Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems reign as a popular choice for small businesses seeking efficient phone system setups. PBX enables employees to make, receive, and transfer calls both within and outside the company using different extensions. The benefits and costs associated with PBX solutions vary based on the chosen setup. In this article, we will explore the different types of PBX options available, their respective advantages, and average pricing.
Exploring the Main PBX Setups
1. On-Premises IP PBX: This arrangement involves establishing a closed network of telephones confined to the company premises. It grants the ability to make internal and external calls using both traditional phone lines and the Internet. The physical location of the hardware on-site provides a higher level of control over the phone system. This setup enables the implementation of personalized hardware configurations, adding new phone lines or extensions, and the freedom to continue with the existing phone service provider. Additionally, it often results in reduced monthly expenses since there are no extra subscription fees or licensing costs.
2. Cloud-Based PBX: Similar to the on-premises PBX, this setup offers internal and external calling capabilities, but it eliminates the need for any equipment within the company building. All calls are conducted over the Internet, and the PBX is hosted on a cloud platform. The fact that there is not need to install hardware, such as wiring and desk phones, significantly decreases installation costs. By utilizing VoIP-enabled phones, businesses can make, receive, and transfer calls via the Internet. Cloud-based PBX systems also include IT support, removing the need for maintenance fees. They offer flexibility to accommodate additional phone lines, enabling smooth business expansion.
Why PBX Systems Remain Popular
Businesses opt for PBX service providers, whether hosted or IP-based, due to the enhanced features and multiple phone lines they provide. PBX setups facilitate call management functions such as call transfers, call parking, queuing, call forwarding, voicemail, and call recording. This enables businesses to handle multiple calls simultaneously, ensuring customers aren’t met with constant busy signals. PBX systems allow the implementation of interactive menus for incoming calls, guiding customers to the appropriate departments and enhancing the overall customer experience.
Moreover, as a business grows, a PBX system will easily accommodate more users without the need for hefty installation costs and hardware equipment.
Cost Considerations and Average Pricing
The cost of a PBX system depends on various factors, including installation expenses. On-site IP PBX setups generally entail higher installation costs due to the procurement of hardware and equipment. On average, installation for an on-site PBX system can range from $800 to $1,000 per employee, with larger installations exceeding $100,000 for over 50 extensions. Monthly fees for around 50 users typically amount to approximately $1,500, covering hardware payments, phone lines, maintenance costs, and more.
In contrast, hosted VoIP installation costs primarily revolve around the number of VoIP phones purchased. Costs can range from $5 per user to over $100 per user, depending on factors like VoIP equipment and selected plans. Hosted VoIP fees generally range from $20 to $30 per user per month.
The Value of PBX Phone Systems
PBX systems, whether IP PBX or hosted PBX, provide a multitude of advantages that significantly enhance the operations of small businesses, leading to efficient workflows. One of the key benefits lies in the cost savings they offer, especially when compared to traditional phone lines. By utilizing just an internet connection, PBX systems can reduce communication expenses for small businesses, making the investment in PBX technology worthwhile.
Both IP PBX and hosted PBX systems ensure reliable phone services that effectively cater to the requirements of most small businesses. IP PBX systems, which are located on-site, provide businesses with greater control over their phone systems. They offer customized hardware setups, effortless phone additions or removals, and the flexibility to retain the current phone service provider. This level of control allows small businesses to tailor their phone systems to their specific needs and adapt them as the business evolves.
On the other hand, hosted PBX systems operate in the cloud, eliminating the need for on-site equipment. They offer a hassle-free setup with reduced installation expenses since there is no requirement for physical servers or wiring. Hosted PBX utilizes internet-based calling without the need for additional equipment. These systems often include IT support, relieving businesses from maintenance fees and providing the added benefit of remote working capabilities.
Choosing the Right PBX Solution
Choosing the perfect PBX setup and vendor for your business is a critical decision that can have a profound impact on your communication infrastructure and overall success. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your company’s goals and bottom line before making this important choice. By considering a range of key factors, you can ensure that the selected PBX setup aligns perfectly with your specific needs and objectives.
One crucial aspect to assess is the remote capabilities of the PBX system and vendor. With the increasing trend of remote work and the need for flexible communication solutions, it’s vital to ensure that the chosen PBX setup can support remote employees. Features like virtual extensions, mobile apps, and integration with collaboration tools become valuable in enabling efficient communication and collaboration across geographically dispersed teams.
Another factor to consider is your expansion plans. As your business grows, it’s crucial to have a flexible PBX solution that can accommodate your increasing communication needs. Look for a vendor that offers options to easily add new phone lines, extensions, or even additional features as your business expands.
Identifying areas for improvement within your existing communication infrastructure is also vital. Assess the challenges, or limitations you currently face. It could be issues with call quality, reliability, or lacking certain features that hinder your operations. By understanding these areas, you can prioritize specific requirements and look for a PBX setup and vendor that addresses these concerns, providing solutions and improvements that boost your overall communication efficiency.
Consider your call volume and customer satisfaction scores as well. Analyze your current call volume trends and projections to determine the capacity required from your PBX setup. Additionally, review customer satisfaction scores or feedback related to your existing communication system. Are there any recurring complaints or issues raised by customers? By taking these aspects into account, you can identify specific features or capabilities that would enhance customer experiences and contribute to improved satisfaction levels.