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The future of PABX phone systems in Australia

The PABX has been a crucial part of the not-for-profit sector in Australia for many years. However, with the rise of new technologies and changing customer preferences, the future of on premise PABXs in Australia is uncertain.

In this article, we will explore the key trends that are likely affect NFPs and community service providers, and offer recommendations on how the industry can adapt to the changes in technology in today’s environment.

What is a PABX?

In simple terms, a Private Automatic Branch Exchange (also known as PABX or PBX) is the foundation of most modern business phone systems. A PABX system allows incoming calls to be routed to the appropriate phone extension using automated switching. It also allows users to make internal calls within the organisation without using an external phone line.

Currently, PBXs still hold a significant market share in Australia's telecommunications industry for large offices, from major manufacturers like Cisco, NEC, AVAYA and connect to the major carriers like Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone.

Clouds on the PABX horizon

With increasing demand for seamless and unified communication solutions that integrate voice, video, conferencing and messaging, one of the key trends that is shaping the future of PABX phone systems in Australia is the shift towards cloud-based systems.

The increased flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness of these platforms make them an attractive alternative to traditional on-premise solutions. Most non-profits are already decommissioning servers in favour of cloud-based SaaS platforms.

Expanding on existing systems

Many organisations are already using cloud-based systems such as Microsoft Teams or chat systems for internal communications, yet they may not be aware of the external telephony capabilities that these systems offer.

For example, Microsoft Teams' all-in-the-cloud solution provides PABX functionality, allowing calls to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) from within the application. Essentially, any employee with a laptop, headset, and internet connection can have a complete desktop setup without the need for a desk phone.

This has had a significant impact on organisations struggling to adapt to remote and flexible working requirements, especially during the recent pandemic restrictions. Having a connected mobile app also enables employees who are offsite or travelling to stay connected.

Unified communications solutions such as Ring Central have become valuable tools for businesses seeking to stay connected in today's ever-changing landscape.

It’s not just about the cloud

As technology advances and new solutions emerge, businesses have more options than ever before for their communication needs. One notable trend in recent years has been the rise of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies, where employees are allowed to use their personal devices for work purposes.

This approach has become increasingly popular as it allows employees to use devices that they are already familiar with, while also saving businesses money on hardware costs. Additionally, mobile devices have become a key part of many blended configurations, with employees often preferring to use their mobiles in place of traditional desktop phones.

This allows for greater mobility and flexibility, as employees can make and receive calls from anywhere with an internet connection, rather than being tied to their desk. By embracing a blended configuration that includes BYOD and mobile devices, businesses can increase productivity and reduce costs while providing their employees with the flexibility and mobility they need to work effectively.

What’s next for PABX?

Whist the future of PBXs in Australia is limited, there may be opportunities for the industry to pivot through embracing cloud-driven technologies and meeting the evolving needs of their customers.


If you’re interested in learning more about new telephony solutions, utilisation of or migration to a cloud-based solution, give us a call on (03) 9403 5700. Alternatively, fill in your details below and we’ll get in touch with you directly.