Nextiva Vs Virtual PBX – in-Depth Comparison

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Company Information

Nextiva

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nextiva started out in 2008 as a VoIP service provider but has grown over the last decade into a leading cloud-based unified communication provider. Today, Nextiva is a leading UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) provider in the USA and Canada and is always there or there about when the annual awards are being handed out.  What makes Nextiva so popular with its users and market observers is that it covers all of the bases that small to medium business require from a modern unified communication platform. This is because today small businesses are just as dependent on supporting their customers’ diverse communication channels such as voice, email, SMS messaging, webchat, online forms, voicemail and even video voicemail, as their enterprise competitors. This is because small businesses as much as anyone need to be able to handle their customer’s preferred communication channels.

To that end Nextiva have developed a unified communication platform that is feature-rich yet still affordable for small businesses. Moreover the abundance of features does not mean added complexity as Nextiva still manages to be easy to configure, and administer.

VirtualPBX.com

 VirtualPBX is one of the pioneers in VoIP and virtual telephone services. It began over two decades ago from a garage workshop to become a nation-wide company with offices throughout the USA. From those humble beginnings VirtualPBX has grown to be a major player in VoIP and more recently in cloud based PBX solutions. It has achieved this through a customer centric approach to feature design, customer support and product development.

VirtualPBX strives to produce virtual phone products that are both cost effective and easy to use. As a result they build the need for flexibility and user control into the design process. This means that VirtualPBX products work the way the customer wants them to as the user, administrators and managers have their own levels and  ability to control and tweak feature settings.

Moreover, VirtualPBX takes pride in its low cost, high-performance virtual PBX solutions via its hassle-free setup, web-based administration and no-system maintenance.

Comparing VirtualPBX.com vs Nextiva

When it comes to comparing vendors’ products in the virtual telephone systems marketplace it is essential to make sure that we are comparing comparable systems. What this means is that we must select and compare service and price plans aimed at the same market sector, such as for small office-home office (SoHo) or small medium businesses (SMB), or small to medium enterprises (SME).

Comparing like-for-like services is especially valid when we consider making a comparison between an entrepreneurs, SoHo or SMB service such as Grasshopper’s virtual telephone system alongside an industry giant such as RingCentral’s cloud based virtual PBX.

As a result we have chosen to compare Nextiva’s small business service plans against VirtualPBX’s small business plans.

Pricing Models

VirtualPBX

VirtualPBX has three basic small business plans as well as an enterprise plan, which we will only touch briefly upon here as a possible upgrade path. Instead we will concentrate on a like-fo- like comparison with Grasshopper’s Solo, Partner and Small Business service plans.

The service plans that VirtualPBX offers targets the same entrepreneur and small business market-segment as Grasshopper but importantly the VirtualPBX plans come in two distinct flavors – 1) an Unlimited User plans and 2), an unlimited Minutes set of plans. Regardless of whether the plans are unlimited user, which is actually a pay for minutes plan or the Unlimited Minutes plans the feature sets are not the same as the plans are aimed at different types of customer .

Unlimited User Plans (Pay as you Go)

VirtualPBX has two billing option one is the Annual Subscription in Advance, the other is a monthly payments as you go. In either case there are no contracts or penalties for cancellation.

300 Plan – $9.99 /per month (annual subscription); $11.99 (monthly billing)

  • 300 Plan Minutes, 2 Local or Toll-Free Numbers, Free Web Phone & Call Forwarding, Enable VoIP Phones for $4.99/each  and Zapier Integration+ All Basic Features

500 Plan – $12.99 /per month (annual subscription); $17.99 (monthly billing)

  • 500 Plan Minutes, 2 Toll-Free or Local Numbers, Free Web Phone & Call Forwarding, Enable VoIP Phones for $4.99/each, ACD Queues (Standard)+ All Features Included on 300 Plan

1000 Plan – $24.99 /per month (annual subscription); $34.99 (monthly billing)

  • 1000 Plan Minutes, 5 Toll-Free or Local Numbers, Free Web Phone & Call Forwarding, Enable VoIP Phones for $4.99/each, Call Recording & Webhooks+ All Features Included on 500 Plan

Unlimited Minutes Service Plans

Essentials – $16.99 /user per month (annual subscription) or $21.99 (monthly billing)

  • Unlimited Local Minutes
  • 100 Toll-Free Minutes
  • Unlimited VoIP Minutes Between System Users
  • 5 Toll-Free or Local Numbers
  • 1 VoIP Device for Every User
  • ACD Queues (Standard)
  • Auto Attendant,
  •  Ring Groups,
  • Voicemail

