The 5 main differences between a physical PBX and a virtual PBX

There are many companies that, with the desire to improve call management and customer service, see the need for a new PBX, and hesitate between the option of investing in a physical PBX or hiring a virtual PBX service.

1.- Unique features and functionalities

Today, technological advances in the cloud have meant that virtual PBXs (or PBXs in the cloud) have features that physical PBXs, due to their technical characteristics, cannot offer. A very good example is the integration of fixed and mobile telephony offered by Neotel in its virtual PBX service, with the possibility of integrating the company’s telephony in the user’s cell phone, so that employees can answer calls received by their fixed extension from the cell phone at any time and place, as well as make calls using the flat rate of the PBX, and access the control panel of the functionalities of their fixed extension from the mobile or smartphone. Virtual PBX services such as Neotel’s provide the company with additional benefits to those offered by physical PBXs, such as greater efficiency and productivity for mobile users, as well as other personal benefits derived from fixed-mobile integration, highly valued by employees.


On the other hand, in the case of companies that grow in terms of branches, if they decide to opt for a physical PBX, each branch must have its own equipment and infrastructure, thus multiplying the purchase, maintenance and updating costs by the number of branches the company has. However, by contracting a virtual PBX service, adding or deleting a branch is easy, fast and economical, and the multi-site company would have a single PBX for all branches, achieving a unification of communications, an optimization of the infrastructure and obtaining significant savings on the telephone bill.

When purchasing a physical PBX, one of the parameters to choose is its capacity, i.e. the maximum number of lines and extensions it can cover. Thus, companies that purchased a physical PBX when they had 50 employees and one year later are forced to reduce the number of employees to 25, find themselves paying for and amortizing a PBX with a greater capacity than their needs. The same happens the other way around, if when you buy the PBX your company has 5 employees, and after a while you have 10, you will need to acquire a PBX with a higher capacity, when you have not yet finished paying and amortizing the previous one. This does not happen with virtual PBXs. Companies can increase or decrease the number of contracted seats by simply making a phone call to the customer service department of the company providing the service. In this way the monthly fee is always 100% adjusted to the needs and dimensions of the company and you will never pay more for something you do not use.

3.- Partial solution or integral solution

The companies that provide cloud communications, especially focused on the professional segment, offer integral solutions by means of which, through the payment of a single monthly fee, companies contract the set of services they need from a single provider. In this way, the company providing the cloud service performs an efficient and intelligent management of communications, and the customer can completely forget about worrying and focus solely on enjoying them.

4.- Start-up and maintenance

In the case of physical PBXs, both the start-up and maintenance of the equipment requires highly specialized personnel, so that, in addition to the initial investment that usually includes the purchase and installation of the equipment, a monthly maintenance fee must be paid to an external company for the management of this infrastructure, to make changes and modifications to the configuration necessary for the customer, to update the equipment with new software versions when the manufacturer requires it, to expand the features requested by the customer, to resolve breakdowns and incidents, etc. … and this also involves considerable and often unpredictable annual costs. Virtual PBXs, on the other hand, being a managed service, lack all the aforementioned costs, since it is the company providing the service that is responsible for installing, maintaining and updating the platform.

5.- Buying a physical PBX or hiring a virtual PBX?

Companies that decide to purchase a physical PBX must make a significant economic outlay, since a physical PBX implies the purchase of hardware, and therefore, the amortization of the investment.