How to Choose the Best PBX System for your Business


Choosing the best PBX system for your company is not always easy. Because of developments in telecommunications during the past few years, you now have more options than ever before.

Settling on one requires some forethought, and with virtual PBX systems offering lower prices, increased flexibility, and simplicity, this option also needs consideration.

PBX, formerly PABX, is an internal corporate phone network. Without a PBX, a corporation would need one phone line per handset. With a PBX phone system, leased lines can be split into many lines, allowing for more handsets than lines.

A PBX system organises inbound and outgoing conversations and lets employees call each other free. Most systems also offer auto-attendant, call conferencing, call on hold, call transferring, and call forwarding.

Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) or copper landlines were the original communication medium for PBX systems, but newer technologies like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) have emerged as viable alternatives. The latest PBX systems have developed to the point that they can manage almost any communication route, making it simple to integrate the system with your existing phone lines.

A PBX telephony system is suitable for businesses of any size, from a couple of employees to a hundred or more. The option a company goes with will be determined by factors like available funds, the state of the company’s operations, and its long-term goals.


Considerations when Choosing the best PBX System


The size and type of your business


Although both On-premise and Cloud PBX systems can be used by organisations of any size, the former is more suited to smaller businesses, while the latter is better suited to corporations. The quantity of extensions needed is directly proportional to the number of workers you have. In addition, the nature of your business will determine the best system for you to use. Real estate offices and call centres can benefit greatly from hosted PBX solutions, whereas hotels that provide guest rooms with individual phones would be best served by an on-premise PBX.


Your budget


When deciding on a PBX system, it’s important to think about both the original investment and the running costs. Cloud PBX systems require little or minimal initial investment beyond the cost of the extensions and any desk phones you may buy, while traditional On-premise PBX systems involve substantial outlays for hardware, installation, and licence.

If you choose for an on-premises phone system, keep in mind that there will be continuing maintenance fees. It is important to set aside funds for the cost of either signing a Service Agreement or paying for call-out fees in order to keep the software and hardware of these systems running smoothly. A further consideration when planning your budget for On-premise systems is the eventual necessity to replace them due to obsolescence.

With Cloud PBX systems, you only pay for the extensions and lines that you really use, as your plan may be scaled up or down on a monthly basis. Installing the system is affordable because just phones are needed for the initial configuration, and remote maintenance is typically included in the subscription fee. Both Cloud and IP PBX systems require a high-quality Internet connection, which comes at an additional cost.


Quality of your internet connection


Having an internet connection capable of supporting the phone system is not a concern when an on-premises PBX is in place.

If you’re thinking about getting a cloud PBX or IP PBX, you need to have a stable, high-speed internet connection. Businesses that operate entirely online may benefit greatly from this. It is vital to check with your service provider regarding the service itself, the connectivity, and the hosting, as a mere internet connection may not be sufficient.


Where are your employees based?


Is there a large percentage of time spent on the road by your sales team? Are there any employees that have the flexibility to work from home? If that’s the case, virtual private branch exchange (PBX) systems in the cloud are the way to go. With a Cloud phone system, employees may communicate with coworkers and clients from any part of the globe as long as they have access to the Internet and either a mobile phone or a computer running a softphone application to access their business extension.


What do you expect from your PBX?


Standard call functions are included with all PBX systems; IP PBX systems provide a few more options than analogue PBX systems, while Cloud PBX systems provide significantly more functionality than either On-premise option. An on-premise PBX may be adequate for your company if you only need fundamental call services like an auto-attendant, call transfer, ring groups, etc. Your company should choose a Cloud PBX if it requires sophisticated features like customer relationship management (CRM) integration, video conferencing, mobile extensions, call reports, etc.


The future of your business


If you expect your company to expand, you should think ahead to the telecommunication demands it will have in the not-too-distant future. Using a Cloud PBX is the best option if you need to add or delete phone lines or extensions on the fly, as the system is highly scalable.

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