VoIP and IP PBX are terms that we use all the time, but despite similarities, they are not interchangeable. VoIP has evolved to be a very broad term covering a whole range of technologies, while IP PBX is more specific.
VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – describes any telephony system that uses Internet rather than PSTN. The term is used for many types of modern telephony that have replaced legacy systems.
IP PBX – Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange – is a specific type of telephony system that switches calls between an internal data network and external networks.
Hosted PBX is a great option for SMBs, low budgets, or companies that do not want to dedicate time and resources to the phone system. Cloud PBX systems have lower costs, though they are ongoing as monthly payments. They are simple and easy to use and the provider will manage all maintenance, upgrades, and expansions. Read more about the benefits of Hosted PBX here.
On-Site PBX is a good option for larger enterprises or companies that need complete control at all times. An on-premise PBX is housed within the office and will involve more time and money up-front. Maintenance, upgrades, and expansion will be the responsibility of the company, but on-going costs will be relatively low. Read more about the benefits of On-Site PBX here.
A SIP Proxy is, in the simplest terms, an intermediary between two SIP devices. Also called a SIP server, a SIP proxy routes calls on a SIP network and is responsible for tasks such as registration, authorization, and other call functions and features.
A key part of any IP PBX, the SIP Proxy makes calls possible for users. Not to be confused with a SBC, SIP Proxies are unique and probably all you need.
Last month we learned what exactly “PBX System” means and some of the different deployment options. The two most common options – and hardest to choose between – are on-premise IP PBX and hosted or cloud IP PBX.
On-premise solutions are owned and managed by the user. The physical IP PBX is stored on-site and all of the technology is set-up and maintained in-house.
Hosted or cloud solutions are rented out by a service provider for a monthly fee that covers service, maintenance, and upgrades. The user needs only IP Phones that connect to the cloud PBX system via Internet.
Both are good options depending on the size and type of your business.
Let’s look at the benefits of each system:
On-Premise IP PBX System
No monthly fee
More control over the solution
No reliance on a service provider
Can integrate with other solutions
May have more features
Hosted or Cloud IP PBX System
Low or no up-front costs
No additional maintenance or upgrade costs
More flexible and scalable
No need for IT expertise or personnel
Less employee training needed
Advances in technology will come in automatic upgrades
Clearly both systems have benefits and drawbacks. In general, hosted deployments are better for SMBs, organizations limited by budget, or companies expecting to grow in the future. On-premise systems make sense for very large companies that are prepared to own and support their own PBX.
Once upon a time, a telecom start-up chose the least expensive PBX system and began to build. As the hard work began to pay off, the telecom grew while the PBX system stayed the same. Each new sale was progressively less exciting because of the time and effort it would take to purchase and host a dedicated solution.
Far from a fairy tale ending, we have heard this story time and again. That is exactly why we created the Multi-Tenant edition of PBXware.
With unlimited users, Multi-Tenant PBX takes away the busy work and gives you back your time. Unlike competing solutions – specifically FreePBX has been brought to our attention repeatedly lately – Multi-Tenant is 100% scalable and flexible. Growing up (or down) is as easy as the click of a button.