OLD WORLD PBX OR IP-PBX ?
Advantages of IPPBX vs. Traditional Legacy PBX
IPPBX Uses Existing Data Infrastructure
IP telephony is clearly the future of enterprise voice communications. The most obvious benefits of an IP based voice system include lower cost, more flexibility, and improved usability and manageability. A significant cost saving comes from being able to use the existing data infrastructure rather than a separate dedicated network.
IPPBX Uses Low Cost Commodity Computing Platforms
In addition, as was the case in the transition from mainframe-based computing to standards-based open systems, IP-based voice communication equipment represents a shift to commodity computing platforms available at significantly lower cost.
Moves Adds and Changes
Moves Adds and Changes (MACs) are a significant expense in administering the voice system. In an IP-based system, because the voice function is logically separated from the underlying network, moving a user from one location to another does not require reconfiguration of the physical infrastructure. As a result, MACs in an IP based voice system are typically one-third the cost of MACs with a legacy PBX system.
IPPBX's Users Not Tied Down
There are other benefits as well. In the PSTN and in PBX systems, users are intimately tied to their telephone numbers or extensions. In IP-based networks, the association between users and their IP addresses is through a domain name server (DNS). In addition, IP addresses are usually assigned when a user logs into the network through a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server. Extending this even further, some innovative voice systems allow users to log onto any physical phone on the system thereby eliminating any expense related to MACs.
With IP-PBX - No More Proprietary Phones
Legacy PBX systems have tended to focus on the telephone handsets because they could generate significant revenue by locking the customer into high margin, proprietary phones. With IP voice communications, the telephone handset is no longer the focus. Instead, the desktop PC, with its intuitive interface, has taken center stage by simplifying voice communications and adding massive scalability to related converged applications.
IPPBX Lower Cost of Administration
Applications development is done using standard interfaces, such as Microsoftís TAPI. This makes applications truly portable and interoperable with other standards-based systems. In addition, IP-based systems are not hindered by legacy evolution, so enhanced services (e.g., voicemail and automated call distribution) can be integrated into a single interface. Moving a userís location requires only a change in the associated physical port (the userís voicemail and automated call distribution profiles need not change), and the end result is lower cost of administration.
IPPBX - New Low Cost Applications and Services
Functionally, the IP-based voice system is similar to that of a traditional telephony system. It provides basic call management and enhanced services. Typically, a call server such as a softswitch provides internal and external call management and translation between telephone numbers and IP addresses. Standard analog phones, IP phones or PC-based phones connect users to the network. The obvious difference with IP-based systems is that the voice server and phones are connected to the IP network rather than a separate dedicated network. The transition is, again, analogous to the migration from centralized mainframe networks to distributed, standards-based IP data networks. This evolution ultimately fueled tremendous growth of new applications and services, and resulted in the lower cost computing platforms available today.