Find the Best PBX System in the UK
You may ask, what is a PBX Phone System or what is a PBX system? The acronym PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, and is one of the different types of office telephone systems available in the UK. A PBX system is a telephone switching system used in businesses that seek to use a local line of communication within the company.
PBX systems are the most widely used telephone systems chosen by small, mid-size, and large scale businesses. It offers a range of options that can fit different requirements depending on their price. These business telephone systems are based on outside lines connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network. This offers a company greater flexibility when they are communicating internally or externally.
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Read Our Guide on PBX Systems
PBX systems are digital and operate on hardware that can be stored on the company premises or outside the company, and is usually maintained by a third party firm. This system is one of the most commonly used internal telephone systems, and differs from the traditional phone system as they make it easier for companies to create a line to all of its employees. Therefore, there is one main number with extensions for each employee.
How Does a PBX Phone System Work?
The different types of PBX systems allow the users to also send information to other analogue devices such as fax machines or modems by using 3-4 digit extension codes.
With the continuous rapid change of technology, there are four distinguished types of PBX phone systems on the UK market, and each of them comes with different characteristics:
What Is a Traditional PBX System?
Traditional phone systems or analogue phone systems are the basic phone systems that require a physical exchange box inside the company. Traditional PBX phone system gives the company full ownership of the hardware.
This type of system requires a higher investment due to the costs of installation, while maintenance and support can be around £600 per annum.
What Is PBX and EPBX?
The difference between PBX and EPBX is that the latter is 'electronic', that is, operations are based on a computer, not via analogue processes. Both systems serve the same purpose. Nowadays, most private telephone networks are called PBX, as nearly all systems have become electronic.
What Is a Hosted PBX System?
The hosted PBX system offers the same features as the traditional PBX but in a more flexible and efficient way. The hosted PBX is located off-premises and uses the Internet to route the calls. Hosted PBX systems can function over the Public Switchboard Telephone Network, over the Internet or over a combination of the two.
Hosted PBX system typically have lower costs since installing, maintaining and upgrading hardware is made by an external company. Monthly prices start from £25.
What Is an IP PBX system?
This type of PBX also known as VoIP PBX uses the Internet to transmit calls, it is a solution that is hosted on-premise. VoIP PBX is a combination of the conventional PBX with the advantages of VoIP technology. The IP PBX system connects both the VoIP PBX and traditional phones that have an Internet connection.
The IP-PBX system is also available as an On-Cloud PBX system where the calls are also made with the help of the Internet connection and the cloud system helps back up the data you want to be saved.
This is a suitable solution for companies that have an established network and wiring and also wish to experience the benefits of VoIP technology. Prices range from £600 to £9000.
Hosted IP-PBX System
This is the hosted solution for the VoIP PBX and uses the same flexibility as the IP PBX. The only difference is that, in this case, the software comes with a subscription to a hosting company instead of owning it.
Hosted IP PBX has the same features as the IP PBX but has lower set-up and maintenance fees. In the UK, the prices for the basic hosted IP PBX start from £6.99 per month.
How Much Does a PBX Phone System Cost?
Depending on the type, your PBX phone system cost can differ. Conventional systems cost around £800-£1,000 per employee; as opposed to this, IP PBX systems can be as cheap as £600 per employee but might cost up to £9,000 for expert systems. Hosted and virtual IP PBX systems work on a subscription model with prices from £25 and £6.9 per employee per month, respectively.
Keep in mind that conventional and IP PBX systems have both installation and yearly maintenance costs of around their purchase price.
The two main phone systems for businesses are the traditional PBX and the IP PBX. Comparing the two, they each have different features and also different advantages depending on your business needs. The following three key comparing points will give you a better understanding of the two options.
- Costs. Usually PBX systems have a monthly charge that can fluctuate according to different factors. For example, the number of international calls can increase the cost. But, when it comes to VoIP PBX, costs are lower because it is a system based on an Internet connection and the calls are free no matter where in the world you place the call.
- Reliability. The traditional PBX systems are more reliable as they are able to continue working even in an offline mode. They are powered by their own wires and therefore companies can freely communicate without worrying about the stability of their internet connection. On the other hand, VoIP PBX systems only work as long as they are connected to the web
- Quality. Normal PBX systems are more reliable when it comes to the quality of the call, as they are not affected by fluctuations in Internet speed. Whereas, when it comes to the VoIP PBX system, the Internet must be reliable and have a high speed in order to be certain that phone calls will remain unaffected.
Advantages of PBX Systems
The PBX systems make the process of sharing information easier and more accessible to employees.
Advanced and updated features
PBX systems are in line with the latest technological changes and have been streamlined to offer a friendly user experience. With the use of the Internet, it also makes it more affordable for companies.
These types of phone systems help employees save time switching manually between different phone lines and also improve the customer service.
Lower costs for international calls
In the case of the IP systems where calls are based on the Internet, long-distance calls are cheaper and more affordable.
The phone extensions used by PBX systems are also used by employees to connect to other devices inside the company such as fax machines or modems.
