Virtual PBX® Announces The First Mainstream Hosted Pbx Service To Embrace Open Voip Peering Standards
new service provides cost savings, enhanced call quality, and more choice for small business clients
SAN JOSE, CALIF. (November 18, 2008) – VirtualPBX, the inventor and leading supplier of hosted business phone services, today announced a major industry milestone with its introduction of native support for open-system VoIP peering.
Small businesses looking to take advantage of the cost-effectiveness of traditional hosted PBX services and VoIP technology now have the best of both worlds. Customers will be able to mix and match a VoIP network, softphone and handset to best meet their needs for features, cost and reliability. In addition, clients can choose VoIP calls for cost savings or traditional phone service (PSTN) for calls to landlines or cellular phones, or enable both and let the system automatically send calls via the most appropriate method.
“Virtual PBX is making a market-leading move here,” said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. “Hosted PBX services are becoming ever more valuable because companies can get started with very low cash outlay. Adding VoIP interoperability can further reduce costs, improve service and provide the ‘make or break’ difference many small businesses need in today’s hard economic times.”
A hosted PBX service provides customers with advanced phone answering and call routing features without the expense of purchasing PBX hardware or the added costs of installation, ongoing maintenance and support. Virtual PBX was the first company to bring this service to market. Hosted PBX services have become very popular among small businesses due to the inviting combination of low upfront costs and high-end business features.
“Conventional hosted PBX services send all calls over the standard phone network, even to VoIP phones, adding to cost,” said Paul Hammond, CEO of Virtual PBX. “Meanwhile, hosted IP-PBX suppliers usually require use of their own proprietary network, phones, adapters and softphone clients. Virtual PBX’s ability to marry a traditional hosted PBX with VoIP services that follow SIP standards brings an important new level of interoperability to the telecommunications industry.”
With this announcement, Virtual PBX is providing a “blended” service, allowing calls to be routed however the client wants with the attendant benefits for each technology. Calls sent directly to landlines or cell phones over the PSTN typically have the highest quality, but cost more. IP-based calls usually cost less and can often be bundled with extra services. In addition, calls sent from Virtual PBX will go directly to the appropriate network, eliminating the quality issues that can arise when calls are translated between standard phone lines and VoIP.
Since hosted PBX providers that support native VoIP traffic usually have closed, proprietary implementations, little choice of providers is given to clients. Customers have usually been locked into VoIP, softphone and even telephone handset offerings from the same company that provides the PBX service. Virtual PBX is giving its users more choice by supporting open standards. Rather than being limited to the features and capabilities of just a single vendor, clients can choose the offering that best fits their needs. Virtual PBX believes that this will ultimately provide richer services for clients, since each player can bring unique content and features to the table. At the same time, total costs can be cut by sending more traffic through less expensive technologies. There is no extra cost from Virtual PBX for accessing softphones as opposed to other players who charge extra for proprietary digital-enabled phone extensions.
support for standards
The company’s first implementation, available now, works with any solution that is fully SIP-compliant and uses North America Numbering Plan (NANP) phone numbering for destination identification. This approach will interoperate with Gizmo5’s popular Macintosh and Microsoft Windows VoIP software, giving Virtual PBX clients a free softphone while competitors charge for PC clients. It will also work with numerous university phone systems – such as those at UCLA, MIT, BYU and others – and all other providers that follow this standard in an open peering environment. In December, Virtual PBX will extend the implementation to other suppliers that allow open, SIP-compliant traffic to their networks. The company invites discussion with all other SIP-based companies.
Virtual PBX and Gizmo5 have worked together to integrate software and services to provide a reliable and cost-effective SMB solution. “We welcome Virtual PBX to the open-system SIP community and see strong potential benefit for users who combine offerings from Virtual PBX and Gizmo5,” said Michael Robertson, CEO of Gizmo5. “Open SIP peering already works across hundreds of networks, and we’re delighted to add this market-leading hosted PBX provider to the group. We believe that all VoIP providers should open their systems and let calls from different networks connect to each other.”
about virtual pbx
Virtual PBX believes you never get a second chance to make a good first impression especially when it comes to serving your customers. Our hosted PBX phone service gives small and growing businesses a professional, fully automated call answering and routing solution that can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Forget the hassles and costs of buying and maintaining your own PBX hardware. With Virtual PBX, your employees, whether in one location or far-flung, can focus on serving your customers while we provide the advanced features and responsiveness that give you a competitive edge. We also offer a backup phone service to ensure your business stays up and running should disaster strike. For more information on how your business can benefit from our innovation and passionate commitment to great customer service, visit us on the Web at virtualpbx.com.
VirtualPBX.com®, Virtual PBX®, and VirtualPBX® are registered trademarks of VirtualPBX.com, Inc.
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