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Virtual Phone System fo Small Businesses

    • 23 posts
    September 3, 2006 9:31 AM EDT
    No doubt that is the best way to go if you are converting an existing PBX telephony, but you either have to you use the existing high priced PBX system to convert it to iPBX or get new hardware. Astrisk is a great open source telephony solution, but geared to mid-size businesses. You have to have a minimum of a T1 connection that can run around $500 a month and equipment.

    Once again, good solution, but maybe not for small businesses. I suggest a paid VoIP service for small or start-up companies.
    • 23 posts
    September 8, 2006 3:36 PM EDT
    I never heard of GotVMail, but I really like the concept. It seems like a very clean interface and a stable product. The only thing that I don`t like is that you need a phone service to forward it to or you will be charged for every minute you use their phone lines. This service is great to give the appearance of a bigger company but they do charge extra for every little feature.
    • 23 posts
    September 9, 2006 6:41 AM EDT
    Maybe you can get your phone number transferred or just have the new office line directed to your cell phone. I just can`t see havning a small business based on a cell phone with dropped calls and a high cell phone bill. Doesn`t that effect your net gross?
    • 23 posts
    September 13, 2006 2:07 PM EDT
    It doesn`t seem like a bad choice, but I really don`t like programs that are not all exclusive. I still like MyVoiceEclipse.com because you get two phone numbers, two fax lines, and two voice mails. Unlimited amount of US, Canada, and Puerto Rico phone calls for only $19.99. They also offer large business solutions, but the $19.99 is great for a home business. You can always add toll free numbers or transfer your existing number(s).They also offer a free softphone. Thanks, jefe.
    wifistudios2006-9-13 19:9:12
    • 3 posts
    March 31, 2009 8:24 AM EDT
    I highly recommend a asterisk solution for a business. Asterisk is portable, and very customizable.

    Unified Voice and Data LLC
    Phone: 1-888-4-UNIVAD EXT# 173
                (1-888-486-4823)
    Website: http://univoicedata.com


    • 8 posts
    August 23, 2006 12:41 PM EDT

    Be sure and check out Virtual PBX (www.virtualpbx.com).  We created the hosted, or virtual, phone industry and have the best deal on the market:  $9.99/month for a professional sounding phone service for three people, web management, voicemail to email, follow-me calling, as well as fax capabilities.  I`d be more than happy to talk with any of you about it.

    ---
    John Coyle
    VP Sales & Business Development
    Virtual PBX
    Tel: (888) 825-0800, x334
    Email: john.coyle@virtualpbx.com

    • 8 posts
    November 1, 2006 11:05 AM EST
    You have to be careful when companies talk about the price/minute.  You only get the 3.5 cents/min with www.800pbx.com when you sign up for their Large Business system.  The normal $9.95/month plan is 5.9 cents/min.

    ---
    John Coyle
    VP Sales & Business Development
    Virtual PBX
    Tel: (888) 825-0800, x334
    Email: john.coyle@virtualpbx.com

    • 8 posts
    November 16, 2006 9:40 AM EST

    Great overview.  Virtual PBX does everything you mentioned, and we only do single-leg billing.  You`re very correct in that you need to make sure how you get charged.  Don`t be enticed by the low per-minute pricing because you may be paying that price per leg, so the total price for a connected call is 2x what that company advertises.

    Please see the following website for a full list of Virtual PBX features:

    http://www.virtualpbx.com/services/comparison.asp

    ---
    John Coyle
    VP Sales & Business Development
    Virtual PBX
    Tel: (888) 825-0800, x334
    Email: john.coyle@virtualpbx.com

    • 8 posts
    July 3, 2008 9:41 AM EDT
    Hi Tomasz,
    Actually you do have another option, Virtual PBX.  We invented and pioneered the virtual phone system more than 11 years ago.  But aside from that, the items you need to keep in mind are that the phone number the you give out needs to be with you forever, whether you`re a single person or 50 person company.  Changing phone numbers on customers is a sure way to lose them.
     
    Secondly, with a virtual phone service like Virtual PBX, you can start out very simple, at ~$10/month plus traffic, and have a fully Fortune 500 sound and functionality for a single person, complete with follow me calling finding you at any phone number you want, voicemail forwarded to your email, send messages to your cell phone to let you know you have voicemail, and when you grow, you can add more extensions and even ACD queues like call centers -- all under the same phone number.  You can also have an extension that is just information, like an info box, hours of operation, directions, etc.  Virtual phone systems like Virtual PBX can also be your fax machine -- again all from the same phone number.
     
    If you move across town, state or nation, you can continue to keep the same phone number.  You can add other phone numbers to advertise is different geographical areas.  A lot of our customers add multiple phone numbers and put them in different advertisements so you can see how your ads are doing -- a very effective way of doing research.
     
