Tag: IP PBX
Posted on February 25, 2011 by Paul Hammond
The time has come — Virtual PBX, provider of the no-compromise business phone system, announced support for hardware VoIP Phones along with new flat-rate plans, fortifying their lineup of industry-leading plans and services. With this, Virtual PBX now controls the phone call from the inbound phone number ALL the way down to the hardware VoIP phone on the desktop. You can now have a truly complete phone system integrating phone numbers, free long distance and IP phones into one cost-effective solution.
We now offer two award winning plans from which you, the customer, can choose: the new flat-rate plans and the original usage-based plans. Even better, you don’t have to be on the flat-rate plans to use the VoIP phones – we’ve set up the system to support the phones on either plan. So feel free to pick the plan that works best for you and your business, and also decide how you would like the system to reach you. You can be contacted through the VoIP phone(s) and/or contact phone numbers via a landline or cell phone. The freedom to choose is in your hands.
We also offer you the freedom to save! With Virtual PBX you can simplify your life and your budget by cutting the ties with your landline carrier. There is really no need for a landline anymore seeing as how you can make and receive phone calls using a VoIP phone and your Virtual PBX service. So go on ahead and save that money each month with Virtual PBX Complete. With our phone service you can enjoy a savings of anywhere from 40-80% in traditional phone system and landline costs – that is a huge savings! Given that telecom costs are a major expense in everyday business, Virtual PBX provides business communication that is affordable, easy and accessible from wherever you need to be with a low monthly fee and no contracts or setup costs!
Please see the plan details below and save money with the plan suited for you:
These are your traditional “unlimited” plans that so many companies try to market. However, Virtual PBX does it right as there is a fair-use policy in place (much like every other VoIP phone service out there) that allows 5,000 minutes of inbound minutes per extension, aggregated at the account level. So a 5-user system would include upwards of 25,000 inbound local minutes. That’s amazing. Most companies won’t touch that. Yet, they can have this system for around $150 per month, and that already includes the e911 fees, Federal and FCC taxes. The flat-rate plans are as follows:
- 1-User: $39.99/mo
- 4-User: $23.99/mo/ext
- 10-User: $21.99/mo/ext
- 20-User: $19.99/mo/ext
- 50-User: $19.99/mo/ext
- Extra Extensions: $24.99/mo
These plans are what Virtual PBX used to pioneer the hosted phone service market. On these original plans you only pay for the minutes used each month. As the plans go up, you receive a larger block of free minutes and the price for additional minutes becomes cheaper. These plans come with unlimited users and all the same features as the flat-rate plans. Virtual PBX has the following usage-based plans:
- VPBX-5: $9.99/mo (300 minutes, extra minutes are 6.5 cents/min)
- VPBX-10: $24.99/mo (600 minutes, extra minutes are 5.8 cents/min)
- VPBX-20: $44.99/mo (1,000 minutes, extra minutes are 4.7 cents/min)
- VPBX-50: $94.99/mo (2,500 minutes, extra minutes are 4.4 cents/min
Virtual PBX now supports hardware VoIP phones connected to the service. This is a superb addition as now you can make phone calls and show your Virtual PBX caller ID on every outbound call. And you don’t have to use a cellphone or landline to make that outbound call. All you need is an Internet connection. Virtual PBX sells the following phones that arrive pre-configured and ready for use:
- Polycom SoundPoint IP 321: $99.99 (single ethernet port)
- Polycom SoundPoint IP 335: $139.99 (ethernet pass-through port; backlit display)
- Polycom SoundStation IP 5000: $599.99 (conference phone)
With Virtual PBX there is no need to get hardware VoIP phones from one provider, calling plans from another, and features from somewhere else. Get it all in one place. If you are looking for a complete, no-compromise business VoIP solution for your business, Virtual PBX is the answer.
Posted on December 2, 2010 by Paul Hammond
In our last post we explained the basics of VoIP, how SIP became the default standard in the VoIP industry, and the fact that even though most VoIP providers have adopted the SIP protocol, they use a proprietary implementation to keep calls within their own network. In this post, we will expand our discussion on SIP, explain SIP URI, why Virtual PBX chose to adopt the open SIP URI standard for VoIP communication, and finally why VoIP peering gives you the freedom to choose the VoIP solution that works best for you and your business.
In 2009, Virtual PBX broke the mold by expanding our feature set to allow calls to go through the Virtual PBX virtual phone service, but rather than dial out to find the extension owner at a phone number, they could instead have the Virtual PBX service send the call via SIP to their VoIP service of choice that accepts inbound calls via SIP URI.
