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October 16, 2012
Verizon Debuts Virtual PBX, Targeted at SMBs
By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor
 

The technology industry is currently abuzz with news in regards to the fact that Verizon (News - Alert) Enterprise Solutions will be powering its first virtual PBX offering via its indirect sales channel which is deal for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Referred to as the Virtual Communications Express, the service was officially unveiled earlier this month on October 5, but has already proved highly successful within various customer trials throughout the last three months that were performed by the company’s agents and their customers, according to Janet Schijns (News - Alert), vice president of Mid-Market Solutions and Alternate Channels for Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

The debut of this robust virtual PBX (News - Alert) has been a team effort from its inception, with partners providing valuable feedback that the company then leveraged when promoting the solution. "This represents the first of many solutions that will be 'channel first,'" Schijns stated.

The company’s product has been developed from the ground up, with smaller sized enterprise ranging from 20-999 employees being the ideal audience for the time being. It encompasses Broadsoft’s cloud infrastructure that offers users unlimited local and long-distance calling as well as capabilities including simultaneous ringing, visual voice mail messages, and “Office Anywhere," a function that automatically sends incoming calls received via an office phone directly to a mobile/landline.

This PBX can also be seamlessly integrated with Google (News - Alert) Apps, allowing individuals to gain access to “click-to-call" features from e0mail, calendar and chat.

To start benefiting from this innovative service, customers must first purchase a Verizon-certified phone and have a reliable Internet connection from a broadband provider in place. The service cost $35 per month, per user, yet users also have the option to rent the phones for around $10 to $15.

Frank Moynihan, CEO of Jade Intel added, "It offers increased value in services for what users are paying today. Right out of the gate, I was surprised how well it worked."

The increasing popularity of the virtual PBX industry specifically within the small business space was until pretty recently rather stagnant due to the fact that many firms in this space were worried about the upfront costs needed to get a system like that up and running. In fact, as revealed by Dan Bieler, an analyst at research firm Forrester (News - Alert), approximately one out of 10 businesses of this size use cloud-based communications at this time.

Although clearly some cloud-based voice offerings are taking longer to build in numbers, Bieler predicts that as virtual PBXs continue to show their vitality, enterprises will continue to jump on board and adopt them. Extremely interesting is the fact that as the mobile device management trend gains in popularity, companies will realize that without a virtual PBX in place, this initiative could cause their network to be completely overburdened.




Edited by Allison Boccamazzo


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