Advanced – $20.99 /user per month (annual subscription) or $26.99 (monthly billing)

  • Unlimited Local Minutes
  • 1,000 Toll-Free Minutes
  • Unlimited VoIP Minutes Between System Users
  • 10 Toll-Free or Local Numbers
  • Advanced Reporting
  • ACD Queues Pro and
  • Call Recording
  • Plus All Features Included in the Essentials Plan

Enterprise – $24.99 /user per month (annual subscription) or $34.99 (monthly billing)

  • Unlimited Local Minutes
  • 2,500 Toll-Free Minutes
  • Unlimited VoIP Minutes Between System Users
  • 15 Toll-Free or Local Numbers
  • CRM Integration
  • API Access
  • Plus All Features Included in the Advanced Plan

Nextiva

The Nextiva service has three basic plans for small to medium businesses; Essential, Professional and Enterprise and each differs in price and feature-sets as they target businesses of different size and technical requirements. The entry level plan, Essential, is aimed at the entrepreneur or SoHo (Small office Home office) type business or the one or two man entrepreneurs that need a modern communication system. The next step up is the Professional Plan, and this service plan is targeting the small business that requires multi-channel communications for today’s technically advanced customers. Both service plans however come packed with features to meet the requirement of even the most technically demanding small business.

  • Essential starts at $29.95 per user per month (1-20 users billed monthly)
    Voicemail to email, unlimited US calling, free number porting
  • Professional starts at $32.95 per user per month (1-20 users billed monthly)
    Comes with all basic features plus – Unlimited conference calls, Nextiva mobile app, professionally recorded greeting    
  • Enterprise starts at $39.95 per user per month (1-20 users billed monthly)
    Comes with all Pro features plus – Advanced Voice analytics, call recording, live chat on your website

These are the entry level prices for Nextiva based on the comparable  service plans for businesses on 1-25 users. There is considerable saving however if you want to take on a 36 month contract and you have 100 or more users. In that case, you will begin to realize Nextiva’s advertised rates of $20 per user per month for the Essential plan, $25 per user per month for the Professional Plan, and $30 per user per month for the Enterprise plan.

 Therefore, when pricing Nextiva service plans you really do need to get sales quotes from Nextiva because Nextiva offers multiple price variances based on the length of the service contract and the number of users on your plan and there simply is not enough reliable information on the site or in the terms and conditions to determine per user pricing.

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VirtualPBX Features

VirtualPBX takes a different approach to features and service plans as it tries to be flexible and groups features into functional categories such as voice, collaboration & productivity, and Contact Centre. This is to allow you to customize your feature set to match your requirements. For example the following Dash service plans have different combinations of features:

Dash Essentials

Auto Attendant, Ring Groups, Zapier Integration, Audio Conferencing, Paperless Fax, ACD Queues, and Webhooks

Dash Advanced

Auto Attendant, Ring Groups, Zapier Integration, Audio Conferencing, Paperless Fax, ACD Queues, ACD Queues Pro, Call Recording, API Access, Webhooks, External Storage, and advanced reporting

Dash Enterprise

Auto Attendant, Ring Groups, Zapier Integration, Audio Conferencing, Paperless Fax, ACD Queues, ACD Queues Pro, Call Recording, API Access, Webhooks, External Storage, CRM Integration, Priority Support Included, Advanced Reporting

As can be seen from the feature list for each plan VirtualPBX has some very advanced features voice features such as ring groups, ACD queuing and audio conferencing as standard features even with the entry level Essentials plan.

In addition there are many additional features that allow you to customize your plans for collaboration and productivity gains through such features as Data Storage with AWS, Salesforce CRM and Zapier Integration or manage large teams or small contact centers with ACD Queues with Whisper and Barge, Call Recording, Real-Time  Agent Monitor, Call Reports, and advanced reporting.

Nextiva Features

One of Nextiva’s major selling points is its feature-rich unified communication platform. It has over 50 built-in VoIP features that cover just about everything you could need for a technology driven small business. The entry level Essentials service plan is aimed at the small business that typically does not have a single fixed office but has remote locations, home workers and that is looking for a cost effective virtual PBX service that will run effectively on smartphones or mobile devices. The Essentials service plan comes with the standard 50+ VoIP features as standard, such as:

  • Cloud PBX
  • Free phone number porting
  • Mobile call management
  • Unlimited US calling
  • Free local number
  • Free toll-free number
  • Voicemail to email
  • Unlimited virtual faxing
  • Shared call appearance (multiple phones on one line)
  • HD hold music
  • Voicemail to text ($2.95 per line)
  • Barge In (manager monitoring)

