PBX Vs VoIP: Making Sense of Today’s Business Phone Systems
By Alicia Sandino
For the past few years, VoIP has quickly become a part of people’s vocabulary. It has been touted as a convenient and cost-effective way to stay in touch with your business network and is used to optimize internal call flow. Before VoIP, however, analog PBX systems were the go-to business phone systems of choice.
PBX relates more to the traditional analog phone system that relied on the presence of large equipment and complex cabling. It also wasn’t as cost effective since expenses would accumulate due to maintenance and long distance fees, and expansion was time consuming. PBX is still being utilized for business communications today, but users are quickly realizing the downsides to this technology in comparison to VoIP.
Some will say that a PBX system is more reliable than a VoIP system because of VoIP’s dependability on an internet connection. That may have been true a few years ago but just as technology has quickly evolved in the last few years, VoIP has also evolved to bypass these emergency situations with simple call forwarding features.
VoIP indeed uses your internet connection to operate but implementing a fail over strategy that involves back up endpoints allows you to continue receiving calls to a mobile device with or without internet or electricity so your customers can reach you whenever they need to regardless of your connectivity status.
If you’re running a business you’ll want to take any chance to save on expenses, so investing on business phone systems that can reduce your monthly phone bill should be a no brainer. With traditional analog PBX business phone systems, the initial cost can be significant when you factor in equipment and installation costs, as well as the maintenance and long distance fees which can become significant over time.
Implementing a VoIP business phone system is known to alleviate the strain of monthly bills because there is virtually no cost in setting the system up. If your office already has IP business phones, all you need to do is have the provider implement their system, which usually won’t take more than a few minutes once all the documentation and ports have been completed, and you’ll be ready to make calls in no time.
Even if you don’t have the proper phone hardware, you can find business phones for sale at great prices that meet most budgets. Other than hardware and service, there are no maintenance fees or pricey long distance fees.
Like most business owners, you probably intend to expand your business. Even if you don’t have any immediate plans to expand your business locations, internal expansion is on every business owner’s mind. With a traditional PBX, expansion meant having to install more cables, purchase the hardware, and additional maintenance costs.
With VoIP business phone systems, adding extensions is easy and affordable. With some providers, all it takes is getting in touch with a preferred agent and notifying them of the changes you want to make to your system. Some hardware may be necessary if you’re adding a physical phone but it still won’t add up to the spend levels of a traditional PBX.
Improvements to the PBX Phone System Over Time
Before the technology we know today, businesses hired receptionists and secretaries to physically connect communication lines to their desired destinations using switchboards. By the 1990s, VoIP started to become more popular with its ability to exchange voice data on other devices such as PCs. Fast forward to today’s communication methods and we’re surrounded by endless ways to stay in touch with each other right at our fingertips. In an effort to modernize business communications, the traditional analog PBX phone system is becoming more cloud based, evolving into what is known as IP PBX and Hosted PBX. Now, there is no need for excess equipment since this communication technology is making its way to the cloud.
If you’re not quite sure yet that VoIP is the best option for you and you want to continue using your traditional PBX phone system, it is possible to use VoIP with your traditional PBX phone system. This hybrid option can reduce your costs just as well and make the transition to a more modern communication system smoother.
Ready to Upgrade to a VoIP Phone System?
If you’re looking for a modernized VoIP phone system, be aware that VoIP and IP PBX have become similar technologies and getting the most out of these communication methods depends on the quality of the provider. With the rapid development of multi-channel communication tools and devices, it’s easy to get lost in the novelty and endless list of features but always remember your specific VoIP phone system needs and the value that your new communication strategy can bring to your business for longevity and growth.