Telephone Systems: A Buyer’s Guide to PABX and IPBX
- Considerations for choosing a telephone system
- What is a key telephone system?
- What is a PABX (PBX) telephone system?
- What is an IPBX (IP PBX) telephone system?
- What is a hybrid telephone system?
- Glossary of telephone systems features and related terms
Lead timesMany businesses choose to upgrade their telephone system as part of a move to new premises. Moving office can be very stressful, and making decisions regarding your telecommunications set-up as far in advance of your move as possible is highly recommended. New basic and ISDN (digital) lines, and Broadband packages, can take up to a month to be installed once ordered, so they are a crucial influence on relocation timescales. Businesses seeking a new telephone system, but not as part of a move, should still be aware of lead times, as new lines may be required as part of a system upgrade.
CablingDo you know the type of cabling your current or future premises has installed? It may be sufficient for your new system’s needs, but you will need to have the current cabling analysed to be sure. You need to understand the current specifications before ordering any system to ensure compatibility, and to determine any additional cabling requirements.
ExpandabilityYou’ll also want to consider the expansion goals of your business when choosing a telephone system. Uninstalling a perfectly good system simply because you have reached its capacity is obviously not ideal! Some key systems can be expanded should VoIP lines be used, but for large businesses (40+ employees), easily expandable and advanced feature-compatible PBX systems are the ideal choice. Businesses operating internationally, meanwhile, should seriously consider a VoIP-based system.
CompatibilityWhile many telephones, accessories and add-on options are compatible with a multitude of telephone systems, it is always important to check whether your current equipment (if relevant) will work as part of your planned upgrade. It may be the case that certain peripherals will need replacing – if you’re unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact 1st Communications for expert advice.
BudgetThis is obviously a key concern for any business, and 1st Communications has systems to suit any budget. In addition to brand new telephone systems and the related equipment, we also provide many refurbished options – all of which come with one year’s warranty. And if you’re looking to upgrade your current system, we’ll discount your order in exchange for your old equipment, which we’ll then recycle.
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- Suitable for businesses with up to 50 employees
- Convenience of proprietary handsets, designed to work specifically with the installed key system
- One-size-fits-all functionality
- Can be easily customised with software upgrades
- Minimal maintenance required
- Unsuitable for businesses with more than 50 employees
- Advanced functionality (such as auto attendant and ring groups) can often be lacking when compared to PBX systems (despite the before-mentioned fact that the gap between the two options is increasingly blurred)
Think a key system suits your business? Call 1st Communications today on 0207 5534 488 to discuss your needs and learn about our fantastic bulk discounts.read more). Virtual PBXs are also available over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). These are systems hosted by large telecoms companies, providing PBX functionality to businesses as a premium service. Is a PABX system ideal for my business? To determine whether or not a PABX system is suitable, you should consider the following pros and cons: Advantages of PABX systems
- Negates the need to have direct lines for each individual terminal, keeping line rental overheads low
- Automatically routes incoming calls to specific extensions
- Interconnected on-premises terminals can call each other free of charge, encouraging good communication and efficient business operations
- Calls can be logged automatically, aiding understanding of where time and/or money can be saved within an organisation
- Feature rich
- Can be an expensive (but worthwhile) business investment
- The services of an external technician may be required to keep a PABX system operating smoothly
Interested in a PABX telecoms system for your business? Call 1st Communications today on 0207 5534 488 to discuss your needs and receive a no obligation quote.
- Simpler to install and configure than proprietary phone systems
- IPBX systems are easier to manage, thanks to web/GUI-based configuration interface
- Hardware phones can be plugged in to standard PC network ports, eliminating the need for excessive phone wires
- Growing businesses can scale their IPBX system easily and economically
- Routing long distance and international calls through the internet can save businesses a great deal money
- IPBX systems are software-based, meaning it is easier for developers to add and improve upon their features compared to alternative systems
- Employee hot desking and roaming is easiest with IPBX systems
- Allows integration of phone functions with business applications (for example, a customer’s file could appear on screen when they call)
- Can be an expensive (but worthwhile) business investment
- IPBX systems are potentially less secure than alternatives due to internet connectivity. However, this issue can be resolved with the implementation of strong passwords and firewalls, and by restricting the number of features available outside of a business’s LAN (Local Area Network)
Call 1st Communications today on 0207 5534 488 to get expert IPBX advice and receive a free no-obligation quote.
- The most modern hybrid systems offer ‘the best of both worlds’, combining key system and digital functionalities
- Hybrid systems can offer many of the benefits of pure VoIP systems, at a much lower price point
- Routing long distance and international calls through the internet can save businesses a great deal of money
- Hybrid systems can increase productivity by allowing the efficient transference of calls to the correct extensions, both inside and outside of the main business premises
- Technicians responsible for the smooth operation of a hybrid system will need to be familiar with key system, PBX and VoIP technologies
Think a hybrid system is the ideal choice for your organisation? Call the 1st Communications experts on 0207 5534 488 today for a no obligation quote.