IP PBX Software Reviews

By Jelani Harper
Updated: May 16, 2011

Internet Protocol (IP), Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems are invaluable for modern telephony processes. Unlike traditional PBX’s, an IP PBX connects directly to a computer port which allows telecommunication (including voice and video) over IP data networks, that convert the particular media into data packets, which are then liberally distributed to destinations of choice over the network. IP PBX’s primarily operated as software on a computer and enable a competent information technology department to install and maintain its functionality with the use of specific software.

User Software

An IP PBX server is akin to a proxy server in that its users, via the means of software-based Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) phones or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, register with the IP PBX, which then establishes connection through a directory of VoIP or SIP users. Accordingly, users typically employ some variation of soft or hardware based SIP or VoIP phones, although additional configurations of IP PBX software allows for interoperation with traditional Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN). Optimal operation of IP PBX systems requires software to create, install, and manipulate recordings and prompts within the system, to detect and appropriately configure telephony hardware, to provide basic packaged applications such as voicemail, interactive voice response, conference calling and automatic call distribution, as well as to provide automatic system updates and tutorials for application development.

IT Needs

Depending on what sort of circuit switching protocols are required for an enterprise’s particular needs, IT departments must install software modules for each specific protocol. More importantly, IT specialists must utilize software to compose a dial plan for responses to calls presented over voice path channels for VoIP or analogue telephony devices. Dial plans are created for the functionality of each particular application, and are used to construct the actual IP PBX and its customized features. Additionally, user interfaces are utilized via web interfaces to enable administrators to view and manipulate specifications of an IP PBX. These interfaces allow IT departments to configure their servers to utilize whatever applications a specific company requires.

Net Value

Most of the software required for the above functions is packaged together and offered by a variety of vendors, although individual purchases may be required depending on a company’s specific needs and telecommunication goals. The benefits of utilizing an IP PBX system, however—including its immense flexibility, scalability, ability to eliminate long distance (since calls are made over the internet) and relative ease of integration with present and future business applications—typically make it well worth it.
 

Featured Research
  • 8 Ways Business Travelers Can Save with VoIP

    Do you or any part of your workforce travel for work, or even telecommute? If that answer is yes, then you should be utilizing mobile VoIP. With VoIP, businesses have been found to save as much as 40% on local calls and a whopping 90% on international calling expenses. more

  • Phone System Showdown

    When it comes time to select your new phone system, one of the biggest questions that you will face is whether to go with the hot, new VoIP system or the steady and secure PBX network. There are pros and cons to each of these phone systems, and before making any purchase we highly suggest that you take the time to download and read our latest guide: Phone System Showdown: VoIP vs. PBX. more

  • Signals Your Company is Ready For Unified Communications

    Efficient and effective business collaboration is essential to company success and as you grow your business, you'll discover all the different communication methods that you NEED to stay connected with partners and customers. Implementing a Unified Communications (UC) system can save your company upwards of $920,000 a year due to increased efficiency amongst company employees. more

  • Phone System Implementation Expectations

    Providers would have you believe that implementing a new phone system is as easy as counting to three. However, while the process may not be difficult, there are steps that need to be taken to ensure that your new VoIP system is installed and implemented smoothly. Luckily, the challenges associated with upgrading your system tend to be fairly predictable. Most businesses run into the same set of problems that many others have faced before them, meaning avoiding or overcoming them is as easy as preparing ahead of time. more

  • Your Phone System and Your Bottom Line

    Businesses have been using phones to drive increases to their bottom lines for almost a century now. Telephony, much like the rest of the business world, has seen drastic changes with the increase in technological advancement. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), has enabled companies to connect with consumers at levels that have been seen as unheard of before. And trust us when we say this, it is doing wonders for the bottom line. more