PBX Phone System Reviews

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: April 29, 2011

Businesses that decide to purchase a PBX phone system have a large number of possibilities to choose from. This can make the selection process complicated, since it’s difficult to know which system will serve your needs best. You will thus want to take a strategic approach when reviewing PBX phone systems.

You should start the PBX phone review by identifying the needs of your business. Take a look at your office and ask the following:

  • How many employees do you have at your company?
  • What is the general ratio of inbound calls to outbound calls?
  • Do you want to keep any existing phone lines?
  • How many phone calls are internal, how many are local, and how many are long distance or international?
  • How quickly do you intend to add users and expand the system?

You can use this information to determine the power and capacity of the PBX phone system. If you’re a fairly small business that tends to just make local calls, you can probably go with a standard system. If you’ve got a large number of employees who are taking phone calls from all over the country, you’ll probably need a PBX phone system that can handle a much higher call volume.

Your PBX phone system review should then consider the following factors:

Cost – Most PBX phone systems cost around $800 to $1000 per employee at the company. You might be inclined to go with the cheaper option, but the system might not be able to fully meet your needs. The cost per employee also tends to go down quite a bit when you have 100 or more users.

Features – There are several useful features that may not be available in all cases. These include the ability to perform conference calls, interactive voice response, automatic ring back, and direct inward dialing. If you want to use any of these functions, you need to make sure ahead of time that the PBX phone system supports them.

Scalability - If you’re expecting your business to grow, you’ll want a PBX phone system that can quickly increase its capabilities. Try to see if the phone system can add new expansion cards to increase the number of ports available. There may also be the option to add a new cabinet to the phone system.

You’ll then want to visit company websites and review what’s available. The PBX vendors will normally have a product information page that describes the system components, interface standards, and any special functions that might be available. They’ll also talk about the phone system capacity, which should give you a general idea whether the phone system is sufficient for your workplace.

You might find web pages that talk about Hosted PBX or IP-PBX. These are different products and require a dedicated broadband connection in order to function. You’ll want to focus your search on premise-based PBX phone systems. It might take some time and you’ll need to compare different products, but you should be able to find a PBX phone system for your business.

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