ITEXPO: Digium, Voxox Buff Business VoIP Credentials
Differentiation among business VoIP cloud services is becoming increasingly important, as companies are in a constant battle of features, brand, and price. Digium has added a business continuity solution to Switchvox while Voxox is taking its communication expertise in virtual PBX and extending it with Cloud Phone Pro, a hosted voice offering.
Switchvox Rescue provides on-premises Switchvox hardware customers with a cloud-based backup using the Digium Cloud Services (DCS) subsidiary to provide service if the hardware goes down. The service maintains a recent copy of the on-prem Switch configuration at a DCS data center. If the Switchvox appliance is unavailable for any reason – hardware failure, raging backhoe, power out – Digium will load the configuration to a Switchvox Cloud system at DCS upon customer notification.
The same core software is shared between on-prem device and cloud versions. Once the cloud-based instance is running, a Rescue customer can access the system from anywhere with the same browser-based interface used with the on-premises hardware. Users can reconfigure the cloud service on the fly to play recorded messages, continue to take voice mail, and even route calls to mobile landline phones.
Switchvox Rescue is being introduced as a part of the latest Switchvox release, version 5.11. Signup for the Rescue service will be available starting on February 2 through DCS with an introductory price of $45 per month “for a limited time,” says the company release; in the future, it will go up to $90 per month.
Voxox is working the business cloud VoIP space from a different angle. Its initial Cloud Phone offering was launched in February 2014, providing a virtual PBX solution for one to 10 lines. Cloud Phone emphases speed with an “up and running in under a minute” premise, says Voxox spokesperson Tristan Barnum.
Cloud Phone Pro, rolled out this week at ITEXPO, moves up the food chain with a hosted solution from 12 to 120 seats, with distribution through channel partner. Since it is hosted, it works equally well companies with geographically distributed offices, setup for new offices, or when locating offices.
Since Voxox doesn’t distribute and install phones, channel partners provide the feet on the street to deliver and support hardware. The product retains the clean, intuitive user interface developed as Cloud Pro so employees don’t have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to use either the browser-based interface or the smartphone app (Android and iOS supported).
Features of Cloud Phone Pro include worldwide DIDs, call recording, call queuing, conference bridges, support for inbound and outbound faxing, voicemail to email transcription and selective call screening caller ID. Pricing per seat starts at $5 – a SIP trunk is required for IP desk phones -- with support for all the usual phones, including Cisco, Polycom, and Yealink.
Expect more business cloud phone announcements around mid-March, when Enterprise Connect takes place. Microsoft will probably make some interesting statements around Skype for Business, perhaps the largest looming threat to the current pond full of business cloud voice services.
Edited by Maurice Nagle