|Headquarters||Scottsdale, AZ||San Jose, CA||Belmont, CA||Atlanta, GA||Orem, UT|
|Year Founded||2006||April 21, 2011||2003||2000||2006|
|Service Availability||United States & Canada||40+ Countries||Worldwide||USA & Canada||50+ countries|
|Types of Service Offered||Business Phone Service, Hosted PBX, SIP Trunking, Call Center, Video Meetings, Web Conferencing, Team Messaging||Business Phone, Hosted PBX, Video Meetings, Web Conferencing, Webinar, Chat||Business VoIP, Hosted PBX, Web Conferencing, Video Meetings, Team Collaboration, Unified Communication, Paperless Fax||Business VoIP, Hosted PBX, Residential VoIP, SIP Trunking, Call Center Software, Web Conferencing, APIs||Business VoIP, Hosted PBX, Cloud Communication, Video Meetings, Web Conferencing, Team Messaging|
|Popular Service Plan||Professional Plan||US & CA Unlimited||Premium Plan||Unlimited Extensions||Standard Plan|
|Money Back Guarantee||Cancel Anytime||Cancel Anytime||30 days free trial. Cancel anytime.||Cancel Anytime, No Fees.||30 day free trial, cancel anytime|
|Free Trial||None||7 Days free trial||30 Days||Not Offered||30 day free trial|
|Hosted PBX Provider Services & Pricing Overview|
|Monthly Cost of Cheapest Service||$17.95||$10/mo/user||$19.99||$14.99||$22.00|
|Amount of Lines Per Price Tier||1-4 Lines: $27.95/mo/user|
5-20 Lines: $25.95/mo/user
|No tier restrictions. Same price per user for all sizes||1 -20 Lines: $34.99/mo/user |
21-50 Lines: $34.99/mo/user
51-99 Lines: $34.99/mo/user
100+ Lines: $32.99/mo/user
|1-10 Lines: $24.99/mo/user |
11-20 Lines: $27.99/mo/user
21-99 Lines: $24.99/mo/user
|1-10 Lines: $29.00/mo/user|
11-20 Lines: $26.00/mo/user
21-50 lines $26/mo/user
51-100 lines $24/mo/user
100+ lines $22/mo/user
|Month to Month Option|
|Metered Plans||Starts as $8.95 100 Minutes||$10/mo + pay per usage||$14.99/mo + $0.03/min|
|Number Porting Fee||Free||Free||Free||Free||Free|
|Works with 3rd party Softphones|
|Toll Free Numbers||Number Provided Free (Incoming calls are $0.02/min)||$5/mo||$5/mo (2500 Mins Included, Add||$39.99/mo, No per minute charges|
|BYOD Option||Works with most IP Phones|
|Hosted PBX Providers - Compare All Available Features|
|Advanced Call Forwarding|
|Anonymous Call Rejection|
|Busy Lamp Field|
|Call Queuing||$14.99/mo plus $0.03/min|
|Call Me Now|
|Call Recording||$4.99/mo for 15 hours recording time||*Free to all new customers|
|Do Not Disturb|
|Find Me/Follow Me|
|Group Paging||$4.99/mo per group|
|Paperless Faxing||Starts at $7.99/mo/500 Pages||$4.95/mo Unlimited Virtual Fax||Free V-Fax Only|
|Push To Talk|
|Selective Call Acceptance|
|Selective Call Rejection|
|Shared Call Appearance|
|Switchboard Software for Live Receptionist|
|Number of Server Locations||8||17 worldwide||19 in North America and 28 worldwide||N/A||10|
|Fully Redundant Network|
|Service Level Agreement|
|Realtime System Status Monitoring|
|Hours||24/7||24/7/365 Live Agent Support||24/7||24/7||24/7|
|Online Ticket Submissions|
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What to Look for in a Hosted PBX Provider
When you rely on external services to host, manage and maintain your phone system, it’s important to ensure you choose a provider you can rely on. With promises of service guarantees and satisfaction rates in many hosted PBX solutions, it can be difficult to confide in one sole provider. However, when you focus on the objective points, it’s easy to see who provides the best service for your business.
The features in your private branch exchange system determine the scope of what you can do with the system. When comparing providers, one of the easiest factors to locate and compare is the comprehensive feature lists found on the provider’s website.
There should be a breakdown of every feature offered on the different plans. This first step offers an easy introduction to the services and allows you to write off providers that don’t suit your price point and telephony needs.
