A PBX phone system is basically a switching system

Modern PBX phone systems are usually hybrid in nature, integrating both the traditional telephone network and the packet switched networks. The usage of packet switched networks like the Internet allows easy and cheap connections to any part of the world. A company which has numerous offices across the globe can avail of the services of a hosted PBX service provider. The hardware required for setting up this system are relatively inexpensive and easy to setup. Once installed, newer services can be added without requiring any change or addition of new hardware. All the services are software controlled hence no modifications are required in the hardware front. The system comes with a software administrative tool through which changes to the setting can be implemented by just a few clicks.

PBX Phone systems now come with loads of features apart from the conventional telephone and fax services. Newer features include voice mail, auto attendants, remote extensions, call management, and fax to email service. Some modern systems even come with voice enabled auto attendants. All these features are made available without the need for installing specialized telephones. Hosted PBX systems are mostly preferred by small and medium businesses (SMBs) owing to their rich features and relatively low cost of installation and maintenance.

A hosted PBX system provides the functionality of a conventional PBX without the need for installing any equipment. This service is provided by an Application Service Provider (ASP). A client does not have to purchase or install any PBX equipment. Instead it is given access to the PBX system maintained at service provider’s site. The service provider can add new features, which are instantly made available to all the clients.

A major difference between Hosted PBX systems and conventional PBX systems is the fact that in a hosted system an extension is associated with a particular person, and not a telephone. This enables a person to receive calls independent of his current location. This facility called follow-me calling utilizes a list of phone numbers associated with the person. The person can provide the phone number of his current location to the system, which then associates this number with his office extension number. Any business calls to this extension number is automatically routed to the phone number of the employee’s current location.

Companies which have offices and employees in different locations stand to gain a lot from the follow-me facility. The single recipient point provided by the hosted PBX system gives the illusion of a single office location. Companies can thus provide their clients and customers a better service using non variable telephone numbers. Other advantages of Hosted PBX include low installation charge, low maintenance cost, easier management, and greater scalability.