Communication in the business world had made major advancements in recent years. It seems that today’s businesses can almost communicate at the speed of light. Truth is, it’s not far from it.
Traditionally, business phone systems would connect all of its phones to the public telephone network by way of a few telephone lines. Before these phones systems were invented each of a business’s phones would have to connect to the public network by having its own line. Phone call made internally would have to be manually routed to the outside network of public lines.
Today’s business world can really beef up their communications systems with technology known as PBX Phone systems. PBX is an acronym for Private Branch Exchange. PBX phone systems have really come a long way since their advent. They’ve gone from manually operated switchboards decades ago to the more modern computer managed systems as well as offering many other productive features such as conferencing, voicemail, auto-attendant, speed dial, call waiting and more. Some of the most modern technology has integrated the internet to manage call volumes and routing and also provide system access for other types of devices such as cell phones with IP abilities.
Two Basic Structures of PBX Systems:
Premise Based: These systems are, as their name suggests, housed at the site of the business, in-house. The whole system is operated and managed in one facility or another.
Hosted Service: This option is one where the PBX system is hosted outside the facility by a third party service provider. This Third party will provide “virtual” PBX services via an internet connection. With this type of system, the only hardware the business will have to buy or maintain would be the telephones themselves.
Different classifications for PBX Phone systems
Open Source Systems: The first thing to mention here is that when someone says “Open Source” they can generally associate with cost effectiveness. The software and underlying operating systems for this are “open source” or free for the public to use. The only thing someone would have to invest their financial resources in would be the hardware, the assembly (which would require some knowledge and expertise) and the configuration of the system.
A business using this type of setup would have full access and control over the way the system functions. They would also have access to the inner workings of the system in order to make the most of their investment, with the right knowledge of how to use it of course.
Proprietary systems - These systems involve the application of technology developed solely by and for that specific service provider. Furthermore, Proprietary systems offer no access for the user to the system source code or any of the other inner workings of the systems or software.
This kind of setup can be very expensive to purchase, install and operate. Other expenses might also include maintenance and upgrades of the software and perhaps at some point, the hardware.
Open Source Based Systems: This type of system is kind of a hybrid of the two mentioned above. It employs an Open Source operating system and software but also uses some form of proprietary code on top of the Open Source material at the core.
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This kind of “hybrid” system offers the best of both worlds per se. Since it uses an Open Source operating system and software, it is very cost effective. However, with the proprietary system functioning on top of the open source materials you get all the additional features that are customary to proprietary systems such as better functionality and graphic user interfaces as well as other advanced options. The user is also spared the trouble that some associate with the “some assembly required” aspect of Open Source PBX Phone systems.