Cloud-based technology has permanently altered the landscape of business communication systems, and now Hosted PBX providers may have spelled doom for Ma Bell.
(PRWEB) October 10, 2013
One component of the legacy telephone system that is being discarded left and right is the traditional in-house Private Branch Exchange (PBX) that routes and connects calls. With the number of Business “VoIP” (Internet Phone) providers increasing quickly alongside consumer demand, some VoIP providers now offer “Hosted PBX”, where they house the PBX off-site, and the customer still controls the office phone system via an easy-to-use Internet dashboard. After reviewing the price points, features, and customer service reviews of the nations best VoIP providers, the telecom experts at VoIPMechanic.com announce the “Top 4 Hosted PBX Providers for Small Business”.
1. Alliance Phones
Alliance Phones features a “Careless Business VoIP” service plan for $19.97/month that aims to remove as much of the responsibility of the office communications system from the customer as possible. To start with there is no initial set-up fee, month-to-month contracts, and a 30-day moneyback guarantee. Those three items should at least reduce any reluctance that skeptics or first-timers to VoIP service are experiencing.
Compared to the initial investment in a traditional PBX, the savings in the first year alone can be as much as 80%. Alliance IP phones arrive at the office door preconfigured and ready to go. As long as there’s an Internet connection, the phone only needs to be plugged in and it’s ’”Plug-and-play” (or, work, as the case may be.) Because Hosted PBX from Alliance does not compress and decompress voice signals, the sound quality is crystal clear, and dropped calls are extremely rare. Their all-inclusive business phone plans have 50+ features.
8x8 is the only Hosted PBX provider that offers Instant Messaging, and Web-conferencing with their business phone plan (included). Plans start at $19.95/month, which is as much as many of their individual features cost from traditional phone service providers. For example: advanced features like auto-attendant, transfers, call forwarding, call conferencing, conference bridge, and advanced call routing can get pricey when added to legacy systems. Whereas, all of the aforementioned are included with 8x8 Hosted PBX service.
The “8x8 Virtual Office” is a “complete phone system” with next generation forwarding features to virtual 800 numbers, Android, iPhones, smartphones, or any Internet-enabled device. This is an important feature for companies that rely on a mobile as opposed to an office-bound workforce. To alter or add lines and extensions, it’s not necessary to have a service visit, or even call 8x8 to have them do it. Simply log-in to the online account, and make the alterations on a user-friendly dashboard. Their basic Hosted PBX business service also contains the features Fortune 500 companies expect like traditional and IP faxing, corporate directory, music on hold, switchboard, and toll-free numbers.
Hosted business VoIP service from Nextiva starts at $19.99/month, and includes 100+ enterprise-class features including hosted call centers, line mirroring, “find-me/follow-me” call routing, remote office access, and dozens more. As part of their belief that customers should entail as little risk when trying their service, Nextiva charges no set-up fees, requires no contracts, and offers a 30 day satisfaction, money-back guarantee, as well as US-based customer support. For odd hours when support isn't available, there are various well-made tutorials available around the clock to address virtually any issue.
Arizona-based Nextiva has been an industry leader since 2006, paying particular care to their customer-service reputation and technical support department during early phases of VoIP technology growth. While this was perhaps more necessary in the early stages of the sometimes problematic technology (long-since ironed-out), Nextiva has built an enormous following on consumer advocacy sites because of their singular dedication to consumer satisfaction.
RingCentral cloud-based business VoIP rates start at only $19.99/month and deliver the reliability that comes from a platform built from the ground up on proprietary software (no need to share network bandwidth from a vendor.) They are a recognized authority in mission-critical business communication services, with over a decade of satisfied clients under their belt. They boast 3000,000 business partners that run on their network, and their fully configured IP phones arrive ready for use with any Internet connection.
The RingCentral attendant menu allows a customer to make changes to recorded messages, control dial-by-extension preferences, and manage a dozen other features included with their business service plans. Set-up and activation are included with RingCentral service, so there’s just one low, dependable monthly-rate with no hidden fees or surcharges. The increased functionality, user-level access, and ability to manage the system from anywhere is both cost and time efficient.
Voice over Internet Protocol, or “VoIP”, has swept the nation. The astoundingly cheap way of transmitting digital voice-packets over the Internet, came on the heels of the revelation that facets of land-line telephone systems (namely the cost) simply aren't necessary to place, route, and receive phone calls. The cloud-based technology has certainly and permanently altered the landscape of business communication systems, and now Hosted PBX providers may have spelled doom for Ma Bell.