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What is a virtual PBX?

A virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a cloud-based business phone system designed to be a replacement for traditional PBXs that require local hardware and landline connectivity.

Key Q&A

How does a virtual PBX work?

While a traditional PBX uses landlines and local hardware to connect to a dedicated phone network, a virtual PBX performs the same functions by using cloud-based software and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

VoIP uses IP addresses to identify extensions, replacing physical phone lines and extension numbers. In this way, your business's local network, connected to the Internet, also functions as your phone network.

How is a virtual PBX different?

Both traditional and virtual PBXs provide forwarding, conferencing, customer greetings, voicemail, and other features that have become standard practice for business phone systems. However, virtual PBXs have some additional features and benefits.

Benefits of a virtual PBX

  • Less hardware

    Since a virtual PBX runs on the same network with Internet access and data, there is no dedicated hardware or infrastructure needed.

  • Easier setup

    Since it's cloud-based, a virtual PBX can be up and running more quickly than a system requiring hardware installation.

  • Scalability

    With its fast, hardware-free setup, a virtual PBX is especially well-suited to businesses anticipating growth or needing connectivity in a variety of locations.

  • Lower cost

    Over the long term, a virtual PBX will cost less than a traditional, locally hosted PBX.

  • Less IT management

    Your virtual PBX provider typically takes care of troubleshooting, performance monitoring, and software updates.

  • Forwarding flexibility

    Since a virtual PBX uses IP addresses to route calls, forwarding can be managed more easily. All that's required to receive a forwarded call is a phone headset and an Internet connection.

  • Web-based management interface

    For account and network management, service providers typically include a web-based interface that offers analytics tools and generates reports.

  • System is always up to date

    Hardware systems can become obsolete without ongoing upgrades. A good virtual PBX provider will always be working to incorporate the latest technology and deliver an up-to-date product.

  • Easier integration

    Because it's based on IP addresses, a virtual PBX is ready by design to connect with outside apps like customer relationship software and interactive voice response tools.

  • Phone flexibility

    With an IP-based system, end users can use an IP phone, landline phone, or soft phone (a headset attached to a computer).

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