Consider purchasing a TalkSwitch 48-NLS. Its certainly not cheap ($1495 retail) but it will do the job (and then some) and completely eliminate any monthly expenses plus give you more control over your PBX (eg.. all you to hookup a CD player and put your own on-hold music).
Telcan will try to make you fax them the Back of your credit card (for those who aren't aware, it is illegal or at least against visa/mastercard policies for merchants to store CVV2 numbers, listed on the back of your card), and they are Completely inflexible on this.
We went with Aptela.com. Has a lot of nice features, the virtual fax is hit-and-miss, but the call routing and directory tree features are top-notch.
I want to say we spend $150/mo. or so for our aptela.
My nonprofit organisation uses RingCentral. (I belong to it, it is not mine)
I second the suggestion to look at their offerings because many such companies offer just one aspect of the virtual PBX mix, while RC has many smarts that you won't think of until you see it. They offer toll-free as well as local numbers with the same features and the same price.
Consider the following additional features - Some toll-free numbers are just that - numbers that redirect to your phone. Other toll-free number providers go a lot further, sometimes for the same or lower price. Read the fine print! Check if you can also use it as a fax number. Does it offer voicemail? Can you manage your settings over the web? Can you forward calls to another number, or a sequence of numbers in turn, or simultaneously? Can you screen callers and decide to accept the call or let it forward to voice mail? Multiple extensions?
Fax Broadcasting - Some people need to send a broadcast fax, that is, send the same document to a list of fax numbers. Does your provider offer this?
Double-Leg Billing - You do not want this. A connected toll free call stands on two "legs": an inbound leg into your toll-freel number and another outbound leg to the phone where the call is actually taken. Some companies charge for each of these legs separately so you pay as much as twice their published rate per minute.
Ureach has changed their lineup of offerings since we signed on with them, so I dont know what bells and whistles they've added. But they're very reliable. The service we have is basically an 800 # with a forwarding/find me option--no multiple boxes/extensions, just one voicemail box. And the voicemail is sent as an audio attachment via e-mail which is good, so you don't get charged for the minutes spent checking voicemail over the phone. We buy the minutes in blocks up front. The number can also be used as a fax, and you get your own e-mail acct with it (which we only use for archiving the phone messages).
I also use TollFreeLive for my business. It gives you an 800# with forwarding, multiple PBX/voicemail extensions, and you can choose to have these voicemails sent via e-mail, too. They bill me for mins used in the previous month, the per-minute rate is one of the cheapest I've seen. Another cool feature is that it has music-on-hold for a really professional image. And their tech support is really good.
Any resources on how you go about procurring phone numbers if you want to roll your own PBX through asterisk or whatever? Do you purchase them from a local carrier like you get IPs from your datacenter?
Originally posted by jbigelow Any resources on how you go about procurring phone numbers if you want to roll your own PBX through asterisk or whatever? Do you purchase them from a local carrier like you get IPs from your datacenter?
Your telco should be able to assist.
We're using the Asterisk PBX (in full production), with ISDN connectivity to our telco (among other things). If we want more numbers, we ring them and they assign them.
It depends on where you are, but here in Australia (for example), you can get additional numbers for AU$4 a month each or a block of 100 for $35.
At the moment we have 6 standard numbers and a 1300 number (our toll-free equivalent). The standard numbers provide direct numbers to staff, and the 1300 rings our IVR (Press 1...)
Those considering Asterisk - go for it. It's a fantastic system, and we've had 100% uptime since we implemented it fully a few months ago. To implement it properly will cost a bit of money (hardware), but it's well worth it.
At the moment the handsets we're using are a combination of Cisco 7940G, 7960G, Grandstream BT-101, and Cisco ATA (provides 2 analogue ports). We've also got a few Cisco 7905G phones on order (arriving tomorrow).
If you have the budget, I'd definitely recommend inplementing your own PBX rather than using a virtual system as you have the flexibility of being able to have full control.
For example; with a virtual PBX provider you usually have no call handling ability once the call has been passed to you. Having our own PBX allows us to transfer calls between staff and have all sorts of niceties.
With Asterisk, I can call my business partner at our 2nd registered location free of charge. Before Asterisk it was a long distance call. Calls can be transferred between the two locations seamlessly and a caller won't know.
Kall8.com is 2.00 a month, with 6.9c a minute. I try to avoid getting many calls by giving out my local/international number (+1.954..) too. And, I also use skype, which is free. If I need to actually call internationally, I use SkypeOut. The rates are great!
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I am currently using GotVMail Communications (www.gotvmail.com) and have nothing put praise to say about them. They are always available for technical support whenever needed. I even called them on Christmas Day as I was having a technical problem on my end and they were cheerful and ready to help.
I think their service starts at $10/month (toll free number with ***X service) and is then 7 cents (or so) to connect and maybe 4 cents (or so) when connected. It's average priced but full of features.
Does anybody know of any company that offers a good reseller, oem or private label service for virtual pbx solution?? This seems like a good business to get into or to add to the list of product to sell.