PBX is an acronym for Public Branch exchange, and refers to the telephone switchboard hardware. The exchange part is where an incoming phone call can be routed to different extensions. Normally this hardware is all kept in some back room or closet at a company, hence it is informally referred to as the "box in the closet." With the advancement in technology these devices no longer need to be physically on site. It is instead, hosted externally through the VoIP provider. When a phone call is placed to a customer of a hosted PBX service, the phone call goes instead to the customer's business location, gets processed through their hardware, and is then sent to your phone extensions. So the short, simple, easy explanation is that a hosted PBX provides advanced call routing service without you needing to handle the technical side, because it's a PBX service that's being hosted by someone else. Some people call it hosted VoIP PBX. It is an important distinction because it shows that the system is using VoIP technology.
There's a wide variety of additional benefits to getting a hosted PBX service aside from just routing calls, however. A hosted PBX service can handle holds and transfers, and allow more than one person to be reached from a single business number. The hosted PBX also manages incoming calls for the business that are not immediately picked up. Voicemail, faxes, automated greetings or messages, touchtone menus, conferences, call records, and phone calls that go to the first available person in a department are all services provided by advanced PBX systems.
Because it is a hosted system, there's no high initial cost for buying the expensive hardware. There's also never an upgrade cost for changing hardware. Unlike traditional PBX services, hosted PBX makes advanced business technology available for even small businesses. As a provider of VoIP PBX services, IPNetVoice is proud to bring cloud based phone systems to small businesses--helping them do more for less.