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PBX Phone Systems

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Jive Voice logo
 
Jive is a great fit for companies needing all the features of a full-fledged PBX system, but doesn't have the upfront costs of a large equipment purchase. Their scalable cloud-hosted PBX stays secure and updated automatically.
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Jive is a great fit for companies needing all the features of a full-fledged PBX system, but doesn't have the upfront costs of a large equipment purchase. Their scalable cloud-hosted PBX stays secure and updated automatically.
 
Vonage Business Solutions logo
 
Vonage Business Solutions is a cloud-based unified communication solution suitable for small and midsize companies. The solution offers a business phone system that enables businesses to connect their VoIP phone system to any internet... Read More
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Vonage Business Solutions is a cloud-based unified communication solution suitable for small and midsize companies. The solution offers a business phone system that enables businesses to connect their VoIP phone system to any internet... Read More
 
Nextiva Office logo
 
Nextiva's Business VoIP solutions offer small businesses enterprise-level telephony service that helps them to streamline company's communications and establish an in-house VoIP phone system. It offers an integrated and scalable PBX... Read More
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Nextiva's Business VoIP solutions offer small businesses enterprise-level telephony service that helps them to streamline company's communications and establish an in-house VoIP phone system. It offers an integrated and scalable PBX... Read More
 
Virtual Office by 8x8 logo
 
Virtual Office is a collection of comprehensive web-based business VoIP solutions from offered by 8x8. Enterprise grade phone service, virtual meetings, mobile applications, virtual contact centers and more are available to help companies... Read More
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Virtual Office is a collection of comprehensive web-based business VoIP solutions from offered by 8x8. Enterprise grade phone service, virtual meetings, mobile applications, virtual contact centers and more are available to help companies... Read More
 
FluentStream VoIP logo
 
FluentStream is a business phone solution designed for companies of all sizes. It offers call monitoring, telemarketing, IVR and reporting features within an integrated suite. The solution is available both in cloud-based and on-premise... Read More
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FluentStream is a business phone solution designed for companies of all sizes. It offers call monitoring, telemarketing, IVR and reporting features within an integrated suite. The solution is available both in cloud-based and on-premise... Read More

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RingCentral Office logo
 
RingCentral Office takes all the functionality of an enterprise-class PBX phone system and virtualizes it in the cloud. Their all-inclusive system arrives pre-configured to the customer's exact needs, ready to plug in and go.
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RingCentral Office takes all the functionality of an enterprise-class PBX phone system and virtualizes it in the cloud. Their all-inclusive system arrives pre-configured to the customer's exact needs, ready to plug in and go.
 
MegaPath logo
 
MegaPath is Business Voip software that works with medium to large-size businesses in any industry. The system offers companies Internet connectivity, unified communications, security services, managed networking services, and more. With... Read More
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MegaPath is Business Voip software that works with medium to large-size businesses in any industry. The system offers companies Internet connectivity, unified communications, security services, managed networking services, and more. With... Read More
 
Ooma Office logo
 
Ooma Office is a cloud-based VoIP solution that caters to small businesses across various industry verticals that helps them to manage their business operations. Ooma Office offers various capabilities offered by traditional IP PBX... Read More
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Ooma Office is a cloud-based VoIP solution that caters to small businesses across various industry verticals that helps them to manage their business operations. Ooma Office offers various capabilities offered by traditional IP PBX... Read More
 
Simple Phone Co. logo
 
Simple Phone Co is a cloud-based business VoIP solution for small to midsize businesses. Key features include automatic call distribution, call recording, conference calling, auto attendant, internet fax, softphone and SIP trunking. Simple... Read More
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Simple Phone Co is a cloud-based business VoIP solution for small to midsize businesses. Key features include automatic call distribution, call recording, conference calling, auto attendant, internet fax, softphone and SIP trunking. Simple... Read More
 
Business Voice logo
 
Business Voice is a cloud-based VoiP solution created by PanTerra, which allows users to take or make calls from their office phone number, communicate with their team, and have file access, all from any device with an internet connection,... Read More
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Business Voice is a cloud-based VoiP solution created by PanTerra, which allows users to take or make calls from their office phone number, communicate with their team, and have file access, all from any device with an internet connection,... Read More

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +61 3 8899 7476


 
Ytel Contact Center logo
 
Ytel Contact Center is a cloud-based integrated marketing suite that caters to SMB call centers and businesses with dedicated phone support teams, helping them manage multi-channel communications. The solution offers features including... Read More
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Ytel Contact Center is a cloud-based integrated marketing suite that caters to SMB call centers and businesses with dedicated phone support teams, helping them manage multi-channel communications. The solution offers features including... Read More
 
Five9 Cloud Contact Center logo
 
Five9's Cloud Contact Center brings custom call center PBX infrastructure without most of the expensive equipment. IVR, Predictive Dialing and full CTI make Virtual Contact Center a great fit for call centers of any size.
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Five9's Cloud Contact Center brings custom call center PBX infrastructure without most of the expensive equipment. IVR, Predictive Dialing and full CTI make Virtual Contact Center a great fit for call centers of any size.
 
