Broadvoice, founded in 2016, is a US based VoIP telecommunications service provider, which has a portfolio that includes IP/PBX, IP SIP trunks, and UCaaS (unified communication as a service). A recent addition to their portfolio in March 2016, is their newly released Contact Center service. Broadvoice’s service portfolio is available to all customers in continental North America including Canada and they pride themselves on their customer service center being USA based.
As Broadvoice has a portfolio of services on offer, we will look briefly at each one as part of the review. This way we will get a better insight into Broadvoice’s service capabilities and their level of innovation with regards telecommunication solutions.
Cloud Based IP/PBX
The main service that Broadvoice offers is their business level IP PBX service, which they make available to businesses of all sizes from single entity entrepreneurs to enterprises. The service though marketed as a cloud PBX service is actually closer in functionality to a virtual telephone service as the features are a closer match. For example, there is a call attendant and call transfer utilities for managing inbound calls and many of the other features are inbound calling centric although there are functions for using the business number as the caller ID went making outbound calls.
As with all cloud telephone services there is a choice of toll free (for $5 per number, which is very good), local numbers and Broadvoice can port any existing number to their system. In addition, Broadvoice can provide international (local) numbers, which can be great ways for helping international based customers’ contact the company at their own local rates. Prices for these international numbers vary depending on the nation.
In addition to the basic choices of business number Broadvoice supports the many basic functions of a virtual telephone service in so much as an auto attendant answers any incoming calls to the business number and after providing and customized greeting to the caller offers a menu of options. The IVR feature where callers can choose extensions by department, name or number is again pretty standard throughout the industry as is the basic call transfer (forwarding) techniques. Broadvoice supports as default the find-me/follow-me multi-extension model where the system tries to contact a user by ringing sequentially or simultaneously a configured list of extensions, such as a user’s mobile, desk or home phone. However, in addition to this basic form of call forwarding Broadvoice supports what they describe as advanced call forwarding which is based on complex rules, which allow wildcard routing and blocking as well as providing routing/scheduling dependent on time of day or day of week.
Broadvoice’s service runs on any IP or SIP phone and because calls can be transferred to any mobile or landline, the user can integrate their mobile and home phones to the business service. In addition, there is a Softphone available for a PC and mobile apps for Android and iPhones. Furthermore, Broadvoice offers unlimited local or long distant calls to customers in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, however they also have global plans for international business in 75 countries.
Voicemail is handled the same as most other services with voicemail to email transcription and can be accessed via the extension or through the cloud management portal. Similarly call recordings and traditional or electronic faxes can also be stored in the cloud and accessed online remotely through the portal.
The cloud portal provides the remote online method for system administration and configuration and provides an administrative dashboard for system statistics and user data.
For businesses with their own PBX such as an in-house IP PBX like Asterix or Trixbox, Broadvoice offers a SIP trunking service, which can greatly reduce the costs of traditional T1 circuits. In addition, using advanced codex Broadvoice’s SIP trunk service can improve the concurrent call capacity as each call is compressed so more calls can be carried across a T1 link.
For example, if using codex G729, requires only 19k of bandwidth per call, which will allow you to establish and maintain 81 concurrent calls a T1 trunk. Other advantages of SIP trunking is that the business can take advantage of Broadvoice’s establish International-calling rates leading to considerable saving whilst still using your original number.
As SIP trunking is predominantly targeted at big businesses it requires robust service and support so Broadvoice has 24/7 SIP support but they also remotely monitor the status of each SIP trunk to proactively support the service.
In addition to their cloud PBX service, Broadvoice also offers an advanced suite of unified communication tools that integrate voice, email, video and messaging in one platform. Broadvoice provide the suite of tools called Hosted Voice, Broadvoice email and Broadvoice communicator as a suite or they can be bought separately to tailor customer’s requirements. Broadvoice hosted voice is simply the cloud PBX we reviewed earlier in this article. Broadvoice email integrates with Outlook and you can send or receive faxes through this service. Broadvoice communicator, on the other hand, provides presence to let you see the status of all your contacts and provides instant messaging capabilities.
Communicator however offers a lot more than just IM, as it is the basis for voice, video and web conferencing. In addition, users can transfer files with their contacts and use the Softphone for voice calls on their PC.
The final service in Broadvoice’s portfolio was only introduced in March 2016 and is the flagship voice service aimed at enterprise contact centers. The Contact center service has a plethora of inbound, outbound and multi-channel features and functions that are requirements for modern contact centers.
The inbound feature set include ACD, CTI and IVR functions that enables advanced call distribution, through intelligent menus and graphical tools as well as customer information integration that provides agents with onscreen customer information and call history.
The outgoing features offer intelligent diallers, such as for predictive dialling or for performing outbound campaigns. In addition there is the multi-channel features that bring together all the diverse communication channels, such as email, IM, online Chat, and others under one umbrella application.
The contact center features provides companies with the ability to Scale On-Demand and to route calls to contact center agents intelligently that leads to increases in performance and service quality. However having a cloud based Contact center service also allows companies to Leverage home working agents and even multiple distributed contact center locations.
Broadvoice Business has a wide range of interesting products that covers the entire spectrum of cloud IP telecommunication services. Cloud PBX is suitable for small and medium companies whilst Contact Center provides the tools, features and functionality that enterprises will require, which makes Broadvoice truly capable of supporting companies of any size. Furthermore, for businesses with in-house PBX solutions or have hybrid voice solutions they also offer a SIP trunking service, which can provide real savings for businesses. In addition they also have provided a set of tools for integration of telecommunication channels such as voice, email, video and IM through their Unified communications service. What makes Broadvoice such and attractive solution is that services can be bought individually to tailor to the business and this makes their offering flexible and affordable.