IP PBX is a term often used in modern telephony. What is it, and what can it do for your business?
Communication as we know it has changed drastically over the years. Take for example the act of calling someone. Businesses used to have a switchboard, where an operator transfers calls by manually switching cord circuits. Whenever a call comes in, the operator would transfer the call by plugging in the cord to an available line.
Today, this technology is replaced by a private branch exchange (PBX), which is a telephone switching system within a business or enterprise. It connects calls through the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in a more streamlined process, so there is less need for wires and cords. An IP PBX, therefore, is an Internet Protocol (IP)-based PBX that switches calls over the IP. It is a combination of the usual Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateways and a traditional PBX to enable businesses to use their intranet (internal network which is managed over the Internet) to communicate within the company. Employees have unique extension numbers within the company that do not necessarily equate to telephone lines that they have to pay for a telecommunications company. Employees can then receive calls over the intranet, while the business can still share external phone lines for when external communication is needed. It can also switch calls from a VoIP user and a traditional telephone user.
In essence, an IP PBX enables a company to reduce their expenses on communications, as long distance expenses are minimized. There is also a single network for both voice and data, that is, the Internet utilized by the company, so VoIP communications and the usual functionalities of a telephone are all available to every user. Employees can use the intranet and use instant messaging (IM) to instantaneously send messages to their colleagues without having to use an additional software or tool. Meanwhile, users may be assigned their own extension numbers so that it would be easier to reach personnel within the business, and so that clients and other external callers will have an easier way to reach the concerned personnel.
Therefore, an IP PBX system increases productivity and efficiency, as well as gives the company the flexibility it needs as it grows. It reduces long-term maintenance and operation costs, particularly when long distance communications are factored in. Since the system operates on software, it is significantly cheaper than traditional communication methods.
Of course, the system is best maximized with unified communications. Unified communications play a significant role in the growth of a business, in terms of it accelerating communication and easing transforming data into information. It equips a business with collaborative tools such as video conferencing and instant messaging, allowing all employees to communicate and collaborate with each other from any location, using any device, and while accessing any application.
When an IP PBX is coupled with innovative unified communications services, the growth of a business can be unparalleled. Modern telephony would foster faster growth and better turnaround time in terms of producing products and services for consumers. It can also help employees be more creative, particularly from a collaborative point of view.