VirtualPBX vs Vonage

Vonage and VirtualPBX are among the first VoIP service providers having started out in the business in 1997. Vonage has established itself as a household name in the residential market due to its affordable international call rates. It has gone further by taking up the small to medium-sized business (SMB) market with its special Vonage Business Service package targeting the SMBs. The decision to venture into the highly competitive SMB space came with the necessity to shift their business focus, particularly when moving from VoIP service to IP PBX.

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Nevertheless, Vonage is adding onto a solid foundation based on their instituted international and residential VoIP network. The move to provide the more complex SMBs with IP PBX services was a logical development although the markets are different. VirtualPBX were, on the other hand, the pioneers in providing the hosted IP PBX services starting back in the late 90s. For this reason, VirtualPBX was able to provide the roadmap to how the delivery of the hosted IP PBX service to small to medium-sized businesses was to be done. They were largely successful in doing this.

VirtualPBX based their initial business model on offering the features and functions of a full PBX system. A full PBX system is usually beyond the means of most small to medium-sized businesses. They were able to achieve this by taking advantage of the growing use of the Internet as well as the emerging technology.

VirtualPBX were able to offer IP PBX services that would have otherwise been unaffordable for small to medium-sized business because of the ability to host IP PBX service over the Internet. At that time, it was quite expensive for any company to own a PBX. There were also additional operational and maintenance costs, which were prohibitive to the small to medium-sized businesses. VirtualPBX was able to eliminate many of these operational costs by offering a hosted Internet service long before the concept of cloud computing came into existence; consequently, it made IP PBX an affordable telephone solution.

The cloud-based (hosted) IP PBX market has become very competitive as new entrants get into the business and take up a significant portion of the market share.

A VirtualPBX representative provided this quote regarding VirtualPBX and the enterprise segment: "I want to share how we've absolutely made the effort in 2017 and beyond to cater to larger enterprises. For starters, we've recently released SIP Trunking under the Dash umbrella to accommodate enterprises who still depend on on-site PBX systems – a feat that was never accomplished with Office Plans. Dash is growing exponentially. Initially, it had more traction with SMBs (as evidenced by taking over Anywhere Plans) but now more enterprise-centric features are being added constantly – like SIP Trunking and Salesforce CRM Integration, and more are on the horizon – like WebRTC, ACD Queues, and Webhooks"

With their vast experience in offering residential VoIP services, Vonage has also scaled up to take on the small to medium-sized business market. They have been able to succeed by taking advantage of their international VoIP network coverage as well as their vast experience. However, they still maintain their focus on the SMB and residential markets. By maintaining this focus, they set themselves up as direct competitors to VirtualPBX. So, which is the better of the two?

How the Two Services Compare

Vonage stands out by taking the step to venture into new grounds in the form of IP PBX market from a successful international and residential calling service. Their success in the new grounds can be owed to their vast experience in the market and have an established international VoIP service network offering some of the most affordable long-distance call rates. Nevertheless, the features and functionality needed by residential customers are different from those needed by small to medium-sized businesses. Therefore, it is important to consider just how much Vonage has evolved regarding its technology.

Vonage Technology

Vonage has taken an IP PBX model similar to that of VirtualPBX such that they host a cloud-based IP PBX that is accessible to its customers through the standard broadband Internet connection. The reduced costs on both sides arise from the two parties sharing costs and resources in a multi-tenant model with other customers. Vonage's PBX seeks to offer their customers a virtual cloud-based PBX having at least 40 built-in features that offer all the functions of a professional PBX.

Vonage Features

There are over 40 features supported by Vonage that focus on the needs of the small to medium-sized business. They may be lacking in terms of the enterprise level features required by big enterprises, but they are more than enough to serve the small to medium-sized business. For instance, the feature set comprises the following amongst others as basic features: advanced call handling, call blocking, call screening, call transfer, call handling, call park, call waiting, and call conferencing.

Moreover, besides the call handling features, there are extra integration components like click to call, click to dial with Outlook integration, and mobile phone integration. Vonage also offers an auto attendant and virtual receptionist. The auto attendant enables voicemail, voicemail to email, a unified inbox containing voicemail, fax and email, and find me/follow me mobility.