NICE inContact Hosted Call Center logo
 
NICE inContact is a SaaS-based call center software that helps businesses to maximizes the quality of leads and minimizes the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises of many features required to process inbound support requests... Read More
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NICE inContact is a SaaS-based call center software that helps businesses to maximizes the quality of leads and minimizes the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises of many features required to process inbound support requests... Read More
 
Skype for Business logo
 
Skype for Business is a hybrid voice messaging solution that enables teams and individuals across the world to communicate and collaborate. It offers both cloud-based and on-premise solutions. This solution allows users to interact... Read More
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Skype for Business is a hybrid voice messaging solution that enables teams and individuals across the world to communicate and collaborate. It offers both cloud-based and on-premise solutions. This solution allows users to interact... Read More
 
CorvisaOne logo
 
CorvisaOne is a cloud communications suite suited for companies that need features for managing inbound or outbound call centers or everyday business phone needs. CorvisaOne offers features such as ACD, queue and skills-based routing,... Read More
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CorvisaOne is a cloud communications suite suited for companies that need features for managing inbound or outbound call centers or everyday business phone needs. CorvisaOne offers features such as ACD, queue and skills-based routing,... Read More

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +61 3 8899 7476


 
Mitel logo
 
Mitel is a cloud-based VoIP phone system that offers collaboration and conferencing tools to enable information flow within the organization.  The solution enables system administrators to manage user settings, set preferences and... Read More
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Mitel is a cloud-based VoIP phone system that offers collaboration and conferencing tools to enable information flow within the organization.  The solution enables system administrators to manage user settings, set preferences and... Read More
 
3CX logo
 

3CX

3CX is a software-based PBX that works with SIP standard-based IP Phones, SIP trunks and VoIP Gateways. Pricing for 3CX is based on the number of simultaneous calls that the system supports. Solutions are tailored to different business... Read More
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3CX is a software-based PBX that works with SIP standard-based IP Phones, SIP trunks and VoIP Gateways. Pricing for 3CX is based on the number of simultaneous calls that the system supports. Solutions are tailored to different business... Read More
 
Aircall logo
 
Aircall is a cloud-based phone system designed for teams like customer support or sales teams. Aircall is a software that allows companies to get phone numbers in 30 countries, configure them in seconds and forward calls easily across... Read More
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Aircall is a cloud-based phone system designed for teams like customer support or sales teams. Aircall is a software that allows companies to get phone numbers in 30 countries, configure them in seconds and forward calls easily across... Read More
 
ReadyTalk Hosted Voice logo
 
ReadyTalk is a cloud-based communication service provider and offers hosted voice, video and web conferencing and streaming webinars. ReadyTalk’s hosted voice solution, powered by Evolve IP, delivers cloud-based business phone services... Read More
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ReadyTalk is a cloud-based communication service provider and offers hosted voice, video and web conferencing and streaming webinars. ReadyTalk’s hosted voice solution, powered by Evolve IP, delivers cloud-based business phone services... Read More
 
ContactWorld by NewVoiceMedia logo
 
ContactWorld, created by NewVoiceMedia, is a unified cloud communication platform that offers call center functionality, including automatic call distribution, predictive dialer, call recording, auto attendant and softphone. The solution... Read More
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ContactWorld, created by NewVoiceMedia, is a unified cloud communication platform that offers call center functionality, including automatic call distribution, predictive dialer, call recording, auto attendant and softphone. The solution... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Andrew Friedenthal,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: June 8, 2018


The term “PBX,” for private branch exchange, is in most cases simply a synonym for business phone system.

Internet Protocol PBXes, or IP PBXes, are phone systems that connect calls via the internet rather than the traditional phone network.

We’ll explain the core features and benefits of IP PBX systems. We’ll also take a look at some of the key factors that businesses need to consider when investing in a new phone system.

Here's what we'll cover:

  • What Is a PBX and an IP PBX?
  • IP PBX
  • Which Businesses Need Them?
  • Key Considerations

What Is a PBX and an IP PBX?

