GPK Communications Business PBX Solutions

What is a PBX?

A private branch exchange (PBX) is a telephone exchange that organises and distributes calls in an office, as opposed to one that a telephone company operates for many businesses. The most common PBX systems in Australia are products from Commander, NEC, Samsung, Hybrex and LG.
PBX’s are also sometimes referred to a PABX - private automatic branch exchange.

The massive growth of data networks during the 1990s led to the development of the VoIP PBX. Technically, nothing was being "exchanged" any more, but the abbreviation PBX was so widely understood that it remained in use.

Why does my business need a PBX?

There are two main reasons a business which has more than approximately 4 staff (sometimes less, sometimes more) needs a PBX:

Professional Call handling
PBXs offer services such as menu-routing for inbound calls (press 1 for sales, 2 for accounts, etc), DDI dialling, individual voice mail, after hours messaging, hunt groups, call forwarding, extension dialing, remote divert and many other advanced features.

Cost Savings
Having a phone line per person is very costly, as common sense dictates that with 10 people in a typical office it would be very rare for more than six to be on the phone at once. Obvious exceptions are very phone intensive, for example a Travel Agent where everyone might on the phone at once. However although a software company may require that everyone has a phone on their desk for inbound calls, low usage patterns would mean that three or four lines would be more than satisfactory.

Common Acronyms and PBX Components:

Standard POTS lines (plain old telephone lines) - the common line used in small businesses. This is adequate only for smaller systems, and usually also carries the businesses ADSL and fax as illustrated. 

ISDN - the most common digital standard for fixed telephony devices. This can be supplied in either Basic (2 circuit capacity) or Primary (10 to 30 circuit capacity) versions. Most medium to large companies would use Primary ISDN. These lines allow Caller ID and DDI ranges in Australia. 

SIP Session Initiation Protocol – a common way for two PBX’s to connect voice traffic over data connections (the internet) 

UPS - GPK always specify an Uninterruptable power supply to ensure the phone system will continue to function for approximately 60mins in the event of a power failure. 

IP-PBX - this is a PBX that handles voice signals under Internet protocol, bringing benefits for computer telephony integration (CTI). An IP-PBX can commonly exist as physical hardware, or can carry out its functions virtually, performing the call-routing activities of the traditional PBX or as a software only system residing on a server. The virtual version is also called a "Soft PBX".

As a rule of thumb traditional ‘appliance type” PBX’s are best suited to all business, except where a business has enterprise level IT support and networks – this is where software based PBX solutions can offer great benefits to large organisations.

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