    A lot of virtual phone systems can`t do this, but Virtual PBX allows you to have a different main greeting for each of your phone numbers if you want.  If you act like 2-3 different companies, then the same people, and the same phone system, can accomplish that.  The callers don`t know as they called a different number.  The Virtual PBX system announces to you in your ear when you receive the call which phone number the call came through.
     
    Okay, don`t want to get too feature-preachy here.  However, having a virtual phone system like Virtual PBX is extremely helpful, allows you to sound bigger and more professional, and you can still give out your phone number.  It`s your phone, your fax, your call center, your info box.  It`s the voice of your business.  I`d be more than happy to talk to you, or anybody else, about this.
     
    Thanks,
     
    John Coyle

    ---
    John Coyle
    VP Sales & Business Development
    Virtual PBX
    Tel: (888) 825-0800, x334
    Email: john.coyle@virtualpbx.com

    • 8 posts
    August 12, 2010 5:55 AM EDT

    Hi Everybody,


    I just wanted to let everybody know that Virtual PBX recently made some changes to their virtual phone plans -- they now all have unlimited extensions and more free minutes, at no extra cost.  Can't beat that, especially in this economy.  Plans start at $9.99/mo and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Virtual PBX.

    Thanks,

    John Coyle

    ---
    John Coyle
    VP Sales & Business Development
    Virtual PBX
    Tel: (888) 825-0800, x334
    Email: john.coyle@virtualpbx.com

    • 8 posts
    September 3, 2010 7:35 AM EDT

    Yes, I agree.  A virtual phone service is definitely the way to go.  Please be careful with using the "Virtual PBX" word as that is a registered trademark of Virtual PBX, the company (www.virtualpbx.com).

    By the way, their plans are some of the most affordable on the market, starting at $9.99/month, without requiring a year-long commitment.  Check them out.

    ---
    John Coyle
    VP Sales & Business Development
    Virtual PBX
    Tel: (888) 825-0800, x334
    Email: john.coyle@virtualpbx.com

    • 8 posts
    September 9, 2010 5:50 AM EDT

    GoogleVoice is great if you are a sole proprietor and only want call forwarding.  If you want to appear bigger than you really are or project an image, then definitely use a virtual phone service of some sort, like Virtual PBX.

    RingCentral is good as well, though they just dropped their included minutes in their entry level plan from 300 back down to 100.  Not sure why they did that.  And in order to get the $9.99/mo rate, you need to pay annually -- that's a large up front cost that you don't need to make.

    Virtual PBX has the highest number of included free minutes (300) in an entry level plan that starts at a true monthly price of $9.99/mo with no annual commitment.  Definitely check us out.

    Thanks,

    John Coyle

    http://www.virtualpbx.com

    ---
    John Coyle
    VP Sales & Business Development
    Virtual PBX
    Tel: (888) 825-0800, x334
    Email: john.coyle@virtualpbx.com

    • 8 posts
    October 22, 2010 7:12 AM EDT

    There are some great review sites out there.  I would recommend using the review sites as a one-stop feature/price comparison matrix so you don't have to run around the web doing your own research.  They've done all that for you, as long as it's updated.


    However, be careful about making a decision on the recommendation of the review sites.  Most of the review sites out there are affiliates of the vendors they review.  So their recommendations are slightly weighted to those vendors that pay a bit more for leads and signups.  Just something to be careful about.

    Great review sites are:

    PBXCompare
    VirtualPhoneSystemReviews

    ---
    John Coyle
    VP Sales & Business Development
    Virtual PBX
    Tel: (888) 825-0800, x334
    Email: john.coyle@virtualpbx.com

    • 1 posts
    August 17, 2006 12:34 PM EDT
    You might take a look at Accessline (http://www.accessline.com). Many of the voip services like vonage have the same/similar features as well now that include what`s called "follow-me/find-me" and "simul-ring" services.

    When I started my company, which is entirely virtual home-office workers, it helped us quite a bit. Rings cell, home or the hotel you are at if need be, does fax, voicemail, etc. decent customer service and you can get a member rate through Costco that`s dirt cheap.

    The big bennie for me is controlling where a virtual # points to if an employee or temp worker changes or leaves. I just redirect that # to the new person or myself for the interim, if need be.

    I don`t have a stake in the co or get any kickbacks for this either, btw.:)

    good luck!
    • 2 posts
    July 4, 2010 2:42 PM EDT

    Check out Google Voice!

    www.google.com/voice

    It works great for me!

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    • 18 posts
    August 17, 2006 9:49 AM EDT

    Don`t underestimate the advantage of always answering your phone.  It is a competitive differentiator that will land you more business.  Someone seeking IT help might just move on to the next company if they get a voicemail since they probably have an immediate need.  Also, you don`t need to indicate it as your cell # on your business cards.  In the service business, responsiveness is the key to a lot of first time customers.

