Nextiva thinks big. They serve a number of very large corporations, many of which you've probably heard of: Acura, Allstate Insurance, Burger King, Delta, The Farmer's Group Insurance, IBM, and The United Way. Nextiva serves over 60,000 companies worldwide.

My experience with Nextiva's site got off to a bit of a shaky start. The big banner at the top showed slides of their greatest features. This was informative, but it did make me a little dizzy after staring at the screen. It would be nice to have a “stop” button, especially since my eyes were then drawn to the different options and business plans. After making the window smaller, it helped, but of course there had to be another, smaller banner at the bottom of the screen. I hate to nitpick, but if I see the words “PBX SIP TRUNKS” anywhere on my screen, I need a minute to process all this technical stuff. And I'm supposed to be the expert!

Most of their plans come in two tiers, “Pro,” and “Enterprise.” Other plans come in three tiers, “Pro,” “Premium,” and “Enterprise.” Nextiva offers specialized plans for businesses and call centers. They offer packages for small business starting as low as $24.95/month, and they go up to plans so large they'd make Mayor Bloomberg nervous. They offer cloud-based call centers and unmetered SIP trunks, which means, if your business needs it, you can have unlimited minutes on an unlimited number lines. I chatted with “Mike M” to confirm that it would really be unlimited, and he told me he had accounts with as many as 450 lines. Curiously, it was less expensive to have between 21 and 100 phone lines than it would be to have under 20. This does fit with their business model of going after the big fish.

Among their slew of options, one of the more practical ones listed is the Nextiva Automated Attendant. Callers will hear an automated receptionist that will guide them through the phone tree so that they can get the person they need to speak with quickly and efficiently. Similarly, you can have a dial- by-name directory, which adds a subtle sense of prestige to your business. You can be as available or unavailable as you choose to be by using advanced call routing, mobile phone integration, call screening, vacation messages, and the do not disturb option. For real live receptionist, they have what's called an “Attendant Console” in which calls are listed on a screen, and the names move from the top to the bottom as they are properly routed.

Nextiva is as proud of their own employees as they are of the VoIP services they provide. They use the term “Amazing Service” several times, noting that most of their help center calls are answered by the first ring, and there is little hold time. Nextiva has been awarded as one the “Best Places To Work” by Business Journal.

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