Introduction To PBX (Private Branch Exchange) Capabilities

PBX Phone Systems

Most businesses need their telephone service to do more than the basic call routing that is provided to most residential phones. They tend to have many telephone lines. They need a way to send incoming calls to the appropriate telephone. Requirements like this were originally met by installing dedicated telephone switching equipment at the location of the business. This kind of switch is designated a PBX (Private Branch Exchange).

PBX technology was developed to deal with the complexities of call routing for large organizations. These users have many phone lines and many people who answer calls. Some means of sending a call to the right telephone was essential. With the state of telephone technology at the time the concept was developed, this needed to be done at the organization's location. Thus, switching and control logic used internally by the phone company was packaged and installed at the site.

It is almost shocking to realize how much telephone technology has advanced in the last 50 years. The original PBXs used the same technology that the telephone company used itself. Things probably would have been done differently if the technology had been more capable.

Over the last few years there has been a significant tendency towards outsourcing telephony management. Larger companies are recognizing that this is not one of their core competencies. Telephone companies and third party vendors are getting this job more and more often. Smaller companies have rarely tried to do it themselves. They either outsource it or struggle along with simpler phone systems.

Centrex type products have been available for some time. They use centralized phone company equipment to provide services like those provided by a PBX. In many cases outsourcing plans will be based on using this kind of solution.

VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) has moved a lot of the voice call data flow onto the main Internet. This change does not remove the need for PBX type capabilities somewhere. It does make it possible for these functions to be implemented in different places.

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