Vodafone is launching a software-based PBX solution for SMBs on Monday.
The solution, called Vodafone Office, is a combination of voice-over-IP (VoIP) and Vodafone’s mobile offering. Customers will be able to keep their landline number, and calls to that number may be answered on the receiver’s IP desktop phone, mobile phone or software phone on their laptop, says Kursten Shalfoon, Vodafone’s GM of products and services.
Voicemail will appear in the receiver’s Outlook inbox, as well as being received the standard way, he says.
The offering combines PBX functionality with the mobile, enabling businesses users to make and receive calls from wherever they are – at their desk, working from home or out in the field, says Shalfoon. Customers can continue to use one landline number as a single point of contact, and at the same time get the full benefits of mobility, he says.
There is no need to install new hardware – the software runs on the laptop, giving smaller businesses full PBX capability, and simple remote support, he says.
Training company Mobile Mentor has been trailing the service, deploying it to 40 staff.
“It’s a step change in the way companies can manage their communication needs,” says Mobile Mentor managing director Denis O’Shea.
Vodafone will initially offer the service to a select group of business customers but plans to release it to all business customers later this quarter, says Shalfoon. Phase two, to be rolled out later this year, will include added functionality, for example call centre capability, he adds.
The service starts from $40 per user per month.