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Grasshopper is everywhere

Original Article

Applications: You've GotVMail

Running a professional business out of the home has always been hampered by the lack of a professional-style telephone system. For those small offices looking to project a corporate appearance, a PBX-style phone system is a must.

Customers’ expectations of 800 numbers, voice-mail boxes and automated attendants have really put the squeeze on home-based businesses. Short of spending thousands of dollars on a dedicated PBX, most small businesses have had to make do with phone technology that has existed for close to a hundred years, with the biggest advancement coming in the form of answering machines some 40 years ago.

GotVMail PBX gives SOHOs a big advantage

$9.95 per month for single-user account
Integrators make 25% residual income for life of account
Offers clients an 800 number, V-mail retrieval and follow-me capabilities

Thanks to VoIP technology and the power of the Internet, home-based business owners now have a lot more to choose from when it comes to presenting a professional phone presence.

Take VirtualOne from Newton, Mass.-based GotVMail Communications, a hosted PBX for small businesses that is run as a managed service. By creating a virtual PBX, GotVMail brings advanced phone features to businesses of any size, ranging from a single employee to hundreds. The product offers several advantages for the ultrasmall-business user. First, VirtualOne is affordable, with single-user accounts starting as low as $9.95 per month. Second, it offers an 800 number, which helps to enhance the professional perception of a small business.

In addition, voice-mail messages can be stored for later retrieval, forwarded and digitized and converted into e-mails. The product’s “follow me” capabilities are equally impressive. When callers dial the 800 number, a comprehensive menu lets them select their party. The service then can contact the user’s land line or cell phone and inform them of the incoming call. The user can decide whether or not to accept the call, receive more information or send the call directly off to voice-mail.

The product’s extensive reporting and tracking capabilities ease auditing chores as well and can be used to generate billing information for businesses that charge for phone calls. That capability becomes even more important, considering that incoming calls can be billed from 4.8 to 7.4 cents per minute. Luckily, users don’t need to call the 800 number to check on new messages. The product offers a Web-based administration console that can deliver messages and track usage, which helps to reduce the overall cost of using the service.

Integrators will want to pursue the company’s affiliate program, which offers a 25 percent residual commission for the life of the customer relationship. There are no costs to become an affiliate and minimal effort is required on the integrators’ behalf to participate in the commission program. Of course, there are also training and setup opportunities for integrators, along with integrating the product into existing e-mail systems and other applications.