A Quick Guide to PABX Phone Solutions for Small Businesses


What You Need To Know About PABX Phone Systems

With the rapid advance of technology, there are now many more options when it comes to choosing the right telephone solution or PABX system for your business. PABX (or Private Branch Exchange) is not a new concept, as an analog version of PABX has been around for quite some time – traditional PABX analog systems predate the internet, in fact.

Thankfully, you’re no longer limited to the confines of landlines and outdated phone systems! Modern IP (Internet Protocol) PABX systems offer many more features and capabilities, and they can be utilized at a fraction of the cost (and accompanying frustration) of older analog systems.

What Features of a PABX Phone System Do Modern Businesses Need?

IP PABX phone systems provide many features you simply can’t get from traditional analog PABX systems, including:

  • Call Recording: Now you can take advantage of recording both incoming and outgoing calls. This is a helpful reference if you ever have a legal concern, and it’s also advantageous in terms of helping you to monitor and improve your level of engagement with customers and clients.
  • Least Cost Routing (LCR): Least Cost Routing is a method of minimizing costs for calls by splitting traffic between multiple carriers and selecting a path based on the lowest available cost for a particular call. With LCR, your calls are automatically routed for the best cost possible, saving you money over time.
  • VoIP (Voice over IP) Technology VoIP works exactly the way it sounds. Instead of your phone system being based on traditional copper lines, it operates over broadband internet. A VoIP phone or virtual PABX phone system allows for HD audio and many more advanced features that an analog system simply can’t offer.
  • Unified Communication: An IP PABX phone system lets you integrate many enterprise communication services, including voice, instant messaging or chat, email, web, and video capabilities. Unified communication also provides much more efficient and effective methods of managing and tracking external clients and leads as well as internal conversations.

Types of PABX Phone Systems

Because there are more PABX system options than ever, here’s an overview of some of the major PABX categories:

  • Traditional Analog PABX Phone System: These legacy phone systems are based on hardwired connections throughout the office internally and to landlines externally. The advantages of analog systems are few – they are compatible with any basic phone, and 911 calls are traceable. The disadvantages are many – they require high upfront costs, ongoing maintenance, are hard to scale for growth, and they provide limited features and even more limited unified communications capabilities.
  • On-Premise IP PABX Phone System: This is a modern IP-based phone system based in-house which is able to take advantage of modern PABX functionalities like advanced call features and unified communications capabilities. Because it is based in a specific location, 911 calls are also traceable. It is customizable and offers low monthly costs. There are disadvantages, however – there are high upfront equipment costs and equipment space requirements, IP phones or adapters are required, there are ongoing maintenance costs, and scaling up can be expensive.
  • On-Site IP PABX Phone System: This is simply another way to refer to an on-premise IP PABX system.
  • Hybrid IP PABX Phone System: This refers to an on-premise or on-site IP PABX system that is also linked to the cloud, which enables businesses to take advantage of both local and mobile functionalities. While it provides some of the best of both on-premise and cloud “worlds,” it can still be somewhat expensive to operate and maintain.
  • Hosted PABX Phone System: Also referred to as a Cloud PABX Phone System or Virtual PABX Phone System, a Hosted PABX service places your whole system on the cloud. Phones connect directly over your business internet network to the cloud-based phone system, which is managed by your VoIP provider’s servers. A cloud-based system requires little in the way of equipment. Phones are plug-and-play, and can easily be moved around the office and reprogrammed yourself. The caveats are 911 calls are untraceable, and a strong internet connection is required.

How Can an IP PABX Phone System Help Small Businesses?

  • High Call Volumes: Modern small business phone system benefits by helping you handle higher call volumes without the need for additional staff. Calls can be answered and automatically transferred to staff members at any extension or even to remote locations, with smooth voicemail, email, and text integration.
  • Easily Scalable: No major installation is required for hosted PABX phone systems, so it’s easier for growing companies to upgrade their features or scale their system to accommodate added layers of staff, products, and clients. These PABX systems are designed to be able to keep up with your pace of growth.
  • Startup-Friendly: Perhaps your business is small enough that you don’t yet have the budget for dedicated administrative assistants or receptionists. IP PABX phone systems can help automate and streamline your incoming call process, while still delivering an air of professionalism and credibility for your business.
  • Responsive to Changing Industries: If your business operates in a rapidly-changing industry, a PABX phone system can help you keep up with those changes and adjustments. It’s simple to change your outgoing message in a flash to be able to keep callers up-to-date on who you are and what you have to offer.
  • Help Compete With Larger Companies: A virtual PABX phone system can help level the playing field when you’re competing with a larger-staffed business – no more dropped calls or busy signals, and you can rest assured that incoming calls are directed to the correct department or individual the first time, and every time.
  • Meet Your Business Where It Lives: A cloud PABX phone system increases the flexibility and responsiveness of your business, whenever and wherever you operate. Got multiple locations? Staff, that work from home? Staff out in the field? Calls can easily be routed to any mobile device or inbox, so you never miss a beat.
  • Cut Costs: Cost-effectiveness is important to any business, but it’s even more crucial to the success of startups or small businesses. Hosted PABX phone systems have lower upfront and ongoing costs, and they’ll work for you around-the-clock without the need to pay any overtime!

Ready to upgrade your business telephony system with Engsoft Valley PABX Telephony solution?

Engsoft Valley Solutions is your number one source for business communication and technology solutions in Kenya and East Africa. We offer great PABX telephony solutions for small and medium businesses in the region. We are based in Nairobi and are proud to serve clients in the East, Central and Southern African countries.

We custom build each system to meet each of our client’s unique needs, and we’re always here to provide ongoing support when you need us. If you’re ready to set your business up for greater success, reach out to us or give us a call today at +254-725-696-900.  With Engsoft Valley Solutions, the future of business technology is NOW!

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