PBX vs. VoIP: Which Is Better For Your Business?

When it comes to business phone service, you want only the best for your agents and customers. After all, they're the ones who are going to use it to communicate with each other and others outside the company. That's why you need to find the perfect phone system and provider so that your company can operate at its very best. You want a phone system that makes managing communications easier with fewer costs and less maintenance.

Traditionally, business phone systems were using PBX to connect with callers, but these days, many companies are making the switch to VoIP phone systems. However, PBX has changed quite a bit since its invention and many companies aren't sure just which type of phone system is best for their company. So, let's take a look at PBX vs. VoIP so you can decide which is best for your business.

What Is PBX?

PBX stands for private branch exchange and it's essentially a phone system that switches calls between business users on local lines, while still permitting users to share several external phone lines. PBX is used to save on the cost of buying separate phone lines for each user in a company office. Private branch exchanges used to use analog technology to provide phone services, but today, PBX's utilize digital technology. It works like this: digital signals are converted to analog for external calls on something called a local loop, which uses plain old telephone service (POTS).

Today's PBX, however, is cloud-based, or virtual. All you really need is an Internet connection and your own phones and you can connect all of your employees to the same phone system throughout all locations no matter where they are in the world. And the best part is that you can order as many extensions as you need and add more as your company starts to grow. And no more costly, clunky equipment like an unsightly PBX box stuffed inside an office closet or taking up room elsewhere.

With a modern PBX phone system, you get simple, affordable phone service that gives your agents and other employees access to enterprise-level features like a virtual receptionist, number porting, virtual office recording, instant messaging, directory assistance, and music on hold. You also get features like online meetings, ring groups, online administration, extension dialing, and contacts integration.

A virtual or cloud-based PBX phone system can save companies roughly 50 percent off their phone bill and up to 90 percent off of what it would cost to purchase a traditional PBX system.

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for voice over Internet protocol and it's a business phone solution that provides services over the Internet rather than through a traditional phone system. VoIP (also known as Internet calling) is traditionally used to cut down on costs of having a traditional phone line (like traditional PBX) and to add more features than a traditional phone line might have. For example, VoIP can include features like presence technology, call recording, web dialer, Google calendar integration, virtual offices for Android and iPhone, group intercom paging, call transfers, voicemail to email, Internet fax, and call park. You also get features like do not disturb, unlimited calling, softphone, virtual office desktop, and a conference bridge, as well as basic features like voicemail, caller ID, three-way calling, and call waiting.

Certain VoIP providers offer optional features like contact centers, overhead paging, call queuing, hot desking, 4-Line appearance, power keys service, virtual extensions, a switchboard, and additional auto attendants.

PBX Vs. VoIP: The Verdict

So, what's the difference?

The main difference between PBX and VoIP is the way they connect callers. A PBX system setup might include a computer server, multiple lines, and a manual control board that all connect a public system. Then, those lines are connected to an internal switching system responsible for routing calls to specific phone lines within the company. A VoIP phone system is much less complicated because it transfers analog voice data via the Internet and all you need is a computer or IP phone and an Internet connection.

VoIP offers a few more calling features than PBX phone systems (like analytics and reporting) because the software can be managed right from a computer. However, with VoIP, you're limited to the amount of bandwidth given to you by your service provider. A high volume of connections all at the same time could severely affect your call quality with VoIP. But the good news is you can always upgrade any time you need to and get just what you need exactly when you need it.

So, what should you choose?

That depends on your specific business needs, goals, and situation. If you're a growing company and you need more features to help you grow, then VoIP might be better for you. Also, if you don't want to deal with a clunky PBX box taking up space in your office, VoIP is probably the way to go.

PBX and VoIP are somewhat different business phone services that offer the flexibility and mobility companies need to compete in today's business world. Whether you need just the basics or complex features that help you stand out from the crowd, you can rely on VoIP to deliver exceptional cloud-based service at a fraction of the cost of traditional business phone services. And with the right provider, you can expect amazing analytics and reporting to help you master company communications.

When it comes to VoIP, 8x8 provides a reliable and compliant cloud solution at a demanding level rarely seen by other cloud providers. Don't take your chances with a subpar cloud-based telecom system. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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