Additional features available in the Professional Plan include:

  • Professionally recorded greetings
  • Call Me Now (phone call via website link)
  • Conference bridge (up to nine users)
  • Nextiva mobile app

The Enterprise plan brings the additional features:

  • Call recording
  • Nextiva Anywhere
  • Business Application Integration

A single differentiator between Nextiva and many of its rivals is its array of business application connectors for seamless integration wide a wide range of applications, such as:

  • Skype for Business
  • Salesforce
  • GoToMeeting
  • Zendesk
  • Freshdesk
  • Hubspot
  • Eloqua
  • Desk.com

Additional/Supplementary Apps

Another interesting point about Nextiva is that it has removed most of the call handling and routing features from the standard plans and made them available as specialized Call Centre editions. There are two Call Centre service plans the Call Centre Pro, which is suited for small to medium contact centers and Call Center Enterprise for medium to large call centers.

  • Call Center Pro – $50 per user per month
  • Call Center Enterprise – $100 per user per month

Mobile & Desktop Apps

VirtualPBX

The VirtualPBX softphone app differs slightly from many of its competitors’ mobile apps in so much as it is a generic softphone which turns any Computer, Device, or Cell Phone into a fully-featured VoIP Extension.  This allows you to harness the power of the VirtualPBX system from your own personal devices. The VirtualPBX Softphone App works with any iOS or ANdroid smartphone and is free to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play market.

The way that it works is that the VirtualPBX Softphone App can route calls intended for your deskphone directly to your smartphone. Anyone calling you will simply dial your direct line or company phone number and extension and be transparently forwarded to your smartphone. Also, it works well for outbound calling as it can use your business number as the Caller ID. Furthermore, with addition functions such as mobile call interruptions, mobile call management, Siri integration, call transfer and the savings made on mobile call roaming makes the VirtualPBX Softphone App a handy tool for those out and about a lot of the time.

The VirtualPBX Softphone app also works on desktops, laptops and tablets running Windows or Mac OS. The desktop softphone is just another virtual extension to handle all inbound and outbound voice traffic. This means it has all the same functionality such as Ring Groups, queues, Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers and even full Salesforce integration. This means you can manage your contacts sales leads and funnels even when you are away from the office.

Nextiva

A disappointing aspect of Nextiva in the mobile app is not included with the Essentials plan. Indeed you need to upgrade to the Professional plan before it is included as standard. The same is true of another great mobility tool called Nextiva Anywhere which allows you to unplug a VoIP phone and take it with you and plug it in to the internet wherever you go and it works – due to local DNS trickery – as if it was still on the local network. They can also have calls diverted from their business lines and ring any other phones such as their mobile or home landline phones.

In addition to Nextiva Anywhere, another great tool is Nextiva’s mobile app, which runs on iOS and Android devices. The mobile app allows remote users to make and receive phone calls on their smartphones. They can also work as normal on their business lines, making use of all the standard features such as making video calls, chat with team members via instant message, access the company directory or manage their contacts and leads within CRM. In addition, there is seamless call transfer so that you can start a call on a desk phone and then move the call transparently to a mobile phone, and vice versa without the caller realizing.

The Nextiva softphone allows you to make and receive calls from your desktop computer or laptop. Just plug in a handset into your device to transform it into a fully functional VoIP phone.

Types of Numbers Available

Nextiva

With Nextiva you get one Toll Free or Local Number per service plan. Alternatively you can port an existing business number across for use on the Nextiva system. However porting an existing number does take time – typically 2-3 weeks.

With Regards to VoIP local numbers Nextiva can supply local telephone numbers in every region across the USA.

Nextiva’s cloud based VoIP technology allows you to manage a presence in any city or state that you have customers. It doesn’t matter where you are located you can still have local VoIP phone numbers for nearly any other area code across the USA. Unfortunately Nextiva does not extend this service out with the USA, so there are no international local numbers available.

VirtualPBX.com

VirtualPBX supports Local, International, Toll-Free, Vanity numbers as well as allowing you to port over an existing business number. Indeed VirtualPBX offers as part of their service plans several virtual business numbers per plan, such as:

Essentials -5 Toll Free or local numbers

Advanced10 Toll Free or local numbers

Enterprise – 15 Toll Free or local numbers

International numbers are also available in over 40 countries that work like local numbers and allow you to gain an international presence without the costs associated with new, international offices.

There is also the availability of multiple main business numbers, which allows you to operate several autonomous businesses from the same system profile and service.

Support

An important factor when comparing vendor virtual telephone solutions is Customer Service. Each vendor approaches this area differently with some more focused on online material such as FAQ, Podcasts, and Blogs as well as website training videos. Whereas others aim for the personal contact via telephone, email or web forms. Whichever channel you prefer should be available to you from the vendor.

