Guest blogger – Reuben Yonatan
Digium has a new address, and it’s in the cloud. The traditional, premises-based Switchvox is offered as an appliance-based solution, meaning the software runs on a dedicated machine maintained at the customer’s location or on-site.
Switchvox is already an award-winning platform which supports agent log-in/out, call park, group pickup, call queue, intercom/paging, IVR and voicemail boxes. Traditional Switchvox also syncs with Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, and even Google Maps. It is designed to be a robust and simple-to-use system. Unlike many competing hosted solutions, all UCC tools, including call recording, cloud integration, and call park, are included with the regular price. By contrast, pricing for Switchvox Cloud is based on a per user, per month rate. If users wish to sign a contract, the price is $29/user/mo with a three-year contract, $31/user/mo with a two-year contract $33/user/mo with a one-year contract, or a month-to-month price of $35/user/mo.
But wait, there’s more. Switchvox Cloud and Switchvox Premises (or on-site) products offers phone support. That difference alone can be a deal maker for many organizations that do not house an IT department. Digium (project sponsor of the open source Asterisk project) is bravely venturing into non-geek territory. The hosted PBX market is growing, and it now represents 20% of the PBX market. The high upfront costs and level of geekitude necessary to set up your own PBX is beyond many small businesses. A hosted solution is for customers who have the business savvy to make the switch to VoIP, but lack the time, money, or expertise needed for an on-premises solution.
What are the differences between Switchvox Premises and Switchvox Cloud? For UC features, they stack up evenly. [See chart] Even Switchvox mobile is included in both the on-premises and cloud solutions. The on-premises solution SMB 65 offers 12 concurrent calls with 5 call recordings at once. Switchvox Cloud, which is priced for businesses with 5 to 30 employees, offers unlimited local, long distance, and extension dialing. (Special pricing is also available for applications or businesses with more than 30 users.) SMBs can seamlessly migrate between Switchvox Cloud and Switchvox Premises, depending on their needs and budget. That means users maintain all their data and preferences. Switchvox on-premises and Switchvox Cloud both run on the same software, making this seamless migration possible.
What would motivate a company to switch from a hosted solution to an on-premises solution, or vice versa? There are two concerns common to all PBX systems: maintenance costs and scalability. If a company is using Switchvox, for example the SMB 65, it has a capacity of 12 concurrent calls, making it ideal for companies with under 30 phones. The larger and more expensive SMB 305 and SMB 355 offer support for 45 and 75 concurrent calls, respectively. So it makes sense that if a business doesn’t fall within the sweet spot (of the larger user base), then it can go hosted. On the other hand, an IP PBX is an investment and it will save money, given enough time. Digium offers great support and free software updates, so the maintenance is not as big an issue as it often is with older PBX systems. There are many businesses that will start out using Switchvox Cloud, and then decide that they will invest in an on-premises solution.
Switchvox isn’t going anywhere. The biggest advantages of Switchvox Cloud are the ability to connect from anywhere there is an Internet connection, and the low pricing – which makes it friendly to the smaller business. Customers will also receive feature updates to Switchvox Cloud, just as they will with an on-site solution. These are included in the software. Therefore, Digium fully expects that subscribers who grow their businesses and need more phones will want a seamless way to transition employees to an on-premises product that provides the same features, same access to new/updated features, and same settings as available in their hosted product. Switchvox Cloud makes that possible with the migration to the Switchvox Premises solution.
Learn more about Switchvox Cloud by joining Digium on Thursday, April 4th for a live demo. Register Now.