The term PBX itself is a relic from the early-20th Century, as we explain in our extended definition.

 

Switchboard Operators, public domain image

Broadly speaking, a PBX’s function is to unite all the separate phone extensions that a business uses so they can function together as one system. Specifically, PBXs:

  1. Route incoming calls to whichever extension a caller chooses.
  2. Distribute calls automatically to internal extensions based on pre-set rules.
  3. Connect internal extensions to outside lines when employees place a call.
  4. Connect calls internally between the business’s extensions.

PBXs have been performing these same tasks for decades. As the internet increasingly takes over the function of the traditional phone network, however, the capabilities and features of PBXs have also evolved.

IP PBX

VoIP, or the Voice over Internet Protocol, has brought many changes to all aspects of business telephony—PBXs included. With VoIP, it’s now possible to send calls over an internet connection, as opposed to paying for traditional business phone service.

In order to reap the benefits of VoIP, you need an IP PBX rather than a traditional PBX, as an IP PBX system can connect directly to the internet. Older PBX systems, on the other hand, connect to analog or digital phone lines.

There are devices known as gateways that allow you to use VoIP service with an older PBX system. If you’re replacing your system, however, it makes much more sense to simply invest in an IP PBX.

IP PBXs exist in several very different forms. Although they all perform similar functions, there is no strict definition of the term. An IP PBX can refer to:

Hardware-based on-premise systems Specific on-site hardware devices that look much like typical rack-mounted servers.
Software-based on-premise systems PBX software running on a computer outfitted with phone connections.
Virtualized on-premise systems “Virtual machines” installed on commodity hardware running a virtualization platform such as VMware.
Cloud-based systems Systems hosted by a VoIP provider in the provider’s data center rather than a server on your business’s premises, delivered as a service over your Internet connection.

Which Businesses Need Them?

Traditionally, PBXs were very expensive to purchase and maintain, and they were only used by relatively large businesses. Smaller businesses had alternatives such as Key Systems, which are scaled-down and less automated, but perform similar functions. (With Key Systems, users manually select lines: for example, by pressing "9" for an outside line.)

Now it’s common for businesses with even a few employees to use some sort of IP PBX for their office phone system.

IP PBXs allow incoming calls to be routed and automatically distributed, and allow internal extensions to dial each other and share external lines. They provide the same basic functions as traditional PBXs, and can be useful to businesses of almost any size.

Further, as more businesses seek out the conveniences and cost-savings of VoIP telephony, IP PBXs in one of the forms mentioned above have become an increasingly common choice. Rather than trying to modernize an older PBX so it can work with VoIP calls, it often makes more sense to upgrade the whole system. Upgrading also gives buyers a chance to bring in new features which may have previously been unavailable.

Key Considerations

Hosted or on-premise. This is probably the most critical decision to make. Companies should look at both options. On-premise systems will typically have higher initial costs, and may also require periodic system maintenance. Hosted PBXs will cost less up front, and will be managed by the provider, but have higher recurring costs. The total cost of ownership for all potential systems should be compared.

Call capacity. PBXs can only handle a limited number of concurrent calls and a limited number of total extensions or “registrations.” (Each VoIP phone connected to the IP PBX requires a single registration.) Assess how many total connections you’ll need, count one for each hardphone and softphone you plan to connect, as well as any devices such as FAX machines that may also be connected via your existing phone service provider, and estimate how many calls your employees will be making and receiving simultaneously when you’re at peak call volume.

Unified communications. This term refers to a range of features that involve communicating across platforms and between different mediums. A common example of this is visual voicemail: a feature that automatically transcribes voicemail messages and emails the transcript to the recipient. Many IP PBXs have UC functions included.

Security. VoIP calls have special network requirements and they often don’t work with well with standard office firewalls. To avoid problems, ensure that your existing firewall is compatible with SIP and VoIP traffic. An alternative is to get an IP PBX that includes a built-in firewall, as many do. Many also include VPN gateways to connect with a corporate Virtual Private Network.

Finally, you can use a device known as a Session Border Controller (SBC), which provides additional security specifically for VoIP systems by policing the “pinholes” that you need to open in your firewall for your VoIP calls.

Auto attendant. This is the automated answering system that greets inbound calls, presents pre-recorded information and gives callers a list of extension options from which to choose. Most IP PBXs include auto attendants, but the level of functionality supported by different systems differs. Advanced IVR systems, the voice menus that allow callers to complete actions such as checking account balances over the phone, are generally only found in call center suites.

Free Download:
Business VoIP Systems Pricing Guide

 

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