VoxOx’s personal use mobile and desktop platform has already garnered some attention from technology blogs because of its low-cost call termination, penny faxing, and unified IM client. Now, parent company Telcentris has expanded its customer base by opening a new data center in the heart of New York City. VoxOx in business is racking up awards at a fast pace, and is aiming to lower the barriers to entry for hosted VoIP.
VoxOx has a new “startup bundle,” for only $199 a month for four seats. The price sounds reasonable, if not the lowest, but what you get for your money is so much more than just a phone number. To begin with, the price includes four PolyCom 335 IP phones and a Managed Ethernet Switch. You also get four voicemail boxes and fax-to-email accounts to go with them. You also get four unlimited hosted PBX lines, and not four but five phone numbers. From there, you can start adding features, including a phone upgrade for $4 a month, new seats for $25 each, and an upgrade to PoE for $10 per month. Larger businesses can get a lower price quote.
A Managed Switch is an on-premise hardware that, at current retail prices, is around $250, and around $500 for a PoE model. This is the first business VoIP provider I’ve reviewed that included a switch, so it begs the question of why, if so many other VoIP providers do without it, include it at all. The reason is to make sure that the network is optimized right from the source. In signing up for VoIP services, we’ve had to answer questions about what sort of modem and switches and routers we have. VoxOx solves that problem by having one unit that every phone and computer connects to. The managed switch does the heavy-duty number crunching of NAT transversal and QoS, making sure every byte is managed. It also provides the power to PoE devices. The actual PBX is still hosted by VoxOx; this is not the same thing as an on-premise PBX or hybrid PBX.
VoxOx in business offers SIP trunking starting at $9.99 per trunk. They offer competitive per minute rates, bulk minutes, and unlimited minute plans. The sip trunks can be handed off to legacy trunks, PRI trunks, or other SIP trunks. SIP trunking plans are designed to be flexible and grow with your business. SIP trunks can be oversubscribed by a maximum of 5 to 1, meaning you can have five times as many extensions making calls for each trunk.
VoxOx in Business offers Call Center plans that range from $90 to $125 per seat, plus usage. The Hosted Contact Center solutions include predictive dialing, unified desktop software, and a number of tools to aid in customer service.
The web site, Telcentris.com (Not VoxOx.com, which was for their personal platform), had a number of helpful PDFs explaining each of the major features of each service they offered. They also had user guides for the phones they leased, and an eight minute long video showing how of use the online portal and how to use some of the most popular features.
The one thing that troubled me about VoxOx was how prominently they showed their white label program, and how they were rewarding their “channel partners.” Every VoIP provider, business and residential offered some kind of “refer-a-friend” bonus program, but this seemed a little over the top for me. That said, if having independent resellers keeps their prices down, then they’re doing something right, as their recent expansion illustrates.