PBX and SIP: Learn the Basics

What is a PBX System?

You can promote a professional image for your brand and improve business communication with a commercial-grade PBX system. The good news is, like other technologies, PBX telephony is moving to the cloud. Accordingly, business owners must understand the underlying infrastructure to support more modern PBX operations. 

Increasingly, companies route calls through the internet rather than using traditional phone lines. Still, today’s technology-driven PBX deployments do the same job. They redirect calls and ensure they make it to their destination user. 

Read on to learn how today’s PBX will work for your business, along with SIP.

Modern PBX Systems Explained 

In the past, if a large business needed hundreds of extensions, it required an independent switching facility. A telephone exchange for a large company could take up an entire room. There, mechanical circuits switched calls to connect subscribers. 

Back then, it wouldn’t make sense to run hundreds of lines from the phone company to every desk that needed a phone. Therefore, the companies ran trunk lines from an on-site switching facility. 

From there, the trunk lines served each extension. This arrangement was known as a Private Branch Exchange (PBX). 

UC Today defines, “A PBX allows users to create their own telephone network within a company or organization. With this system, employees can communicate internally for collaboration purposes and externally with customers, shareholders and other contacts using channels like VoIP or ISDN. The PBX is a business telephone system first and foremost, evolving from the old-fashioned Key Telephone System into a comprehensive tool for internal and external communication.”  

With the introduction of the internet, all of this has changed. Now, even a startup company with just a few extensions can set up a commercial-grade PBX system without the need for lots of equipment, real estate or cash. 

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) lets companies transmit calls as data packets over the internet. This method replaces traditional phone lines. 

According to the Federal Communications Commission, “VoIP is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Some VoIP services may only allow you to call other people using the same service. Still, others may allow you to call anyone who has a telephone number – including local, long-distance, mobile and international numbers. Also, while some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter.”

Despite this improvement, businesses still need to route calls. Nowadays, VoIP PBX technology redirects phone calls through virtual endpoints over the internet. 

Modern PBX systems, however, do much more than transmitting voice signals. They allow companies to manage video calls, conference calls, instant messages and more.

VoIP PBX systems have so many capabilities; it seems misleading to continue using the name PBX to describe them. They do the same job and more – and they do it exceptionally well with a great set of features. 

Related: SIP Trunking 101: The Fundamentals

SIP and PBX Go Hand-In-Hand 

An increasing number of businesses are embracing cloud-based PBX systems. Therefore, the technology to support it grows more relevant. This technology is called Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

Businesses must partner with a SIP trunk service provider to support telephony and other communications infrastructure to the cloud. SIP initiates, maintains, modifies and terminates real-time voice and video connections over the internet. 

A SIP trunk connects your business PBX system to the internet to support communication. Compared to traditional hardlines, SIP trunking is more reliable, flexible and easier to manage. Also, it’s fast and easy to deploy across an organization. 

Because of these benefits, large organizations have transitioned to cloud-based communications. This technology is becoming increasingly popular because it offers businesses greater control over their digital interactions. For instance, SIP enables enterprises to manage certain features internally, such as: 

  • Call routing
  • Cloud-based services
  • Cloud-based systems
  • External calls
  • Internal calls
  • Sessions

SIP trunking also lets business leaders develop customized solutions for their unique needs. 

Typically, a business could use a handful of conferencing and PBX services. The best SIP trunking provider ties those settings together. This technology is especially vital in a newly emerging work environment, where a significant segment of employees is now working from home, remote locations or both. 

As more companies gravitate toward digital communication, a growing number of SIP service providers enter the market. However, this flood of potential partners creates a new problem for business leaders – finding a SIP trunking company they can trust. 

Which SIP Service Provider Is Right for You? 

SIP-enabled PBX service is a cost-effective way to improve communication for your business. However, the popularity of the service has compelled more firms to enter the market. Because of this, it’s more difficult for business and IT leaders to figure out who to turn to when they need the service. 

Before you choose a provider, there are a few things you should investigate. For example, you should make sure a potential SIP trunking service provider supports commercial-grade communication. 

If every call isn’t crystal-clear, the other benefits offer no value. Also, look for a provider with a redundant infrastructure to ensure service reliability. Additionally, you must pay attention to the cost of the service. It costs less to make local and international calls over a SIP network. If a possible SIP service provider tries to charge you close to or more than what you pay for traditional phone service, this should raise a red flag. 

A top SIP service company will typically offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model. This model will allow you to try their features out to decide what works best for your business. 

It is also essential that your SIP company’s platform works with standard soft switches and PBX systems. You also want to work with a SIP trunking service that allows you to expand efficiently without the need to invest in additional equipment. 

Related: How to explain to your customers how SIP works in VoIP

Honing in on a Winner

Once you narrow down your choices, you should take a closer look at your candidates. For example, find out about the company’s developers and IT experts. You want to find a SIP trunking firm that employs dedicated, passionate professionals who are available to you at any time. 

Today’s SIP-enabled PBX systems are much easier to use. However, they’re highly sophisticated. A team of dedicated professionals will ensure you achieve the best results with your new PBX on the cloud. 

SIP industry leaders also typically offer prepackaged solutions. These products serve as a launching point to understand the services that will work best for your organization. Because the SIP-enabled PBX service is flexible, you can easily make changes as needed. 

Are You Ready for Elevated Communications? 

At SIP.US, dedicated telecom experts and software developers have worked tirelessly to create a high-performing, reliable PBX service. We have designed solutions for seamless deployment across your organization. 

No matter what services your company needs, SIP.US can develop the perfect customized SIP infrastructure. Most importantly, our experts will show you how your enterprise can achieve significant cost savings. 

Find out how SIP.US can introduce your organization to a new level of commercial-grade PBX service. Get started today.

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