In order to ensure that your business is able to communicate with the outside world, you have to have the right communication systems in place. There are always going to be many of these to choose between, but it’s important that you know which are essential and which you can probably do without.
One such system that you will often need in business is a PBX system, and that is what we are going to look at in this article today. If you want to find out more about these systems and what they can do for your business, read on.
What Is A PBX System?
PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. Essentially, a PBX system is a way for a business to manage incoming and outgoing calls at the same time, as well as having good internal communications on their phone lines too. A PBX system will consist of hardware and software that is designed to connect to communication devices like telephones, hubs, routers and so on, to deliver this much-needed technology.
The use of a PBX system can involve different communication channels such as Voice over IP, ISDN or simply the old analog style of telephone. It also allows you to have more phone lines than physical phones, which can help if you receive a lot of calls from customers or clients and you need to have some way to queue them properly.
You can also use a PBX system to have features like transferring calls across departments, recording calls, providing outgoing voicemail, and interactive voice menus.
As you might imagine, a PBX system is a vital and incredibly useful tool that many businesses need to make use of. But what are the benefits of a PBX system and why should you look into getting one installed in your organisation?
The Benefits Of PBX
There are many great benefits of using a PBX system, including the following examples.
Better Internal Communications
PBX systems provide a faster and better way for your teams to talk to each other across the business, ensuring that there is a greater synergy across the whole business. This avoids much of the costliness of older ways of communicating in-house, and saves everyone a lot of time too.
Essentially, a PBX can often provide a kind of receptionist-like feature, thus allowing all calls to be accessed by one number. This shows unity across the business and ensures that everything is much less confusing for your customers as it is for your staff. You can also dial out while people are still calling in, and you don’t have to worry about one blocking the other, as you would have to in traditional systems.
It is always beneficial to have an automated system where it’s possible to have one, and this is the perfect example of where automation really does work very well. By using PBX, you can ensure that your business is going to run much more smoothly, as the communication side of things are going to be dealt with automatically. This is going to lead to a much more efficient business indeed.
Because a PBX system keeps a record of all calls that go either direction, you can use this data to keep track of costs related to your telephone use. You might be surprised at first just how difficult it can be to keep costs down when it comes to this kind of thing, but with a PBX system you are going to find that much easier indeed.
Customers by now recognize the features and qualities of PBX systems well, even if they don’t know what it is or the name of it. By having a PBX system, you can therefore ensure that your brand is keeping up with things, and that people are going to appreciate what you are doing in this way. You will find that you get many more satisfied customers, and that their perception of your business is much stronger too.
How SIP Trunking Works With PBX
It is common to see SIP trunking mentioned at the same time as a PBX system, as they do often go hand in hand in this way. But what is it, and how does it work alongside PBX? More to the point, why should you make use of it? Let’s take a look now at SIP trunking so that you can get to the bottom of all of this.
What Is SIP Trunking?
Essentially, SIP trunking is the dominant format used in IP telephony throughout the world. It stands for Session Initiation Protocol, which establishes a VoIP session over the Internet. This could be a simple straightforward call between two parties, or it could be a conference call with many parties. That might include handling multiple mobiles or any other combination you can think of. With SIP trunking, the data is sent over the Internet or an enterprise LAN.
SIP trunking is therefore a hugely beneficial thing that you can use as part of your PBX system, and they go together very well in this way. But what are some of the major benefits of using SIP trunking? These include:
- Reducing call charges. Switching to SIP trunking can reduce an organization’s phone bill by up to 40% in some cases.
- Ability to have virtual numbers with local codes.
- Fits in with existing infrastructure, reducing costs further and making the process much easier.
As you can see, SIP trunking works well with PBX systems, and it will generally be beneficial to your organization to do so.
The 5 Best PBX Systems For Your Business
Now that you know what a PBX system might do for you, let’s take a look at the five best PBX systems for your business that are currently on the market today. These are bound to be worth looking into, and you should find that they offer you what you need in every case, but they do vary.
This option provides you with a good ability to customize everything, and integrates well with a wide range of other systems. It also comes with a 3-month storage for recording calls. You’ll be paying $19.99 a month per employee, which is basically completely in the middle at an average price – yet with some of the top features out there. Definitely worth looking into.
One of the most reliable solutions out there, the Vonage Business package PBX system provides you with a reliable solution of 99.999% uptime, ensuring minimal disruption and confusion for your business and customers. You can conference up to 100 people, and the installation and setup is included in the price as standard. There is also a 24/7 US-based support team on hand to help you. For its premium package, you will be paying $29.99 per user.
One of the main features and benefits of 8×8 is that you get unlimited calls to dozens of countries, including some of the countries most commonly called by major businesses in the US. So if you run an international business, you should find that this is the PBX system for you. It provides you with a fantastic uptime too, and promises smooth CRM integrations. As the Vonage Business package the 8×8 also provides you with 24/7 US-based support, should anything go wrong or you need further help. It is on the slightly more pricey side, however, at $35 a month per employee.
Jive has 11 global data centers, which means that their system is generally sound and works very well. If you are looking for great functionality above all else, you could do much worse than using their service. You can host conference calls with Jive, but only up to 10 people. However, Jive is known for being able to integrate seamlessly with some of the top business software out there, so it has that going for it.
It is also easy to set up, and to migrate contacts from older systems where that might be necessary. The cost is $21.95 for each employee, so it is on the cheaper end of the scale and might be one of the best value-for-money options out there.
This has a large suite of mobility features and one major thing that not many other systems promise: 100% uptime, all the time. That is a major selling point, and it does not disappoint. It also includes free installation, and with a price of $24.95 per user per month, that is very useful indeed, and a fair price overall. You have 24/7 customer service and unlimited calls to the US and Canada, so it definitely worth checking this one out.
As you can see, there are a few major options to choose between here. Any of these are bound to help your business make the most of PBX systems, and to enjoy the benefits of doing so far into the future.