Centrex Basic Phone Services are being Replaced with Hosted PBX
For many small businesses the Centrex service supplied by their phone company is being replaced with more robust Hosted PBX services.
Many phone companies have basic call routers called Centrex. They are a very simplified PBX allowing their customers to have basic call routing to phones in an office without having an internal phone system. These Centrex services usually have a single recorded menu (which the customer records) and have hard coded (not changeable without contacting the phone company) call routing to the phones in the office. The Centrex may have a single voice mail or a voice mail for each line in the account.
Centrex services are available with many of the large phone companies (AT&T, Qwest, PAC Bell, CenturyTel etc) but are not with many smaller telco's or cable phone services. They work with a customers single line, 2 line or 4 line phone and will not route calls to phones that are not on the account.
In recent years the "Centrex" type external (from the customer) phone systems have been replaced with third party services like All call Technologies that have much more robust call routing and unlimited expansion capabilities. There are several other terms which have similar meanings but refer to the same basic call routing service, Hosted PBX is one of the terms which is more common now.
Centrex services are dinosaurs and are being replaced everyday with more feature rich and customer centric services. The All Call Technologies Hosted PBX is the perfect replacement for a business Centrex service.