What is a Virtual PBX, and how is it different from a Business VOiP?

Discussion in 'Phone & Fax for Business' started by leo, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. leo

    leo Member

    What is a Virtual PBX, and how is it different from a Business VOiP?

    I'm posting this, because this is a question that comes up every time I tell someone about virtual pbx services.

    Virtual PBX: A virtual PBX service is basically Google Voice for business. The service provider gives you a number that, when called, rings an auto-attendant. You determine what the auto attendant tells the caller (eg: "Press one for Bill, two for Bob, or three for Sales) that forwards the caller to any number(s) that you designate (eg: if they press one for Bill, the call goes to Bill's cell phone; if they press two for Bob, the call goes to Bob's home phone; if they press three for sales, the call goes to Nancy's cell phone). No hardware included. The system also may include features like, corporate voicemail, smartphone apps, caller ID, conference calling, call transferring, etc). These services are billed monthly based on usage (usually $10/ month for 150 to 300 minutes to $60/ month for high usage or unlimited).

    Business VOiP: A business VOiP service uses VOiP phone lines (same technology as Vonage) and actually gives you physical telephones (that plug directly into the internet) to use with them. They also include a virtual pbx service that provides you with all the call forwarding and call management features of a virtual pbx. These services are charged per user per month (usually around $25-$35/ month each)+ the costs of the phones (roughly $200 each).

    For example: RingCentral currently offers both of these services. RingCentral Mobile is a virtual pbx. RingCentral Office is a Business VOiP.

    Also- here is the ChooseWhat.com comparison and reviews section of virtual pbx services: http://virtual-pbx.choosewhat.com/

  2. rozenfeld57mh

    rozenfeld57mh New Member

    When it comes to Google searches on keywords such as “Business Phone Service” – one can get lost in the myriad of options: “PBX, VoIP, Hosted PBX, Virtual PBX”… .

    One of the challenges facing entrepreneurs and business executives looking for new communications provider is having an ability to understand the difference between technology solutions. It’s hard to choose something if you don’t understand it. It’s even harder to make it work for your business. Not that you have to be an I.T. engineer, but there’s no way to make a good choice without learning something about VoIP basics. You’re going to have to make a business decision and you can’t make a good one if you don’t understand what it can or can’t do because you don’t understand the vocabulary. Here I will try to explain the differences between Hosted and Virtual PBX services.

    A Hosted PBX service is in essence a complete Unified Communications Suite providing functionality of an advanced business phone system and more. It offers traditional outbound calling features, call routing, desktop handsets, voice mail, and numerous business call control features such as transfer, 3-way, call parking, conferencing, video etc. Hosted PBX users can be in the same location or geographically disbursed while maintaining the call control features that they need on a daily basis.

    A <strong>Virtual PBX service provides an automated attendant service which is simply a subset of a Hosted PBX functionality</strong> without all of the call control capabilities. Simple speaking you can’t make an outbound call using it. <strong>Virtual PBX</strong> services answer calls for your business and route calls to your land line phones or cell phones which can be treated as extensions via call forwarding. The calls are forwarded on to employees or locations anywhere in the world. Like a <strong>Hosted PBX</strong> service, there is no hardware or software to buy or maintain – but there are also no business or call control features to benefit from. Your various users and locations each require separate phone service and you have to pay for the calls between them, there are no productivity benefits of unified messaging or presence. You also have to pay for call forwarding provided by <strong>Virtual PBX</strong> service provider for the entire duration of that call on top of what you are already paying your carrier.

    It’s because of these limitations that a <strong>Virtual PBX</strong> is usually suitable for very small business (typically 1 to 5 people) that operate using land lines or cell phones but wish to have a presence of a business with an Auto Attendant and an IVR tree. <strong>Virtual PBX</strong> Service is not necessarily going to be less expensive than a full <strong>Hosted PBX</strong> Service but it may only take minutes to set up.

  3. Mark Hall

    Mark Hall New Member

    Virtual PBX has the same feature set as the Hosted PBX. It is just that some Hosted PBX providers put it in a different category because in virtual office plan, you have the facility to create the virtual office so that even if you don’t own a physical office area to work, you can create a big business image in front of your clients and callers. In this you also have the facility to integrate remote employees so that where ever in the world they are located, they can work in collaboration to your firm. Otherwise all the other calling features are same in both of them.


Share This Page