Choosing a business phone system is an important decision that requires research and consideration of your needs. So what are your options and how do they stack up?


Traditional PBX and VoIP-based phone systems each have their own pros and cons. Large businesses that have used a traditional PBX for many years often opt to stay with this system because it is more affordable than installing a whole new system. A traditional PBX also offers a large range of features, some of which are not always available with VoIP systems unless you pay extra for them. Until recently, call quality was also distinctly better with traditional PBXs. But due to advances in VoIP systems, both now offer virtually comparable call quality.

A good rule of thumb is that if you have more than 20 employees needing connections, PBX is probably your best bet. Alternatively, if you are a small business with a small number of employees and have little need for advanced services and features, a VoIP-based phone system is probably better for you.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of PBX vs VOIP:

Features Call management, user tools, local based hardware, real time management No main equipment, cloud/software management, portability, redundancy
Call quality Excellent Good
Call reliability Excellent Good
Cost High set-up costs Low set-up cost and very cheap cost per call
Scalability Limited amount of lines, based on hardware Can add as many lines as your bandwidth will allow
Maintenance High maintenance Low maintenance due to software-based nature


While there seem to be more advantages to a VoIP system, the kind of phone system you opt for really comes down to the size and type of business you are running and the type of infrastructure you already have in place.

For large businesses with a traditional analogue PBX and the need for advanced call-handling features, it might be worth upgrading to an IP PBX to at least reduce your call costs. You would still have to pay for new equipment, but the long-term benefits of much cheaper calls would soon offset the initial expense.

The Bottom Line

VoIP technology has now advanced to the point that it’s no longer merely an alternative to PBX. A VoIP system can provide business features that equal or even outdo your standard PBX system, while also saving you money and improving productivity. You can even mix and match different technologies.

The choice is yours!