Junction Networks have developed OnSIP as a web-based VoIP telephone system, specifically for small to medium businesses (SMBs). However, a very unusual feature of OnSIP is that as it is part of Junction Networks it operates over the traditional PSTN networks using SIP trunks.
SIP trunks are usually only used by enterprises and large businesses for VoIP due to their expense. However, OnSIP has brought this to the SMB and at a very low cost. In addition, SIP trunks provide the reliable bandwidth that is a prerequisite for high quality and reliable service, which is further enhanced by OnSIP’s main data centers being located in geographically diverse locations. The Data Centers, which are the vital hubs of the cloud service, are located in New York and California, which provide for business continuity in the case of a local disaster (Floods, earthquakes, snow etc).
Another advantage of having your VoIP service hosted by a nationwide web services provider is that they have large hub networks, which provide the necessary connection points across all of the North American continent. What this means in practical terms is that your business will be only ever likely to be one hop away from both OnSIP’s cloud service (their servers) and the called party. This provides efficient call routing and enables low charges; hence, OnSIP’s attractive pay-as-you-go deals.
OnSIP as its name suggests has been developed using the open standard SIP protocol, which makes its service flexible, easy and cheap to configure. It is this flexibility of service that makes it ideal for SMB’s as OnSIP charge for calls and not for the number of extensions. As a result, a business can install as many extensions as they wish for no extra charge as OnSIP’s business model is structured around the call minutes not the number of devices. This can make OnSIP highly attractive to some smaller businesses that do not have heavy call usage. Alternatively, OnSIP also offers a more traditional model based on the number of seats (users) with a pay as you go or an unlimited number of standard calls (minutes) plan. This may be the more attractive scenario for some SMBs as it does pack in more features and benefits that some businesses will find essential but it does appear to dilute one of OnSIP’s differentiating features of unlimited users/extensions.
This plan is the entry-level plan, which would suit small businesses that do not have particularly heavy call usage – Remember with VoIP you are charged for both incoming and outbound calls. The idea behind this plan is to permit the business to install and configure as many extensions as they wish as revenue will be generated by the call minutes. As a result, the pay-as-you-go model is very attractive to SMB’s that wish to avoid the hefty price-per-user fees demanded by many of OnSIP’s competitors. As of writing – (April 2016) OnSIP charges 2.95c per minute with on-network calls free.
Pay-as-you-go however is not entirely without charges as you must buy a minimum of $49.95 worth of features, which is a recurring monthly charge on top of the call minutes used. The feature you would expect to get for $49 are; Voicemail box, Auto Attendants, Ring Groups, Web phone app, music on hold, announcements, web site call to dial widget and a conference call suite.
The alternative offering is a traditional pay per user service plan, which offers many features included in the monthly price. Others such as the advanced music on hold and call parking are also included at no additional cost. With the pay-per-seat model, there is still no restriction on the number of extensions that can be assigned per user or even the type of devices as we will discuss in the next section. The options are to remain pay-as-you-go, which is priced at $8.95 per user per month or go the unlimited calls option at $24.95 per user per month.
OnSip, suggest helpfully that the per seat metered option at $8.95 is suited to businesses that rely heavily on their phones but with low to medium calling, examples are real estate, business consulting or legal services. Alternatively, the Per Seat unlimited option is optimized for businesses with heavy call usage such as auto dealerships, insurance agencies, and Financial services.
There is a third option, which is to purchase bulk minutes at a small discount for example 300,000 minutes at a 5% discount.
Taking the unlimited calls option also provides for easier administration and budgeting as you pay a standard cost per month. However, the costs incurred are directly related to the call usage, as the service doesn’t provide any additional (free) features or functionality.
Phones and Devices
OnSIP, being based upon the open standards SIP protocol – is able to support any standard SIP device, whether that be a standard SIP phone, a mobile application or a computer softphone. Therefore, it is easy to add extensions to the OnSIP network, however it does take some technical understanding and skills. Alternatively, SIP phones can be purchased pre-configured from OnSIP that work out of the box in a plug-and-play mode. This is probably the most convenient method for non-technical users but the option to customize the network using and SIP enabled device is always an option.
Unified Communications – the new hot term in Cloud based VoIP systems – is also fully supported in OnSIP through a my.onsip portal that enables basic features such as managing voicemail, messaging coworkers and handling presence in addition to making and receiving calls. Using my.sip on a smartphone or tablet allows for true mobility as you can fully communicate through the business number anywhere and at anytime.
Although OnSIP’s feature set is merely a subset of some of its more illustrious but expensive competitors it does provide the essential functions and a few more. For example, OnSIP supports system integration with CRM packages such as Saleforce, Zen Desk and importantly Microsoft Outlook.
Other features available are voicemail-to –email transcription, Business hour routing, and click-to-dial widgets for a website.
OnSIP is a low cost solution with limited features but also with some advanced solutions such as business application integration. OnSIP is easily extended as you grow as there is no limit to the number of devices or extensions on the network and it works on open standard SIP compatible devices. For an SMB looking for a low cost VoIP network with some good basic and advanced features OnSIP is a very good solution.
To signup and for more information visit OnSIP.com
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