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Business VoIP Feature Article


April 23, 2009
Business VoIP Service from Nextiva Helps Small Companies Survive Down Economy
Business VoIP
By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet
 
Are you a small business owner struggling to make it in this tough economy? Are looking for ways to cut your basic operational costs and improve efficiency so you can keep your business going in this grueling climate?

One place to start is by taking a look at your phone service. If you’re still using traditional service (as about half of all small businesses still are), you can be saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year by switching to a hosted business VoIP service delivered via the Internet. The great thing about today’s business VoIP services is that they deliver advanced functionality and features found in more expensive, “corporate” phone systems, yet they don’t require any significant investment in new equipment or network architecture – all you need is a high speed line and the phones.

The amount you save by making the switch is directly proportionate to how much you use the phone to run your business. For example, if you have a sales team that relies on the phone to hunt down new customers and prospects and which racks up hundreds of hours of talk time a week – or if you provide a toll free number that is used by your customers to place orders and/or get support – it is very likely that you can realize significant savings by switching to a hosted business VoIP service. What’s more, you’ll get advanced features and capabilities that your current analog phone system simply cannot deliver (at least not without bumping up your service or making a significant investment in new hardware/software).

Should you decide to make the switch, proceed cautiously though, because, as you’ll discover, there are a lot of companies out there offering hosted business VoIP services – and even though all their claims are more or less the same, there can be dramatic differences in the quality of service they provide and the feature sets and capabilities they deliver. Be particularly cautious of newer providers that don’t have an established track record of satisfying their customers. Also be wary of providers that don’t completely explain how their technology works, who their partners are, or what features or capabilities their service provides. Fortunately the Internet offers a wealth of resources, including online customer reviews, which will help you make a decision. Last but not least, make sure you compare the rates between all of the providers you investigate.

Nextiva is a leading provider of hosted business VoIP services. The company offers two business VoIP solutions: Nextiva Connect, which works with your existing service and allows you to manage incoming calls more efficiently with features such as auto-attendants and call forwarding; and Nextiva Connect 360, a complete business VoIP solution offering feature rich functionality plus cost savings when it replaces your existing business land-line service from the local phone company.

Both solutions feature an advanced auto attendant (or “virtual receptionist”) that plays different recorded messages based on the time of day or day of the week, as well as accurately routing calls to employees in your organization, regardless of where they are working (office, home, remote office, or on the road) -- or whether they are using a landline or cell phone. The auto attendant capability lets callers dial by name or dial by extension -- thus it enables you to make your small business sound like "Fortune 500" company. What’s more, both services let you easily establish a local or toll free phone number so you don’t have to pay exorbitant rates when customers (or even employees) call your office.

Other advanced features include business voicemail, conference calling, and centralized, Web-based administration.

Most impressively, you get started with this advanced business VoIP service for as little as $20 a month.

Nextiva won a 2008 Product of the Year award from Unified Communications magazine, a Technology Marketing Corporation publication, in March and also won a 2008 Product of the Year Award from Internet Telephony magazine, also a TMC (News - Alert) publication, in January.

To learn more about Nextiva’s advanced business VoIP services, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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