There are many other additional features like a mobile application, paperless fax, and the capability of setting up a caller identity on outgoing calls. These features are quite helpful for users using a home landline or mobile, meaning Vonage is bound to meet all the requirements of most, if not all, SMBs. However, if these do not meet all the requirements, the customers can subscribe to other premium features like a virtual mailbox, conference bridge, toll-free numbers and call recording. Vonage also has the edge over VirtualPBX as it supports web-based usage on top of mobile application usage. It, however, does not support the Windows-based mobile platform, which is also the case for VirtualPBX.

Vonage Costs

Vonage has improved their services by employing a strategic approach regarding their pricing model by offering quotations rather than fixed prices. However, rough estimates show that Vonage pricing starts at $39.99 for up to five lines, $26.99 for between six to nine lines, $24.99 for 10 to 20 lines and $19.99 for more than 20 lines. These are guidelines, and for exact prices, customers need to request for a free quotation.

VirtualPBX Costs

VirtualPBX offers different user packages. The Dash Basic plan comes in at $10.99 per month prepaid and comes with 1,000 minutes and two local or toll-free numbers. A metered line is offered for an additional $4.99 per month. Dash Unlimited plan costs $27.99 and offers unlimited minutes plus one included metered line. Lastly, the Office plan is priced at $24.99 between two to 19 lines and comes with 1,000 conferencing and talk minutes and 1,000 outgoing fax pages. It also offers emergency E911 services along with phone service. So, what would make any customer opt for VirtualPBX, and is it worth the savings over its counterpart, Vonage?

VirtualPBX Features

The VirtualPBX service offering has been improving over the past few years through the upgrading of their elementary virtual telephone system. They also added a new business phone platform with a much more modern interface, called Dash. Therefore, VirtualPBX now has two products under their belts, Dash and Office, with the former targeting small businesses and the latter targeting SMB IP PBX businesses. However, a problem arose when it comes to sufficiently differentiating the products to justify their existence.

Dash substitutes Anywhere as the virtual system and originally came with the full array of VirtualPBX features although that seems to have been cut back now because it was affecting the sales of the flagship Office IP/PBX. Instead, VirtualPBX now offers more than 40 features, many of which are usually found in competitors' IP PBX portfolios, making it one of the most feature-filled and adept virtual telephone services. They have also been able to maintain a clear differentiation between Office and Dash by ensuring premium features are available to only Office subscribers.

Note: Dash Basic Plan better serves the demographic that made up Anywhere Plan customers but with a better user experience and more features for roughly the same cost.

However, there is some crossover between Office and the top of the Dash range, rendering Dash Unlimited the best performer in terms of sales. Dash Unlimited gives the customers three toll-free or local numbers, conference and fax usage, unlimited talk minutes, and an additional metered line for a mobile application or a softphone at $4.99 per month on the plans. Dash Unlimited also comes with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration, whereas it is an additional feature with the Office plan, which is where the feature is expected to be a standard.

Note: Salesforce CRM Integration is not available with Office. It is only available with Dash Plans.

Technical Support

Vonage has a wide technical support network that can be reached by phone or an online ticket system. They have a service center portal where customers can get access to technical troubleshooting instructions and documents. Their counterparts, VirtualPBX, employs a self-help approach with the aim of granting access to an exhaustive set of online documentation and tools, allowing users to troubleshoot and fix most problems. In most instances, this is bound to be the most effective method. However, if a problem cannot be solved, support is available 24/7 by phone, email, chat, AND our ticketing platform where users can track the status of their tickets

The Bottom Line

Both Vonage and VirtualPBX are excellent IP PBX service providers for small to medium-sized businesses. They both offer feature-filled services and have a reputation for being reliable and always available considering their vast experience regarding VoIP technology expertise as well as customer service. Vonage sets itself apart by giving users the ability to customize their systems by mixing and harmonizing unlimited and metered extensions to come up with the most cost-effective solution. Unfortunately, this can be accompanied by an administrative overhead when putting together the billing. VirtualPBX, on the other hand, gives a fixed price for each available extension with unlimited calls and has lower rates for each extension. Vonage comes with a more exhaustive and available service in terms of technical support even though VirtualPBX provides their customers with online tools and documentation that are resourceful.

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Created by: admin, Last modification: Wed 08 of Nov, 2017 (22:13 UTC)
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