For businesses, moving to VoIP can be a challenging prospect, as there are so many issues that will need consideration. It is not just about whether to have your own on-premises IP PBX or to go for a cloud hosted service provider, those these are major decisions there are also many security considerations. One product on the market has the potential to alleviate many of these concerns by providing what they claim to be UCaaS (Unified Communications as a service). For those not familiar with cloud provider terminology, Unified communications as a service basically means that the cloud service provider will provide the software, features, and functionality over the internet.
UCaaS is unified communications as a service and this means that voice, video, conferencing, messaging, chat and SMS are all unified under one suite of services or applications. In VoIP Defenders case they host these services in the cloud and provide services via the internet to their clients. VoIP Defenders ATomOS product is a highly integrated multi-functional product that provides an initial low cost of entry but can still grow with the clients business.
VoIP Defenders AtomOS is an all-inclusive form of service, which can provide solutions that cover phones, networking hardware, security, technical support and more, offering a complete communications and networking environment. VoIP Defender’s UCaaS model is the only one to offer the AtomOS, which integrates VoIP and networking features and services into one central location.
AtomOS provides the following cloud hosted services:
- VoIP – VoIP Defender provides a cloud hosted IP PBX
- Network Routing
- Mobile apps – these allow you to use your mobile phone as a VoIP extension
- Web Filtering
- Span & Anti-virus protection
- QoS & Bandwidth management
- Remote management
- WiFi Access Point
- 24/7 support
- Captive portal
- Easy scalability
These highly integrated services are all supplied through VoIP Defender so there is only one point of contact for support and troubleshooting. This may not sound like such a big issue but when problems arise being able to go to one support contact is far easier than having to deal with several different companies who will pass the blame and have you running back and fore trying to solve the root cause of the problem. Having a one-stop shop for all your network and communication needs is a great solution especially for those companies that may not have onsite technical expertise in VoIP or networking.
VoIP Defender belies that cost saving deploying AtomOS one box solution can be as much as 70% on individual deployments of each of the services, such as routing, firewalls, we filtering, WiFi access points etc. They could well have a point here as there will be no need for individual servers for each application or for individual technical skills in maintaining and administrating each of these services. Replacing a multi-box solution with one box will certainly help integrate services as they are all under the one company umbrella and should ease configuration an installation. Furthermore, it will free up and allow repurposing of existing servers an curtail ongoing multi license fees.
The problem though is putting all your services in one box wise?
The reasons for concern are two fold:
- Are AtomOS individual features such as routing, VoIP and firewalls as good as best of breed standalone versions from say Cisco, Juniper and RingCentral.
- If the solution is one box – any failure is likely to be catastrophic where as in a multi box multi vendor solution the loss of web filters, or even firewalls will not be too disruptive to the business. However the loss of routing, firewalls, WiFi and VoIP simultaneously woul be devastating for a company, as you will lose internal an external connectivity as well as any internet presence.
The positives though are that having a one stop shop for support and troubleshooting can alleviate the latter concern to some degree. However placing routing, security and performance management services under the same service umbrella and in one box is still unnerving.
As for the cost, VoIP Defender prices the AtomOS at $600 per seat per year, which is pretty good at around $50 per month/seat considering VoIP alone could come close to that for a fully featured hosted cloud solution. There are however additional charges of $75 per phone for configuration an setup which is quite steep but this includes the setup of the phone the programming keys and the customers voicemail.
As a comparison AtomOS VoIP has many good features, such as three way calling, auto attendant, call recording and call transfer along with many other standard VoIP features. However, it does not come close to matching the feature sets of comparable hosted VoIP solutions such as RingCentral, Vonage or Phonepower. For example there is no call conferencing or video capabilities which is surprising for a product that describes itself as unified communications as a service.
The type of company that might benefit from such a service is probably small and with little or no onsite technical expertise. However, it then begs the question why would they need half of these products but assuming that they do VoIP Defender’s Atom OS is probably a good starting point as it will provide standard networking and performance management tools along with some robust security at a good price per seat.
In summary VoIP Defender’s AtomOS provides a comprehensive UCaaS hosted product that provides routing, firewalls, security, VPN, Encryption, VoIP, bandwidth control and management, web filtering and even a WiFi access point as tightly integrated services in a one box solution. The cost of buying all these services individually would be well in excess of VoIP Defenders pricing plans of circa $50 per month per seat. There are pros and cons to placing all of your networking and communications in a one box solution but for small to medium sized companies that are looking for a one-stop shop for their unified networking and communications this might well be you.