ACM Queue writes about the move to a new PBX architecture:
Moving to IP telephony over a converged network offers several important advantages over the traditional PBX approach, leading vendors to insist that IP telephony is the future and that virtually all PBX systems sold in coming years will use this new architecture.
Using the IP network to link IP-PBX components together gives an enterprise substantial flexibility in how a system can be configured. Remote locations can be incorporated into a single enterprise-wide communication system. Remote workers can have the same communications capabilities as those working in a headquarters facility. This can improve the communication capabilities within an enterprise, while lowering the total cost of system implementation and operation.
Software packages such as databases, SNMP (simple network management protocol) development environments, and Web servers are available on standard platforms. Thus, the communication system vendor can more easily integrate these components with the telephony application in an IP environment. This allows operators of the IP-PBX to use familiar tools (Web browsers, SNMP management interfaces, etc.) to operate the system, resulting in lower administrative costs.
The expectations of reliability for IP-PBXs will drive developments in the reliability and availability of the new architecture. Since an essential component of the new architecture is the IP network, improved diagnostic and network analysis tools will enable the quick diagnosis and repair of network problems impairing voice communications. Since security breaches will be able to disable both voice and data applications, techniques to protect critical business networks from denial-of-service and other attacks will be deployed. IP networks will become more resilient for all applications, not just communications.
Communication systems will take advantage of the new IP-based architecture by scaling larger and reaching farther. Even large enterprises will likely be able to implement a single communication system that ties all their employees together around the world.
Rich collaboration and video communication applications will merge with voice applicationsbecoming as easy to use and ubiquitous as traditional voice communications. Voice quality will no longer be tied to traditional network bandwidths; video room systems will provide stereo sound so listeners can locate talkers by position, improving audibility and liveness.
Audio capabilities will merge into PCs and into other mobile devices. No longer will mobile workers have to carry a tool belt of different communication devices.
We can expect such new capabilities to continue to drive the evolution from traditional PBX solutions to new, full-featured IP PBX models that will change the way businesses communicatedelivering greater productivity, cost savings, and mobility.