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"8x8 Internet Phone Service
works exactly like traditional phone service with two exceptions – you pay a lot less for local and long distance calling and gain an abundance of powerful features like voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, three way calling and much more at no extra charge."
Source : Packet8
Internet-based Phone Service for Small to Midsize Companies
Internet-based Phone Service is also known as :
Internet Phone Service,
Phone Service Technology,
Phone Service Business,
Broadband Telephone Services,
Web Phone Service,
Broadband Phone Service,
Free Internet Phone Service,
Internet Communications Services,
Local Phone Services,
Phone Service Providers,
Hosted Phone Services,
Services Phone Systems,
Phone Service Offers,
Information Phone Service,
Net Phone Service,
Phone Service Info,
Business Phone Solutions,
Options Phone Service,
Best Phone Service,
Phone Service Depot,
Phone Service Companies,
Winning Phone Service,
Broadband Phone Solution,
Internet Phone Solution,
Phone Software Service.
I. The Telecommunications Challenge for SMBs
Small businesses are faced with a difficult task when it comes to
selecting or upgrading their telecommunications system. Very often,
companies will conduct research based on their current size and
where they project they will be in a year. Typically, the economics
of investing in a business phone system that is feature-rich and
can scale to their potential growth precludes them from purchasing
these powerful tools in the initial stages of their company. The
same applies to companies when adding new offices or replacing
outdated telephone systems.
New companies generally choose standard business phone lines
from their local phone company along with multi-line phones
because of the low initial cost. Limited funds and a dynamic, often
dispersed, business environment make the options going forward
an intermediary step until the company grows large enough to
consider a premise-based PBX.
With VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, small
businesses now have a cost effective, feature-rich alternative to
the traditional business phone system that facilitates geographic
independence to work from homes, a powerful business feature set
along with local and long distance for a fraction of the cost of both
the low-feature multi-line phones or the feature-rich PBX.
“The Packet8 Virtual Office
phone system brings us all
together. With a virtual PBX,
our customers think were all in
the same office. They call one
number and it’s like they are
calling one office. They just listen
to the auto-attendant and press
the extension number of the
person they need to talk with.
Our customers need to speak
to someone and Packet8 Virtual
Office has made it easy for them
to get in touch with us. I can be
anywhere in the world and run
my business. My employees can
be anywhere they need to be.”
II. Shortfalls of Traditional Phone Services for SMBs
Traditional telephone networks were designed solely to carry
low-fidelity audio signals with a high level of reliability. Although
these networks are very reliable for voice communication, they
are not well suited to service today’s explosive demand for digital
communication applications, because they:
- Are expensive to build – each phone must be individually connected
to the central ofice switch, which is usually several miles away from
the subscriber's location
- Use dedicated circuits for each call, which require ixed connection
and operator taxation throughout the call’s duration, whether or not
voice is actually being transmitted
- Must have the capacity from day one to address potential growth,
increasing initial costs and creating an under utilized investment
- Transmit data at very low rates and resolutions, making them
poorly suited for delivering integrated Internet communications,
entertainment-quality video or other rich multimedia content
- Cannot be leveraged to provide new or differentiated services or
functions, such as a geographic independent Centrex offering or other
convergent aspects of complete communication offerings.
With traditional business phone systems (PBXs), companies must first purchase
expensive equipment that is scalable to their potential growth. They require phones
capable of being remote, if needed, and applications such as voicemail, IVRs and
ring groups. The more functionality a small business wants, the more the equipment
will cost. After paying for the hardware, the traditional PBX system still requires
installation, maintenance as well as dial tone charges. On top of this, a business
will also need to incur expenses for local and long distance calling, a maintenance
contract and annual upgrades.
The comparison of a hosted VoIP PBX is significantly different in delivery than
services like Centrex systems, Key Telephone Systems (KTS), or multi-line phones.
The major differences: customers must have equipment on their premises and need
to bring in trunk lines; multi-line phones are basic and provide limited features;
Centrex is expensive and limited by a company’s location in relation to the central
office service area.
Payback for a PBX phone system may never occur, preventing smaller companies
from considering a traditional business phone system. Even after this investment,
their customers would hear a busy signal if calls exceed the number of available
Until recently, small businesses had no real alternative to regular, basic phone
service that requires all users to be in the same physical location, offers a limited
feature set or necessitates a large up front investment to acquire a PBX.
III. Enter VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
Today, in the telecommunications arena, new technology called Voice over Internet
Protocol (VoIP) is revolutionizing the industry by providing a cost-effective and featurerich
telephony alternative to SMBs.
