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  • Cloud phone system

    Are any printshops successfully using Amazon Connect or Microsoft Skype/Office 365 for their business phone system? I'd like to ditch my overpriced landlines and use a cloud PBX such as those mentioned that forwards to cellphones.

  • #2
    We're about to make that switch ourselves. Found out Comcast (southern US) offered it way cheaper (like, 70% cheaper lol) than stand-alone VOIP companies like RingCentral, Jive, etc. Don't have any experience with Amazon or Microsoft's offerings. Comcast's deal included bringing in a separate data line just for VOIP so we didn't have to worry about how it'd work on or interfere with our existing connection which was a big bonus. Amazon/Microsoft would need to use whatever internet you've currently got so make sure it's got good upload bandwidth. Might be worth checking to see if your ISP offers anything just because they can sweeten the deal in those ways.

    Our contract has a 60-day back-out period if we need it and I think any problems would be obvious by then. If the people you're looking at offer that too, I'd say go for it.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by OffsetStorefront View Post
      We're about to make that switch ourselves. Found out Comcast (southern US) offered it way cheaper (like, 70% cheaper lol) than stand-alone VOIP companies like RingCentral, Jive, etc. Don't have any experience with Amazon or Microsoft's offerings. Comcast's deal included bringing in a separate data line just for VOIP so we didn't have to worry about how it'd work on or interfere with our existing connection which was a big bonus. Amazon/Microsoft would need to use whatever internet you've currently got so make sure it's got good upload bandwidth. Might be worth checking to see if your ISP offers anything just because they can sweeten the deal in those ways.

      Our contract has a 60-day back-out period if we need it and I think any problems would be obvious by then. If the people you're looking at offer that too, I'd say go for it.
      If you have anything less than 60 down, 4 up, you will have issues with VOIP. That being said, we have 60 down 4 up, and still have issues during high traffic periods. If you have more than 3 people on the phone you will have substantial issues unless you have get a stronger upload speed and/or fiber optic internet.

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      • #4
        Check out OnSIP (onsip.com). They are very stable on lower grade networks. They have 2 plans - per minute and unlimited. If you do a lot of internal calling compared to outside calls, per minute is best for you because you only pay per minute on outside calls. It costs nothing (other than the phone) to add extensions. We have several extensions that rarely make an outside call. It doesn't cost $25-$30 a month for that line. You can add SIP apps to your cell phones and take calls as an internal call like you are in the office. You can plug in a phone at home and answer like you are at the office. Communicate between shops and easily transfer calls between shops. All internal calls are free. If you have a lot of outside call volume with a limited number of phones, unlimited may be best for you (I think it now includes a phone). Either way, I haven't found anyone to give such good service for so little. If I recall correctly, they had a utility to run that would check your network to see if it would handle the load.

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        • #5
          We switched to VOIP about a year ago with no issues apart from some changes to internal procedures because the VOIP system works differently to having an internal PABX
          Here in Australia the PSTN telephone system is being shut down as the new NBN network is rolled out, so there will soon be no choice other than VOIP or Mobile connections

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          • #6
            I can't get affordable VOIP grade QoS connectivity in Alaska due to the poor lower 48 peering of the local ISP duopoly. The plan would be to use AT&T cellphones as handsets that get calls forwarded from the cloud contact center.

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            • #7
              Then you want a virtual attendant to manage your calls, not VOIP. Grasshopper, Freedomvoice CloudNumber, eVoice, etc.

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              • #8
                We have used Nextiva now for about 4 years with very little issues. The neat think about them is we have a base that has 3 lines so we can pay for one user and have up to 3 calls going at the same time. We get the 3 phone lines and fax to email service for about $50 per month.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SoggyWinter View Post
                  I can't get affordable VOIP grade QoS connectivity in Alaska due to the poor lower 48 peering of the local ISP duopoly. The plan would be to use AT&T cellphones as handsets that get calls forwarded from the cloud contact center.
                  Your username makes so much sense now.

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                  • #10
                    You might check into Vonage VOIP. Although I'm not running a PBX system, I have 2 lines and one always forwards to a cell phone. Been working flawlessly for 5 years.

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                    • #11
                      I don't think that either Skype or Connect are full fledged phone systems, they might get the job done but the have some limitations.

                      I really like Jive for VOIP. There are so many cloud based VOIP solutions that are great alternatives to traditional phone service. But be sure to shop around the pricing can vary widely and you don't necessarily get more by paying more. Most VOIP providers will have a network testing tool that will check if you have sufficient bandwidth or if there are other QoS issues that might need to be addressed.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gregbatch View Post
                        Check out OnSIP (onsip.com). ... All internal calls are free.
                        We're happy OnSIP users too! They really do a nice job for us.

                        Not only are all internal calls free, all OnSIP to OnSIP calls are free too! That means I could call gregbatch at no additional charge.

                        The only downside (and I don't know that it's unique to OnSIP) is that I seem to remember calls to Alaska and Hawaii are at a pretty high rate. We have customers in both of those locations, so that crosses my mind every so often.

                        When I'm not at work, I really try to shut off work. But for those times when I do need to make a call outside the office, it's super-nice to be able to do so through the OnSIP app.

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                        • #13
                          One more thing I'd recommend is try to get something with either no contract or a very short term. That way if you're not happy you're not locked in.

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                          • #14
                            I use voip.ms for my voip provider. Dropped my monthly phone bill from $700 a month with vonage to $50 a month with voip.ms

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PricelineNegotiator View Post

                              If you have anything less than 60 down, 4 up, you will have issues with VOIP. That being said, we have 60 down 4 up, and still have issues during high traffic periods. If you have more than 3 people on the phone you will have substantial issues unless you have get a stronger upload speed and/or fiber optic internet.
                              Sounds like your router is not configured correctly. You need to configure it to give highest priority to your VOIP packets. Our system works fine on a 16/3 connection.

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