What is 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. The IP PBX is also able to connect to traditional PSTN lines via an optional gateway - so upgrading day-to-day business communication to this most advanced voice and data network is a breeze!
Enterprises don't need to disrupt their current external communication infrastructure and operations. With IP PBX deployed, an enterprise can even keep its regular telephone numbers. This way, the IP PBX switches local calls over the data network inside the enterprise and allows all users to share the same external phone lines.
An IP PBX or IP Telephone 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.
Benefits of IP-PBX
Call Answering Feature
Call Queue - Incoming callers can be held in a queue while they listen to a customizable recorded message. The caller can be sent to voicemail or redirected to another extension if no one picks up.
One receptionist can answer calls from predetermined PSTN/IP lines, each identified to a specific company.
While covering several managers extensions, a receptionist's phone will ring simultaneously with each extension, showing which manager is being called, with the caller ID.
A receptionist's phone can be used to monitor multiple managers phones providing information on the extension's status (off-hook, on-hook, do-not-disturb) before taking action.
Pickup groups may be defined with a group of extensions. Any phone in the office can be used to answer a call that is ringing on another extension within the pickup group.
Allows calls to ring in on a number of lines so that the first available person can answer.
Auto Attendant with IVR
An interactive voice response (IVR) system replaces the human operator and directs callers to the appropriate extensions or voice mailboxes. VoiceXML v2 is an XML-based language (eXtensible Markup Language) created to develop speech user interfaces for telephone users. It engages users through pre-recorded or synthesized audio prompts.
Call Management Features
Keeps one line "off hook" and connected while the user makes or receives a call on another line. The user can take the original part off hold and resume the conversation.
Transfer enables a user to forward an incoming call to another telephone or extension.
Signals a recipient that he has an incoming call on an engaged line and allows him to hold his current call, in favor of taking the second one and then switching back to his original caller.
Allows the caller and two other parties to speak together on one connection.
When a call is placed in "park" it is put on hold at a specific extension number to be resumed by someone at another phone. That person can pick up the call by keying the displayed extension number. If no one is available to take the call at the other location, it will "ring back" to the original extension alerting the person who originally parked the call.
Call Screening Features
Direct Transfer to a Voicemail Box
Allows a caller to be transferred directly to the voicemail of another user.
Prevents calls from reselected numbers from ringing through, giving users the opportunity to avoid unwanted callers.
Hiding Caller ID
A caller can block her phone number from being identified by the call recipient.
Do Not Disturb
User instructs PBX to route all his incoming calls directly to voice mail. The phone on his desk does not ring.
Away from the Phone
Also known as a VMS, voice mail is a centralized system of managing phone messages for a group of people. Voice mail allows users to receive, answer and manage their phone messages from different locations, sometimes tailoring a response to different callers.
Allows users to program the PBX to automatically redirect incoming calls to another number--a mobile phone or home phone for example.
Room to room communication on telephone sets.
Callers who get a busy signal will be alerted if the line they are calling becomes available during a specified period of time. A distinctive ring functions as an alert for when the call is connected. One need only pick up the phone to be connected to the number they were trying to reach.
The user saves frequently called numbers so that they can be dialed with an assigned shortcut of two or three digits.
Provides users with the ability to scroll through a company directory list of names and numbers and dial automatically.
User dials in to overhead or external speakers to make voice announcements. Can be set up with speakerphones or specific groups of speakerphones.
Hold Music (WAV File Upload)
Allows callers to hear music or a recorded message while on hold or waiting for other participants to arrive for a conference call.
T.38 FAX, FAX Relay and Clear Channel Fax
The T.38 fax relay standard permits faxes to be transported across IP networks between existing fax terminals. A clear channel gives full use of the bandwidth for this purpose.
Cost and Bandwidth Saving Features
The ability to track and report facts (call recipient, length of call, on-hold time, etc.) on incoming and outgoing calls per extension.
Dial Plans (call routing)
Calls can travel through a network along a pre-determined path to accomplish a specific goal. Call routing helps determine the least expensive way to make a call or the least congested path to take. Incoming calls can be grouped according to area code and routed to specific customer service reps who manage different geographic regions.
Time of Day Dialing
Creates the ability to route callas according to times of day, enabling users to reselect where a call will come to them during different time periods.
Special IP Phone Support
Distinctive Ringing on IP Phones
Program Aastra or Snom phones to produce distinctive ring sounds for identified callers and categorize incoming calls made to direct lines (service, sales, billing, etc.)..
Directory for Aastra and Snom Phones
IP PBX can automatically load a directory of company extensions onto SNOM 360 and Aastra 480i phones (using simple XML scripting). Users mouse-click on their computers to dial company extensions through their telephones.
In the event of power failure, Quadro provides access for one dedicated phone to the PSTN network for emergency services (except ISDN models).
Enhanced IP Phone Support
Certain popular IP phones can be automatically configured by the IP PBX resulting in a plug and play installation.
Quadro FXO Auto Configuration
IP PBX detects and automatically configures ports added via the Quadro. The new ports appear in the IP PBX GUI.
Voicemail Setup via Phone
Voice-enabled wizard guides users through setting up the personal recorded username, password and voicemail greeting for each extension.
CDR Tags for Billing
Eliminates hand-coding of invoices by department, etc.
Daylight Savings Time Adjustment
IP PBX automatically adjusts for daylight savings time.
Automatic Backup/Download of Quadro Configuration
Automatic scheduled backups and downloads of configuration to a LAN PC or WAN location.
IP Phone Plug-and-Play
IP phones automatically acquire an extension on the system and auto-configure without user intervention.
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