VoIP technology compresses voice (audio) data into packets that can be efficiently
transmitted over data networks and the public Internet, and converted back into
voice at the receiving end. This is the basic architectural change that drives
integration with web-based applications and the development of new features that
would be impossible using traditional networks. More importantly significant cost
savings can be realized by consumers as voice now becomes just another form of
Packet-switched networks – such as a home network and the Internet – were built to
carry non-real-time data. The advantages of such networks are flexibility, efficiency,
- Networks can be built in a variety of configurations to suit the
number of users, client/server application requirements, and
desired bandwidth availability.
- Bandwidth and network connectivity is consumed only when
- Service providers are able to converge their traditionally separate
voice and data networks, and carry voice, video, fax, and data
traffic over the same network.
- Many terminals can share the same connection to the network
and, as a result, significantly reduce equipment costs to deploy
VoIP versus a circuit-switched telephony network.
- Users can be easily added to the network anywhere there is a
connection as growth demands with minimal network costs to
These advantages help create cost savings that are being passed on to consumers
in the form of lower telephony rates. Organizations can also reap additional savings
when staff have a phone extension in a home office, eliminating the brick and mortar
cost for satellite offices. According to market data reported on Yahoo, potentially
more than 25 million SMBs could realize enormous benefits by employing VoIP.
b. Market Overview
From 2000 to 2005, the U.S. broadband Internet access market grew from 4.5
million subscribers to 41.3 million subscribers. Over the next five years, it is
expected to grow an additional 28 million subscribers.
VoIP providers that rely on broadband Internet access saw revenue increase
from $25 million in 2003 to $200 million in 2004, and then top $1.1 billion in
2005. Their revenue is projected to reach $5.1 billion by 2009, according to
theTelecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA’s) newly released TIA’s 2006
Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast. TIA predicts the number of VoIP
Subscribers will more than triple 2005’s 4.2 Million to 18 Million by 2009. 
The TIA report also foresees a decline in Centrex, key telephone systems, and
conventional Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)-based PBX line systems through 2008.
Large enterprises have been taking advantage of these trends for the past 10 years
to reduce telecommunication costs between sites. Now, SMBs have the capability to
also enjoy these savings in addition to other benefits described later in this
With the adoption of VoIP, businesses are demanding that broadband providers
deliver high-quality and continuous connectivity. Broadband carriers who cannot
deliver an acceptable level of quality are having a difficult time retaining customers.
“We are moving into a new building and have gone with your Packet8 Virtual Ofice
product company-wide. We are really appreciative of both the administrative support and technical support from Packet8.
The features of this system afford our knowledge workers lots of flexibility that we didn’t have with our old PBX. It was
going to be very expensive to move our old PBX, get a new PRI, and we would still be stuck with same old PBX features.
A very simple feature, receiving voicemail via electronic mail, has helped us tremendously in communicating with each other
when we are solving customer problems. Also, few things are sweeter than kissing your old phone company goodbye.
Thanks for a great product. We like it so much we want our customers to install it too!” — Dave McCoy, CEO, Business
Information Group, Inc.
Dave McKoy, CEO
From a consumer perspective, broadband is a now more
than just a $40 per month portal to the Web, but a new avenue for
feature-rich telecommunications, video, and television. Also,
benefical to end users is the reduction of monthly charges
for access as traditional mainstream services continue to leverage
c. Low-Cost Broadband Changes the Telephony Game
The explosive adoption of broadband Internet access is aiding
VoIP market growth. Since so many potential VoIP customers want
features like voicemail to email notification and online account
management, VoIP phone service is quickly becoming a logical
alternative to costly traditional phone service solutions.
Over the past ten years, the market for VoIP has been driven by
a number of factors, chiefly the promise of inexpensive voice
communication. As Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) costs have
gone up, without the addition of new features, any solution that
offered lower rates with significantly enhanced features was bound
to create interest.
As VoIP is less expensive to deploy, the service provider can pass
the savings on to its customers. Since no physical equipment other
than a phone and a small adapter are needed onsite, features can
be upgraded seamlessly without incurring additional charges.
Due to the cost savings and added features associated with VoIP,
consumers, enterprises, traditional telecommunication service
providers (telcos), and cable television providers are viewing it as
the future of telecommunication. VoIP has experienced significant
growth in recent years due to:
- Carriers drive to reduce costs while providing more features
- Customers desire for increased feature set without capital
- A more dispersed workplace driven by teleworkers and best of breed
global hiring practices
- Improved quality and reliability of broadband networks enabling VoIP
calls over standard broadband lines, as well as inexpensive increased
- New product innovations that allow VoIP providers to offer services
not currently offered by traditional telephone products
Additionally, with the ability to port (transfer) existing phone
numbers, switching a business to a VoIP phone system can be
completely transparent to employees and customers.
