PBX System Options and What They Mean
Many people ask what the difference is in the definition of a PABX and a PBX, the simple answer is nothing.
At their advent telephone switchboard systems were known as PABX Systems, however, this has morphed over the past 5 years to be referred to primarily as PBX systems.
PABX: Private Analogue Branch Exchange, the term PABX was initially coined when telephone systems used analogue technology. With the advent of digital technology and VoIP interfaces the analogue term has fallen away somewhat and is now replaced with the term PBX to symbolise the advent of hybrid PBX solutions.
PBX: Private Branch Exchange, with the advent of digital technology built into traditional PBX’s, the term analogue was dropped from the acronym. Both PABX and PBX are acceptable acronyms when discussing switchboard telephone solutions, however, PBX is probably the most technically correct.
Hybrid PBX: A hybrid PBX is a system which has become widely considered as standard over the past 5 years. Hybrid systems allow end users the ability to choose between a combination of analogue and digital handsets, these hybrid PBX systems also allow for legacy handsets to be reused during upgrades. A major plus. Hybrid PBX systems also reference the fact that these PBX systems have the ability to accept both traditional analogue Telkom trunks and digital VoIP trunks.
Geographic Numbers: A Geographic number simply refers to a number in which the prefix indicates the location of where the number is based. For instance, in the United Kingdom, an 0203 number indicated that the business or caller is located in the London region. Most businesses like to have a Geographic based number for incoming and outgoing calling.
Call transferring is one of the main productivity advantages of a PBX Telephone system. By quickly and professionally moving calls to the correct people in your organisation you create an image of professionalism and productivity that will sit well in the minds of your clientele.
Well-designed systems can transfer calls between people in one office, people in multiple separate offices and even to people in separate countries seamlessly and professionally.
PABX Voicemail is a popular feature among many buyers. Many of our systems come standard with 4 voicemail licenses and more can be added as needed.
PBX Voice mail works in a very similar manner to a cell phone’s voicemail, users hear a personalised message and leave a voice note with their message. Once the system picks up that a new voicemail has been left it notifies the user via a light flashing on their handset. Voice mail improves both productivity and customer experience.
PABX Auto-attendant is another great feature which is standard or a low-cost add-on for most business telephone solutions. Auto attendant effectively gives an automated pre-recorded menu of options allowing calls to be automatically transferred to the relevant department without the need of a human operator doing so.
An example would be: “Welcome to United Telecoms, London’s leading supplier of PABX telephony solutions. For Sales push 1, for Service push 2, for accounts push 3 or hold for the operator.
A well-designed auto attendant impresses professionalism on incoming calls and creates a quicker more efficient call routing experience for all involved.
VoIP is a buzzword that is currently taking the telecoms world by storm. But what does it mean?
Voip stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, essentially rather than using the traditional copper lines supplied by the incumbent British Telecoms one uses an internet data line to convert their speech into data which then travels over the broadband line and is converted on the other side to voice.
Almost all telephone system manufacturers today build their solutions as hybrids, I.E they are able to run on both VoIP and traditional lines simultaneously allowing you the best of both worlds. For more information, check out our VoIP page here
Night bells also known as after hours voice recording is a system which leaves an automated pre-recorded message to clients, customers or suppliers calling in after working hours or on holidays.
The professionalism imparted by a well-designed night bell solution ensures that whether you are a 2 man SoHo PABX user or a multinational corporation your clients are handled and informed in the most professional of manners, always informed of what is occurring within your organisation. Important holiday season information can also be imparted via your PBX;s night bell system.
Remote User Connectivity
Remote user connectivity or remote worker telephones or remote IP phones are some of the terms used to describe a feature set available on most modern PABX systems.
Very often our clients have offices in other location with workers who may be working from home, at a foreign site temporarily or for a myriad of other reasons. In these cases, we can offer several options to ensure that they are connected to the PABX solution as though they were in the office.
By using IP phones and a stable internet connection, we can give remote users the same functionality they would have if they were sitting in your offices. Including call transfers, for free, outward dialling via the office voice connectivity and easy voice connectivity to other users linked to the same switchboard at no cost.
Fixed Mobile Convergence
Fixed Mobile convergence is a term used in the PABX –Switchboard telephony world to describe the move to integrate smart phones and mobile devices into one unified solution whereby users can make and receive calls via the centralised PBX solution.
Modern smart phones allow for apps from the various PBX manufacturers to be installed on their devices allowing anyone with access and a good internet connection to treat their smartphone as an extension of the organisations PABX system. Great for dispersed workforces across large areas in reducing costs and improving efficiency.
Telephone Management Systems
Telephone management systems are additional pieces of software attached to the PABX system which records the number of calls made in and out, duration of calls and time of calls per extension. Organisations are then able to generate reports around the number of calls made, numbers showing up repeatedly and pick up instances of abuse where and when they occur.
All our telephone management systems are third-party applications and are added to the PABX system upon request. Basic telephone management functionality does come standard with most phone systems however more advanced systems require additional software on the PABX/PBX.
Voice Mail to Email
Voice mail to email is a great function for any business that has staff members regularly away from their desks for extended periods of time. Salesmen, technicians or executives who spend their time out of the office often miss important calls from customers. This feature addresses that issue.
Voice to email functionality will record the voicemail message, convert it to an audio file and email the audio file to the laptop, smartphone or tablet device of the relevant user. Users open and play their voicemail from their email inbox. Simple, Efficient, Effective.
Unified Communications Functionality
Unified Communications is a term used to describe a fully integrated system of communications inside an organisation. United Telecoms assists our clients in all their end goals and many of those clients are now looking to create a unified communication solution for their businesses.
What are the benefits of a Unified communications solution? A well-designed unified communications solution or “UC” solution allows companies to among other things:
- Communicate with all staff members anywhere in the world for a low or zero cost
- View presence, IE view instantly from your PC whether colleagues are at their desk and if they are available to chat.
- Hold video conferencing sessions anywhere, at any time, reducing the need for expensive business travel.
- Improve customer experience by having one unified solution across multiple branches. No more need to ask the client to phone the “other branch”. Seamlessly transfer calls across branches anywhere in the world.
The above-listed features are just a few of the myriad of features available on a well specified unified communications PABX solution. For more information on Unified Communications solutions visit our Unified Communications PBX section here.
With today’s global marketplace conference calling is becoming a must have PBX telephone system feature. Multiple parties can attend a conference call from across the globe to bring together ideas and solutions.
Our systems have the capability of being upgraded to facilitate conference calling for your organisation, ensuring productivity without the need for expensive business travel.
Music On Hold
Music on Hold is a feature very common across PABX solutions, United Telecoms partners with our clients and third party professional voice over companies in assisting our clientele in producing expertly crafted music on hold scripts for your business.
From our small 2 man customers to our largest corporates, music on hold is a great marketing tool to project your organisation’s unique story for the short periods a client may await attendance from your staff. Music on hold is standard on most systems and simply requires a pre-recorded MP3 file to be loaded and programmed to the PBX system.