Business Phone Systems

Multi-line business phone

Multiple phone-lines grouped together in a business setting are often referred to as a business phone system. Further, a business phone system is unique in that the phone-lines are easy to access from any phone within a particular business setting. The three notable classifications for business phone systems include key systems, hybrid systems and private branch exchanges.

Key Systems

A key refers to a manually operated switch used to operate the lines or phone units that correspond with each key. Three of the most crucial methods to constructing key systems are electromechanical shared-control systems, electronic shared-control systems and independent key-sets.

One of the more significant components or methods, which led to the advent of the modern telephone system, is the electronic shared-control system. Electronic shared-control systems operate with significantly less cable resources and infrastructure requirements than relay systems. These modern phones include features such as answering machine capabilities, remote system supervision, automatic call accounting, speed dialing, limitations to features available on the phone, altering caller-alert noises and caller identification. The LED lights in which these systems utilize were more efficient than the previous incandescent light bulbs, which provide the aforementioned, easier alterations through the use of computer software programs.

Private Branch Exchange

A private branch exchange (PBX) is the type of phone system utilized by business settings as to where telecommunication companies will provide common carrier systems for the public and many other businesses. The two versions of a private exchange branch are private automatic branch exchange (PABX) and electronic private automatic branch exchange (EPABX).

Trunk lines allow a PBX to connect with public lines and access peripheral hardware devices for which each line has an end-point or what is commonly referred to as an extension. The largest difference between key systems and PBX is that key systems require the operator to select the outgoing line, whereas this is an automatic process with PBX. The automation of line selection is more effective for local calls, but also provides the ability for new features such as call-forwarding.

The prominence of the internet allowed PBX to become a delivery system for companies’ packet switching their data networks, which led to the even more recent advent of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

Hosted PBX

A Hosted PBX system is typically installed by a telecommunication provider rather than the consumer needing to purchase equipment and install and maintain the system on their own. One of the more functional features of PBX is the ability to provide one phone number for an entire company that has regional offices in different parts of a given land mass.

A further advantage to a hosted PBX system is that there exists accessibility from a wide range of sources including those such as VoIP and cellular telephones. There are even custom billing plans available with this type of PBX system so that calls made within the company accrue lesser rates and are able to incorporate integrated billing procedures as well.

Another very attractive feature of a hosted PBX for a company is the amelioration of over-utilized resources invested in hardware and maintenances fees as access is provided and granted through the hosted PBX belonging to a telecommunication provider. Relatedly, a hosted PBX system is resource efficient in the sense that it is adjustable to accommodate employee growth or reduction without the need to re-size the phone system accordingly.