Businesses have been using telephone exchanges for decades. The concept is very similar to a public telephone exchange: the caller dials a number, and the call is routed using an internal system that’s private to the business itself. Colloquially, business exchanges are known as Private Branch eXchange (which is where ‘PBX’ comes from).
PBX systems initially ran on analogue lines and were manually operated by a human. They later ran on ISDN lines rented from BT and automation became more common. This kind of system has been used since the 1980s right through to the present day.
In the last decade, the hosted PBX has taken over from the PBX in many business settings. But why?
Problems with the PBX
The traditional PBX allowed businesses to control their own calls, and it took a load off the public exchange, as well as saving businesses money. But they weren’t without problems, and these problems persist today.
The PBX is inherently hardware based and quite complicated in its operation, which means it requires specialised maintenance. If something breaks down, an engineer callout is required, and there is inevitably some disruption and downtime – not to mention the cost.
Routing calls was also fairly complicated. There are lots of variables: internal extensions, dialling codes, international codes and the routing of each number.
And the PBX required a lot of storage space for the various switchboards, controllers, power supplies and cables.
Welcoming the hosted PBX
The internet protocol (IP) completely changed the communication landscape. It’s the technology that drives our modern internet, and it allowed the PBX to be moved from a hardware to a largely software-based solution. This is why you’ll see internet telephony referred to as ‘Voice over IP’.
With hosted PBX, there are no cabinets, no physical switchboards, and no engineer’s visits. The nuts and bolts of the PBX system is located remotely with an internet telephony provider, so the business simply rents the service for an affordable fee. If something goes wrong, the provider takes care of it. Immediately, we can see huge cost savings appear with the modern take on the PBX.
All the business needs is a connection to the internet. The hardware phone is optional. The routing of calls is all set up using software. There are no cables to route awkwardly around desks. Hosted PBX puts the business fully in control of costs and functionality, and it removes the inconvenience and high price that the traditional PBX was known for.
If your business is still using a traditional PBX, switch to hosted PBX today. Nimvelo offers VoIP solutions for sole traders and enterprise users alike, all based around the concept of a fully hosted system. Sign up, choose your number, add extensions and route your calls. You can be up and running within the hour – and without a single engineer’s visit.
For more information on switching to a internet phone service, give us a call today. You’ll be amazed how simple and inexpensive VoIP telephony is.