Another important factor is where the Support service is based. Generally a few years ago vendors took advantage of offshoring contact centers to Asia and other places to take advantage of lower costs. Unfortunately this often backfired resulting in poor customer experience and so recently there has been a shift back to on shoring Contact Centers in the USA.

Nextiva

Nextiva support is during office hours ET time and based in the USA.

Nextiva supports the following channels:

  • Telephone – Toll Free 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST on weekdays and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST on weekends.
  • Live Support – Chat
  • Ticket System – Online Forms
  • Live Training
  • Email
  • FAQ and online documentation

VirtualPBX.com

VirtualPBX support is 24/7 and based in the USA.

VirtualPBX supports the following channels:

  • Telephone – 24/7
  • Live Support – Chat
  • Ticket System – Online Forms
  • Live Training
  • Email
  • FAQ and online documentation

VirtualPBX prides itself on its customer support and boast of support staff being available 24 hours/day, 365 days/year to handle support issues.

Regional Availability

Nextiva

Nextiva is a virtual PBX so it can support diverse geographical locations thereby providing enhanced mobility by allowing companies to choose state or city numbers as local phone numbers. With Nextiva your virtual business number can be chosen or customized to specific geographical or regional preferences within the USA. Nextiva also offers international virtual business calling rates but does not provide international local numbers.

VirtualPBX.com

As VirtualPBX is a cloud based virtual PBX it can support diverse geographical locations thereby providing enhanced mobility by allowing companies to choose local phone numbers in over 40 countries. With Phone.com your virtual business number can be chosen or customized to specific geographical or regional preferences. VirtualPBX also offers international virtual business numbers that provide your business with a virtual in-country presence.

Cancelling the Service

A very important factor to consider is how you end the contract if things just don’t work out. After all no matter how affordable and well delivered a telephone service may be it just might not fit with your own business model or direction. Therefore you should be aware of any potential cancellation fees or contractual obligations before you subscribe to the vendor’s service.

Nextiva

Nextiva can be run on a month to month contract or on long term multi-year contracts (36 months). You have to be sure you know the renewal date or the contract will simply roll over and start anew when the time expires. Therefore you need to contact Nextiva within the notice period to cancel the service. 

You may cancel your NEXTIVA Service at any time by providing NEXTIVA with a notice of your intent to cancel by sending an email to [email protected] or calling our Customer Care Department at 1-800-983-4289.

VirtualPBX

Cancelling the VirtualPBX service is very easy as you have a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service or any billable features. Any Approved Persons may request cancellation of the Service Agreement at any time by writing to VirtualPBX or by email to [email protected].

However be aware that if you are paying annually in advance that billing refunds will only apply to full months unused. No partial month unused is refunded. Also there is a minimum of 4 months charged within the first 12 months of service.

Summary

Nextiva is one of the most popular and highly acclaimed cloud based Virtual unified communication platforms that is both affordable and feature rich. Unfortunately, Nextiva does not offer services out with the USA or even International local numbers. Nonetheless, if your business is confined to the USA then Nextiva offers a unified communication platform that has an extensive set of features covering voice, call handling, application integration, collaboration and productivity as well as some basic call handling features. However, don’t mistake Nextiva’s call handling and call management features to be anything short of the bare essentials as they have bundled practically all of these features into their stand-alone Call Centre edition. However, if you are not requiring call center functions then Nextiva has everything you need in a small business unified communication platform.

VirtualPBX on the other hand is also a cloud based virtual phone system that is affordable but it offers services out with the USA and Canada and has far greater international scope. VirtualPBX has a more extensive set of tunable and configurable features covering voice, call handling, application integration, collaboration and productivity as well as some basic call center features. The important thing about VirtualPBX other than it provides a metered service (a pay as you go type plan) is that it is highly flexible in so much as you can tune and tweak many of the features to customize the settings. This makes VirtualPBX a good fit for small businesses that like to customize or optimize their system as it allows technicians to get under the hood.  In addition, VirtualPBX prides itself on its transparency in development roadmaps and timelines so you can see what upcoming features that the VirtualPBX’s developers are working on. These things differentiate VirtualPBX from the competition. It might not be for your business but if you do want the technical freedom and have your own development ambitions than VirtualPBX could be what you ate looking for.

In short, what differentiates these two products is that Nextiva is an off the shelf product that you can subscribe to and run with minimal hands-on skills. VirtualPBX is a highly flexible and configurable system that you can tweak and tinker with to get the service you want.

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