What Exactly Is A PBX Business Phone System?

A business telephone system refers to any of a range of a multiline telephone systems typically used in business environments, encompassing systems ranging from small key systems to large scale private branch exchanges.

PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, which is a private telephone network used within a company. The users of the PBX phone system share a number of outside lines for making external phone calls.

A PBX connects the internal telephones within a business and also connects them to the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

One of the latest tendencies in PBX phone system development is the VoIP PBX, also known as IP PBX, which uses the Internet Protocol to transmit calls.

Nowadays, there are four different PBX phone system options:

Hosted/Virtual PBX
Hosted/Virtual IP PBX

A business telephone system differs from simply using a telephone with multiple lines in that the lines used are accessible from multiple telephones, or “stations” in the system, and that such a system will often provide additional features related to call handling. Business telephone systems are often broadly classified into “key systems”, “hybrid systems”, and “private branch exchanges”.

A key system was originally distinguished from a private branch exchange (PBX) in that it allowed the station user to see and control the calls directly, manually, using lighted line buttons, while a private branch exchange operated in a manner similar to the public telephone system, in the calls were routed to the correct destination by being dialed directly. Technologically, private branch exchanges share lineage with central office telephone systems, and in larger or more complex systems, may rival a central office in capacity and features.

Hybrid keyphone systemsInto the 21st century, the distinction between key systems and PBX has become increasingly confusing. Early electronic key systems used dedicated handsets which displayed and allowed access to all connected PSTN lines and stations.

Nortel T Series Key System TelephoneThe modern key system now supports ISDN, analog handsets (in addition to its own proprietary handsets – usually digital) as well as a raft of features more traditionally found on larger PBX systems. Their support for both analog and digital signalling, and of some PBX functionality gives rise to the “Hybrid” designation[4].

A hybrid system will typically have some call appearance buttons that directly correspond to individual lines and/or stations, but may also support directly dialing to extensions or outside lines without selecting a line appearance.

The modern key system is usually fully digital (although analog variants persist) and some systems embrace VOIP. Indeed, key systems now can be considered to have left their humble roots and become small PBXes. Effectively, the aspects that distinguish a PBX from hybrid a key system are the amount, scope and complexity of the features and facilities offered.

Jive’s enterprise-grade features make all the capabilities of a top-tier telephone system available to small- and medium-sized businesses.
For years, the best phone systems were a luxury enjoyed only by the largest companies and institutions. Now, the best PBX features are accessible to small- and medium-sized businesses like your own. Jive systems are flexible, professional, portable, and scalable. For a full features list, please click here.

Jive’s web-based platform allows you to customize your own phone system. Our technology places all of the power at your fingertips. View Screenshots.

Need a new extension? Takes about 5 seconds. Need a new voicemail box? Different hold music? Changing a ring group? Easy. Do it yourself, or call us, and we’ll do it for you.

When a customer calls your office, you can’t afford to look unprofessional. A Jive system will help you portray to your clients the professional image you deserve.

Jive’s Auto-Attendant feature routes calls directly where they need to go. Your customers will never get a busy signal again. Instead, your Jive vPBX™ allows all handsets in your office to be in use simultaneously, with unlimited lines.

Are you considering moving offices? Unlike the mess of wires fastened to the wall of your telecommunications closet, your Jive Smart PBX™ can easily be transported wherever you go. Because our systems utilize existing office infrastructure, the transition is easy.

Adding new lines to your Jive system is as easy as buying a new telephone and telling us you have it. There are no extra hardware or “connection” charges. This way, you pay only for capacity you need.

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