Comparison Review: FreePBX vs. PBXact – Unveiling the Ultimate SaaS Battle

The world of business telephony can be complex, and choosing the right phone system is crucial for any organization. Among the popular choices are Sangoma’s FreePBX and PBXact systems. Both of these IP-PBX solutions offer a wide range of features and capabilities, but there are key differences that can influence the decision-making process. In this comparison review, we will dive into the similarities and differences between FreePBX and PBXact to help you determine which solution is best suited for your organization’s needs.

FreePBX is an open-source, web-based IP-PBX management tool that has gained popularity due to its flexibility, extensive feature set, and active community support. The software is designed to work with a variety of hardware and software components, making it a versatile choice for businesses of all sizes. However, being an open-source solution, it may require more technical expertise to configure and maintain.

On the other hand, PBXact is Sangoma’s commercially supported version of FreePBX, designed for businesses seeking a turnkey solution with added security and ease of use. The system comes preloaded with additional modules and the Zulu UC application, while also offering professional support services and hardware warranty extensions. It offers many advantages over FreePBX, especially for organizations with limited in-house technical expertise or resources.

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About FreePBX

Screenshot of freepbx website

FreePBX, a product of Sangoma, is an open-source IP PBX software that provides a range of communication features for businesses. With its modular structure, users can easily customize and extend the platform to meet their unique requirements. FreePBX offers a variety of modules, including Interactive Voice Response (IVR), call forwarding, call recording, voicemail, and more.

The software facilitates seamless Voice over IP (VoIP) communication and supports SIP trunking, allowing businesses to connect to the PSTN. Users can manage call routing, call transfer, and caller ID with the help of FreePBX’s intuitive web-based interface. The platform supports SIP softphones, enabling users to make calls from their computers without the need for dedicated hardware.

In addition to voice communication, FreePBX also serves as a robust platform for unified communications. It supports a wide range of features, such as video calling and video conferencing, making it a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to improve team collaboration and customer engagement. Users can also access call history, call recordings, and call recording reports, allowing them to monitor and refine their communication strategies.

FreePBX offers various methods for integrating voicemail into the system. Users can leverage voicemail to email functionality and even voicemail blasting for mass messages. Other useful call management features include call waiting, do not disturb, and call hold, ensuring users never miss crucial calls or messages.

Sangoma’s cloud-based offering, SIPStation, integrates seamlessly with FreePBX and provides virtual phone numbers and SIP trunking services. As a result, users can enjoy the benefits of a cloud-based communication solution without the need for on-premises hardware or expensive phone lines.

The FreePBX ecosystem thrives due to the active community of developers, resellers, and users. It is continuously evolving to accommodate modern communication needs and drive performance enhancements in the VoIP and unified communications industry.

In summary, FreePBX is a powerful open-source IP PBX platform that enables businesses to effectively manage their communication infrastructure. With a wide range of modules and features, businesses can customize and integrate the platform to fit their unique requirements, ensuring robust and efficient communication.

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About PBXact

Screenshot of pbxact website

PBXact, developed by Sangoma, is a powerful and feature-rich business phone system that offers various voice and communication solutions for businesses. With a wide range of modules and functionalities, it aims to streamline business communications and improve efficiency.

One of the key features of PBXact is its Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, which allows for efficient call routing and handling. This feature enables businesses to design custom call flows, ensuring that each caller reaches the appropriate department or personnel. Additionally, PBXact supports SIP trunks, allowing seamless integration with compatible IP telephony service providers.

Moreover, PBXact offers a comprehensive set of calling features, including voicemail, call forwarding, call recording, caller ID, call transfer, and call queuing. For larger organizations looking for advanced call management, the contact center modules in PBXact provide call center functionalities, such as ring groups, call history, and queue management.

Businesses that rely on CRM solutions for customer interactions can benefit from the CRM Link module available in PBXact. This feature facilitates integration with popular CRM systems, allowing users to track and manage customer interactions efficiently. Likewise, PBXact’s Extension Routing and Voicemail Reports modules offer easy management of internal communication systems and detailed insights into the usage of voicemail.

For organizations requiring constant collaboration, PBXact delivers video calling and video conferencing functionality. This enables users to conduct meetings and discussions from remote locations, ultimately promoting improved communication and collaboration among teams.

Furthermore, PBXact can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud, depending on the organization’s needs and infrastructure. The software is also compatible with a variety of softphone applications, making it easy to use with existing devices.

In conclusion, PBXact is a versatile and feature-packed phone system that caters to businesses of all sizes. With its extensive array of functionalities, from IVR systems to video conferencing, PBXact addresses the diverse communication needs of modern enterprises.

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Round 1: Best UX

Round 1

When comparing FreePBX and PBXact, user experience (UX) is a critical component to consider. Both of these private branch exchange (PBX) platforms provide advanced call management and mobility features, but they differ in their ease of use and overall interface.

FreePBX is an open-source, web-based management tool well suited for users comfortable with customization. It offers a high degree of flexibility, allowing for the management of any compatible PBX hardware. Due to its open-source nature, users are provided with a wealth of documentation and community support. As a result, those familiar with 3CX PBX solutions or similar systems might find FreePBX relatively accessible.

PBXact, on the other hand, is Sangoma’s turnkey solution designed for businesses wanting a more streamlined experience. This out-of-the-box package comes with tighter integration between hardware and software, simplifying the setup process. PBXact provides an intuitive interface that’s easy for users to navigate, even without prior experience. This focus on simplification leads to a more seamless UX, particularly important for businesses prioritizing ease of use.

