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Is VoIP the same as cloud PBX?

Jul 4, 2021

Question: Is VoIP the same as cloud PBX?




Answer: VoIP, short for Voice over IP or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that allows voice calls to take place over IP based network (i.e. the Internet).


Back in the old days, voice was delivered on dedicated telecom infrastructure.


That changed once VoIP was introduced which now shares infrastructure used by data networks.


VoIP can be delivered in two ways:


  1. Via an on premise PBX
  2. Delivered from a cloud based PBX


While you can have a PBX that provides VoIP service, it doesn’t necessarily make it cloud based.


Click to enlarge


As you can see from the drawing, a cloud based PBX live in a provider’s network to deliver VoIP service to an organization.


In addition to VoIP, the majority of cloud PBX providers have suite of Unified Communications apps that include messaging, video, contact center and more.


The main difference is where the PBX lives.


In a post COVID environment, it does no good if you can only access your VoIP environment from one place.


Because of the migration to the cloud, VoIP has become more accessible on any device regardless of where you are.


I wrote a guide which discusses this topic further for more information. Check it out as it provides a vendor neutral deep dive into this important transition.