Updated: Aug 27, 2020
Despite the rapid development of new types of communication such as short message services, social networks, video conferencing and video communication services, voice telephone communication remains the main choice for people, which means it is in demand and valuable for business.
With the advent of Voice over IP (VoIP) technologies, corporate communications have become truly flexible and deeply integrated with the enterprise IT infrastructure. Thanks to data transmission in IP networks, including the global Internet, corporate telephony can be geographically distributed, or even without reference to a geographic location. For instance, your office may be in Auckland, your branch office in New York, and Call Center employees may work from home.
At the moment, there is no clear standard indicating the operation of IP telephony protocols. Conventionally, the protocols of IP telephony can be divided into two groups: signaling and data transmission, roughly speaking, the connection and the transmission of service information is carried out using the signaling protocol, and the voice itself is transmitted using the data transmission protocol. The most common signaling protocol is SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), therefore, services using this protocol are often called SIP telephony, and the subscriber phone is called a SIP phone.
The center of the entire telephone system is a corporate IP PBX, and the subscriber device can be a VoIP phone, or there can be a program installed on a suitable device: a smartphone, a computer, etc. It is the IP PBX that performs the communication functions necessary for the business. For more information about the functions of modern IP PBX, read our next release - "Functions of modern IP PBX useful for business"
All modern PBXs can be divided into three types:
1. Traditional PBX - supplied as specialised equipment with preinstalled software. At the moment, traditional PBX is not advisable to use in business, in terms of their properties they are inferior to all other types of PBX. The use of traditional PBX is justified only in special cases, for example, in organisations with specific requirements for information security or when there is rare valuable equipment that works only with such a PBX.
2. Software IP PBX - distributed as applications for Linux and Windows operating systems, and in the form of ready-made distributions based on Linux. Software PBXs have a lot of advantages in comparison with traditional PBXs - the main thing is that you are not tied to a platform and can deploy such a PBX on a regular computer, on a server in your office, in a specialized data center, or in general in a cloud such as Amazon. The second significant advantage comes from the first - the flexibility and reliability of solutions increases, since it is software and it is possible to use all IT infrastructure technologies - virtualisation, flexible backups, fail-over clusters, etc. Also, you are not tied to the hardware part of the vendor, and in the event of a breakdown, you can buy a replacement for any suitable part anywhere. The use of software IP PBX requires significant expenses for IT infrastructure and labor costs for qualified IT specialists. Software IP PBX are well suited for companies with a developed IT infrastructure and qualified specialists in the staff, as well as in cases where non-standard unique PBX functionality is required.
3. PBX as a service - a form of provision in which all the equipment and software services of the PBX are provided on the side of the provider and fully serviced by the provider. There is no exact terminology to describe this technology, providers use three variants of the name - Virtual PBX, Hosted PBX, Cloud PBX. In practice, different providers use different terminology for similar services, and they call the same service term.
In Cloud PBXs, voice control and transmission is carried out via the Internet, VoIP protocols are used for voice transmission, and all settings are made through a special WWW site, thanks to this service you can use it anywhere in the world where there is Internet. The functionality usually provides all the standard PBX capabilities and even more. Almost all cloud PBXs provide an API (application programming interface) to enable integration with third-party software such as a CRM. Cloud PBX does not require a special room for office equipment, servers, software, active equipment, VPN networks, uninterruptible power supplies, etc. All you need to use a cloud PBX is a subscriber device, such as an IP phone, computer, or smartphone, and Internet access. You do not need to spend money on the operation of the IT infrastructure, as well as keep an IT specialist on staff for maintenance, think about backup, information security, software updates and other issues related to IT infrastructure, all these problems are solved by the provider. When using cloud PBXs, as a rule, simple tariff plans with a monthly subscription fee are used, this greatly facilitates business accounting of communication costs and budgeting. Cloud PBX is perfect for start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, it allows you to save resources on organising corporate telephony, focus on core business tasks, and not on IT infrastructure.
Another interesting option for Virtual PBX for business is often used by mobile operators. The configuration of such a PBX, as in Cloud PBX, is carried out through a special WWW site, but voice transmission occurs through GSM networks. This type of corporate telephony can be used in cases where it is difficult to provide normal Internet for employees, but there is a GSM connection in the places of use. As a rule, such virtual PBXs have less functionality and certain limited characteristics for cellular communication. The cost of such a service is usually higher than that of a Cloud PBX.
Every year Cloud PBX services, which provide businesses with fantastic advantages of new communication technologies, are becoming more and more popular and will soon completely replace traditional hardware and office PBXs.
Every year Cloud PBX services, which provide businesses with fantastic advantages of new communication technologies, are becoming more and more popular and will soon completely replace traditional PBX and on premise PBX systems.