In the world of phone systems, you basically have two options:
- A traditional on-site PBX
- A cloud-based or hosted PBX using VOIP
You may have heard a telephone system referred to as a PABX (Private Automatic Branch Exchange), key systems, key and lamp system, PBX, soft switch, VoIP soft switch, VoIP networks switch or just plain ordinarily telephone system.
In simple terms, the ‘traditional’ way of doing things was to have a phone system on your premises. This equipment connects all your phone extensions, and links them to the public phone network, often using PSTN or ISDN telephone lines.
Typically a phone system would be a capital purchase with a one-off up-front cost. Note that an on-site system can also link to VOIP services, to make a kind of hybrid system, which gives the benefits of an on-site system with the cost savings of internet phone calls.
Nowadays you would always consider VoIP for on premise systems using SIP lines (Internet based telephone lines) as opposed to the more traditional options of ISDN and analogue lines. Another option would be to investigate a personal cloud based phone system, in this scenario you would look to deploy a phone system as an application on your own servers possibly using VM Ware or Hyper V.
With hosted VoIP cloud phone systems, we use the internet to connect all your extensions to each other and the public phone network. With hosted phone systems, you would still buy the telephones, setup and training, but instead of purchasing the telephone system processor, you simply pay a monthly rental for ports on the platform.
This technology allows small and medium-sized businesses to have a sophisticated telephone system without the investment in telephone equipment. In fact, the entire Cloud-based telephone system is operated and maintained by your Voice-over-IP (VoIP) service provider.
One of the big advantages of hosted VoIP cloud phone systems is that it can be managed through an easy to use web portal. You can configure and modify these systems far more easily than with traditional hardwired infrastructure, with all billing information and usage data also instantly accessible. Software updates can be implemented automatically, so new features come on-stream immediately, and this in turn lessens the risk of phone systems becoming outdated.
Hosted VoIP cloud phone systems are also considerably cheaper to run and these cost savings are largely due to a lack of physical infrastructure. Just as sending an email eliminates postage fees, so hosted systems do away with trunking and exchanges, as well as expensive maintenance contracts.
We hope this information has been useful. If you are considering purchasing or renting a new telephone system for your organisation and would like some free expert advice on the different types of telephone systems available and which may be most suited to your business, then please contact us on 0800 505 3350. Alternatively, you can visit our Business Telephone Systems page for more information or even run a quick quote to get an idea about the cost for your business.