To help educate our clients, prospects and business partners "who does what best" we're hosting a series of "Vendor Shootouts" on our blog where we have different leading industry vendors share why their specific solution is better than their competitor's solution in a specific customer solution category.
The current shootout category? BYOB or "Bring Your Own Broadband" Hosted VoIP - the Internet phone system for busiesses that connects calls over the public Internet.
Why Small Businesses Love BYOB Hosted VoIP...
By and large, small and medium sized businesses are still run by their
Business owners say, "If I can get decent VoIP phone service at home or on my cell phone with practically any Internet connection, why won't that work in my small business office?"
This is a reasonable question. The answer is, "A VoIP business phone system that uses the public Interent CAN work but there's NO GUARANTEES that the audio quality will be good enough."
With this caveat given, many business customers say NO WAY and then start looking at the higher quality "direct connect" of MPLS versions of VoIP business phone service. Other business owners though say, "Let's try BYOB VoIP first and then we'll upgrade if it's not good enough."
The trick to making BYOB hosted VoIP work is to try BYOB hosted VoIP with a business phone service provider that embraces BYOB with more than just lip service. Broadview Networks, based in New York but serving the entire country, is one of these providers that do "all flavors" of hosted VoIP including "direct connect" (with a DIA or dedicated Internet access connection) as well at MPLS.
We Sell and Recommend Broadview's BYOB Hosted VoIP
This is not to say that Broadview's BYOB VoIP or any vendor's BYOB VoIP will work for you. Before choosing or trialing any business phone system you really need to spend some quality time reviewing your entire phone system or "unified communications" vision with a qualified independent telecom agency (like us).
Ther are lots of pros and cons to any VoIP or BYOB phone system solution. If it seems like an investigation of the pros and cons of BYOB suggest a trial is right for your company, we're happy to bring in Broadview Networks. to get to know Broadview a little better please review the information below from the "BYOB Hosted VoIP" shootout below that we hosted.
Questions? Give us a call!
Broadview Networks was founded in 1996. They have business customers in 47 states and Washington DC that generate $450m in annual revenue using 1,100 employees. Broadview provides business phone systems, local phone service, wide area data networks, broadband Internet and other managed services.
With over 60 dedicated channel managers supporting their sales partners including independent telecom agents, channel partners, IT consultants and business phone systems equipment VARs, both Broadview's business customers and sales partners are well taken care of.
Eight Ways that Broadview's Hosted VoIP Service Offering is Unique
There are hundreds of hosted VoIP business service providers in the marketplace today but Broadview claims at least six unique points of value including:
- Code Ownership - Broadview does not need to buy licenses from anyone else like Broadsoft because Broadview owns their own hosted VoIP code. This means that Broadview controls their own phone system "roadmap" as well as service upgrade roll-outs. This means that Broadview's channel sales partners are not competing with every Broadsoft-clone reseller on the street who all basically have the same product with just a different logo.
- End-User and Administrator Portal is Easy to Use - The hosted VoIP phone user and administrator portal often "makes or breaks" user acceptance of the phone system. Soft savings from upgraded phone applications can't be achieved if users aren't using them.
- Business-Grade Call Quailty - While BYOB call quality is only "best effort" because the time the phone call spends on the public Internet, with a large percentage of Broadview's 50,000 hosted VoIP seats being provisioned as BYOB, Broadview has earned the experience to make BYOB all that it's possible to be.
To maximize BYOB call quility for their customers, Broadview conducts a site survey to measure Internet bandwidth capacity and conducts a comprehensive voice/data ratio analysis.
- Nationwide Availability - Most local business phone companies have a limited service area even after migrating their service offering to include hosted VoIP solutions. Broadview Networks has perfected their ability to provision services nation-wide for the benefit of multi-location businesses that want a single phone company.
- Disaster Avoidance & Recovery Options - Businesses that absolutely need to be up and running 24-hours a day, 7-days a week no matter what enjoy the security that Broadview Networks multiple redundancy packages offer.
- Call Path Pricing Model - By allowing for pricing by maximum simultaneous call paths, the Broadview price model is very appealing for business customers that may have many phones with low usage.
- Carrier Clout - Unlike other hosted VoIP providers who only provide the phone service, Broadview provides phone service and the carrier connection the phone service rides on. For customers looking for "one throat to choke" this alone solves many future problems.
- Mitel Phones - Because of Broadview's partnership with Mitel, a company with a rich history of phone systems design, Broadview's hosted VoIP phones are able to emulate many of the design features that business customers like in the old-fashioned classic key system phones like paging and park & retrieve.
Watch Broadview's BYOB Shootout Video Webinar click here
Click here or the image above to watch Broadview's BYOB Shootout Webinar
Pros of Broadview's BYOB Hosted VoIP
For many small and medium-sized businesses, the following pros outweigh the cons of hosted VoIP:
- Low Cost - The low cost of using BYOB VoIP comes from the ability to get a "two for one" out of a existing Internet connection a business already has to draw the dial tone for the phone system instead of standard phone lines. The cost normally spent each month on phone lines goes straight back to business profit.
