Private Branch Exchange, which is often referred to as PBX for short, is not the matted mess of cables, wires, and ports in the back storeroom that many would think of at first, but is actually the “brains” of an organisation’s phone network that has been easing communication woes of both large and small businesses for years. But like most types of technology, these phone systems are slowly going out of fashion, and virtual PBXs that are based in the cloud are starting to gain popularly, says Rene Sugo from Australian VoIP Service Provider My Net Phone in an article for Business IT (BIT) online.
What mainly distinguishes the virtual PBX from its predecessor is its location. By placing it in the cloud, businesses equip their office with a phone system that does not require physical infrastructure, and its capability is simply rented from the telecommunications provider, thus eliminating the restrictions a physical network poses.
For a small business, the benefits of using virtual PBX can be significant. It is perfect for ensuring a reduction in upfront costs, since it abolishes the need for buying costly equipment that would need to be installed for a physical phone network. This is particularly important because for years, the high upfront cost has been the main factor that made small businesses shun PBXs, Sugo said.
Cloud-based phone systems can also ensure up to 60% in savings on a company’s call and service bill, and can enhance productivity since it comes along with call options such as call transfers, call forwarding, and voice menus that help firms focus on things that matter more to their business. With such a phone network in place, small companies can improve its capability to cope and perform under an expanding workload without worrying about costly upgrades going forward.
In addition to virtual PBX’s potential to ensure cost savings and improve productivity, the technology can supply small firms with call features that sounded like science fiction just a couple of years earlier. For instance, with cloud-based PBX, small businesses can identify the location of their customers and redirect calls easily to the office or to the store in closest proximity to their location. Companies can also make use of its automatic attendant feature, which is the ideal solution for busy small business owners since no one has to bother answering other people’s phone calls. This is because all calls are handled by the system which makes it possible to organise callers into call queues.
A cloud-based PBX would also route calls in various directions based on the time of day when the call is made, such as a mobile service or a paging service after business hours. Another advantage of the virtual phone system is its ability to send faxes directly to the e-mail box without needing paper, ink, or a fax machine.