Intermedia Adds Cloud PBX Service - InformationWeek
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8/3/2010
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Intermedia Adds Cloud PBX Service

Voice communications have rapidly evolved from delivering simple ring tones to sophisticated productivity tools. Many small and medium businesses have been having trouble keeping pace with the changes, so Intermedia is offering them some potential help via a hosted PBX service.

Voice communications have rapidly evolved from delivering simple ring tones to sophisticated productivity tools. Many small and medium businesses have been having trouble keeping pace with the changes, so Intermedia is offering them some potential help via a hosted PBX service.Intermedia's service includes a voice menu that greets callers and routes incoming calls; in-office dialing so employees can contact one another via extension dialing; and support for hunt groups so calls can be routed to the appropriate department, say sales or customer service. In addition, the service offers flat-rate, per-user monthly pricing with unlimited calling in the US and Canada. Theoretically, this feature would enable companies to reduce their monthly telecommunications charges.

Other features included are a direct phone number, unique extensions, E911 Service, caller ID, call waiting, call transfer, call forwarding, and 3-way calling. With a find me/follow me function, calls will be routed from one employee's desk phone to another, such as a mobile phone, so fewer calls are missed. Pricing for the service starts at $35 per user, per month.

In business since 1995, Intermedia has made its mark by offering corporations hosted Exchange email services. The company claims to have more than 260,000 customers and expects to reach 300,000 users by the end of the year. Because of this synergy between its email and voice mail functions, corporations can migrate to unified communications solutions after becoming comfortable with the hosted PBX service.

Intermedia has targeted a growing market opportunity. Traditionally, it has been difficult for small and medium businesses to deploy and support sophisticated voice functions. Recently, the emergence of cloud services and improvements in the design of voice applications is simplifying this work. However, the company finds itself in a highly competitive, rapidly evolving marketplace. Traditional voice suppliers, such as AT&T and Verizon, are moving aggressively into this space. In addition, PBX vendors have been enhancing their products as well as developing their own online services. While Intermedia has done well in the email services market, it could face significant competition as it broadens its reach.

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