11 May 2007
Companies of any size need a worthy phone system. At its heart is
something called a private branch exchange, or PBX, that delivers the
dial tone, routes incoming telephone calls to the correct extensions,
and provides features such as voice mail, call forwarding,
conferencing, voice recognition and more.
A PBX isn't cheap--and
that puts smaller operations that can't afford one at a significant
disadvantage. Enter "hosted" PBX, which aims to let small shops
communicate just like their bigger competitors.
The advent of
Internet-based telephone services, such as Voice over Internet
Protocol, has reduced the cost of single-line services. And the ability
to make unlimited long-distance calls over VoIP connections has made it
possible for employees working in different locations to keep in touch
as often and for as long as necessary. Even so, the features that
office-based workers take for granted in their enterprise phone systems
may be out of reach for smaller organizations.