A quick history

Posted by: on Dec 6, 2011 in Blog | No Comments

Until fairly recently PBX and Key System vendors dominated telephony for the small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) and Enterprise markets. While these systems are dependable, they are also closed and proprietary, making their customers completely dependent on their vendor for moves, add, changes and upgrades.  Basically customers had no choice but to pay a premium for a closed system with a fixed feature set.

The game however has changed and the end user now can have much more control over their voice services: they can reduce their cost, increase their functionality, and still maintain mission critical reliability.  The biggest reason for the change is the overall acceptance of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) (see www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/What+is+VOIP and www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/SIP    for a more in depth look at VoIP and SIP).  Essentially, voice is converted into a data stream and can therefore be managed like any other data application.  The advantages to the end user are increased functionality in their IP/SIP phone system, and a significant reduction in the cost of ownership of these systems. And like most of today’s apps, most of these newer PBX’s have an intuitive easy to use GUI.

The feature set on VoIP/SIP phone systems are much more robust than on traditional PBX’s and key systems.  Features like unified messaging, Outlook integration, conference bridges, call center software, call reporting, voice mail to email, to name a few, come standard.  The economic advantages of the VoIP/SIP systems are also very tangible.  For instance: moves can be done by the customer by simply unplugging a phone and moving it to the desired location.; a user can be added or deleted from the system through the graphical user interface (GUI) on the admin page of the system. The end user no longer has to depend on their phone vendor for every little change.  With IP/SIP systems there is no longer the need for station cards or any licensing which dramatically reduces the upfront cost of the system and reduces the cost to grow with the system. With this ease of administration, reduced cost and increased functionality, it is easy to see why traditional PBX’s and Key Systems will soon be extinct.