In our last blog we described SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) as the default protocol on which the VoIP industry has standardized. A SIP URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) is basically an internet “address” for a VoIP service allowing one VoIP user to call another VoIP user by using the SIP URI. A SIP URI resembles an e-mail address and follows the format of firstname.lastname@example.org or user@Ipaddress (e.g. User@192.168.1.7). The “user” portion of the URI could be a user name or resemble a 10- or 11-digit phone number. The “domain” portion is the domain of the VoIP provider and can be a name or an IP address. For instance, CallCentric uses the following format: email@example.com.
There are many VoIP services available which fit this mold and are very cost-effective, including CallCentric, Ekiga, Truphone, and Gizmo5, although after being purchased by Google in 2009, Gizmo5 does not accept any new sign ups. With most of these VoIP services, you download a softphone to your computer, which is a software application that has a dialpad and is used to make and receive phone calls, typically using a USB headset or USB phone. However, some of the above services go a step further and allow the user to purchase a hardware VoIP phone and register it to the service, thus allowing the user to have a phone on their desk. This configuration could allow the user to replace their land line if so desired. With most of these services, users can call each other for free. But users can also get a phone number, or DID, and attach it to their VoIP service allowing users outside their VoIP network to call them as well. This feature will usually add a monthly or per minute cost to the service.
Now that we’ve explained SIP URI and some of the VoIP peering services that have implemented it, let’s circle back around to why Virtual PBX chose to support it. Through our VoIP Peering feature, for which we have won the Internet Telephony Excellence Award 2 years in a row, users can choose to have the Virtual PBX service reach them on not only their cell phones and land lines, but also send calls via SIP URI directly to the VoIP service of their choice. You can find information on how to do this in our training video.
So why is this so cool? Let’s put the parts together. Not only can a VoIP phone service save you a lot of money over a traditional land line with long distance, but if it’s truly an open SIP solution, then it can work with other VoIP services on the market. All this allows users to choose best of breed VoIP services that truly meet their telecom needs and the needs of their business rather than being tied down by proprietary VoIP solutions. With Open VoIP Peering, Virtual PBX is now the lowest-priced and most flexible hosted PBX solution on the market, allowing users to mix and match their Virtual PBX virtual phone system with the SIP-based VoIP softphone (and/or hardware phone) service of their choice, or with one they were already using. This creates amazing opportunities for businesses to best meet all of their feature, cost and reliability needs. And that’s what happens when vendors like Virtual PBX put the customer first.
Posted on November 24, 2010 by Paul Hammond
Virtual PBX proudly announced on November 16, 2010 that Technology Marketing Corporation’s (TMC) INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine (http://www.itmag.com/) has named Virtual PBX as a recipient of the 2010 INTERNET TELEPHONY Excellence Award for its Open VoIP Peering.
This is the second time Virtual PBX has had the honor of receiving this award. But why is this so cool and what does it mean to you? We will take the next two blog posts to discuss the genesis of VoIP, how it has evolved, and what this means for you and your business.
Communication has come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell invented the first practical telephone in 1875. Communication technologies are now clearer, faster and cheaper than ever, in large part thanks to a revolutionary service known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). But what exactly is VoIP? VoIP is the routing of Voice conversations through the internet or other such IP-based networks.
Although VoIP was first used commercially in 1995, it was not mass-marketed until much later, using existing broadband Internet access. Today, even telecom carriers use IP technology to send calls to one another. It is through the use of VoIP that subscribers are able to place and receive telephone calls through the internet in much the same way as they would via their regular telephone line or PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).
VoIP is implemented in numerous ways using both proprietary and open protocols and standards. A popular VoIP service using proprietary protocols is Skype. The issue with proprietary standards is subscribers are unable to reach people using a different network. Proprietary VoIP Service only works if everyone is on the exact same network, using the same software, which is owned and operated by one company.
SIP or Session Initiation Protocol, is the default open protocol that the VoIP industry has standardized on, and has become a strong force influencing today’s telecom industry. What’s so great about SIP is it allows a number of different telephone services and systems to communicate with each other. Subscribers no longer need to be tied to one network.
However, even with the acceptance of SIP by the telecom industry, there was still the issue of people being forced to use one network. Even though they use SIP internally, many VoIP services do not allow communication to or from an outside service. They do this to protect and control their investment and their customer base.
Virtual PBX wanted to push the open standard as we believe customers should not be held hostage to a proprietary platform and should have the freedom to choose the VoIP services that best suits their needs. Hence, we created a service with the ability to send calls from our own network out to any SIP-compliant service that uses a SIP URI.
