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Business VoIP vs Traditional PBX Systems

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Technology has changed the landscape of telephony.  IP technology in this era enables telephone calls to be delivered using the Internet Protocol to transport calls. 

PBX stands for “Private Branch Exchange,” which is a private telephone network used within a company.

Traditional PBXs would have their own proprietary phones, so there would not be a way to use these phones with a different system. This means that whether we have a system-lock-in (we are limited to the same system since a system change also means changing phones, which makes it prohibitive and of a high cost) or a vendor-lock-in (we are limited to the same manufacturer because the phones can only be used with systems from that manufacturer, sometimes only with a particular range of systems).

A VoIP phone, also known as a SIP phone or Softphone, uses Voice Over IP (VoIP) to make and transmit phone calls over an IP network, such as the Internet. VoIP converts standard telephone audio into a digital format that can be transmitted over the Internet and also converts incoming digital telephone signals from the Internet into standard telephone audio.

A VoIP phone allows users to make phone calls using VoIP, to any softphone, landline or mobile. A VoIP phone can be a simple software-based virtual telephone or a hardware device that looks like a common telephone.

How does a PBX work?

Perhaps when looking for the telephone number to communicate with your bank or another company, you must have seen the word PBX followed by a phone number and you have come to the famous question What is PBX? Which will respond immediately, the first thing you should know is that PBX is an acronym in English that means Private Branch Exchange.

When the different telephone lines of a company are connected to a switchboard, they are transformed into a single telephone line with a unique number known as DID, which in turn has multiple extensions, each one of those extensions communicates to a telephone of the office and generates many advantages in communication processes since it allows a large number of telephone transactions between the different extensions that are impossible with traditional telephony.

PBX telephone systems are available as hosted or virtual solutions (sometimes also called Centrex), and as internal solutions to be used on your own hardware.

PBX telephone systems are usually much more flexible than proprietary systems, since they are using open standards and interfaces. Modern PBX telephone systems are based on standard hardware, which is cheaper and can be replaced more easily than closed systems.

What is a VoIP PBX?

Basically VoIP is a method by which taking analogical audio signals of the type that are heard when one speaks by telephone transforms them into digital data that can be transmitted through the Internet to a certain IP address.

VoIP allows the union of two historically separate worlds, that of voice transmission and that of data transmission. So, VoIP is not a service but a technology. VoIP can transform a standard connection to the internet into a platform to make free calls over the internet. Using some of the free software for VoIP calls that are available on the internet, we are skipping to traditional telephone companies, and therefore, their rates.

In the past, VoIP conversations used to be of low quality, this was overcome by the current technology and the proliferation of broadband connections, to such an extent the expansion of IP telephony that there is the possibility that you unknowingly have already used a VoIP service, for example, conventional telephony operators, use VoIP services to transmit long distance calls and thus reduce costs.

Basically, the VoIP architecture refers to the transmission and sending of voice in digital format, through the path generated through the IP network, that is, using the advantages that Internet-related technologies make available.

For this reason, all traffic belonging to Voice over IP protocol can be sent and circulate smoothly through any network of the IP type, including the so-called LAN, ie local area networks.

Advantages of VoIP technology

Undoubtedly, VoIP technology can help us save a lot of money in communications, and the technology has reached a state of maturity and quality that allows its use in production environments through the integration with telephone systems conventional, moreover, since we will have a dual communications system that brings together the best of both worlds.

Some advantages of VoIP systems and services include:

  • Lower costs per call and possibilities of service choice. Because taxes and costs are considerably lower, the cost of the service is also lower. If you had a fast Internet connection (ADSL or cable), you can make a connection via Internet “PC-PC” to and from anywhere in the world for free. The IP telephony “PC-phone” or “telephone-phone” are not free, but they are still cheaper than any traditional telephone service.
  • Lower costs at infrastructure level and respective maintenance.
  • Integration of services and the possibility of implementing new ones: In some cases, a quality of sound superior to the quality of a conventional telephone connection is already possible.
  • Integrated VoiceMail with email.
  • Call Conference.
  • Integration with messaging systems.
  • Monitoring and management of calls.
  • Easy installation and configuration as a telephone exchange; they do not require changing infrastructure, you can even keep the same number.
  • Easy to manage: has functions that can be solved from the company, without the need for a telephone technician.
  • More order and cleanliness: you do not need endless cables! The Ip can connect telephones directly to a standard network port, and can share the internet to a computer.
  • Mobility: Another advantage of this new service is its portability. You can make and receive IP telephony calls wherever there is a fast Internet connection, simply by logging into your VoIP account. If we need to travel, with a microphone with headphones, or a special telephone for IP telephony, we will be able to talk with our family and friends in a very simple way. The type of Internet connection “telephone-telephone” can also be portable. This means that when a user travels outside of their country of origin, they can still keep their number without changes, that is, without Roaming changes, as is currently the case with cell phones
  • Flexibility: The phones for voice over IP are small, which allows us to take them anywhere. When we subscribe to an IP telephony provider, we are acquiring a unique number corresponding to a telephone, or to the Internet adapter used by that service. This “phone number” is valid, even if your voice over IP service is in Los Angeles and you are connected to the Internet in London. When you use a high-speed connection, anywhere in the world, we can make and receive any communication via the Internet as if we were at home.

IP PBX Features

This create an efficient environment in your organization with the addition of multiple features, and allows you to integrate other locations to centralize the communications of your company and take them to global levels. A user of his corporation located in Central America shares the same functionalities as another located in Europe, as well as having a direct internal communication.

Some of the basic functionalities include:

  • Voicemail (For each extension)
  • Least Cost Routing (Intelligent Routing)
  • Fax-to-email
  • Extension roaming
  • IVR (Automatic operator)
  • Interconnection between PBXs
  • Virtual conference rooms
  • Caller ID (If allowed by the operator)
  • Call recording and monitoring
  • Advanced call reports

Switching to an IP PBX offers many benefits

You do not need new wiring. With an IP telephone system, all your internal telephone is routed through the existing LAN (local computer network). In this way, a separate network for telephone is not required.

Although internal telephone is routed through the LAN, it is also possible to connect your IP-PBX through gateways to the PSTN. Of course, VoIP (Voice over IP, telephony over the Internet) is also possible.

You can choose the type and brand of phone you want. Since IP telephone mainly uses the open SIP standard, an IP telephone system gives you much more freedom in your choice of phones. Basically, any compatible SIP phone (VoIP phone) will work with an IP PBX.  For example, the S50 is a compact and full-featured IP-PBX that comes in a 19’’ 1U rack-mountable chassis. The Yeastar S50 IP PBX System is capable of supporting ISDN BRI, PSTN, and GSM connectivity, providing VoIP communications for up to 50 users.

The growth of your company is not limited by the PBX. Since VoIP phones do not have to be physically connected to the telephone system, it does not require a free port in the telephone system as it used to be with traditional telephone systems.

IP telephones can not only connect through the LAN but also through the Internet, using for example a VPN connection. Because of this, multiple locations and offices can be easily connected.

You can save money. The ease of interconnection of equipment and mobility when working is one of the great advantages of IP telephone systems. It does not matter if team members are out of the office, are in a different country or work from home, they can connect via IP desk phone, smart phone or laptop to the PBX in the office. This way all calls within the company are free and customers do not realize if the employee is in the office or somewhere else around the world.

Unlimited conferences. The previous point also applies to conferences, which can be hosted directly on the IP PBX itself with as many participants as necessary. This saves travel time and money.

We hope this article gets you to know the key difference between VoIP and PBX

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