The Benefits of Centrex

  • The Centrex telecommunications system is owned, maintained and housed by the phone company. They phone company is responsible.
  • Your telephony services grow with you and you can customize them to match your business needs.
  • Centrex is kept state-of-the-art; software and hardware upgrades are ongoing at no cost to the consumer (although additional features cost more per month).
  • Multiple locations within the same CO (Central Office) can be supported without buying OPX (Off Premisess Extension) services or equipment.
  • Telephone company salespeople can be very persuasive, so think carefully before buying Centrex. One-person offices can benefit from its features, but several lines generally require fancier and more expensive equipment than a single line set to effectively handle calls. Once you move from basic sets, the cost advantage of Centrex is generally lost.


Centrex Overview

Centrex (also called Plexar, CentraNet, Centron, Cenpac, Intellipath or Presstige) is a business telephone service offered by your local telephone company from the local central office. Most medium-sized and larger companies use a PBX because it’s much less expensive than connecting an external telephone line to every telephone in the organization. In addition, it’s easier to call someone within a PBX because the number you need to dial is typically just 3 or 4 digits.
Add a Note HereBut many companies, particularly smaller businesses, may not want to purchase and manage their own telephone system because of the capital investment, technical requirements, or time limitations. Most local telephone companies sell Centrex and lease it to businesses as a substitute for an on-the-business-premisess telephone system that must be bought or leased.
Add a Note HereCentrex lines usually cost about 20% to 50% more per month than plain analog phone lines. Since local dial tone in the US and Canada is inexpensive, Centrex can be a cost effective way to get the features of a PBX without having to buy a PBX.
Add a Note HereCentrex may not be for you. You need to compare the rates and features of Centrex to what PBX and key systems have to offer.
Add a Note HereYou need to decide what makes better business sense: leasing Centrex or buying your own switching system.
Add a Note HereThe principal advantages Centrex to small and home-based businesses (called SOHO or Small Office, Home Office) are a low cost of entry, centralized maintenance, and scalability.
Add a Note HereYou get “business phone service” without having to buy equipment (though there are contracts and recurring charges). You can tie together multiple locations under the same four-digit dialing scheme (though many PBXs can also be configured to do this). You don’t need to hire somebody to babysit your phone system. And you can (if your CO has the capacity) expand from five lines to five thousand, without running through several generations of CPE (Customer Premisess Equipment) in the process.

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