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PBX Systems

A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) System is a technique of connecting office telephones network with public telephones. Also known as phone switch or phone switching device, PBX phones are equipments that employ a PBX system. The PBX Phone System was introduced with the basic feature of routing incoming calls to desired office telephone extensions and sharing of office extension numbers. Over the years, advanced features such as greetings, voicemail, automatic call distribution (ACD), Teleconferencing has been added. PBX Phone Systems offer a variety of features each of which differ according to the price of the equipment.

Some of the features included in a PBX Phone System are:
  • A single number that all the company employees can access.
  • A welcome greeting for each incoming call.
  • Various options for connecting call to a specific department or extension.
  • A directory of extension numbers for each employee that corresponds with their unique identity (name, etc).
  • Distribute calls among employees using the feature Automatic Call Distribution (ACD).
  • Call on hold feature
  • Music playing in the background while Call on Hold.
  • Voice messages for any specific extension from incoming calls.
  • Transfer of calls between extensions.
  • Audio conferencing between multiple extensions
  • Maintain call records

Advantages of a PBX system:

  • Multiple extensions can share cost of incoming phone calls.
  • Incoming calls cost is minimal and sometimes even free.
  • In high-tech expensive phone systems, features extension and up gradation is possible.
  • Investments in the PBX system can be reduced over the years.

Disadvantages of a PBX system:

  • Cost of setting up which includes equipment, installation and wiring is very high.
  • Advanced PBX systems offer many extra features like ACD but are also more expensive which is not viable for small businesses.
  • Cost of maintaining a PBX system is also high with trained people needed to maintain the hardware and equipment.
  • Most PBX systems are rigid in case of flexibility of adding new extension lines and the need for buying new systems arises as business expands.
  • Important add on features are quite expensive which results in escalating cost.
  • With globalization, PBX systems have started becoming aged as they work only within a centralized office. Employees using mobile phones are not able to receive work related phones as PBX is not designed as such.