All about the Voipfone Virtual PBX

#1
What is a PBX?
A PBX is a Private Branch eXchange. In the old analogue days it was a small telephone exchange 'manned' by Telephone Operators in big companies to send calls from the public network to the correct telephone attached to the private network inside the building of a big company. This was necessary because otherwise everybody in the company would need their own telephone line and number - a very wasteful and expensive thing as most of the time those lines would not be in use. By having a PBX they could have a lot of telephone extensions but only a few external telephone lines. So when a call came into the company the operator directed the call to the correct person by physically plugging in connecting cables on a switchboard. Hence the phrase 'connecting you now'.

As technology progressed the PBXs became automatic but were still large and expensive, often needed their own room with power and cooling taking up expensive floor space in your building and required specialist telephone engineers to install and run them. Despite this, they became an indispensable requirement of any medium or large business.

The Internet and Voipfone has now brought the large scale and extensive PBX functionality to the small, sometimes single, user. We have built a production scale, secure, PBX in our Network Operating Centre in London's Docklands. It's called a 'Virtual' PBX because we host it on our premises so that you don't have to know anything about it. This modern switch is connected to the Internet with high speed lines and is managed by us. All you have to do is pick the number of extensions you want and add them to your account.

This is a 'Self Service' PBX which you set up and manage yourself from our web site. It gives you the features and functionality of telephone systems that were previously only affordable by large corporations. It's a sophisticated call management system too and it's suitable for an ordinary office, a virtual office or several offices in several locations and even your own home.

The Virtual PBX will save you a lot of money on your telecom bill because it's all based on Voice over IP technologies so you no longer need several expensive incoming PSTN/ISDN lines and all calls within the service are free, no matter where they are made to. This means that if you have home workers or a home office, a real office in the UK and another in say, France, all calls between them are free & it's as though you are all in the same building.

All extensions have a full PBX suite of features including - Call Transfer, Music on Hold, Call Waiting, Call ID, Voice Mail, Voice Mail to Email, Call Conferencing, 3 Way Calling, Free Calls between Offices/Homes etc.
See here for the list of features:
http://www.voipfoneuserforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1629

The only hardware you need are telephones (or our free softphone if you wish) and a broadband connection to the internet. We supply the rest automatically.

How much does it cost?
Like all our services we let you choose exactly what you need and no more:
Each extension costs £0.99 per month. (ex VAT)
Call queuing costs £1.99 per month (ex VAT)
When it becomes available, Interactive Voice Response (IVR & see below) will also be individually charged.

What does it do?
It allows you to have as many telephones in your business and home as you want. So, for example, if you have a small office with say 4 people in it, you take 4 extensions from us and one incoming telephone number (let's say you take a London number 020 7043 5555). When someone calls that number (anybody, anywhere on any telephone network can call your number) either all the extensions can ring at once and the first person to pick up gets the call, or just one phone rings and your receptionist picks it up then forwards the call to the correct extension.

You can take individual extensions out of the ring group or put them back in again at will from your own 'control panel.'

All the telephones can call out simultaneously (so it's like having 4 BT exchange lines). All the phones have voicemail so if all the phones are engaged your incoming calls go straight to voicemail. You can have as many incoming calls as you can handle, so it's like having an infinite number of exchange lines. You do not pay for extra 'exchange lines' - all you pay is the 99p per month per extension.

All the extensions can also have their own incoming number too so that they can receive calls directly (DDI).

You can call between extensions, so x200 can call x 204. Amazingly, it doesn't matter where these extensions are located - they can be plugged into the internet in Australia and they would work in the same way as in the UK. So you could have 5 people in your Basingstoke Main Office, 2 people at home and a small office in Barcelona and it will be as though they are in the same room. Even more amazingly all calls between them are FREE.

What equipment do I need?
You need a telephone for each extension. This can be a new SIP phone, an adapter for an ordinary telephone (ATA) or our free softphone. (But for heavy business use we recommend a real SIP telephone).

You also need a broadband connection to the internet. The speed of this connection will directly affect the quality of your phone calls, so the faster the better.

You can find tips on optimising your office set up here:
http://www.voipfoneuserforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1744

The Voipfone Virtual Switchboard (PBX)

This is a 'Self Service' PBX which you set up and manage yourself from your control panel on our web site. It gives you the features and functionality of telephone systems that were previously only affordable by large corporations. It's a sophisticated call management system too and it's suitable for an ordinary office, a virtual office or several offices in several locations and even your own home.

Up to 800 Telephone extensions
You can have up to 800 extensions on one account and each have the features and functions of a normal account such as call forward, voicemail, voicemail to email, music on hold, conferencing etc. Additionally, with all PBX accounts you get business hours, number and line presentation plus a lot more!

Click this link to see the all features available to each extension
http://www.voipfoneuserforum.com/viewtop ic.php?t=1630

Click this link to see the prices for all our services:
https://www.voipfone.co.uk/prices.php

Click this link to see the PBX section of the user guide
https://www.voipfone.co.uk/Voipfone_User _Manual.htm#_Toc140549051

Features of the PBX

Free calls between extensions & wherever they are
Extensions can be in the same office, a remote office, a home office or even another country & wherever they are calls between them are free of charge.

Unlimited Lines and calls
We do not restrict the number of simultaneous calls you can make on our PBX; you are limited only by your own network and bandwidth.

External Direct Dial In (DDI) numbers for all extensions
You can attach as many numbers as you like to as many extensions as you like within the PBX. This means that each extension can have its own incoming calls from the outside world and they can be added and subtracted as you like.

Internal Direct Dialling to extensions
All extensions can be dialled directly from inside the PBX using short number dialling.

Set your Business Hours
You can set the hours that your office is open so that when you are closed, calls go to voicemail.

Ring One or Ring All (simultaneous ring)
An incoming call to the master account can either ring all extensions at once so that the first person to pick up gets the call, or just one phone so that your receptionist can then forward the call to the correct extension.

Individual Group in/out
You can take individual extensions out of the ring group or put them back in again at will from your own control panel.

Call Groups
The group feature allows you to combine some of your extensions so that they ring together when called. This is useful if your business is organised into departments with more than one person in each department or if some of your people wish to work from home as well as the office (no need to set diverts or call different numbers.)

Call Pickup
Calls can be picked up from other phones in the same call group.

Line & Number Presentation
This free feature enables you to see which of your telephone numbers is being called instead of the number of the person calling you. ie it displays Called Line ID instead of Calling Line ID (CLI) on your phone. This can be a very useful feature because with Voipfone you can have as many numbers on your account as you want but sometimes you need to know which one of them your caller dialled. For example, if you run more than one business but only have one telephone, you will want to answer the phone with the correct business name.

Call Queuing
Call queuing allows you to accept more calls into your telephone system than you have extensions or employees to answer them. With call queuing, your customers are answered automatically, held in a queue and while they are waiting for a representative they hear music and receive personal messages about where they are in the queue and when they will be answered. You never lose a customer because you couldn't answer the phone.
Regards,

Voipfone Customer Services

iNet Telecoms Ltd (Voipfone)
Sovereign House
227 Marsh Wall
London
E14 9SD
United Kingdom

Registered number: 05168033
Vat Registration Number 858850966

Telephone: 020 7043 5555
Fax: 020 7043 5556

Web: http://www.voipfone.co.uk
Blog: http://www.voipfoneblog.co.uk
Forum: http://www.voipfoneuserforum.co.uk
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/voipfone

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