Analog vs. Digital PBX Systems
Your budget and business size will guide your choice for the best PBX system because costs range greatly between analog and digital PBX systems.
Traditional PBX System
The hardware for a traditional, or analog, PBX system is expensive and takes up a lot of space. It needs to be installed and configured by a qualified contracted or in-house IT technician because the PBX hardware is customizable to accommodate your specific call needs.
It can be difficult and expensive to add new lines to a traditional PBX system and you will want to make sure you have room to grow when you purchase the hardware. You will also need to implement any updates and upgrades yourself.
The upfront costs for traditional PBX hardware start at a few thousand dollars. The regular monthly service costs for the phone lines also needs to be taken into consideration. Medium to larger size business that can afford the upfront investment may prefer the high level of control an analog PBX system provides.
IP PBX System
An IP PBX is a PBX system that uses the technology of VoIP to digitally deliver the features of the PBX to your phones over the Internet connection.
The best PBX system for your business might be an IP PBX system because there are huge savings on both the hardware costs and monthly phone service costs because VoIP phone service is extremely affordable.
You will need either IP phones that are compatible with the IP PBX phone system or a VoIP phone adapter (also called an analog telephone adapter or ATA) that will allow you to use your current phones with the IP PBX phone system.
Hosted PBX System
A hosted PBX system is an IP PBX system that is located off-site and completely managed and maintained by the company housing the hardware. This may be the best PBX system for your company because it does not require having an IT professional on hand.
Another reason a hosted PBX may be the best PBX system for your company is that it saves a lot of money on set up and maintenance costs. The hosting company owns their hardware so they configure your account for you, and they ensure the hardware runs smoothly and stays up-to-date.
Hosted PBX systems have no upfront costs, but there is a monthly fee ranging from $19.99 to $39.99 per extension that covers both the VoIP phone service and the access to the features of the PBX. Hosted PBX providers tend to have a few plans that you can mix and match for a PBX phone system that works for you.
Additional Features of the Best PBX System
PBX systems provide a large amount of robust calling features that will make call management more efficient. Check the call features that are provided at no extra charge with the PBX system to make sure you are getting all the features you need. Faxing capabilities, toll-free numbers, and call recording are sometimes offered at an extra price. The best PBX system will ideally include the features you desire in the monthly cost.
Lastly, the lowest cost option may not be the best PBX system for you. The reliability of the PBX phone service is important to your business and the lowest cost PBX provider may not offer the most reliable service. Customer reviews of PBX systems can give insight on the reliability of a company’s service. Make sure to research providers and pick the best PBX system for you.