PBXs (Private Branch Exchange) – telephone systems handling the external and internal calls of a company, building, etc. – have been used since the late 19th century. They allowed organizations to make internal calls without having to use the public network and reduce the number lines for external calls.
But somewhere around the 1950s, some American and Canadian companies expanded so much that their PBXs were no longer able to cover for all the phones they needed. This is when the hosted PBX service was born. It was much like the old PBX (or this is what it seemed to the customers), but it had major advantages. Since it was the service that the organization rented and not the equipment, the price depended only on the number of extensions.
And some fifty years later (since 2000), hosted IP-PBX systems appeared, marking the beginning of the IP telephony era. The hardware was still located at the hosted IP-PBX provider’s site, eliminating the need for PBX phone equipment at the customer’s location and meaning that somebody else is responsible for its installation and maintenance. Many hosted IP PBX service providers deliver surprisingly many features. Not many people know that such functions as find-me/follow-me features were first offered by hosted IP PBX companies to be later adapted by traditional providers.
Almost any IP PBX service provider offers the following features:
- Automatic call distribution (ACD) which allows the caller to be directed to the next available telephone receptionist
- Custom greetings
- Music on hold which is played for callers waiting for an available employee
- Call transfer which allows for transferring an incoming call from your extension to another extension
- Caller ID
- Custom greetings
- Conference calls
- Creating dial-by-name directories which allows for connecting to a specific extension by dialing a name linked to a number in the phone’s directory
You can choose what services you company needs and find the IP-PBX provider that works for you. And if you already your current IP-PBX system is more than a few years old, you can look for a fresher IP PBX service with more features.
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