With the PBX systems, companies can increase the number of users at any time since there are no limitations.
Advantages of Hosted PBX System
Scalability—hosted VoIP PBX are capable of expanding to meet the demands of your business when you need it. It enables you to add one more line at any time. You add the lines when you need them, and, therefore, you only pay for what you use.
Costs—setting the hosted system is easy and affordable without any big investments for equipment or software updates. It also helps save money on international calls. As phone calls are based on the Internet, long-distance calls are cheaper.
Flexibility—as they system uses Internet data, this means that work-related phone calls are not restricted to your office. A hosted VoIP PBX is managed completely online and you can access your PBX network and your data from anywhere, as long as there is an Internet connection. Lastly, if you already have a phone number connected to your business, the transition to the hosted system is user-friendly and lets you keep your current phone number.
User-friendly features—users of hosted IP PBX can easily forward their calls to other phone numbers or even email addresses. Call hold, conference call, and auto dial are also integrated into the system. Another feature of hosted VoIP is its ability to filter the information through Cloud data and connect employees and external/internal callers faster.
Compatibility—the extensions used by employees make it easier to connect to other devices inside the company, such as modems or fax machines. Everything is connected to the Internet, and by using different extensions, the work process becomes more efficient.
Updated features—as technology advances every day, new advanced features are developed. The Internet, being the base for the hosted PBX system, also enables your company to follow the new technological trends, and, thereby, have an even better phone system.
A Hosted PBX system offers the same features as a traditional PBX but in a more flexible and efficient way. The hosted version of PBX also has one main line for all employees with extensions for each employee. It also keeps the feature through which employees are able to send information to fax machines or modems by using a 3-4 digit extension code.
A Hosted PBX can prevent the company from having to invest in a costly and complex business phone system, while still being able to use features such as voicemail, automated greetings, conference call, call logs, and more.
Businesses differ, and their needs are distinct and various. But, when it comes to efficiency, they all have the same purpose: to create an employee-friendly working environment and to be efficient. Therefore, choosing the best communication system is an important step. Hosted PBX systems are, at the moment, an excellent option, as they bring the Internet and telephone systems into one product that fits every business.
Features and Components
PBX phone systems may vary on their features according to the type, model or provider. In general terms, PBX has the following features and components:
IP PBX is digital and operates based on its hardware and Internet server; which can be either stored on the premises of the company or an outside location. The system differs from the traditional PBX systems as the server maintains a database of all clients and their addresses (Session Initiation Protocol system- SIP).
The IP PBX system still retains the feature of the traditional PBX system, where a line is created for all employees, and each employee has their own extension.
When a user places a call, the PBX server recognises whether the call is internal or external. Based on the addresses saved, it routes the call through the SIP system in the case of an internal call, or through the VoIP in the case of external calls.
Depending on the costs involved, and whether the company has an established network or not, there are two types of IP PBX phone systems:
On-premises IP PBX Systems
This telephone system uses the Internet to transmit calls and is a solution that is hosted on the premises the company. The IP PBX connects both VoIP PBX and traditional phones that have an Internet connection. The IP-PBX system is also available as an On-Cloud PBX system where the calls are also made with the help of the Internet connection, while the cloud system backs up the data you want to be saved.
This type of phone solution is suitable for companies that have an established network and wiring installations, and also wish to experience the benefits of VoIP technology. Prices range from £600 to £9000.
Hosted IP PBX Systems
This is the hosted solution for the VoIP PBX which also has the same flexibility as the IP PBX system. The only difference is that, in this case, the software comes with a subscription to a hosting company, instead of owning it outright.
Hosted IP PBX has the same features as the IP PBX but has lower set up and maintenance fees. In the UK, the prices for the basic hosted IP PBX start from £6.99 per month.
Advantages of IP PBX Systems
IP PBX systems provide important advantages to its users. Considering it is an Internet based phone system, it takes advantage of the following key feattures to benefit your company. These things should be considered when determining if an IP PBX system is right for your business. A few of the advantages are:
Lower costs for international calls
As calls are based on the Internet, long-distance calls are cheaper and more affordable. Therefore, the company can have phone calls between countries or even continents without concerning about the cost.
These types of phone systems help employees save time switching manually between different phone lines and also improve customer service.
Based on the use of Internet, the IP PBX system closely follows the latest updates to technology and the Internet.
Because it is an Internet based phone system, the IP PBX facilitates information tracking and usage and can also help in detecting security breaches.
An important feature of the Internet used in IP PBX is that it makes this type of phone system more efficient in calling clients and maintain important information about them.
Making the right choice for your business can be challenging. When it comes to choosing the perfect office phone system you may consider factors like costs, space, scalability. Overall, PBX phone systems offer solutions for every situation and provide a communication network that will help your business be more productive and efficient on the communication level. Whether you are a large corporation, or looking for small business telephone systems, PBX can be a solution for you.
If you would like to get professional advice and reviews about PBX office telephone systems, please fill in the form. You will receive up to four free non-binding quotes tailored to your company needs.