A virtual Private Branch System is a telephone system that allows a company to utilize a switchboard in the cloud rather than having to purchase expensive hardware. A virtual system is a 100% software solution that not only provides small businesses with a cost effective telephony solution, many offer additional features over traditional PBX solutions.
Traditional Private Branch System
A PBX is an in-house wired switchboard that offers businesses that rely heavily on inbound and/or outbound calling the ability to channel traffic based on the number called or the IVR option selected. These are commonly found in call center type businesses as well as large businesses that have various in-house teams that help customers via telephone.
PBX systems can also help with routing fax calls, voicemail systems, facilitate conference calling and more. Companies that use PBX systems are fairly easy to identify. If a company offers an IVR menu system, a dial by name directory or have employees that use extensions, odds are there is a PBX system operating behind the scenes to make it work. Traditional PBX systems are costly on a number of levels including the initial cost of acquisition and long term maintenance costs.
Virtual Private Branch System
A virtual Private Branch System, or PBX, removes the need to have onsite expensive PBX equipment in order to enjoy the same benefits. In this configuration, the traditional wires and connections of the traditional system is replaced with software in order to route calls and provide the same services.
Virtual solutions are hosted solutions, which means that the company that provides the software also maintains it. This is known as a hosted solution or software as a service. The main benefits to using such a set up is that the company using it does not have to deal with software maintenance or upgrades. Nor do they have to obtain and maintain the hardware necessary to run the applications. They simply pay a monthly service fee to use the software.
This arrangement makes it an extremely cost effective solution for companies operating with limited budgets, but need to provide a professional image to their clients in order to compete with larger companies.
Virtual Private Branch System solutions are a great way for small companies to get the same telephony benefits that larger companies have without the large monetary investment. Larger businesses have also begun using virtual PBX systems due to the reduced cost to operate such a system as well as the added benefits.