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Virtual Yealink PBX vs Self-Hosted PBX Systems

PBX Systems allow you to set up extensions, customer management systems, auto-attendants, call redirects, and more to route calls within your organization. These operations are handled through a private branch exchange server (PBX). Virtual PBX services will set up, maintain, and host your exchange server off-site and you simply buy IP phones and an internet connection to interact with a web-based administration panel. Self-Hosted PBX brings the exchange server in-house (on-premise). Yealink PBX, The benefits and trade-offs vary, but generally, virtual PBX services are for small businesses, and Self-Hosted PBX Systems are for medium and large businesses with heavy phone volume. You can use either analog phone lines or digital VoIP with Self-Host PBX. Virtual PBX services are limited to VoIP. PBXSystems.org focuses solely on the cost savings (typically 50%) associated with business-grade VoIP communications.

Pricing

The consensus is that Virtual PBX services are ideal for small businesses with only 1-10 employees. With virtual PBX, you are sharing the 3rd party exchange server with other people, thereby, sharing hardware & maintenance costs. You must pinpoint your needs and carefully research your preferred virtual PBX provider. Costs are generally between $30-120/month for complete packages (minutes included). Extensions, may or may not be free depending on the provider. Your marginal cost will increase compared to self-hosted PBX systems as you add more users.

Virtual PBX systems will also provide you with SIP trunks & DIDs as opposed to securing your own. However, they may limit the number of channels or simultaneous calls your phone number can achieve (services vary).
For Self-Hosted PBX systems, you will need a server (with a PCI data port), configuration software (open source available), broadband connection (t1 handles 30 simultaneous calls), and potentially a firewall or gateway. VoIP rate plans are provided through ITSPs (Internet Telephony Service Providers) and will charge at least $15/SIP Trunk per month and $1/DID per month (rate plans and bundles will vary by provider). As a general rule, you should reserve channels (DIDs, etc.) for 1/3 of your employees. If you have 300 employees, not all of them will be on the phone at all times. Figure out a safe medium of simultaneous calls needed. Each service provider will handle terminology (SIPs, DID, Channels, etc.) differently. Contact their support department with specific requirements/questions such as:

Bottom line: If you need over 25 simultaneous calls (over 75 employees), consider a self-hosted PBX system. If you are unfamiliar with PBX systems, spend at least 1 month researching your options before purchasing equipment and services (ensure compatibility and features). You will need compatible phones, server/software, firewall, data/voice internet service, and SIP/DID providers.

Hardware

Many tout that self-hosted PBX hardware can cost as much as $60,000. However, research what your company needs, as many hardware providers can sell a complete PBX setup (compatible phones & server/software installed) for smaller businesses in the area of $2500.

Depending on your needs and volume, a business-grade pipeline may be as high as $600/month. For the most part, simultaneous calls are limited to your bandwidth (say 23 simultaneous channels/T1). Additionally, some SIP providers will require a static IP. With virtual PBX, companies may use a standard data internet connection which may not be practical for large support/sales centers. However, both IP-PBX systems allow you to share the same bandwidth for both data and voice. Be sure to adjust your QoS (Quality of Service) settings to prioritize voice to avoid dropped calls and poor sound quality.

For both systems, you may use SIP-enabled IP phones or softphones. You may also use a traditional phone, but you will need an ATA adapter or a gateway for VoIP service (check interoperability closely). Self-hosted systems may require a SIP firewall.

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