     

    Kevin

    ---
    Stay tuned...coming soon

    • 11 posts
    August 17, 2006 11:39 AM EDT

    I don`t think that using your cell phone is unprofessional But...I do hate when I call a service professional, get them on their cell and they are not at a place where they can take my information.  This has happened to me!  They say "sorry, I am driving right now and can`t write down your number, can you call me back in an hour"

    I don`t.

    In your case, Banar, maybe a live person answering service would work? Someone to answer a phone for you...that could then get you on your cell and see if you are available?  I have no idea how much those cost...or if it is more cost effective to hire your own person.

    Good Luck!

    ---
    Laura Glynn www.parrotworks.com the art of e-learning the science of web design multimedia in a Flash!

    • 4 posts
    July 1, 2008 2:41 PM EDT
    Hi
     
    I have a question?
     
    Do you know the main difference between gotvmail and ringcentral?
    Thanks
     
    Jen
    • 0 posts
    August 18, 2006 8:55 AM EDT

    I happen to believe that giving your cell number is a great idea, keep your customers close to you and show them you are there for them, anytime. But I also happen to believe that having only your cell as the number shows that you may not be all that, and perception is the mother of closing deals.

    People like to feel like they are dealing with someone bigger than life, a pro with only a cell doesnt look very big. The question is not that you are, or are not, as what people perceive you to be. Donald Trump loses more money than you and I will make in our lifetime, but he writes a book on how to make money. I hope you get the point. Aside from the fact that one day you will need a phone anyway.

    I think it will look better to have both. Use your better judgement. You know your clients and seem to be doing a great job as your business is growing...Congratulations on that.

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    jump! jump! jump!...didn`t it feel good!!!

    • 0 posts
    August 18, 2006 6:50 PM EDT

    I think #3 is a great option.

    Go get`em, man. Show these clients that you earn every bit of their business. Good job!!!

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    jump! jump! jump!...didn`t it feel good!!!

    • 2 posts
    November 1, 2006 10:38 AM EST

    I use www.800pbx.com. They offer at just 3.5cents/min. I got a free local number and free voice artist announcement from them. There are news that they will also release audio conferencing feature very soon. looking forward to that feature.

    • 2 posts
    November 8, 2006 10:42 AM EST
    I made a research before getting a Toll Free number from 800PBX. I found many others are charging something or the other for there additional features like providing local number, getting a vanity number, voice artist announcement. I signed up for their free trial and it looks good. Then I signed up for the higher plan for $24.44.
    I  got a free local number, got free voice artist announcement , and there was no setup fee for getting the Toll Free number.

    But 5.9cents for the basic plan will be charged once we finish off your 100 free minutes. I think 5.9 cents/min for the basic plan is n`t too high when we look at other companies providing at 6.5cents/min.

    Thanks,
    Vincent



    vincentbiz2006-11-8 16:44:59
    • 27 posts
    March 17, 2007 10:05 AM EDT

    I use an online service called RingCentral (www.ringcentral.com).  People call into my 800 number and are forwarded to my cell phone (as well as other numbers I can specify).  If I can`t answer, the caller will be put into my voicemail on RingCentral which I can retrieve their message from my phone or online.

    An added bonus is since it`s a toll-free number, even blocked numbers show up on caller ID.

    It works for me really well.

    ---
    Raise Capital in 90 Days Online Learn How This Works Bedzzz Inn, Inc Raised $92,867 with this system!

    • 11 posts
    July 3, 2008 7:11 AM EDT
    Jen, working with people who have used both services I am pretty convinced it comes down to subtle differences in business model. They have similar offerings and are comparably priced (gotvmail might come out a little cheaper depending on how many calls you make/receive), but gotvmail is branded specifically as an entrepreneurial service (vs small business or even consumer). We could argue for a while about what this means -- it might even just be semantics -- but most of the folks I`ve talked to prefer gotv`s professional image and (non-outsourced) customer service. The latter has been the impetus for the few migrations from ringcentral that I am aware of, although I also know several people who are happy with their ringc service. I would be very interested in a reliability comparison between the two companies, although my company has used gotv for a few months and we haven`t had a problem yet.

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    -ph.ind

    • 1 posts
    April 18, 2007 7:45 AM EDT

    Tomasz-

    I too am a member of the Brick Chamber and I`m located on Herbertsville Rd.  Drop me an email sometime and perhaps we can help each other out.

    Rick Avelenda
    ravelenda@techsiteamerica.com

     

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    GetVive
    426 Herbertsville Rd.
    Brick, NJ 08724
    877-877-0757
    www.getvive.com