We’ll discuss exactly what this means, how cool this is and how it can be used with your Virtual PBX service on our next blog entry.
Posted on August 18, 2010 by Paul Hammond
If you’ve ever called a customer using your home phone or cell phone, thanks to caller ID, then you’ve also given away your personal number. And if you’ve ever had a client or business partner who is, shall we say, enthusiastic about staying in contact, this can be an issue. Even in this day and age of distancing ourselves from the traditional 9-5 and international remote working options that blur the lines between work time and free time, nobody wants to have their personal lines going off when it’s time to be left alone. That’s why it’s so important to keep your private numbers private and your work numbers for just that, work. But because that’s increasingly difficult with the nearly 24-hour business cycle that some segments operate in, it’s just as helpful to show your company phone number from any phone you’re working from.
Show Your Company Phone Number from Any Phone
There, not that you’ve said what you want to do, it’s just a matter of making it happen, right? More or less. In fact, with the right technology at your disposal, you can eventually make it so that any phone is a work phone. If that sounds like magic then let us be the wizards and witches of your business telephone dreams! With an advanced business telephone system powered by VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), you and your employees can have the final say over what numbers get shown over the caller ID of the people you dial-out to. That means that for businesses operating on one of the Dash Business Phone Plans from VirtualPBX, switching and assigning the caller ID is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. Thanks to Dash’s simple and intuitive interface, there are a couple of different ways to show your company phone number from any phone.
How to Show Your Company Phone Number from Any Phone
Initially and by default, Caller ID on Dash is set at the account level which means that every device on the account will show the name and number of the business as you’d like it to appear. That would automatically cover every device that is connected to your company’s pooled number of minutes from mobile devices, web phones, desktop phones, and even softphones, too. As long as the device is in your company’s business telephone ecosystem, you can show the same number on caller ID from it. There’s also the ability for this to be controlled at the individual user level, too. That means that admins can set controls for their agents to include permissions that allow them to edit their outgoing caller ID information individually. This can happen in such a way that the individual employee can pick and choose the when to show your company phone number from any phone. Specifically, to set Caller ID within Dash, all an employee would have to do is log on and toggle through available devices to find the one he or she wanted to use. This allows for the user to make changes that then override the defaults of the company for that particular employee. No matter how you choose to design your outbound caller ID information, you can leverage the VirtualPBX Customer Support team and their online guides on how to use Caller ID to show your company phone number from any phone. And when you’ve done that, you can be confident that your personal numbers will always stay personal, no matter what!
Posted on May 19, 2010 by Paul Hammond
Lots of information flows through your business’s phone lines. Potential customers who don’t leave contact information could still be reached if you had access to their caller ID. Marketing spending results could be tracked precisely if you could find out exactly how your call volume has been affected. Managers could confirm the movement of calls, showing that they’re processing leads and their staff is working properly. All of this and more is possible with virtual numbers from VirtualPBX.
But just having a plethora of raw call information is difficult to manage and hard to decipher. So here at Virtual PBX, we give your organization the ability to host an unlimited amount of phone numbers and forward those to all kinds of different destinations, while still tracking all the information and processing it into a set of easily manageable reports. Virtual numbers can further be specialized by having its own greeting as well as directing callers to specific destinations within the Virtual PBX.
Basically, any company trying to track caller response to advertisements, promotions, campaigns, find out about missed sales or prove proper call management needs to be able to get the records that show those pieces of information organized based on the phone numbers dialed. And anyone trying to direct calls to dedicated sales teams, handle multiple businesses, provide access to multiple retail locations, or give VIP access to special clients would benefit from being able to have individual virtual numbers for each of those possible purposes.
So there are many reasons to use extra phone numbers — and every reason is very specialized. Using extra numbers to support a franchise is going to be completely different from tracking marketing information from inbound callers. The Marketing group is going to want one or more phone numbers for each advertisement, promotion, or campaign. By doing this, they can measure their advertisement effectiveness, and thus optimize their advertisement costs. This is accomplished by tracking all call detail such as caller ID, date and time of the call, call duration, and destination of the call – even on missed calls and, in most cases, callers who have blocked their caller ID. Franchisors, on the other hand, may want to track similar information, but at the same time they need to get the calls directed down to their franchisees and regional offices as fast as possible.
Regardless of the needs of your business — from individuals, to home offices and small businesses, to large enterprises — you only pay for what you need, with no wasted resources or dollars. With the ability to track and route a company’s inbound calls like no other call forwarding, call tracking, or virtual phone system in this market, the Virtual PBX service with virtual numbers is the best choice for companies serious about measuring and optimizing the flow of information and budgets.