News & Buzz

Grasshopper is everywhere

Original Article

Patricia Fusco

If you’re busy playing phone tag with your customers or buried in a pile of sticky notes, you should know that there is a better way to take care of business. Sure, your could hire a personal assistant, but then you’ll have to rent more office space, pay a full-time employee, and keep track of more employment records - all something a virtual assistant doesn’t require.

GotVMail Communications this week introduced the a suite of virtual voice communications services that delivers call-flow processing and big-business call center professionalism to small and home-based businesses. While the service is virtual - that is, Web-based - GotVMail is a very real communications solution for smaller businesses.

GotVMail’s VirtualOne communications service includes the opportunity to secure a unique toll-free number, such as 1-800-gotmail, and integrate the vanity phone number with a telephone greeting system that features an auto attendant, multiple mailboxes, customized greetings, music-on-hold, live call forwarding and more.

A Web-based management system works behind GotVMail’s virtual voice services to provide voicemail and notification messages to employees, either by phone or by e-mail. GotVMail allows a small business to create the impression of being a big business, by assigning private extensions to different departments or employees who may be located in different locations.

Frank Schroth, co-founder of the technology firm uLocate, said GotVMail allows the small business to be productive without requiring us to be physically in the workplace.

“With GotVMail, we are not shackled to the office,” Schroth said. “Staff can stay on top of customer support and sales calls regardless of where they are, and there are absolutely no integration issues with the uLocate network, IT or phone systems.”

GotVMail’s enhanced features further expands its array of virtual communications services to enable small firms to appear to be “around the corner” with community-based phone numbers for localities throughout the U.S. and overseas. Calls can be forwarded to international phone numbers, and small businesses can rest assured that no call goes unanswered with GotVMail’s “follow-me” option that routes incoming calls to other numbers, extensions or voice mail. Best of all, GotVMail can seamlessly work in harmony with a company’s PBX system.

Siamak Taghaddos, GotVMail president and chief executive officer, said the service fills a void between corporate telecom services for large organizations and small businesses that lack the capital to install and manage a complete voice system on their own.

“This shortcoming severely restricts the ability to effectively compete and maintain a professional corporate image,” Taghaddos said. “GotVMail fills that void and allows small businesses to focus on their core competencies, while keeping their telecommunications costs to a minimum.”

Since uLocate has been using GotVMail, the company has been able to provide a higher level of service and response to its clients - on a cost-effective basis. uLocate uses a full-featured voice mail system that costs roughly $100 a month. GotVMail estimates that a similar PBX system could be deployed for about the same monthly fees, but only after an upfront investment of $4,000 to $20,000 is made to build out an infrastructure.

GotVMail’s server-based phone systems are co-located at a New York City “telecom hotel” with multiple incoming T-1 circuits and connections to major long distance carriers. Each T-1 is equivalent to 24 conventional phone “channels,” but since GotVMail uses high-quality voice over Internet protocol technology (define), it provides the capacity for many more simultaneous calls than conventional call routing schemes. The company can handle 50,000 subscribers within its current system, and can upgrade the system on a week’s notice by adding capacity - in blocks of 10,000 more customers at a time.

GotVMail’s enhanced VirtualOne communications services are now available. Pricing starts at $9.95 a month, exclusive of carrier charges, which may vary. GotVMail’s standard service bundle covers five extensions or mailboxes. Adding dial-by-name directory services, virtual marketing services, or virtual fax services will each cost another $5 a month. Adding Web- and e-mail messaging costs another $10 a month. Vanity phone numbers and setup of 1-800 number require one-time fees that range from $15 to $30.

Any small business with a few employees or associates located around the country could benefit from a service like GotVMail. If you’re still busy playing phone tag with your customers or aren’t certain your computer monitor still resides behind countless sticky notes, GotVMail could provide you with a cost-effective way to make your business better.