PBX Phone Systems For Small Business Success (2023)

PBX Phone Systems For Small Business Success

Did you know that 85% of first-time callers won’t call back if they can’t reach you the first time? That’s a significant loss for any small business! The culprit? An inefficient business phone system.

Thankfully, there’s a robust solution at hand: PBX phone systems. These business phone systems are for more than just calls. They redefine seamless communication, elevate productivity, and capture every opportunity.

Let us delve deep into PBX phone systems, revolutionize how your business communicates, and say goodbye to missed opportunities!

What Is a PBX Phone System?

A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system is a private phone network tailored to meet the unique communication needs of an enterprise.

With a PBX system, businesses can communicate internally (within the company) and externally (with clients and partners) through different communication channels, such as phone and video calls.

A PBX phone system offers many advantages over the conventional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) system.

PBX system offers features like voicemail, call transfers, call forwarding, call recording, and other call management features, providing a professional touch to a small business’s communication infrastructure.

How Does It Work For Small Businesses?

PBX systems serve as the backbone for a small business’s communication needs. When an external call is made to the business, the PBX system routes it to the desired internal line or extension.

Simultaneously, employees can make internal calls without tapping into the public phone network. The system can be adjusted to direct incoming calls based on the caller’s input, time of call, or via an operator.

Advanced systems incorporate VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, allowing calls over the internet, significantly reducing costs, and enhancing features like remote working capabilities.

PBX Systems Types For Small Businesses

Man Using Telephone

PBX systems have evolved to offer various solutions, each catering to specific business needs. Here are some of the most popular types:

Traditional PBX

The earliest iteration, the traditional PBX phone system, requires on-premises hardware [1]. It relies on physical phone lines (PSTN) and has a switchboard to route incoming calls to the correct extensions.

Virtual PBX

A step towards modern solutions, Virtual PBX primarily handles calls made over the internet. It offers essential features like call forwarding and voicemail but may lack advanced functionalities.

Hosted PBX

Hosted PBX systems are off-site solutions managed by third-party providers [2]. Businesses connect via IP networks, enjoying various features without needing on-site hardware or maintenance concerns.

IP PBX System

A blend of traditional and modern, IP PBX can utilize both standard telephone lines and internet connectivity for calls. It’s an on-premises system, offering advanced features, flexibility, and scalability for growing businesses.

Top 10 PBX Phone Systems For Small Businesses

Selecting the best PBX phone system for your business can be daunting, with many options. We’ve sifted through the most popular ones to help you determine which system aligns perfectly with your needs.

1. RingCentral MVP


RingCentral MVP is a leading unified communication platform, offering many features beyond typical phone calls. They blend cloud PBX capabilities with team messaging and video conferencing. Its flexibility and scalability make it an excellent choice for businesses anticipating growth.

Pricing: RingCentral pricing plans start from a very affordable range. They offer many plans with different pricing depending on the features you subscribe.

Why Buy It: Investing in RingCentral MVP ensures your business gets a top-tier communication system that evolves with technology. Their strong reputation in the market for reliability and a wide range of integrations makes them a robust choice. Their customer support is commendable, ensuring your queries never go unanswered.


  • Crystal clear voice
  • Integrated messaging
  • User-friendly interface
  • Advanced call analytics
  • Robust security measures


  • The initial setup is quite complicated
  • The cost for premium features is high

2. Freshcaller

Freshcaller is a cloud-based PBX system designed by Freshworks, catering to startups and larger enterprises. With a straightforward interface, it simplifies call routing, monitoring, and even offers a local presence. It’s modern and constantly updated to match industry trends in business phone service.

Pricing: Freshcaller offers a free trial for prospective users but has very limited features. They have multiple tiers of pricing according to your needs.

Why Buy It: Freshcaller’s strength lies in its user-friendly approach, making it simple even for those new to PBX systems. The system promises cost-effectiveness without compromising on features. Its integration capabilities with other Freshworks products make it a cohesive solution for businesses already using its suite.


  • Cloud-based platform
  • Quick setup process
  • Scalable features
  • Reliable call quality
  • Multiple integrations


  • Limited customization
  • Occasional downtimes

3. Ooma Office

Ooma Office PBX Phone Systems

Ooma Office is a versatile and efficient PBX system suitable for businesses of all sizes. Offering analog and digital solutions, they focus on clarity and uninterrupted communication. The system is designed for simplicity and ease of use.

Pricing: The pricing of the Ooma Office is not publicly available. You need to contact their sales team to know the tailored price for your needs.

