Switchvox Drops Costs for Small Firmsby Sandra Gustavsen in Telecom
Digium updates its Switchvox Cloud hosted unified communications (UC) service with a new, lower cost pricing option that will appeal to smaller businesses with low or unpredictable call volumes. Now, customers can opt for usage-based metered pricing that charges only for external local and long distance calls actually made (flat-rate monthly rates for unlimited usage are already available – more on the pricing options below).
Digium first entered the hosted UC market with Switchvox Cloud in 2013. Switchvox Cloud mirrors Digium’s Switchvox SMB, the company’s premises-based IP-PBX which has been well known for its built-in UC capabilities, including unified messaging, presence, chat, smartphone applications for Android and iPhone, extension mobility features, meet-me conferencing, visual voicemail and more. Also included is the company’s Switchboard application, an intuitive, customizable Web-based user interface for managing calls, viewing presence status information, directories and queues, as well as integration with third party applications such as Salesforce.com and Google Maps.
All Switchvox SMB capabilities have carried over into the Switchvox Cloud service and are included with no additional monthly fees – a differentiator from some hosted PBX services on the market that may charge extra monthly fees for UC-type capabilities such as mobile phone integration, presence and chat or meet-me conferencing.
Flexible Pricing Options
Digium has been offering Switchvox Cloud at a flat monthly rate of $29 per user per month with a 3-year contract, $33 per user for a 1-year contract or $35 per user with a month-to-month subscription. These “unlimited” plans include all local and long distance minutes across the U.S. in 48 states free of charge (excludes Alaska and Hawaii).
The new, metered or usage-based pricing with R6.0 will appeal to those businesses that have unpredictable or low call volumes since it charges only for external US48 local and long distance calls per Digium’s current rate schedule. For example, with a 3-year contract, a customer will pay only $12.99 per seat per month plus $0.023 per minute for any external US48 local and long distance calls. With a 1-year contract, the monthly fee is $13.99 per user (plus $0.026/minute for usage) and $14.99 for a month-to-month subscription (plus $0.030 per minute).
Note that all internal, extension-to-extension calls are included free of charge in any of the flat-rate or metered plans, and there is a 5-user minimum for all plan options.
In addition to the new metered pricing, R6.0 also brings enhancements based on the company’s latest Asterisk 13 software, introducing a redesign of the company’s Switchboard Web-based call control application that adds customizable, roles-based user interfaces, improved Salesforce.com integration and several new widgets, among other features. These enhancements will also be available for the company’s premises-based IP-PBX, Switchvox SMB.