VoIP for Business: Uncovering Your Options
The emergence of new technologies has benefited businesses tremendously. The internet has brought together customers from around the world; laptop computers have made it easier for employees to work remotely; and company phone systems have become completely automated. In each case companies have realized sharp gains in worker productivity while trimming overhead expenses significantly.
One area that has recently experienced a revolutionary change is Private Branch Exchange [PBX] telephone systems. Please keep reading and we shall explore how a VoIP PBX system can benefit your company while cutting costs.
There is no doubt about it that your phone system is a costly, but necessary part of running your business. If you have multiple locations and have workers who frequently work from home or off site, then you know that phone charges can be a substantial expense -- one that can affect your bottom line. Running separate PBX systems at each location adds up, but a Virtual Office VoIP PBX system can trim these expenses significantly.
Instead of having multiple PBX systems in place, a company can install a single internet protocol [IP] PBX system at one location – such as corporate headquarters – and send calls out to IP phones or regular phones with IP adapters everywhere. No expensive hardware costs are incurred as a simple software update enables the system to become active. Indeed, expensive switching equipment is not needed as all calls are routed through the internet. Significantly, employees can make intra-office, inter-office, and international calls through the internet for just pennies per call.
In addition to the technological benefits, a Virtual Office VoIP PBX system will:
--Eliminate the contract costs associated with buying and maintaining PBX hardware.
--Reduce intra-office toll charges, even eliminating them altogether with some plans.
--Provide a unified corporate image as all calls worldwide are routed through the same system.
--Improve productivity benefits as off site workers [work at home or on the road] can have access to the same system available through the office [i.e. voice mail, caller id, call forwarding, music/message on hold, ring tones, ring groups, and much more].
--Lower hardware costs and charges as employees are added, transferred, or dismissed.
Has your appetite been whetted for a Virtual Office VoIP PBX system yet? It should be! Moreover, you desire to compare available packages on the market so let’s take a look at what three important providers have to offer to your business:
Virtual PBX – As the company’s name implies, you won’t be buying and maintaining any PBX equipment which can cost over $500 per user for equipment, installation, lines, and support. Instead, Virtual PBX charges a small set up free of $100 or $250 based on the size of your company with a nominal $12 per month charge for live extensions. Calls are billed separately at about 6 or 7 cents per minute, meaning that the employee who uses 2000 minutes per month could cost over $130 per month.
Aptela Connect Business VoIP Unlimited – Choosing to offer a flat rate charge per user, Aptela’s premium plan costs only $49.50 per user, per month. This unlimited usage plan includes all calls to Canada, in-network calling and voice mail. For users needing minimal phone access, the company offers a plan for $24.95 per month which includes 500 minutes free. Overages are charged only 2.9 cents per minute.
Packet8 Virtual Office Unlimited Extension – For $39.99 per month the Packet8 plan is the most cost effective plan of all. Unlimited calls can be made throughout the US and to anywhere in Canada, free calls can be made to other Packet8 subscribers, a unique Direct Inbound Dialer number is given to each user, business class voice mail, and auto attendant are some of the many features offered through Packet8’s best plan.
When choosing a Virtual Office plan, there are some other things to consider as you make the switch over to a Virtual Office VoIP PBX system:
--The purchase of IP compatible phones or phone adapters for each user.
--The cost of support and maintenance contracts.
--Internal training for IT staff and users.
--Accounting costs associated with writing off previously used equipment.
--Reliability of VoIP service providers: get references!
Most definitely, when you weigh all of the considerations, VoIP for business still has a nice ring to it. By carefully comparing plans, examining costs, maximizing training, and smoothly implementing the new system, a VoIP PBX can help your company trim costs, maximize productivity, and maintain a uniform appearance around the globe. Clearly, VoIP for business offers so much more for much less money and is a laudable choice for businesses everywhere.
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