What’s a PBX, Responsive Web Design, a Gateway & a Contact Widget?
- IT Terminology Explained (Part II)

written by Patrycja Leinekugel | October 30th, 2023

We continue with our series “IT Terminology Explained.” As with part I of our series, we asked our colleagues to explain a few terms commonly used in ICT (information & communications technology). What is a PBX and what does “responsive web design” mean? What exactly is a gateway and is a router the same thing? Our colleague Francisco will further explain why it is important to interconnect the PBX system with the corporate website.

a man with a beard and a woman with long hair striking a thinking pose with a light bulb over their heads. A turquoise background with key phraseson VoIP, SIP, IP telephony and more

What is a PBX (Private Branch Exchange)?

This question was answered by Domenico Cicero | IT Infrastructure

A PBX is a private telephone system used within a company or an organization. It is a communication solution with which users can communicate with each other internally, within the company, as well as externally, with people outside the business. A PBX often provides Unified Communications functions and enables the integration of different applications.

Comments from the blog team: The innovaphone PBX is one of the main components of the innovaphone portfolio, designed as a stand-alone IP phone system. Combined with the innovaphone myApps platform, it further provides numerous UCC functionalities (virtual meetings, video calls, chat messaging & more) and business tools (recording of working times, reports & more) for smooth and productive enterprise communications, irrespective of location and end devices used.

In accordance with our claim “more than communication,” each digital workplace can be equipped individually with smart apps and tools to best suit the respective business requirements in order to enhance productivity, and for organizational matters and business processes to run smoother.

What is Meant with “Responsive Web Design”?

This question was answered by Anna Sauer | User Interface Design

Imagine you open a website from the year 2008 on your modern smartphone. The text is too small, the images are too large and website navigation is impossible to handle. The reason is following: Back in ’08, websites were exclusively designed for desktop computers. Only once the smartphone established itself in the 2010s, all of a sudden, web pages had to be optimized to suit the various end devices. But how could this be achieved?

The “responsive web design” became popular to avoid having to program an extra website for each device. With the responsive web design, all elements of a website (images, texts, navigation) will flexibly adapt to the size of the screen. Put simply, developers will realize this with so-called media queries. A website will be able to recognize the attributes of the device currently used. Possible attributes include for example the measurements of the device, display resolution and page orientation (portrait, landscape). Thanks to the responsive web design, a page will look good on any device, and visitors to the page will be able to navigate without impediment.

What is a Gateway? Is it the Same Thing as a Router?

This question was answered by Gregor Bewernick | Repairs

Our world is highly interconnected. Imagine the individual components of the world wide web to be people speaking different languages, sitting in apartments within large buildings, sharing the same addresses. Good distributing skills and people with good translation expertise are needed. Amongst others, gateways assume these tasks. Yet, the term is a very broad one. You could say: Every router is a gateway but not every gateway is a router.

A router distributes and coordinates inbound and outbound data between the users of a router and the internet. A VoIP gateway needs to coordinate data streams and phone traffic, it has to mediate between (analog) telephone signals and IP as well as translate between the various protocols. Whether analog, IP, fax, DECT etc. – the tasks are as diverse as the users. Depending on the task and the manufacturer, gateways need to coordinate pure VoIP traffic and integrate single devices or entire old phone systems into the VoIP technology. They can further provide a virtual telephone system and replace gateways that have failed in the network (keyword: redundancy). Gateways can therefore either be used to transition old technologies smoothly to VoIP or to build up a modern VoIP architecture right from the start.

Comments from the blog team: innovaphone VoIP gateways provide the basis for the innovaphone PBX and serve as the interface to other networks. They can further be used as pure (video) conferencing gateways, recording solution or as fax servers, meeting any business requirement. The innovaphone VoIP gateways additionally serve as the basis for the innovaphone Session Border Controller (SBC) and Reverse Proxy.

Integrating Contact Widgets into A Business Website

This question was answered by Francisco López Pulido | Area Sales Manager IBERIA

Nowadays, the website of a company is an essential contributor to generating business. The seamless integration of your website into your enterprise communications solution (whether operated in the cloud or on premises) is therefore of paramount importance so that visitors to the website can establish contact without much of a hassle.

WebRTC technology is an open standard with which such an integration is possible. innovaphone has implemented WebRTC into its solutions. Contact widgets can be added to a website, accounting for the presence status of employees and agents in real-time. Visitors to the website can start a video call or phone call directly via the contact widget. They can further send a chat message or send an e-mail without having to download a plugin. All these actions to get in touch with someone via the business website can be triggered with the simple click of a button. Things do not get much easier than that.

Comments from the blog team: Did you know? innovaphone recently released the latest software version innovaphone 14r1 (Beta) which includes the new innovaphone Contact Widgets App. Visit our innovaphone Community and get all the latest details on our 14r1 Beta.


This post explained some basic terms of modern communications. Stay tuned for more explanations to better understand the world of communication.

Would you like to participate as well? Is there a term that you cannot wrap your head around? Let us know and send us an e-mail: marketing@innovaphone.com. Perhaps we have the right expert to help out.

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