UCaaS vs VoIP vs PBX: Which Phone System is Best for Your Business in 2021

By Mike Economou

Deciding between UCaaS vs VoIP vs PBX for business communication can be confusing.

Communication and connectivity continue to be a dominant theme in discussing business continuity into 2021.

So, the question becomes which system is best suited to operate in a post-pandemic world where so much has changed in terms of how businesses continue to operate?

If you’re still trying to decide how to move forward, here’s a quick highlight on how to decide between UCaaS vs VoIP vs PBX for business communication.

UCaaS vs VoIP vs PBX: what’s the difference?


PBX (meaning Private Branch Exchange) is a telephone network often found in a business environment. A PBX phone system was generally tied to a telephone company and gives businesses the option to operate on fewer lines. It also gave them the flexibility of giving each staff member a direct extension.

While the term is rather old, the system itself has evolved quite a bit over the years. Modern PBX systems have moved away from analog legacy lines (though some companies still have them) and towards being more IP or VoIP ready. With SIP trunking, you can connect IP PBX systems for a fraction of the costs of legacy systems.


VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. It allows users to make phone calls over an internet connection. VoIP systems became more popular with the growth of broadband and the increased flexibility and features it offers vs legacy systems.

With VoIP, you can still access features like voicemail, call forwarding and recording. It’s liked because of its low cost and high-quality sound.


Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) is a unified communications business model that delivers a more cohesive approach to accessing communication systems. UCaaS is a quickly growing and in-demand service and its market is expected to surpass US22.7 billion by 2024.

UCaaS systems tend to offer more than just telephone services. It is essentially a combination of all the best features of an internet-based telephone system with real-time messaging and communications. You can access:

· Voice and telephony

· Messaging

· Video, conferencing, and other meeting solutions

· Mobile applications

· File sharing

UCaaS is loved for its secure platforms, lower operational costs, flexibility for working from home, and improved scalability.

PBX, VoIP, UCaaS: which should you choose?

It depends on your business goals, how

features you need for your business.

So, these are just some of the things to consider when trying to decide between these three telephone systems.



· Feature-rich systems. Feature-rich shouldn’t translate to complex systems. You need simple to implement and use solutions. Feature poor systems limit your capabilities. While you may not use all the features at the outset, you can quickly access them should needs change without having to find an alternative.

· Measuring business analytics. Data drives business. Assess your operations and the type of data you need to determine which system would best provide the type of information that can support strategic business decisions.

· Business continuity. If there’s a disaster, how quickly can you get back up and running with a legacy system? Or wouldn’t it be easier for your team to get back on track with an internet-based system?

· Inclusive collaboration. For today’s digital age, you need a communication system that connects your phone with business apps and other integrations and allows you to automate and connect seamlessly.

· Cost. UCaaS and VoIP systems are often the more cost-effective options of the three. PBX is only cost-effective if you look towards IP or hosted PBX options.

· Scalability. How easily can you scale up or down based on your business activities?


If you’d like to discuss which option would be best for your business, contact us today to schedule a consultation.