Why Buy It: Ooma’s reputation for clear voice quality stands out. They balance traditional and modern features, making transitions smoother for businesses. With affordable plans and a commitment to quality, Ooma becomes a reliable choice for consistent business communication.


  • Superior voice clarity
  • Effortless setup
  • Integrated virtual receptionist
  • Mobile app availability
  • Versatile conferencing tools


  • Limited international features
  • Requires hardware investment

4. Acefone

Acefone is a prominent cloud-based PBX system provider offering flexibility and scalability. Their services integrate effortlessly with popular CRM systems, providing a unified communication platform for businesses. Their platform is built with an emphasis on customization.

Pricing: Acefone offers custom pricing depending on your communication requirements. You must contact their sales team for a quote for your communication needs.

Why Buy It: Acefone’s commitment to offering tailor-made solutions makes them unique. Their pay-as-you-go model ensures businesses only pay for what they use, optimizing costs. Plus, their focus on seamless CRM integration can be a game-changer for sales and support teams.


  • Seamless cloud integration
  • Intuitive interface
  • Multiple device support
  • Efficient customer support
  • Cost-effective plans


  • Limited CRM integrations
  • Comparatively steeper learning curve

5. MiVoice Business

MiVoice Business PBX Phone Systems

MiVoice Business is a product by Mitel aiming to unify communication across businesses. It offers a blend of cloud, on-premise, and hybrid solutions. Their platform is designed for adaptability and can accommodate businesses of varying sizes.

Pricing: MiVoice Business phone systems do not publicize their pricing plans. You need to contact their sales team to know the pricing suited for you.

Why Buy It: MiVoice stands out for its flexibility in deployment, catering to diverse business needs. Mitel’s years of industry experience are reflected in its systems’ robustness and reliability. Their focus on collaboration tools also ensures that teams can communicate more effectively.


  • Advanced telephony features
  • Scalable design
  • Reliable uptime
  • Comprehensive support
  • Integrated mobile solutions


  • Initial setup complexities
  • Requires occasional updates

6. 3CX

3CX is a software-based PBX system that offers a comprehensive suite of features, including video conferencing, live chat, and more. Designed for Windows, it’s known for its simplicity and its emphasis on web conferencing.

Pricing: 3CX offers a free tier for up to 10 users. Beyond that, they have multiple pricing plans depending on your desired features. 3CX pricing plans are not based on the number of users but on the whole system.

Why Buy It: 3CX provides a unified communications solution without the hefty price tag. The system is known for reducing telecommunication costs and increasing productivity within businesses. Their robust web conferencing features make it perfect for businesses with remote teams.


  • Unified communication suite
  • Easy installation
  • Robust security measures
  • Flexible deployment options
  • Wide integration range


  • Requires technical know-how
  • Limited customization

7. Dialpad

Dialpad offers a cloud communication platform that promises to “kill the desk phone”. With AI-driven insights and integrations with major business tools, it’s crafted for modern businesses looking for more than just voice capabilities.

Pricing: The Dialpad system has affordable plans to start with and goes up depending on the feature set. They offer a free trial to test out their service.

Why Buy It: Dialpad’s strength lies in its AI integrations, offering real-time insights and transcriptions. The platform’s design is modern and intuitive, ensuring teams spend less time training and more time communicating. Their commitment to innovation is evident in their regular feature updates.


  • AI-driven insights
  • Multi-device support
  • Clear call quality
  • Integrated messaging
  • Easy-to-use interface


  • Pricier premium features
  • Limited integrations

8. Asterisk

Asterisk PBX Phone Systems

Asterisk is an open-source PBX system allowing businesses to customize as per their requirements. It offers voice, video, and text communications. It’s constantly updated and refined by a global community as it is open-source.

Pricing: Being an open-source system, you can access Asterisk for free if you can handle hosting the service. They offer the option to manage hosting for you, which you must pay for.

Why Buy It: Businesses that prioritize customization should consider Asterisk. Its open-source nature means a vast array of plugins and modules, ensuring you can mold it as per your needs. Moreover, being backed by a global community ensures a wealth of resources and support.


  • Open-source platform
  • Highly customizable
  • Robust community support
  • Scalable design
  • Wide module range


  • Technical expertise needed
  • Less intuitive UI

9. 8×8

8×8 is a cloud-driven PBX system known for its emphasis on unified communications. They offer voice, video, chat, and contact center solutions integrated into one platform. Their global reach ensures businesses can communicate without borders.