IV. The Packet8 Virtual Office Solution
8x8’s Packet8 Virtual Office service is taking VoIP to a new level for SMBs, by
offering a complete, full-service business telecommunication platform without the
high expense of traditional small business phone systems. It is simple to install,
even easier to use and reduces telecommunication costs while providing powerful
Packet8 Virtual Office is a hosted VoIP phone service that replaces the need for
private branch exchanges (PBXs) for companies in the same building or in regional
offices spread across the globe. In addition to PBX-functionality, Virtual Office
service plans provide unlimited local and long distance calling for a flat-rate,
unlimited extension dialing regardless of location, as well as international calling at
rock bottom prices.
This 21st Century solution also offers more premium features without the cost of
premise-based PBX systems, while enabling the same business processes enjoyed
by large enterprises.
Another benefit of Packet8 Virtual Office is the ability to move with your office phone,
an obvious limitation of traditional PBXs. All that is needed to enable the service is
a high-speed Internet connection to plug the Virtual Office phone into, whether in a
home office or in a hotel room thousands of miles away.
Utilizing existing high-speed Internet connections – such as Digital Subscriber Line
(DSL), cable, or T1 – Packet8 Virtual Office also connects employees to each other
via extension-to-extension dialing (whether staff is in the same building, spread
across the nation or even across the world), eliminating all intra-organization local
and long distance calling expenses.
By using the Internet to deliver VoIP PBX services to SMBs, Packet8 Virtual Office
allows companies to have endless scalability and add extensions without loss of
When a company’s customers call into Packet8’s VoIP PBX, they have the impression
that they are calling one central location, though they have actually called the Virtual
Office service that links all employees through one system, no matter where they are
All a user needs to link to Virtual Office is access to a broadband Internet
connection, a Packet8 Virtual Office phone and a service plan. This enables real
telecommuting and removes the need for expensive brick and mortar overhead costs
to a company.
“I am estimating that during
the course of a year we
will save 60 percent on our
telecommunication costs. I
would conidently recommend
the Packet8 Virtual Ofice
solution to any business like
ours that wants to cut their
telecommunication costs and
obtain business-class features
along with the tools to help
manage their phone trafic more
President and CEO
Virtual Office has many powerful features including auto-attendant,
ring groups, or direct dial numbers associated with each extension,
regardless of the extension’s geographical deployment.
Virtual Office’s powerful auto-attendant connects groups of
extensions that could be located in the same building or spread out
over the globe, offering functional options such as: dial by name, dial
by extension or even a company directory for callers. Also included
(at no extra charge) with the Packet8 Virtual Office subscription is a
feature-rich conference bridge (capable of supporting 20 callers) and
business-class voicemail for every extension.
With the Packet8 Virtual Office business-class telephones, the
numerous features are accessible through one-touch controls. No
matter who answers the phone - or where the phones are located
- the user behavior to transfer, conference or search for other team
members remains the same.
Every extension has a powerful suite of included features (normally
found only on high-end, premise-based PBX systems) that are
easily administered through the web, by phone, from inside the
voicemail prompts, or by simply calling 8x8, Inc. The Packet8 Virtual
Office Unlimited Extension service plan includes unlimited calling
anywhere in the U.S. and Canada for a flat monthly fee, as well as
low per minute international rates.
As a measure of its innovation and value, the Packet8 Virtual
Office solution for small businesses received Network Computing
magazine’s “Editor’s Choice” award over competitive offerings
from Covad Communications and Velocity Networks. Each
company’s solution was rated on features, price, and quality of
service. Packet8 Virtual Office received the highest overall rating
for its rich feature set, call management tools and low subscription
Hosted services like Packet8 Virtual Office nearly eliminate the
upfront investment while covering the local and long distance
calling costs. A business must purchase only the phones. Packet8
Virtual Office phones cost $99, in comparison to other business
phone equipment and applications that range from $400 to $1500
before installation or dial tone.
The only installation required for Virtual Office consists of plugging
the phones in and having call routing set by the service provider.
