Assessing the Providers
The growing demand for virtual PBX has led to an increase in the number of VoIP companies offering
Currently the top five virtual PBX providers in the market are GotVMail, Packet8, RingCentral, Vocalocity, and VoiceNation. RingCentral and VoiceNation have distinguished themselves in creating
Vocalocity focuses less on the specific services provided than it does on the cost of its service. It stands out as a leader in lowering the overall calling costs for all types of businesses. Packet8 also emphasizes lower costs but distinguishes itself from Vocalocity by concentrating on features as well. Its most outstanding benefit is that it offers scalability, allowing you to get the various services you need at an affordable rate as your business grows.
Each company has a different feature that makes it particularly useful to certain customers over others. For example, one of the main advantages of virtual PBX is its ability to offer reduced calling costs on long-distance and international calls. The company that does best in this area overall is Vocalocity, mainly because it eliminates the long-distance charge and offers a low-cost rate for calls through the system. In contrast with the policies of other companies, Vocalocity's rates do not differ significantly based on the area you are calling, which is the main reason that it can lower costs for all types of businesses.
Another great feature of VoIP that should appeal specifically to small businesses is its potential to increase the professional credibility of the company by helping it appear larger than it is. One of the major leaders in developing and promoting this type of approach to VoIP is RingCentral, which focuses on providing services such as call-center features. Because of this approach, RingCentral
VoiceNation is another virtual PBX VoIP provider that succeeds in this regard. It promises to give the impression that employees working in remote locations are all situated in one office, and small businesses that use this company have reported that it lives up to that claim. For businesses that operate primarily through freelance contractors and work-at-home staff, this service is a way to present clients with a united front despite the lack of a single shared office space.
Packet8 excels in its ability to set up a virtual call center, and it puts emphasis on its service's scalability,
To determine the best plan for your business, assess your calling needs and do research on which VoIP providers offer combinations of your desired features at the lowest rate. The main thing to
When researching, seek out companies that have several set calling plans. For example, RingCentral offers four levels of plans designed for businesses of varying size. The company's
RingCentral's four-tiered pricing system makes choosing a suitable plan fairly easy, but it doesn't give you the means to change specific features or add the ones you desire. In contrast, Packet8 offers 13 different calling plans at various prices with a range of features designed to express the scalability of its VoIP services. While the wide selection gives you more options, it can make
In addition to choosing a good basic rate for your plan, make sure to review carefully the number of minutes your plan includes, as well as the cost of calls that exceed those limits. For instance, RingCentral and GotVMail both have plans that cost $50 per month and cover 1000 minutes, but the additional per-minute rate for RingCentral is 4.8 cents, while for GotVMail it's 5.8 cents. GotVMail, however,
Kathryn Vercillo is a San Francisco-based freelance writer who writes about technology, business, and Web 2.0.