PBX Defined

PBX and Virtual PBX Defined

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PBX Defined

PBX is an acronym for Private Branch EXchange and is an exchange system used in companies and organizations to handle internal and external telephone calls.

How a true PBX System Works

PBX systems allow callers to be routed to the appropriate person and/or department, most of the time without talking to an actual operator. To do this companies have to spend a lot of money. They typically purchase:

A caller will place a call to a company's main telephone number. From here the PBX system kicks in and typically answers the call automatically and provides the caller with a set of options....

Once the caller makes a choice and presses a number, the PBX system switches the call to the appropriate line and connects the call. From here the person or department receiving the call can either answer the phone or let it go to voicemail.

How a Hosted PBX system Works (also know as Virtual PBX)

Virtual PBX systems work much differently than true PBX systems. While the caller doesn't notice any difference between and virtual or true PBX system, there are many:

How Virtual PBX Calls are Routed

Calls to a virtual PBX are routed to your virtual PBX hosting company instead of to a switching station. Once there, the hosting company's system will answer the call and provide the caller with the same options as with a true PBX system:

However, this time when the caller makes a selection, the Virtual PBX will look up:

  1. Who should the call be routed to?
  2. Which of that person's number should I route to? (You can set up several)
  3. Is the person answering calls at this time of day? If not they will be routed to voicemail (you can set different options for different times of day).

Now, you could be at home watching TV on a Tuesday morning and your virtual PBX system will know to route all your calls to your home phone number (because you set it up to do that). You answer the call and are given the option to accept the call or send it to voicemail. You choose to talk to the caller, conduct your business, all the while the unsuspecting caller believes they are talking to someone stuck in a cubicle in an office building somewhere. You complete the call and go back to whatever it was you were doing.

Video Overview of a Virtual PBX System

RingCentral has a quick video that helps explain how a Virtual PBX system works.


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