With Packet8 Virtual Office, configuration and maintenance are
handled by the service provider and included in the initial start up
price. In any price comparison, an SMB must look at all these costs
and consider the entire total cost of ownership (TCO) associated
with an on-premise system versus a hosted solution
To encourage new customers to try Packet8 Virtual Office, 8x8 offers a 44-day, money
back trial. Customers simply pay the start up costs and 8x8 handles everything else,
so switching to VoIP service is now as easy as plugging in a traditional phone.
Implementation of Packet8 Virtual Office and transition from the old system is
seamless. New subscribers can use, test and change Virtual Office right next to
their existing communication platform or from their homes before crossing over
completely. After completing the testing, companies can contact their current
provider and have calls forwarded over. 8x8’s Packet8 Virtual Office team places a
high value on customer service, which may be one reason why – with hundreds of
companies signing up for Packet8 Virtual Office every month – almost all keep the
new service after 44-day trials.
In addition to the cost savings previously discussed, a hosted IP PBX also saves
time — an extremely valuable commodity to most SMBs. Many traditional phone
companies require 45 to 60 days to install a new phone network in an office
building. However, it takes just five to seven days to deliver Packet8 Virtual Office
equipment, and only five minutes to make it fully operational. Configuration is done
by 8x8, and all special phone features can be pre-configured anytime, so no special
training is required.
A business could even set up a virtual PBX and have calls routed to cell phones
instantly, until the rest of the phone equipment arrives. Changing the phone
configuration or moving employees is easy, without reconfiguration or service calls.
A Packet8 Virtual Office phone can be picked up and connected anywhere else in the
office, region, across the country or around the world.
c. Case Studies
Rosesource.com is a farm-direct business selling flowers into the United States.
The company has an administrative office located in Miami while the main operations
take place in Quito, Ecuador in South America.
The Packet8 Virtual Office hosted PBX service has allowed Rosesource.com to
cut costs and implement a unique business strategy. Prior to finding Packet8,
Rosesource.com had a traditional PBX system with no means of communicating
internally by phone between the farm and the administrative office.
Packet8 Virtual Office was the perfect solution for Rosesource.com. In addition
to making use of the unlimited extension-to-extension dialing between Florida
and Equador, the small organization has a cost-effective toll-free number for its
Implementing the Virtual Office solution has lead to roughly a $25,000 yearly savings
for the flower company. In addition to saving money, Virtual Office is saving the
organization time. The staff is more efficient since they are interacting much more
frequently as there is no expensive meter running when they call each other from
John Marcone’s Sabre Marketing is a small business with staff spread throughout
California. John lives in the Bay Area, working out of his home office and traveling
frequently to Europe. Sabre Marketing has three employees working in a Los Angeles office, another individual in the field working from a home-based office in
Southern California as well as an employee based in San Jose.
When Sabre’s customers call in, they are greeted professionally by an auto-attendant
that provides them with access to each staff member’s extension number. If the
Sabre Marketing staff member is not available on their Packet8 phone, they can
direct callers straight to voicemail or employ the “Follow Me, Find Me” feature that
will ring a cell phone or any other number that is pre-programmed into the web-based
account details page. Sabre Marketing employees can be anywhere they need to be
and still be accessible.
Marcone can check his voicemail messages that are automatically sent to his
email account without having to make a phone call. When he is not in Europe, he
is phoning there using Packet8’s rock-bottom international rates (like three cents a
minute to many major cities in Italy) to realize even greater savings.
The Right Solution for Your Small Business
Packet8 Virtual Office offers all the features an SMB organization needs to be
productive. SMBs can quickly and easily lower total cost of ownership (TCO) with
Packet8 Virtual Office.
The upfront investment is extremely low and monthly costs are predictable and
flexible as extensions can be added or removed on a monthly basis (there is no
long term contract requirement, only month to month), making it easy to balance
the budget. Packet8 Virtual Office eliminates large long-distance telephone costs for
intra-organization calling. For the small and medium-sized business organization, the
choice is clear: Packet8 Virtual Office.
To order Packet8 Virtual Office and start saving money on VoIP phone service, please
call 1-888-898-8733 or visit http://packet8.net/about/Virtual_Office.asp
 TIA Online, P.A. Release 06-19/02.27.06, February 27, 2006, www.tiaonline.org/business/
 “Cheap Talk--Affordable IT: VoIP for SMBs,” Network Computing Magazine, January 19, 2006,
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Santa Clara, CA 95054
408.687.4120 outside U.S.
Value Proposition of VoIP Phone Service for SMBs
- The Telecommunications Challenge for SMBs
- Shortfalls of Traditional Phone Services for SMBs
- Enter VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)
- Market Overview
- The Packet8 VoIP-Hosted Virtual Office Solution
- Case Studies