Leading business phone system provider

Everything you Need to Know About Business Phone Systems



What is a Business Phone System?


A business phone system is a multi-line phone network built to facilitate the unique needs of business communication. It handles large call volumes and provides advanced features for efficient call management. Business phone systems route all the inbound, outbound, and internal phone calls made within an organisation.

How Exotel’s business phone solution works


Customer facing number

Have a single number that your customers can reach out to you on. This number needs to be easy to remember and used in all your collaterals.


Get a virtual number

Get a virtual number (Exophone) from Exotel. Divert calls from your customer-facing number to your virtual number.


Personalize the call flow in the dashboard

Improve your caller experience by creating an IVR greeting and customizing the call flow.


Divert calls to the right agents

Calls can be routed to the right agents with our automatic call distributor feature.


What are the Different Types of Business Phone Systems?



1. PBX phone systems:


Private branch exchange phone systems enable voice communication over the PSTN or Public Switched Telephone Network by using circuit-switched telephony. This means that voice is transmitted over physical copper wire networks, in the form of analogue signals. There are two types of PBX phone systems:

What is Private Branch Exchange (PBX) ? | PBX phone systems

a. On-prem PBX phone systems


  • On-prem PBX phone systems come with bulky hardware – PBX servers, physical wires, specialized phones, etc.


  • They share a trunk line with internal phones, which means that the users within the network can speak to each other without the use of external lines.


  • These phone systems are used for both external and internal communication.


  • They are infrastructure-heavy, expensive, and difficult to maintain. They also offer low flexibility and control.

b. Cloud PBX phone systems


  • In a cloud PBX phone system, businesses have access to a web-based cloud telephony platform that provides all the features that an on-prem PBX phone system comes with.


  • There’s no need for specialized hardware. Calls can be routed to agents’ mobile phones (enabling remote working), or to typical business phones.


  • Cloud phone systems offer additional features, control, flexibility, and visibility that would be impossible to achieve with traditional PBX phone systems.


  • The cloud telephony provider takes care of all the specialized call switching and routing required from the cloud, leaving businesses with only one job – making and receiving calls.
Cloud PBX phone system | Alternatives to PBX phone systems

2. VoIP phone systems:


Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP phone systems use the IP network to transmit voice communication (and other forms of multimedia communication). They use packet-switched telephony to transmit and receive communication data over the internet (or LAN), resulting in lower overall call rates. In most cases, these phone systems are interfaced with PSTN via adapters. This allows VoIP phone systems to route calls to and from the PSTN network. They can further be classified into two types:

On-Prem VoIP phone system | Alternatives to PBX phone systems

a. On-prem VoIP phone systems


  • These are also called IP-PBX phone systems and are similar to on-prem PBX phone systems when it comes to their architecture. The difference is that instead of a private branch exchange, they have a VoIP server that acts as the central point for all communication and instead of regular phones, VoIP enabled phones are required to make/receive calls.


  • The calls are sent and received over the internet.


  • These phone systems have many advantages over the on-prem PBX phone systems – cost efficiency and capability to transmit and receive other forms of multimedia, in addition to voice.


  • On-prem VoIP phone systems are infrastructure-dependent, expensive, and bulky.

b. Cloud VoIP phone systems


  • These phone systems offer all the features and benefits an on-prem VoIP phone system does, without the bulky hardware and the high cost of installation.


  • A VoIP provider takes care of everything on the cloud and all businesses need are VoIP enabled devices that can make and receive calls.


  • These are easy to set up and require no maintenance. With VoIP phone systems, businesses can pay for what they use and scale on the go.
What is a Hosted IP Call Center?

How companies worldwide use our business telephone system

Businesses across industries use our cloud telephony system in multiple ways. Here’s a glimpse of a few scenarios

8 Reasons Why Cloud PBX/VoIP Phone Systems are Better Than Their On-Prem Counterparts

Gain more visibility and insights

Cloud PBX/VoIP phone systems empower you with data and allow you to have a bird’s-eye view over your department’s operations. They come with detailed reports that give you the insights required to improve processes and increase productivity while allowing you to accurately track each and every KPI for all your agents.

Access to the latest technology

Cloud VoIP/PBX phone system providers continuously update their infrastructure and implement the latest technology available. This means that businesses with access to cloud PBX/VoIP phone systems get to use the best features for their business communication. On prem phone systems on the other hand, get outdated quickly.

Easier to set up and maintain

You can have your cloud PBX/VoIP telephony system up and running in less than an hour if implemented via cloud PBX/VoIP whereas it can take up to days to set up an on-prem business phone system. Exotel takes care of the hardware and software involved, freeing up time for you to focus on your core business activities.

Make changes/additions instantly

Cloud PBX/VoIP gives you more control and flexibility over your business telephone system. You can add/remove agents on the go whereas it requires a lot more time and effort in doing the same in a traditional setup.