Both FreePBX and PBXact come with detailed call management functionalities. These include call forwarding, ring groups, call recording, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems, ensuring a high level of control and customization for users.

In terms of data management, FreePBX allows for greater DIY capabilities—however, this flexibility might come with a steeper learning curve for users unfamiliar with the platform. PBXact, conversely, streamlines data configurations and storage with its user-friendly interface that adheres to industry best practices, making it a more accessible option for various users.

Mobility features in both platforms enable the use of softphones for making calls from mobile devices or computer-based applications, enhancing the reach and flexibility of communications for users. Additionally, both FreePBX and PBXact provide remote and on-premise deployment options, catering to businesses with varying infrastructure needs.

In conclusion, the best UX between FreePBX and PBXact ultimately depends on user preferences and requirements. While FreePBX provides extensive customization and is ideal for users experienced with PBX solutions, PBXact delivers a user-friendly and streamlined experience catered to a broader audience.

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Round 2: Features Comparison

Round 2

When comparing FreePBX and PBXact, there are several features to consider. Both systems offer a range of standard and advanced telephony functionalities; however, PBXact is Sangoma’s commercially supported version of FreePBX, designed to be a turnkey solution.

Call routing capabilities such as call forwarding, ring groups, and caller ID management are available in both platforms. Additionally, interactive voice response (IVR) and extension routing can be easily managed through their respective user interfaces.

In terms of voicemail, both FreePBX and PBXact provide comprehensive voicemail reports, voicemail blasting, and call hold features. Moreover, call recording and call recording reports are present in both systems, making it simple to track and assess call quality.

Conference Pro, Fax Pro, Park Pro, and Page Pro are advanced features available in both platforms, enhancing communication within organizations. Another shared feature is SIP trunking, which allows for reliable and cost-effective connections to the PSTN.

A critical difference between FreePBX and PBXact lies in their integrations and additional features. While both solutions offer integrations for CRM link, PBXact comes with modules such as SysAdmin Pro and Zulu UC out-of-the-box, providing additional functionalities like softphone support, click-to-call, and presence management. High availability is another notable feature in PBXact, ensuring minimal disruptions to critical communication services.

For outbound call management, both platforms offer appointment reminder, web callback, and outbound call limiting functionalities. Hosted PBX services can be found in both FreePBX and PBXact, with the latter designed to provide a seamless experience with Sangoma’s hardware appliances.

To summarize, while FreePBX and PBXact share numerous features such as call recording, call forwarding, voicemail reports, and SIP trunking, key differences lie in PBXact’s commercial support, additional out-of-the-box modules, and high availability for increased reliability.

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Round 3: Price

Round 3

When considering FreePBX vs. PBXact, it’s essential to compare their pricing and the value they provide. FreePBX offers a more affordable option, where the software can be installed on your own equipment at no cost. However, you’ll need to pay for the commercial modules you wish to add, giving you the freedom to pick and choose which features you need for your business. The FreePBX 60 appliance is priced at $695, and the System Builder package will be an additional $525.

On the other hand, PBXact comes with a higher price tag but includes more applications and a support contract. The PBXact 60 appliance costs $825 and already includes the System Builder plus package. So, deciding between these two solutions will largely depend on your budget and the specific features you require.

In comparison to other competitors like 3CX, which offers pricing based on simultaneous calls and annual licensing, the Sangoma product line, including FreePBX and PBXact, may provide a more cost-effective solution. However, the exact comparison will depend on your specific needs, such as the number of users, desired features, and support requirements.

When it comes to commercial modules, both FreePBX and PBXact offer similar options, such as call center management, conference calling, and advanced call routing. While some of these modules are included within the PBXact package, FreePBX users will need to purchase them separately, which might increase the overall cost, depending on your needs.

In conclusion, the price comparison between FreePBX and PBXact will depend on the individual requirements and the desired flexibility of your business phone system. By considering the pricing plans and features offered by both, as well as the commercial modules available from Sangoma, you can make an informed decision based on the specific needs and budget constraints of your organization.

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Battle Decision: FreePBX Winner

Battle Decision

When comparing FreePBX and PBXact, it is clear that FreePBX emerges as the winner for several reasons. Firstly, FreePBX garners praise for its user experience. Both novice and experienced users find that navigating through the platform and configuring settings is relatively easy. This simplicity is due to its customizable web-based GUI.

In terms of features, FreePBX is a powerhouse, offering a comprehensive list of options. Some of the most notable features include call recording, call forwarding, voicemail, and caller ID. With these functionalities, users can ensure smooth business operations and better communication with clients.

FreePBX also stands out in terms of pricing. As an open-source platform, it provides a budget-friendly solution for smaller businesses or those looking for more cost-effective options. While PBXact does offer a bundled option, FreePBX’s mix-and-match flexibility allows users to tailor their packages to their specific needs. This customization can be beneficial for businesses that don’t need the entire suite of commercial features offered by PBXact.

Another critical factor to consider is the potential for third-party integration. FreePBX users benefit from a more extensive ecosystem, which supports integration with various applications and services. This adaptability adds to its appeal as a comprehensive and versatile solution.

In conclusion, by considering user experience, features, pricing, and integration possibilities, FreePBX takes the win in this battle against PBXact. Its feature-rich offering and cost-effective model make it an ideal choice for businesses looking for a scalable, reliable, and customizable IP PBX solution.

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