What is Virtual PBX?

Computers can do just about anything these days. They can even make telephone calls. A Private Branch eXchange or PBX system relies on this versatility of computers. PBX helps your business connect with the world.

A conventional telephone merely connects two people – the person who makes the call and the person who attends the call. A PBX system offers much more functionality. Its most important part is the switchboard.

The PBX system is not entirely dependent on a computer. However, it does use computers. The most sophisticated PBX systems support conference calls which include third-party involvement.

When you use PBX, all your callers will be greeted with a customized message. A PBX phone also allows the caller to connect directly to a particular employee or department. And if a human agent is not immediately available to attend the call, the system will play the hold music. The system can also take voice mails for employees who are away and hence cannot attend the calls.

Your communication system is vital for your business. Needless to say, most businesses have already invested in a PBX system. Purchasing and installing a PBX system can be expensive; however, it provides value and hence businesses readily bear that expense.

This is not exactly the case with small businesses. Most of them can’t afford a conventional PBX system because the equipment is costly. Luckily, there is a better alternative. It is true that several businesses still use the conventional PBX system, but the popularity of internet has made it almost obsolete.

The internet has revolutionized the way we communicate with one another. Today, internet and cellphones help us stay connected on the go. The Virtual PBX takes advantage of both. It routes the calls over an internet connection and allows your employees to receive these calls on their cell phones. This makes it possible for them to receive calls on the go.

When you use Virtual PBX, you don’t have to invest in expensive equipment. The calls are handled by a company offering Virtual PBX service. Neither the caller nor the recipient will notice any difference in the service, but the systems work in totally different ways.

 

How Does it Work

Virtual PBX systems use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to route telephone calls over an internet connection. A conventional PBX system sends phone calls over direct telephone lines. This is the most important difference between a conventional PBX system and an internet based Virtual PBX system.

There is yet another difference. In the case of a conventional PBX system, the company will purchase the equipment and attach handsets to the switchboard via their phone wires. Calls are made and received in the conventional way.

Virtual PBX retains the wires, but it doesn’t have the switchboard or handsets. And if you are using wireless Internet, the wires can be eliminated as well. The internet or the service provider functions as the switchboard. The service provider is responsible for ensuring that the service is accessible all the time. It is their duty to keep up with the developments in technology and upgrade their systems. The business that subscribes to the service only pays a fee for using it and does not have to worry about upgrading or troubleshooting the equipment. This is the best thing about a virtual PBX system. It eliminates the need to invest in costly equipment.

To put it simply, virtual PBX is a third party hosted phone service that uses the internet as the switchboard.

 

Applications

In a highly competitive market, companies have to improve employee efficiency and productivity to retain their competitive advantage. A virtual PBX system makes this possible.

Virtual PBX offers several advanced features such as:

  • Call transfer
  • Call forwarding
  • Voice mail
  • Call queuing
  • Call recording
  • Faxing
  • Music-on-hold
  • Automated greetings
  • Auto attendant
  • Fax2Email
  • Conference calling
  • Paging / Intercom
  • Call logs
  • Call Parking

 

Features

  1. A Virtual PBX system can email voice and fax messages to employees as MP3 or PDF files.
  2. The system will automatically redirect calls to your toll number to the cellphones of employees.
  3. Employees can make internet calls using VoIP phones.
  4. Using a virtual PBX, a company can forward voice mails by email.

 

Some of the important applications of a Virtual PBX system are:

  • Email / Twitter notifications
  • Business greetings
  • Customer support that suits the time zones specified by the user
  • Management API
  • SQL reports

 

Pros

  • Unlimited possibilities for expansion
  • Fully customizable
  • Low up-front investment
  • Some Virtual PBX systems are compatible with CTI technology

Cons

  • Needs a reliable internet connection
  • Signal interference can affect call quality
  • Routing calls to mobile phones can cause a time lag.
  • Some service providers may require long term contracts.

 

Conclusion

Virtual PBX is highly customizable, cost effective, and flexible. It can meet the requirements of both small and large organizations.

If you are exploring the possibility of using a Virtual PBX system for your business, you should contact a telecom management company and get an analysis of your requirements. They will suggest a plan that suits your business.

 

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