Business Telephone Systems

Often seen as the main core communications method for businesses to contact customers or be contacted themselves, the business telephone system has come a long way since their introduction in the 1960’s. labelled a Private Branch Exchange (PBX), initially they were the realm of large corporations due to their expense and size.

However, through the development of electronics over the years and progress in miniaturisation as well as software development, they are now rarely more than the size of a medium suitcase but can service thousands of users with all of their features and functionality.

With the development of faster and more affordable broadband services over the last 10 years, there has been the development of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies where systems utilise a data connection to transmit voice rather than the traditional analogue or digital systems. This has allowed flexibility to be introduced into the PBX system by allowing users to be remote or home working as well as multiple sites and systems networked together for seamless and integrated call, system and user management, similar to IT systems.

PBX systems currently can be split into two main types –

  • on premises or onsite systems which have the hardware located on the business premises and is under the direct control and management of the business
  • Hosted or cloud-based systems where the PBX is hosted or located on a cloud-based computing platform and can be managed by the network provider as well as the end client business.

Whichever of these current solutions an end client uses, the same ethos still remains in that the right solution should meet the needs and requirements of the business involved.

““Mike and the team at Flexicomms offer a first rate service for all our telephone and Wi-Fi needs and I’m pleased that we’ve switched our business needs to be managed by Flexicomms. From our initial meetings, Mike provided realistic, relevant and affordable options followed by hassle free installation and ongoing support. I’d have no hesitation in recommending Flexicomms”.

Ian Robinson, General Manager, White Hart Hotel


Considered by some to be more flexible than an on-premises system, hosted is ideal for a small business wanting large business features or functionality or even larger businesses that have multiple sites around the country, or a mix of office-based and home-based users. This last point has become even more pertinent with the recent Coronavirus pandemic effectively forcing companies to adapt and offer home working o their employees.   This has seen a rapid increase in the number of users or companies moving to a hosted VoIP phone system.




The on-premise or traditional telephone system or Private Branch Exchange (PBX) has been the mainstay of company communications since the 1960’s when it was first introduced as the way that large multi-national businesses communicated. In effect it was like having your own small telephone exchange in the company for their own internal use for free and then connect to the normal telephone exchange for external calls. These connections were traditionally analogue and then digital ISDN connections for better quality and clarity.