What is a PBX system?
PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, a type of telecommunications system that allows businesses to connect their internal telephone system to the public telephone network. PBX systems are often used by large companies and organisations because they allow employees to make internal calls without using up any of their personal minutes. Below is a simple diagram illustrating how a PBX system works:
In this diagram:
- The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) sends incoming calls to the PBX system.
- The PBX system routes these calls to the appropriate office phones.
- Office phones can also make internal calls through the PBX system.
- Outgoing calls from the office phones are sent through the PBX system to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).
Hosted PBX benefits
Also known as virtual, cloud or VoIP PBX, a hosted PBX system is hosted on the cloud. The service provider hosts the software and hardware, and physical VoIP system handsets or softphone applications are connected to the system. It allows users to access the same features of a physical PBX such as voicemail, conferencing, call forwarding and more, but without having to install hardware or manage a physical server. This type of implementation has become increasingly popular due to its affordability and flexibility in terms of scalability.
Using VoIP technology, hosted PBX business phone systems are popular in Australia because they’re relatively simple to set up and do not require advanced technical knowledge. They are also typically less expensive than traditional telephone networks while still providing businesses with the advanced telecommunication services they need.
Traditional vs hosted PBX systems
Cost – Hosted PBX VoIP phone systems are ideal for small businesses in Australia as they have a low initial cost, and all ongoing maintenance and IT support is taken care of by the service provider – us.
Call quality – In many cases, VoIP or hosted PBX systems provide superior quality calls when compared to a traditional system. As long as the internet connection is stable, a cloud-hosted service has a lower chance of call dropping or failure. Because a traditional system uses a wired connection, it’s subject to electromagnetic interference, and call quality is often inversely related to distance.
Scalability – VoIP-hosted PBX business phone systems are also far more flexible for growing Australian businesses as the number of users can be increased by simply adding more VoIP handsets or adding them to a softphone solution. With a traditional system, expansion generally meant additional costs to the service provider and additional hardware.
Flexibility – With remote work increasingly common, hosted PBX means employees can stay connected with the cloud no matter where they are, without the need for a local area network. This makes VoIP PBX systems ideal for businesses with a presence in multiple locations or hiring candidates from other areas.
Security – Some people may have security concerns with cloud-based technology, but in most cases hosted PBX systems are more secure than traditional physical ones. Constant upgrades and fixes ensure lines are airtight and personal information is kept safe and encrypted. Many providers also have algorithms in place to guard against unwanted or unauthorised calls.
Feature-packed – The latest VoIP systems such as those we offer at Aria have a range of powerful features and functionality that is not typically offered in traditional PBX systems, including video conferencing, screen notifications, voicemail to email transfer, and more.
Traditional PBX systems and Hosted PBX systems Comparison Table
|Traditional PBX System||Hosted PBX System|
|Initial Cost||Generally, a higher upfront cost for hardware and installation||Lower initial cost, primarily limited to purchasing IP phones|
|Maintenance Cost||Requires on-going costs for maintenance and possible upgrades||Maintenance and upgrades handled by service provider at no extra cost|
|Call Quality||Subject to electromagnetic interference and distance related quality issues||Superior quality, reliant on stable internet connection|
|Scalability||Expansion usually means additional costs for hardware and services||Easy scalability – add users by just adding more handsets or softphones|
|Flexibility||Limited to local area network, not ideal for remote work||Ideal for remote work as employees can connect from anywhere|
|Security||Physical systems may be vulnerable to certain threats||Generally more secure with encryption and regular security upgrades|
|Features||Basic features like voicemail, conferencing, call forwarding||Advanced features like video conferencing, screen notifications, voicemail to email|
Choosing Aria for your VoIP business phone system
With over two decades of experience in telecommunications, we’re dedicated to helping Australian small businesses find their best VoIP phone system solutions. Our promise is to work for our clients, rather than big telcos, to find the best outcomes that save you money. Choose from our hosted VoIP phone system plans and the latest VoIP hardware from leading manufacturers such as Yealink.
Ready to chat with us and find the best phone system for your small business? It’s your call.