Premise Based PBX Capabilities for Small Businesses

By Catherine Hensley
Updated: February 12, 2011

To bolster cost-savings and still increase workplace efficiency, many companies are switching to premise-based PBX systems to handle their communications needs. As opposed to VoIP or hosted VoIP systems, premise-based PBX systems do not require additional features and are compatible with older systems. For smaller businesses, such as those with slower Internet/network connections and older communications products still in use, the option of a premise-based PBX telephone system is one to seriously consider.

An on-site PBX system can be installed either by the service provider (with whom the business has a contractual agreement for specific services or a larger plan) or someone in the office familiar with the telephone system that is already in place. The PBX system then distributes calls through IP phone lines, and calls can come in either through the telephone service provider’s traditional network or through the business location’s broadband Internet connection.

One of the biggest advantages of purchasing a premise-based PBX system is that, once it is bought, a company then owns the PBX system, unlike with other VoIP or hosted VoIP products. Also, because a basic PBX system does not always need a fast, strong Internet connection to place calls, it is an attractive option for many small businesses that have slow or occasionally unreliable Internet and network connections. A PBX system on site has back-up capacity for such situations, as well as security features, such as storage space for messages and call data information.

Though premise-based PBX systems often require regular maintenance and updates, they do not need the extra features VoIP products do. Additionally, an on-site PBX system has customizable capabilities because it is owned by the business location where it is housed. These add-ons may or may not need to be installed by technical professionals, but having the option of choosing these features is often advantageous for small business seeking to maintain proactive control over their budgets. The same can be said for companies with older telephone, alarm, or intercom systems. With PBX’s capacity for being customized, a small business with older technology products can add on features whenever it makes financial sense for the organization.

When choosing a phone and data system for your business, there are many factors to consider. Determining the budget capabilities and technology situation at your company will help in deciding whether a traditional PBX system or a VoIP or hosted VoIP system is right for you. If your business is small and has older technological components, a premise-based PBX system may be the most fiscally wise choice.

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