- Great for Under 20 Seat Locations - Businesses with one or multiple locations that need less than 20 phones are easily accommodated by the capacity of hosted VoIP. All their existing simultaneous phone calls can usually squeeze onto their existing Internet connection. Customers that expect to grow can easily try BYOB and then perhaps migrate to "direct connect" or MPLS hosted VoIP access options.
- Widely Accepted for Small Businesses - Small businesses without constant or heavy data usage including many restaurants and other "quick serve" retail stores enjoy the convenience of getting their phone service through their under-utilized Internet connection.
- Easily Reconfigurable - The "MACDs" or "moves, adds, changes or disconnection" of individual phone stations that are usually a high expense for most small businesses are easy with hosted VoIP. Instead of having to pay for a phone systems vendor service call, most phone station changes can be handled by the business owner or office manager in-house using the "administrator dashboard" phone portal.
- No High Up-Front Charges - A hosted VoIP phone system avoids the normal "phone equipment in the closet" costs but the phones on the desks must still be acquired. Broadview allows customers to procure the desk phones as part of the monthly charges so no high up-front costs prevent businesses from getting the phones they need.
- Design Emulates Classic Key System Designs - Because of Broadview's partnership with Mitel, a company with a rich history of phone systems design, Broadview's hosted VoIP phones are able to emulate many of the design features that business customers like in the old-fashioned classic key system phones like paging and park & retrieve.
- Phone Decision Seperate from Bandwidth Decision - With BYOB hosted VoIP solutions, the decision about what phone vendor you're going to use is separate from the decision about which broadband Internet provider you're going to use. This separating allows small businesses to change either their phone provider or their Internet provider without one decision adversely affecting the other.
Cons of Broadview's BYOB Hosted VoIP
The reason all businesses have not adapted BYOB hosted VoIP is because of the following cons:
- No Control of Voice Quality - Because the individual voice packets that make up the VoIP phone call go over the public Internet without any "packet control", latency and/or packet loss can cause less than perfect audio quality.
- No Service Level Agreement or SLA - The BYOB phone companies provide "best effort only" service meaning the customer can complain about less than optimal call quality but there may be little recourse for the customer if the carrier can't fix the problem.
Hot Broadview BYOB Hosted VoIP Applications
- Employee Phone Independence - Phones can be shared between different shift employees as the phone emulates the programming of which ever user is logged into the phone. Individual users are no longer tied to a particular phone or a particular location. The USB virtual or "softphone" emulates the phone on any computer with a headset so the employee doesn't even need an expensive desk phone while traveling - or ever for some.
- Avoid Printing Cell Phone Numbers in Business Cards - Mobile "twinning" ensures no call is ever missed by simultaneously ringing both desk and cell phones at the same time. This negates the need for sales employees giving out their cell phone numbers to customers which can be quite problematic if the sales person quits and goes to work for a competitor.
- Disaster Avoidance & Recovery - User and administrator portals allow for the near instant redirecting of any or all incoming business phone calls in the event of an emergency to alternate business locations or employee cells phones working from home.
The Hosted VoIP Opportunity with Broadview Networks
Annual sales will grow to $5.4 billion for hosted IP phone services in 2015 which represents a 33% annual growth through 2015 as reported by Frost & Sullivan in July 2010.
Broadview has put a total of 50,000 seats in service from 2006 through 2010 with their strong BYOB hosted offering providing most of the growth.
Broadview's OfficeSuite provides a business phone system, a calling plan, an online portal with secure multi-site data networking and high-speed Internet access. The calling plan includes 150,000 minutes per site - the equivalent of unlimited calling.
The Broadview hosted VoIP solution uses a combination of Mitel phones, a USB softphone, standard 24-key phone, executive LCD phone & conference unit phone.
Broadview offers "bring your own broadband" hosted VoIP options as well as "direct connect" via DIA (dedicated Internet access) and the super stable and secure MPLS option.
Broadview's Full Business Services Suite Includes:
- Hosted VoIP (OfficeSuite, DynamicIP, SIP trunking)
- Voice (local, regional & long distance, dedicated & switched access, conferencing, toll-free, mobile, voicemail)
- Wide Area Data/ Broadband Interent (dedicated Internet access, Ethernet, MPLS, Colocation, data continuity, disaster recovery)
- Hardware & Systems (Routers, Switches, Firewalls)
- Security (Data backup, firewalls/network security, virtual private networks, e-mail security, content filtering)
- Professional Services (IT project outsourcing, network design & implementation, network integration, wiring & structured cabling, custom solutions)
Broadview Hosted VoIP Feature Sets Include...
USB "virtual" soft phone, click-to-dial, paging, integrated messaging, hunt group, broadcast group, ACD, contact center features, call queuing, skill-based routing, customizable hold treatments, multi-site agents, configurable timeouts/escalations, whisper announcements, confirm call acceptance, at-home and mobile agent support, call recording, agent evaluation tools,fixed mobile convergence, OfficeSuite over Switched Ethernet, call recording, visual voicemail, voicemail Groups.
Broadview Customer Testimonials
Wondering if Broadview's BYOB Hosted VoIP is Right for You?
Contact us today, your independent authorized Broadview Agent. We'll help you compare Broadview's solutions to all available solutions to ensure you pick the right vendor for your specific needs and budget. Call 951-251-5155.
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