Small business owners everywhere know the struggle of trying to fit enterprise-grade technology into a sparse budget. In order to compete with much larger companies, technology and telecommunication services must provide both an excellent value and a rich feature set. One area of particular concern, specifically for customer-service oriented businesses is phone system services.
For years, there was simply no way to have an advanced phone system without a large, costly physical installation. In recent years, however, a move to managed cloud services has provided typical small businesses with a cost-effective way to access the benefits and features of a previously out of reach product. Hosted PBX (private branch exchange) systems move the costly and complicated equipment off site and to a managed facility, from which service is provided to the small business user via IP based networks.
There are many hosted PBX services available, and it can be difficult to compare their offerings directly. To make it easier, here’s a comparison of the services offered by Vonage, RingCentral, and GPhone (Global Phone) of Falls Church, Va. To put them on equal footing, we’re going to use a hypothetical typical small business customer with the following service requirements:
- Ten users
- Five phone numbers
- 5000 minutes of usage per month
- 1 company fax number
- A month-to-month service plan
Here’s how the services compare:
Vonage Business plans cost $14.99 per user for one month of service, but you’ll be charged for many features that would be standard for a physical PBX system, like hunt groups, conference bridges, and extra numbers. It’s also extra to add additional devices, even for the same number of users. For a fully featured plan, the total monthly cost comes to a whopping $469.72! This is an excellent plan for those who aren’t really concerned with having a fully featured phone system but can be extremely expensive as your needs grow. It’s a tempting offer, but one that makes little sense in the long run.
RingCentral offers a richly featured hosted PBX offering which, unlike Vonage, is priced at $44.99 per month including most standard features. You’ll still have to pay extra for added devices, however, and they don’t offer a voicemail-to-text feature. The RingCentral plan has all of the functions business users have come to expect from a traditional PBX system, but comes in at a price point that’s not much better than Vonage. One month of service will cost $449.90, which is still a hefty price to pay for a more complete but still ultimately lacking feature set.
The GPhone hosted PBX platform turned out to be an eye-opener and was head and shoulders above the competition. The monthly price is set at $14.75, which at first glance seems very similar to the Vonage offering. The major difference here is in the features that come standard. GPhone hosted PBX includes all of the standard features that can be found with both RingCentral and Vonage, but with no additional fees. They’ll let you add devices at no cost, and even offer call center software that can be used to manage the system from a PC (this is not available from Vonage or RingCentral). For a month, the service will only cost $210, which makes it a no-brainer for the small business customer.
Contact a GPhone representative in Falls Church, Va, today to find out how we can benefit your small business!