PBX from Call One offers cost-effective phone line connections with all the features your business needs. Call One’s PBX services provide reliable connections, unmatched clarity and our personalized support.
What is a PBX?
A PBX, or Private Branch Exchange, is a hardware system that handles routing and switching of calls between a business location and the telephone network. The name originates from the way they interact with the PSTN (public switched telephone network). "Private" refers to the fact that they are separate from the PSTN, even though they connect to it. "Branch" describes how a PBX fits into a PSTN: the main communication circuits are called trunk lines, and end points that connect to it and handle smaller amounts of traffic are called branches. "Exchange" refers to the fact that connections are exchanged through a switching system, allowing larger numbers of calls to be routed through a limited number of lines.
What Does a PBX Do?
It handles the same functions as old-fashioned telephone operators, who once sat at large manual circuit boards, spoke with each caller to learn whom they were trying to reach, and manually plugged wires into connectors to complete calls. Modern systems are automated, incredibly speedy, and do a great deal more than any manual operator.
A PBX also provides sophisticated calling features such as call waiting, auto-attendants, music/message on hold functions, and voice mail. Advanced features such as find-me-follow-me, very useful for companies with highly mobile employees or sales forces, are also provided through a PBX.
What are Key Systems? Are They the Same as a PBX?
No, the two are actually quite different. A key system is typically useful only for small businesses, with limited numbers of users (typically less than 50). A key system has telephones that have multiple buttons ("keys") with lights that indicate which lines are in use, like you might expect to see on a receptionist’s desk. It is limited in function and feature set. Unlike users on a PBX, users on a key system typically do not have an assigned extension or Direct Inward Dial Number (DID) that rings only on their phone. In fact, a common key system configuration is to setup incoming calls to "Ring All" (i.e., all incoming calls ring on all phones). It is also less common for key system users to have a private voicemail box.
Types of PBX:
There are four main types of business PBX systems, distinguished by location and operation. A PBX may be located on the premises of the business or off-site at a PBX management office. They either operate by Internet protocol (IP) or by older technologies, such as analog or digital phone lines.
- On-premise PBX (located at the business, using analog or digital systems)
- Hosted Traditional PBX (located off-site, using analog or digital systems)
- On-premise IP PBX (located at the business, using IP communications)
- Hosted IP PBX solutions (located off-site, using IP communications)
Benefits of PBX Types / Options:
- On-Site or Off-Site
On-site PBX gives a business direct control over its phone system. Line changes, additions or deletions are handled in-house. However, a very skilled IT professional should be on staff. Off-site or hosted options mean that the service provider, not the company’s IT department, performs configuration and maintenance tasks, eliminating control —and headaches— from the in-house IT staff.
- Traditional or Internet Protocol (IP)
Traditional (analog/digital) PBX systems use traditional wiring and are separate from the company’s computer hardware, so there may be fewer quality concerns. IP-based systems are integrated into the networking infrastructure, so a single provider handles all of the company’s communication needs, simplifying administrative concerns.
How We Can Help
Connection and Choices
Would your organization benefit from hosted PBX? Call One, Chicago's premier hosted PBX provider, provides midsize and small business PBX solutions. Would a Traditional PBX or an IP-Based PBX system work better for you? Should your service be on-premise or hosted? Our technology experts help you figure out which type of system aligns with your infrastructure, industry and business needs. We will see that your service gets up and running properly, and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Contact us today in Chicago, IL.
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