To explain PBX (Private Branch Exchange) technology, it might help to go back in time. You’ve probably seen the image of – or had first-hand experience with – the old-fashioned telephone operator answering phones in front of a large board, and manually plugging lines into different switches to connect the calls. This was the original PBX. Today’s systems essentially perform the same task without the need of manual switching.


For years, businesses in Westchester have used PBX systems to handle their incoming, internal and outbound calls. However, in some cases they required hardware and consumed precious real estate within offices. Eventually, like other telecom systems, technology came to offer space-saving and typically more affordable solutions.


Some companies, though, still use these legacy systems. To understand the differences between traditional and modern systems, let’s take a look at the two main types of PBX solutions.


Traditional PBX

Despite being outpaced by new forms of phone bank systems, some companies still rely on traditional PBX. These systems are typically described as “on-premise” because the equipment is hosted by the business itself. Typically it’s held in an IT department or phone bank closet, depending on the needs of the particular office. It’s most likely leased by the system provider, but the company oversees its day-to-day performance.


Advocates of on premise PBX claim that the system actually proves to be cheaper after the initial costs are covered. However, setting up the system is in many cases costly and can require weeks or even months to deploy. Depending on the individual plan, traditional systems may also result in lower-cost calls as well. The downside is that maintenance is typically higher, and adding new phones can be pricey.

Hosted PBX

With hosted PBX, the phone system provider hosts a business’ servers off site. New York companies of all stripes use this form of voice service as it usually comes with a list of hard-to-dispute benefits. For one, scalability is very easy. Adding or subtracting employees to a phone bank is as simple as providing them with a phone and connecting them to system via the internet, which brings us to our next important point.


While traditional PBX systems may include older, less dynamic analog phones, hosted PBX Westchester businesses enjoy a completely digital experience. The system is managed through the internet, meaning it relies on data rather than the physical phone lines of traditional services. Users take advantage of IP (internet protocol) phones, which open up a variety of telecom options. Many providers have web-based applications that can be added to typical phone usage, such as an enhanced contact list or even chat and video functions.


Perhaps the biggest benefit of hosted PBX is the savings. Because the system requires less infrastructure, it’s cheaper to manage and install. Businesses are also spared some of the charges imparted to customers by the phone company under non-IP plans. Hosted PBX may be a cost-saving, efficient solution for your business.