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GotVMail rolls out small business services

A new provider is using voice over IP to offer small businesses an inexpensive suite of voice communications services that will make them look larger and more professional without buying expensive hardware.

GotVMail is selling a monthly virtual PBX service both directly to businesses and through service providers that offers a single main customized greeting, multiple mailboxes, integrated messaging of voice mail and e-mail, and easy Web-based administration.

The GotVMail Virtual One service debuted almost 18 months ago and has 10,000 users, mostly through word-of-mouth, says Siamak Taghaddos, president and CEO of the company, which is now making its first marketing push.

“We enable small businesses to sound more professional and look more professional than before,” said Taghaddos.

Calls to a business’s toll-free number are answered by a custom main greeting and dispersed via extension number or a by-name directory. Live transfers can be done to any phone number, including a cellphone, home or VoIP number, allowing employees to stay in touch and the business to appear larger and more connected. The virtual PBX service includes music-on-hold.

In addition, using an optional Web and e-mail delivery feature, voicemails can be delivered via MP3 and PDF files via e-mail.

“The current VoIP service providers are good for outbound calls, but don’t do anything for inbound calls,” said Taghaddos. Other companies such as VirtualPBX.com address large customer needs.

GotVMail’s service costs as little as $9.95 and as much as $39.95 a month, plus per-minute charges for incoming calls of 4.8 cents per minute to 7.4 cents per minute, depending on how many minutes are purchased. The $39.95 service, VirtualOne Premiere, includes 1000 minutes of local calls, for companies that have both local and long-distance business. All three levels of service have $25 activation fees and a one-time fee for the incoming toll-free number.

GotVMail’s current push includes reaching out to service providers, especially those who target small businesses and SOHO customers.

“We are doing outreach to a plethora of service providers—smaller ISPs and ASPs that serve the small business community and who are looking for additional revenue opportunities,” said Taghaddos. “It’s very easy for them to send out e-mail or do something with their billing to talk about GotVMail to their customers.”