A PBX, or Private Branch Exchange, is a way to connect phones within one office building to each other over a private network, and also, there would be fewer phone lines connecting to network trunks than there would be phones, saving the company money. As we have discussed at length, having a virtual PBX and SIP trunking changes the entire definition of what a PBX is; a virtual PBX can extend across countries, connecting hundreds, even thousands, of workers to each other to chat, make phone calls and video conference with each other. But, what about smaller businesses, can they benefit from having a PBX?

The answer: Yes!

One of the defining characteristics of a PBX is a receptionist, or, as is increasingly become the case, a virtual receptionist, AKA the auto-attendant. Companies like eVoice specialize is small business VoIP. The auto-attendant identifies different departments for the inbound calls, even if pressing “one for sales” and “two for support” calls the same person. The purpose of the auto-attendant is not to create an illusion, but to control how customers view your company.

A virtual PBX is a great way to make sure that different departments of a company get the proper phone calls and messages, and that neither department wastes time taking messages for the other. Consider, for example, a gas station with a repair garage and convenience store. You can have a phone by the cashier, and different phones for different bays. Each bay can have its own extension, or each repair technician can have his own extension, even with a custom ring. Calls that need to go to repair get to repair, and if one particular customer has a concern, she can call the technician working on her car directly. If the technician is busy, then the call gets forwarded, or goes to his voicemail directly. No important calls get missed.

Another defining feature of a virtual PBX is unified communications. Going back to our car repair shop example, the same information that the customer gives the shop when she turns in the car for repair can pop right up on a laptop or tablet screen, so the customer and the auto repairman are on the same page as soon as he answers the phone. With features like “click2call,” the technician can click a mouse or press a touch screen to let the customer know her car is ready and not even have to dial the full number.

Businesses large and small can benefit from the numerous features that are only available with Voice over Internet Protocol. With VoIP, you can spend more attention on your work, because the information you need is always at your fingertips. Which small business VoIP provider is best for you? Read our staff and user reviews to find out.