EPABX is the backbone of the present Corporate Communication
The term “EPABX” stands for “Electronic Private Automatic Branch Exchange,” which refers to a private telephone network used by businesses and organizations for a variety of internal and external communications. A private branch exchange is a telephone exchange that is used by a specific office or business. Especially in the domain of communication, EPABX is a crucial piece of technology that has greatly streamlined and simplified daily operations in offices and organizations. This system is a switching system which has enabled both internal and external switching functions for any organization. To select an appropriate EPABX one need to have a proper knowledge about the traffic pattern inside the office. The boss can establish a hotline with his or her immediate subordinates. OPERANT provides the right choice for EPABX solutions with easily matching the goals and budget for each and every organization. One of our key partners, Avaya, offers a variety of programs and caters to the demands of a wide range of clientele.
An IP PBX is a telecommunication device that provides voice connectivity to desk phones within a building. It oversees the outgoing or incoming calls across its telephone network using an internet connection. IP is the method of transmitting data to another server. This technology means that calls are established over the internet. An IP PBX phone system can make and receive phone calls over the internet while maintaining analog phones throughout the office. You can configure a PBX using open-source solutions that require knowledge of Linux. You should also know about call routing, and comfort managing Asterisk-based PBX servers. There are many pros and cons to this approach. It’s not for everyone.
IP phone is any phone that uses internet to send or receive data. Unlike a regular telephone that uses landlines to transmit analog signals, IP phones connect to the internet via a router and modem. IP telephone system use the internet protocol or other digital protocols to transfer voice communications over the internet. If you use IP PBX system, the data is transferred digitally on a local area network(LAN),and then transformed to analog voice signals and sent to the PSTN.
Hosted VOIP has become the most popular IP telephone solution. It lets businesses take advantages of advanced PBX features without hardware installed on Site. With hosted VOIP, your IP phone sends digital data over the internet to your provider. Your provider handles the routing of calls, call queues and everything else in the cloud. You can also use SIP Trunk to connect a legacy IP PBX to a modern VOIP provider. VOIP and IP telephony are actually used interchangeably. Ip telephony describes any system that fits within the internet-based telecommunications umbrella, including fax and other systems. Initially the term VOIP was more specific. It only referred to technology used to make and receive phone calls over the internet.
Let’s breakdown it further:
History of the PBX
A PBX functions much like a switchboard operator. Switchboards first appeared 1878, two years after the telephone itself was invented. Select employees had access to a phone line. When an external call came through, the operator answered and transferred the caller to your line. Offices had separated its telephone system from the rest of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
Back then, toll charges were a big deal. The cost of initiating phone calls to colleagues and customers (including personal calls) added up fast. This era was long before cell phones.
Fast forward to the 1970s. The PBX evolved in its functionality. It could automate the routing of calls. Inbound phone calls were answered and “attended” when callers could reach phone extensions. Also, at the time, mail-order catalogs with toll-free phone numbers sparked a higher volume of calls with commercial intent. By the time the 1990s rolled around, automated telephone systems were standard in the business world. Enterprises adopted advanced features like Interactive Voice Response (IVR), call forwarding, caller ID, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It wasn’t long after administrators installed a PBX, they eyed features from the next generation of telecom hardware. Born out of frustration from replacing proprietary equipment, the hosted PBX rose in popularity. Call centers in the early 2000s have pioneered today’s PBX features such as headsets, softphone apps, and call routing. Innovations like these provided significant cost savings from analog phone systems.
How does an IP PBX work?
IP PBX phone systems place and receive phone calls over the internet. It does so by converting analog voice signals into digital. From there, it directs calls to a VoIP service provider to manage the initiation and termination of every call. At the core, IP-based voice service uses Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). This universal protocol has become the standard for VoIP phone systems. For a PBX, you would use SIP trunk, which offers multiple voice channels.
On the inner side of a PBX, that remains unchanged. Users can call each other, check voicemail, and set up call groups as they could before. It’s by design. On the outer side of a PBX, a VoIP provider would give a set of credentials for one or more SIP trunk accounts. Once authenticated, incoming calls are presented to your PBX to accept. Users can also reach an outside phone line by way of your SIP trunk automatically.
The PBX itself determines if calls are handled internally or relayed over to the PSTN.
You should know its limitations, but first, here are the advantages of adding a VoIP gateway to your PBX.
Benefits of IP PBX systems:
Adopting an IP PBX in your business can come with some perks. Here are some reasons why it’s a wise investment.
