What is an IP PBX?
An IP PBX is a phone system that makes and receives calls over the Internet. Instead of using old analog or digital technology to move phone calls, an IP PBX uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). This means your phone system is no longer tied to physical phone lines, which are expensive to maintain, but instead can transmit voice data over your existing internet connection. This reduces the cost of phone systems and makes them easier to maintain.
Connecting an IP PBX to the Telephone Network
While an IP PBX replaces your old phone system, it still needs to connect to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which is the old phone network that still connects most of the world. The PSTN doesn’t use VoIP, but there are two ways to connect to it from your IP PBX.
Use Specialized Hardware to Connect to the PSTN
To connect to the PSTN directly from your IP PBX, you need a device to translate between them. This is called a VoIP gateway and can be either a card installed inside the computer on which your IP PBX is running or a stand-alone device that communicates with your IP PBX via your office network and then translates the calls to the PSTN.
Subscribe to an ITSP who provides SIP Trunks
An Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) is a company than maintains the equipment necessary to connect many hundreds (or thousands) of VoIP calls to the PSTN. You can buy a service from them called SIP trunking and connect your IP PBX to their data center over the Internet or through a dedicated circuit. You tell the ITSP how many simultaneous calls to the PSTN you want, and they will set-up the SIP trunks to carry that much traffic.
A Phone vs. an Endpoint
In the world of VoIP, you often hear the word ENDPOINT, rather than the word PHONE. Endpoints can be phones, cameras, or applications running on a smartphone, speaker, and many other kinds of devices. A phone is typically thought of as a device that sends and receives calls. Endpoints can support voice, but also many other types of communication, like texting and video.
Options when deploying an IP PBX
IP-based phone systems have given businesses the flexibility to choose the deployment option that works best for their organization. Now, businesses can select their communications solution based on a plethora of options, such as budget, IT capabilities, physical space, and more.
This option outsources the operation of the IP PBX to a service provider. The only equipment on-site at your office is the phones. The phones communicate with the service provider over the Internet or a dedicated WAN. In most cases, you pay a flat fee per user, so communication costs are moved from a capital expense to an operating cost. It also means that you no longer have the responsibility of maintaining and upgrading the system. This is all shifted to your provider. You never have to worry about your phone system becoming obsolete because it will be continually up-to-date. If you have a seasonal business, it is also very easy to change the capacity and number of users of the system based on your specific need.
Premise-Based IP PBX
With an on-premise solution, the IP PBX software is installed onto a dedicated server in your office. The IP phones connect to the IP PBX over the office LAN. You must decide if you are going to use traditional phone lines to connect to the PSTN or use an ITSP. If you select the former, you must decide between internal cards or an external gateway.
With a premise-based IP PBX, you are in total control of the implementation. For some businesses, especially those dealing with sensitive or secure information (like call recording), it may be a regulatory or security requirement to keep everything on-premise.
Are you search for an IP PBX, you will often hear the term Unified Communications or UC. UC is the next generation of IP-based telephony. It is a communications system that combines, or unifies, all the ways a business communicates into one platform. These include voice, chat, email, fax, instant messaging, and texting (SMS/MMS). UC enables a user to switch between these modes of communication easily, enhancing productivity and increasing collaboration.
To learn more about Unified Communications, read What is Unified Communications?
Choose the PBX Solution that’s Right for Your Business
Whether you’re a small-to-medium business (SMB) looking to deploy a cost-effective, scalable phone system or a large enterprise/carrier requiring an advanced Unified Communications system, Sangoma has the IP PBX solution for you. With four very distinct offerings, Sangoma offers a complete suite of products designed to fit your communications needs.
Cloud-Based Business Communications Platform
PBXact Cloud is a fully featured, cloud-based, telephony service for small to medium-sized businesses. Since PBXact Cloud is a fully hosted solution, there is no on-premise hardware to maintain and is fully accessible wherever you are on whatever device you have. With easy setup, including an innovative installation wizard, no telephony experience is required to get your PBX configured within minutes! Pair PBXact Cloud with Sangoma’s line of IP phones for a true plug-and-play experience. For a monthly flat fee, choose as many phone numbers as you need or bring your existing phone numbers. It’s that simple.
On-Premise Business Communications Platform
PBXact is a fully-featured IP PBX designed with Unified Communications features for organizations needing mobility, productivity, and collaboration capabilities. It provides an intuitive GUI-based installation wizard for quick setup, readying a new deployment within minutes. PBXact comes complete with all the business and calling features needed for small to demanding businesses. With robust integration capabilities, PBXact offers easy-to-use integration tools for all your endpoints, including our Zero Touch Provisioning with Sangoma phones.
On-Premise Business Communications Platform
Switchvox is a powerful, ready-to-use Unified Communications (UC) phone system with all features included for every user, giving organizations an easy and affordable solution. Collaboration tools like chat, video chat, quick dial, status, presence, and call rules all work together to allow your staff and clients to interact more efficiently. Designed for seamless integration with IP Phones, VoIP trunks, PSTN connectivity, and vital business software and databases, Switchvox delivers a fully-featured, value-based solution perfect for any business or organization. Switchvox deployed on-premise allows businesses to retain a higher level of control over their communication network and enjoy a lower long-term cost of ownership.
Cloud-Hosted Business Communications Platforms
Switchvox Cloud offers the same powerful Unified Communications (UC) phone system to businesses who desire the flexibility of a cloud-hosted VoIP service. Perfect for organizations that prefer the lower upfront costs of a monthly subscription, Switchvox Cloud provides the same advanced features included for every user— at one low price. Tools like chat, video chat, quick dial, status, presence, and call rules allow staff and clients to interact more efficiently. Seamlessly integrating with IP Phones, VoIP trunks, PSTN connectivity, and vital business software and databases, Switchvox Cloud offers businesses a fully managed Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution, freeing up resources and attention for business-critical operations.