Private branch exchanges (PBX) go back to the early days of telephone systems. Originally these would have involved operators putting plugs into sockets; however, as electronics started to take over, they became more automated and gave birth to the PABX.
Modern PABX systems offer all kinds of features that would have been unthinkable to users of early systems, such as automatic call diversion, call handling menus, hunt groups, conference calling and voice mail. Since most exchanges are now automatic, the A tends to get dropped and we just use PBX.
In house or hosted?
A PBX system makes it easier to handle both external and internal calls, enables them to be efficiently routed and logged, and more. In-house systems come with an overhead in terms of floor space and cost, which is not only the capital cost of the equipment but also the cost of ongoing maintenance and the power used to run the system.
With increasing moves towards the use of an international VoIP wholesale provider such as https://www.idtexpress.com/blog/2018/02/27/expect-international-voip-wholesale-provider/, many businesses are looking to ditch their in-house PBX systems and instead opt for a hosted system.
A hosted system effectively puts your PBX in the cloud. This has many advantages; for example, it can be accessed from anywhere, so your branch offices, mobile and home workers can all benefit from it and benefit from features such as conference calling and voice mail. They can also use their ‘office’ number wherever they are working from, so they can easily be reached by customers.
There are also a number of business benefits to opting for a hosted system. You save on the costs of having a PBX in house and reclaim the space it would have taken up. It also makes it much easier to upgrade to the latest version so that you don’t have to wait for new features when they become available.
A hosted system also offers you flexibility. It is easier to expand as your business grows or to scale up and down to cope with seasonal peaks in demand. There are also major benefits in terms of continuity. You are not at the mercy of equipment breakdowns and as you can access the system from anywhere with an internet connection, it can keep your business running smoothly should you have to move offices.