Pricing: 8×8 provides multiple pricing plans you can choose from depending on the features you need. You need to contact their sales team for an accurate pricing for your requirements.

Why Buy It: 8×8 shines for businesses with a global footprint, offering consistent quality worldwide. Their unified platform ensures businesses don’t juggle multiple tools, leading to smoother operations. The system’s reliability and emphasis on quality make it a favorite among many.


  • Global cloud solution
  • Unified communications
  • Reliable uptime
  • Seamless integrations
  • Cost-effective plans


  • Occasional latency issues
  • Complex admin panel

10. Nextiva

nextiva phone system

Nextiva offers a suite of communication tools with its cloud-based PBX system at the forefront. They promise more than phone services, emphasizing collaboration, automation, and analytics. The platform is built for businesses looking to get more out of their communication systems.

Pricing: Nextiva pricing starts at low starting cost. They have multiple pricing tiers depending on the services you need.

Why Buy It: Nextiva’s analytics and automation tools can provide invaluable insights to businesses. Their platform is designed for growth, ensuring your communication tools can keep up as your business expands. Their focus on customer support also ensures businesses have a partner in their growth journey.


  • Advanced telephony features
  • Intuitive user experience
  • Seamless CRM integration
  • Reliable customer support
  • Scalable infrastructure


  • Requires initial setup
  • Premium features pricey


How much does a PBX phone system cost?

The cost of a PBX phone system varies based on several factors, including its type (traditional, virtual, hosted, or IP PBX), features, number of lines or extensions, brand, and installation expenses.

Traditional systems require a significant upfront investment in hardware, whereas hosted or virtual PBXs often have monthly subscription fees.

While it’s challenging to pinpoint a precise figure without specifics, it’s essential to assess both the initial costs and long-term operational expenses. A telecom audit can also help identify hidden costs or inefficiencies. It’s best to consult with PBX providers or specialists for an accurate quote tailored to your needs.

Is PBX obsolete?

No, PBX is not obsolete. While traditional PBX systems that solely rely on landlines are becoming less common, the concept of PBX has evolved and adapted to modern technologies. Nowadays, many businesses prefer IP PBX or hosted PBX solutions that leverage the internet for communication.

These contemporary PBX systems offer voice services with advanced features like video conferencing, instant messaging, and integration with CRM systems [3], making them relevant and essential for modern businesses.

What type of PBX is used in most companies today?

Most companies today gravitate towards IP PBX or hosted PBX systems. IP PBX allows businesses to utilize standard phone lines and internet connectivity, balancing traditional and modern communication.

On the other hand, hosted PBX systems are famous for their convenience, as third-party providers manage them off-site, reducing the need for on-site hardware and maintenance.

These systems are scalable, feature-rich, and often more cost-effective in the long run, especially for businesses that prioritize digital transformation and remote work capabilities.

What’s the difference between PBX and VoIP?

PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a private telephone network used within a company, allowing internal and external communication. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a technology that lets users make calls using the Internet instead of traditional phone lines.

While PBX refers to the system or the infrastructure, VoIP is a technology integrated into many modern PBX systems.

In essence, many of today’s PBX systems (like IP PBX) use VoIP technology, combining the system’s features with the advantages of internet-based communication.

Is Avaya a PBX phone system?

Yes, Avaya offers PBX phone systems. Avaya is a renowned telecommunications company that provides various products, including PBX systems, unified communications solutions, and contact center technologies.

Their PBX solutions, often integrated with VoIP technology, are designed to cater to businesses of all sizes, ensuring efficient and seamless communication.

Key Takeaways

PBX phone systems remain crucial for businesses, ensuring seamless internal and external communications [4]. In today’s digital era, traditional PBXs have evolved, giving way to more advanced systems like IP and hosted PBXs that leverage internet connectivity.

These modern solutions blend classic voice services and innovative features like video conferencing and CRM integration. While costs can vary, the emphasis is on understanding the long-term value and adaptability a system provides.

As businesses prioritize digital transformation, choosing a PBX solution that aligns with growth, scalability, and future communication demands is vital.


  1. https://africa.businessinsider.com/local/markets/voip-vs-pbx-which-is-best-for-business/ec090wn
  2. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/software/best-hosted-pbx-services/
  3. https://www.uschamber.com/co/run/technology/must-have-crm-features
  4. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/business-insights-ideas/resources/4-benefits-of-making-pbx-your-next-office-phone-system
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