Reliability and Network
The features included with your service won’t matter without a solid, reliable network. If the provider’s servers go down, your phones go down. The provider you choose must have a redundant and robust network with a high service level guarantee. Providers should guarantee over 97% uptime.
Find a provider that operates data centers in multiple locations. You need redundancy around the world but you also need an east coast and west coast data center in the U.S.
If one goes down, your calls can be rerouted to the backup without interruption. Enter a service level agreement to ensure the status and reliability of your service.
If your provider’s servers go down or you have any other issues with your service, you need consistent and accessible customer service. Certain providers will offer U.S. based customer service while others are based abroad. Some providers even offer 24/7 customer service, but may limit this to their higher paying customers.
Methods of contact can vary with phone calls, email, online tickets or even web chat.
As one of the major benefits of adopting a hosted PBX, you would want a provider that is as flexible as the service can be.
With a hosted solution scaling up and down is very simple. A provider that allows this flexibility at little to no cost will be much easier to scale with. When it comes to expanding not only users but also features and overall service, you need a flexible service.
Some providers may charge fees extra for adding lines, removing lines, or turning features on and off.
No one wants to be ambushed with hidden costs or cancellation fees. Many providers will supply transparent price quotes. However, keep an eye out for any extra fees or charges you may not have expected.
Cancellation fees can also occur if you decide to interrupt your service before an agreed-upon date.
Benefits of Hosted PBX Solutions
Initial setup, ongoing maintenance, and upgrade costs are high with a standard PBX. A hosted cloud PBX removes most of the extra fees associated with establishing and running your phone system on-premise.
Ease of Use and Setup
As the initial setup is handled by the service provider, there won’t be many headaches on your end to get your system running. Adding lines or changing features is as simple as logging into the online account management portal and ticking different boxes.
Hosted PBX providers have access to an unlimited amount of local numbers. Customers won’t have to dial out to a big, faceless cooperate 800 number.
With desktop softphone applications and even mobile phone applications, your workers can access your phone system from anywhere. You’re no longer tied down to just your desk phone, as you can also set one number to ring every device.
Your system won’t be limited by what hardware you have on presence. You can scale your system either up or down at the flick of a switch to best fit your needs.
When you use hosted PBX, your business projects your professional image with a robust fail-proof phone system. It will come packaged with features normally reserved for large enterprise systems, like an auto-attendant and call routing. These robust features can make even a small operation look like a substantial enterprise.
On-premise PBX systems are limited by the hardware that you have set up. Hosted solutions, on the other hand, let you streamline your workflow by integrating the SaaS tools that are already in your stack. This also makes the PBX system more versatile overall.
Any service provider worth their subscription price will ensure top-notch security on all their cloud-based solutions. This will ensure that both your information, as well as the data of your customers, remains safe at all times.
Most of the popular PBX providers guarantee 99% uptime or greater in their SLA which ensures customers can always reach you. Furthermore, this also eliminates the need for preventative maintenance or costly repairs that on-premise PBX systems require.
Setting Up Your Hosted PBX System
Prepare For a New Number
If you are porting over your existing number, don’t cancel with your existing provider until the number is completely ported to the new carrier. If you have a new number, be sure and let everyone know.
Send out an email blast, change it on your website, and make the change to any social media accounts you have. If you have a temporary number during the porting process, route calls to your cell phones for that brief time. Number porting can throw a wrench in your sales and customer service efforts so be sure you plan carefully.
If you cancel your service with your old carrier before your number is ported, you’ll lose it.
Configure Your Dial Plan
One of the first things you need to do is organize how your calls will be routed. You’ll have to define several call rules.
Make a plan for which hours your desk phones will ring. You’ll also need rules to handle simultaneous and sequential ringing. During off-hours, decide whether to send them to voicemail or to another phone. If you choose to send them to your cell, make sure it’s reliable.
If you get faxes, set something up for that.
There should be a set of features connected to pressing certain buttons. If you want to let callers press 1 for voice mail, that needs to be set up. If you want to set a dial-by-name directory, you have to set that up in advance.
Be sure to configure your E-911 settings when you first set up your hosted VoIP service.
Review Your Bill
Review the first and second month’s bill to make sure that you have all the services you paid for. There are setup fees that may or may not be waived, activation fees, and number porting fees.
If there’s something you don’t understand about your bill, be sure to call into customer support, as they will explain it to you or fix the problem.
Write a Review
If you’ve had an experience with a VoIP provider or hosted PBX service, share your feedback. Tell users about pleasant and unpleasant surprises. Other potential customers will want to know your experience.
Leave a review on our site and your feedback will help other businesses looking for their own PBX solution.
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