Lower communication costs – Internet-connected PBXs can provide much higher cost-savings than their analog predecessors. VoIP providers like Nextiva offer both metered and unmetered trunk services.
Cloud-based reliability – Connect your existing PBX to the proven reliability of the cloud. A reliable VoIP service will have multiple data centers for dependable performance. Even if your PBX goes down, they can route calls elsewhere.
Keeps existing hardware – You can keep everyone productive and keep your hardware costs low by using the same hardware that’s already attached to your PBX. The only thing you need is your SIP address, password, and domain, and you’re set.
Minimal change – Change can be intimidating to many businesses. Look to SIP trunk as a gateway to experiencing the value of a VoIP phone system. As your company grows, you can scale up the number of voice channels with minimal configuration.
Suppose you or your IT staff are already familiar with PBX phone systems. In that case, an IP PBX could be a smart stop-gap solution. Additionally, SIP trunks are location-agnostic, so you can get up and running in record time if you move offices.
Limitations of IP PBX systems
Not every company is well-positioned to use an IP PBX. Here are some drawbacks you want to think about before you make the switch.
Technical skillset – Managing an on-premises PBX isn’t for the faint of heart. Systems administrators should be comfortable installing and configuring Linux operating systems. Experience with FreePBX or Asterisk open-source software is a must.
Unable to work remotely – Even with IP connectivity, most on-site PBX phone systems cannot support working from home. In 2021, this capability is a must-have for remote employees. This functionality can be as easy as downloading an app to your Android or iPhone and signing in.
Limited scalability – An IP PBX is only as scalable as you have users to answer phone calls. As your team expands beyond what your PBX can handle, you’ll face challenges along the way, such as busy signals.
Fewer features –Traditional office phone systems lack the features seen in a Unified Communications (UCaaS) platform. Video conferencing, softphones for mobile devices, and instant messaging are separate. Most small businesses don’t have the extra time and resources to configure these one-by-one.
PRI vs SIP at a glance
PRI (Primary Rate Interface) and SIP (Session Initiating Protocol) are two methods used to connect your business to a regional telephone network.
Both methods require PBX (Private Branch Exchange) equipment where the interchange between your office or facility and public lines takes place. Most existing PBX and IP PBX equipment can support both PRI and SIP Trunk connections, either directly or with an adapter. This makes either an affordable option for most businesses. So what’s the difference?
When making a decision for your business, the number of users, concurrent phone calls, and scalability to match future needs are all important considerations.
A PRI is a single physical connection (traditionally T1) with 23 voice channels. Now, your business can elect to have up to 100 phone numbers on a single PRI, but that single PRI can only handle 23 simultaneous phone conversations. PRI is a voice-only connection dedicated to phone transmission. Where PRI may have disadvantages for optimal scalability it stands as a higher quality voice option than voice-over-IP options.
Expanding with PRI
Because each PRI connection provides a maximum of 23 simultaneous calls, a business that demands more will need to purchase additional PRI lines to accommodate up to 46, 69, and so forth.
Adding users to SIP Trunk is easy. Simply tell us how many users you need and each gets assigned a virtual connection and individual phone number or extension based on your needs.
SIP enables businesses to use your existing Ethernet/fiber connection as a voice solution. Called VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), SIP connects your existing PBX interchange to a data network. This virtual connection uses a packet switched model to connect voice to voice, from phone to data connection to your regional phone lines.
Session Initiated Protocol is equivalent to SIP.
SIP is the method of sending voice communications via a data network (internet). These communications can include voice calls, instant messages, video chats, or data transfers. SIP is considered network technology, as opposed to telephone technology, since its action is happening over a data network instead of a telephone line. These communications don’t necessarily require a telephone at all – any internet-ready device could have the ability to process SIP communications.
Each communication channel in SIP is called a trunk, hence the phrase ‘SIP trunk’. SIP trunk can deliver near-limitless channels to a business.
Functionality of SIP and PRI
At this point we’ve covered the basic definitions; now let’s take a bit more practical look at how each system works.
If you’re on a SIP system, here’s how a phone call works:
You pick up the phone and dial a number or extension.
The call is transmitted through your internet connection to the service provider (carrier).
The carrier, also using an internet connection, then sends the call on to the person you dialed.
Calling on a PRI system looks more like this:
You pick up the phone and dial a number.
The call is transmitted through hardwire (a T1) to your service provider.
The provider then transmits the call to the person you dialed.