A telephone system is sometimes called a PABX or PBX. This translates to Private Automated Branch eXchange or Private Branch eXchange. Whatever you call it, its purpose is to handle both outbound and inbound telephone calls. In its simplest form, it is rather like a desktop computer that connects the telephones that sit on your desks in the office, to the analogue or digital lines you rent from your fixed line supplier. Just like the motor industry, there are many different manufacturers of systems.
Some of the most commonly known ones in the UK are:
Each of the brands have systems that are designed for different scenarios. Much like the motor industry builds cars for 2 people, cars for the average 4 person family or, even 7 seater cars for larger families, so do the manufacturers who manufacture systems for companies with few employees, mid size companies and large companies with lots of users. And within each range, there are variants on the models they offer. Again, just like the motor industry, there are quality differences whereby one system might last 5 years whilst another may go on for 10 years or more. This is principally because the products with some manufacturers have a longer supported lifecycle than others. Some may support their products and make parts for the minimum 2 years after the product is discontinued, and others may support them for years after that.
Choosing your system depends on what you want to do with your calls and how many people are going to be using it.
Many people buy a system but then don’t have a Maintainer to look after the system. Its important to be aware that a maintainer will not only be there when something goes wrong or a part breaks, but will also ensure the system is programmed correctly and is kept secure and prevent “Dial through” fraud.