Wednesday, February 7, 2007

5 reasons to switch to an IP PBX

The benefits of replacing your old PBX with an IP PBX

Summary: (article description)

This whitepaper explains the top 5 reasons to throw out the old PBX and replace it with a new software based IP PBX. The whitepaper also provides a brief explanation of what an IP PBX is, how it works in a computer network and how it integrates with VOIP providers and PSTN Gateways.

What is an IP PBX?

An IP PBX is a complete telephony system that provides telephone calls over IP data networks. All conversations are sent as data packets over the network. The technology includes advanced communication features but also provides a significant dose of worry-free scalability and robustness that all enterprises seek.

Enterprises don’t need to disrupt their current external communication infrastructure: An IP PBX is able to connect to traditional PSTN lines via a VOIP gateway - so an enterprise can keep its regular telephone numbers.

How it works

Figure 1 - how an IP PBX integrates into the network

An IP PBX system consists of one or more SIP phones, an IP PBX server and optionally a VOIP Gateway to connect to existing PSTN lines. The IP PBX server functions in a similar manner to a proxy server: SIP clients, being either soft phones or hardware-based phones, register with the IP PBX server, and when they wish to make a call they ask the IP PBX to establish the connection. The IP PBX has a directory of all phones/users and their corresponding SIP address and thus is able to connect an internal call or route an external call via either a VOIP gateway or a VOIP service provider. More information and commonly asked questioned about IP PBXs can be found on IP PBX, SIP & VOIP FAQ -

The top 5 Reasons

Reason #1: Much easier to install & configure than a proprietary phone system:

An IP PBX runs as software on a computer and can leverage the advanced processing power of the computer and user interface as well as Windows’ features. Anyone proficient in networking and computers can install and maintain an IP PBX. By contrast a proprietary phone system often requires an installer trained on that particular proprietary system!

Reason #2: Easier to manage because of web/GUI based configuration interface:

An IP PBX can be managed via a web-based configuration interface or a GUI, allowing you to easily maintain and fine tune your phone system. Proprietary phone systems have difficult-to-use interfaces which are often designed to be used only by the phone technicians.

Reason #3: Significant cost savings using VOIP providers:

With an IP PBX you can easily use a VOIP service provider for long distance and international calls. The monthly savings are significant. If you have branch offices, you can easily connect phone systems between branches and make free phone calls.

Reason #4 Eliminate phone wiring!

An IP PBX allows you to connect hardware phones directly to a standard computer network port (which it can share with the adjacent computer). Software phones can be installed directly onto the PC. You can now eliminate the phone wiring and make adding or moving of extensions much easier. In new offices you can completely eliminate the extra ports to be used by the phone!

Reason #5: Eliminate vendor lock in!

IP PBXs are based on the open SIP standard. You can now mix and match any SIP hardware or software phone with any SIP-based IP PBX, PSTN Gateway or VOIP provider. In contrast, a proprietary phone system often requires proprietary phones to use advanced features, and proprietary extension modules to add features.


An investment in a software based IP PBX makes a lot of sense, not only for new companies buying a phone system, but also for companies who already have a PBX. An IP PBX delivers such significant savings in management, maintenance, and on going call costs, that any company should be looking at upgrading to an IP PBX.

About the Author (article resource box)

Nick Galea is CEO of 3CX,, a developer of IP PBX software. Nick has written articles & whitepapers about Network administration, Telecommunications Software, Security & VOIP.

3CX maintains a very good VOIP and SiP faq in several language, such as in German VOIP and SIP, French, Spanish, Polish, and other languages.
You can also find here information on SIP trunking, VOIP Gateways and other PBX related information.

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