Some friends of mine are planning to open a new green business. They plan to conduct energy audits for homeowners and business owners and then suggest remediation for the problems found. They are hoping to expand to installing solar, wind and rainwater collection systems if they can secure the capital.
They have been coming over to my house to brainstorm ideas about opening this new business. I have owned three small businesses, and I share what I know. They have decided to work out of their homes until the business is established.
They were curious about telephones and had completed some research on costs and services with the local telephone service provider. A large company recently purchased our local telephone company. Prices increased almost immediately. I discontinued my landline and extensions, quick! Now, all I use is the broadband connection for the Internet and my cell phone for voice communications.
I suggested to my friends that they might want to consider a hosted pbx system. PBX is just a fancy way of saying, "private branch exchange," a telephone system that serves your business. All that they need is a broadband connection, a modem and a router. The PBX provider will do all the rest. My friends will not have to purchase anything. Even better, the system is hosted, maintained and updated offsite. Also, the PBX can grow with the business, providing them with all the services they need.
We found a business on the Internet called Vocalocity that had a website where you could build and automatically price your PBX system. We tried different configurations of phone extensions and virtual extensions for cell phones. We also added paperless FAX, conference calling and call queuing like the big businesses use. We were amazed at the price of approximately $125.00 per month--with NO contract!
I do not know if Vocalocity services the Central Texas area. However, their website is a goldmine of information about VOIP (voice over Internet protocol), with a virtual library of white papers and case studies. They also conduct training webinars for their customers.
Well, my friends learned a new word, PBX, and I felt like I had given them some good advice. I wonder what they will ask about next?