Virtual PBX® Announces PBX Parachute Plus! Hot-Standby Backup Phone System Service
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (September 19, 2005) - Virtual PBX®, inventors and pioneers of hosted PBX services, today announced the release of the PBX Parachute™ Plus! phone system failover service. PBX Parachute Plus! is a remotely hosted hot standby service for existing business phone systems. It can mirror the functions of a client's primary PBX system, and take over voice communications if the primary system fails. Failover can be automatic and almost instantaneous, with calls being routed to alternate phones in any location, such as cellular phones, home phones, or branch-office phones. Because PBX Parachute Plus! is provided as a service over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) from a remote location, client power outages, data system failures, and large-area disasters will not interrupt phone communications, and there is no hardware or software to buy, install, or maintain.
"PBX Parachute Plus! offers a cost-effective approach to phone system fault tolerance and disaster recovery that can't be matched by on-premise solutions," said Paul Hammond, CEO of Virtual PBX. "An outage that takes out a company's power or trunk lines will bring down both the primary PBX and premise-based redundant solutions. PBX Parachute Plus!, however, is hosted at a remote site that will still be available to handle important business calls."
A primary use for PBX Parachute Plus! is in business continuity. According to collaborative business expert David Goldes of Basex, Inc., a phone system outage would cost the typical 500-person company $90,545 per day in lost business and salary costs. PBX Parachute Plus! can dramatically reduce these costs by eliminating the loss of incoming business calls and keeping employees in communication with each other. Phone system disaster recovery can be set up on its own, or coordinated with a company's data system disaster planning, further improving business continuity in a comprehensive plan that allows both data and voice communications to operate from remote facilities.
PBX Parachute Plus! can also provide an emergency hotline for employees and their families in the event of a disaster or site quarantine, making it a valuable part of corporate disaster planning, as well as for business continuity. Clients can input custom messages for employees from any telephone, and use the system to post company and employee status. Real-time online monitoring and reports let managers know which employees are actively taking calls, and how often emergency messages are accessed.
Scalable to any number of extensions and incoming numbers, the PBX Parachute Plus! service can be used in businesses of all sizes, and can protect communications to all employee extensions, or just those that are most critical. Larger corporations can implement the service across multiple branches and divisions, or for the corporation as a whole.
The new Plus! version of the service includes a wide variety of capabilities never before available in a hosted failover service, including fully functional ACD queues with load balancing, skills-based routing, overflow queues and real-time monitoring. In addition, it offers comprehensive online reports and calls logs, Direct-Inward-Dial (DID) to multiple local numbers, multi-site bridging, and sub-menuing. These capabilities allow PBX Parachute Plus! to directly mirror functions of premise-based PBX equipment. Typically, call handling to alternate phones can be transparent, and customers may not even know there has been an outage.
"Follow-me" calling is also part of the service. It allows employees to have calls follow them to multiple alternate phones in case one or more alternates are affected by the outage that caused PBX Parachute Plus! to be invoked. Employees can manage their own "follow-me" lists, and log in or out of ACD queues through a GUI Web-based tool. Alternatively, all extensions can be managed by system administrators. Each extension in the system includes integrated voice and fax messaging. Messages can be retrieved by phone or Web, and can also be delivered by email.
All hardware components, applications, communication lines, and power systems of the PBX Parachute Plus! service are built with n+1 redundancy, and system hardware has been proven to supply over 99.999% availability. Since no hardware or software is installed at customer locations, there is no capital expenditure. The service is provided on a subscription basis at a fraction of the cost of premise-based systems, tie lines, and switch-over equipment.
Early customers of the new service have found it to be a valuable asset in protecting phone communications. "Phones are out most important business tool," said David Banerjea, a current user of PBX Parachute Plus! at CyberMetrics Corporation. "We evaluated other systems, but none were as easy to setup or as sophisticated as the PBX Parachute. Now, if we ever have a disaster, we can get all our calls routed to our backup PBX system within minutes. If your company relies on its phone system as much as we do, PBX Parachute is the best insurance you can possibly have."
Virtual PBX® pioneered the hosted PBX market, introducing the first service of its class in 1997. Virtual PBX utilizes the public switched telephone network and the internet to provide PBX functionality as a hosted service. The three primary customers for Virtual PBX services include small businesses that want full PBX functionality without the capital and support expense of installed equipment; companies of any size that need to route calls to telecommuters or other employees outside of a main office; and enterprises looking for phone system disaster recovery solutions. Additional information about Virtual PBX can be found at https://www.virtualpbx.com or by calling 888-825-0800.
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