Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between PBX and ACD


“PBX” and “ACD” are switches of different capabilities. “Switch” refers to a telecommunication switch. These switches are electronic equipment which are designed and responsible for accepting, holding, and routing telephone calls. There are different applications for switches.

“PBX” stands for “Private Branch Exchange.” PBX is a phone switch which has a specific software and resides at a particular company location. PBX is responsible for both external as well as internal communications. PBX is facilitated with specific signaling unique to the phone company like busy signals, dial tones, ringing, etc. They can also have additional functions like; call forwarding, usage reporting, call conferencing, etc. PBX-like applications can be achieved by using a Key system or telephone system which is PC based. For improving the features of PBX, sometimes manufacturers provide ACD software on their PBX as an add-on application.

“ACD” stands for “Automatic Call Distribution.” ACD is both an application and a switch. It is responsible for accepting, holding or queuing, delivering, and reporting telephone calls in a high volume. Some of the additional features of ACD are delay announcements, CRT displays which delay statistics and report incoming calls, headset operations, etc.

ACDs are of two different types; standalone ACD and C.O. (central office) based ACD. Standalone ACD is useful in supporting highly specialized systems. It provides monitoring capabilities, real-time reporting, complex routing systems, etc. Standalone ACD captures statistics. This application has an adjunct processor which gathers and reports all statistics. So many calls are managed by ACD that a standalone system is dedicated to call processing mainly.

Central Office ACD is usually provided by the local telephone companies. The switches and ACD software are located at the telephone office. The main feature of C.O.-based ACD is that it provides all the features of ACD/PBX without the switch being on the premises.


1.“PBX” stands for “Private Branch Exchange”; “ACD” stands for “Automatic Call Distribution.”
2.PBX basically helps employees of a big organization to receive and make calls without the need of a switching and routing service provided by a public phone provider; ACD helps in connecting internal resources of the company to outside callers.
3.PBX can handle fewer BHCA (busy hour call attempts) because of fewer lines coming in. In the PBX system, traffic jams may occur; ACD can handle many calls, and they can identify the source of the call, and the voice-automated system helps in finding the real purpose of the call and connect to the right agent thus reducing traffic jams.
4.ACD is a more intelligent system than PBX and provides monitoring capabilities, real-time reporting, complex routing systems, etc.
5.ACD as a result of all the intelligent features is more cost effective, has an accurate call routing system, and guarantees more customer satisfaction than PBX.

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