No infrastructure required

One of the biggest advantages of having a hosted/cloud phone system over an on-prem phone system is the freedom from all the wires and the bulky hardware. All you need are phones. This also means no dedicated space required for storing the hardware.

Integration with CRM/help desk software

Empower your teams by integrating cloud telephony with your favourite CRM or help desk tool. This makes things convenient by enabling your agents to make and receive calls contextually, from within the dashboard.

Enable your employees to work remotely

Moving to the cloud means that your employees can make and receive calls from anywhere, anytime, which is not possible with an on-prem phone system. This results in an increase in call-pickup rates and overall productivity.

Better scalability

Cloud phone systems with you and scales seamlessly to accommodate all of your business needs, in a pay-as-you-go model. This is a far cry from all the time, effort and costs involved in scaling an on-prem PBX/VoIP system.

7 Essential Features of Business Phone Systems in 2020



There might be many types of business phone systems, but the objective is the same – to enable effective, reliable and efficient customer communication. Regardless of the type, business phone systems must have some basic features that call centres cannot do without. Here’s a list of 8 such features:


An Interactive Voice Response is a pre-recorded voice that interacts with customers to collect their input. This input is then used to create the desired outcome – talk to a specific department, read out a customer’s account balance, etc. Businesses can use IVR to automate processes, increase efficiency, and resolve customers’ issues faster.

Auto Dialer

This feature helps increase the productivity of agents by cutting down on the time it takes to look for a number and dial it manually. Auto dialers dial customers up automatically after the previous call has ended. The wait time and breaks can be pre-programmed into the system according to requirements.

Call Recording

Businesses need call recordings for a whole lot of reasons. Some of the most common use cases are audits, dispute resolution, and training agents. Exotel automatically records each and every call made, and the recordings can be accessed and shared easily from the dashboard.

CRM/Help Desk Integrations

With integrations between your help desk/CRM and Exotel, your agents don’t have to scramble for information every time a customer/prospect calls. The complete information of the customer calling/being called is displayed automatically on the dashboard. This allows agents to personalize communication and improve customer experience.

Call Transfer

Call transfer allows agents to route a call to other agents or departments as and when required. This happens within the click of a button and the customer doesn’t have to go through the hassle of dialing another number again. The call transfers come in handy when the customers end up in one department even though they intend to speak to another or when an agent realizes that another agent might be able to resolve an issue better.

Routing calls to mobile phones

Another important and often overlooked functionality is enabling your agents to work remotely. Business phone systems should have the capability to route calls to agents’ mobile phones. This gives your employees the flexibility to work from home and increases their productivity.

Intelligent routing

Also known as automatic call distribution, this feature is the backbone of any call centre. It decides how and when calls are routed based on pre-set conditions. This helps route calls based on geography, previous call history, priority, business hours and results in reduced wait times.

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Asia’s most innovative companies use Exotel

Chirag Patel

Exotel's API documentation and implementation process is extremely simple and easy to follow. There were no hassles in setting it up. We use other cloud telephony platforms as well but Exotel gets a big thumbs-up from us for their ease of use.

Engineering Manager, 1mg

Shashank ND

We have worked across cloud telephony players and with other vendors, but the fact is Exotel is dependable.

Co-Founder & CEO, Practo

Prateek Jain

The number masking feature has been a very worthy addition to making our customer experience even better.

Former Associate Director - Driver Experience, Olacabs


Exotel's automated calls have helped in increasing our service levels and reducing our costs since there is no need for any manual intervention.

Senior Manager - Operations and Strategy

Praveen Kumar

Exotel's APIs are very clearly defined. Our tech team could integrate them in no time. It’s easy to incorporate into any product.

Assistant Vice President, Quikr Services

Satish Chugh

Very supportive and understanding staff who have lived up to every expectation, and at times exceeded them too.

Senior Manager- Last Mile Design, Ekart


The Exotel Advantage

Why Exotel is considered as the most reliable cloud communications company in India and Southeast Asia


Highly Secure

ISO 27001:2013 certified information security management system


Patented Solutions

Gain competitive advantage from patented products


Superior Quality

Best success rates, voice quality and reduced latency


Scale at Ease

Grow at will, expand without worrying about infrastructure


Superior Reliability

Best in class uptimes of 99.94% including operator uptimes


Best Support

24×7 customer support via phone, email and Twitter

E-book: Cloud telephony in a Nutshell

If you’re unclear about how cloud telephony can help your business (like hosted EPABX or PBX systems, start here. In this ebook, we talk in detail about the various options businesses are faced when they consider using cloud telephony for their business. And we decode each one of those and help you make a decision that is right for your business.

Find out how Exotel can work for you. Set up a call.

We take away some of the biggest pain points of traditional systems like EPABX.