of employee productivity. more
For years, all kinds of businesses depended on Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone systems to help facilitate direct, line-to-line communication. Over the course of the past decade, however, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology quickly became the go-to resource for brands. more
While more businesses make the switch to VoIP every single day, there are also many that choose to stay with the system they are used to.The rationale is almost always the same. You don’t want to shake things up when what you are already using is working. more