Vodafone launches VoIP service for small businesses

Vodafone has launched its first voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service as part of a package for small businesses called Easy Office.

Easy Office offers an all-in-one landline, calling and broadband package, which general manager of business marketing Becky Lloyd said was a simple way for small and medium sized businesses to manage their costs.

The package is a VoIP solution and involves two calling lines with all national calls to landline numbers and mobile calls to Vodafone mobiles included, one dedicated service line for EFTPOS or a monitored alarm and 15 GB of broadband for $149 a month.  For an extra $25, customers can add all calls and another $25  adds an additional 15GB.

The package was trialled with 12 businesses for six weeks, Ms Lloyd said, with about 10 to 15% savings per customer in terms of total cost of ownership.  She said all 12 businesses had installed the package permanently and were happy with the product.

It was Vodafone’s first VoIP offering, she said, a move the company due to a technological trend. 

“It’s plain and simple and efficient, it can deliver cost savings and the quality is now very high, so we think it’s kind of future proofing businesses.”

Owner of iBike, one of the businesses to trial Easy Office, Jianni Koutsos, said in a press release that the package had saved his business money and made work life easier. 

He said the product was reliable unlike previous trialled products.

Mr Koutsos told NBR the system had saved him about $200 per month in calling and internet costs.  He said the all-in-one nature of the services made work easier, as he had a large shop and it was easy to transfer calls, and it provided the required fast broadband in order to show customers latest updates on an iPad.

TelstraClear media relations manager Gary Bowering said the company offered a number of products that included VoIP, and had a new and more simple BizComplete solution for smaller businesses.

Orcon has its VoIP Genius, billed as saving about $40 a month but which has encountered issues with high demand recently. The ISP also has a SIP trunking product for business.

Telecom senior media and communications consultant retail Anna Skerten said for its larger Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX) customers, it offered a high quality SIP trunking called Gen-i Voice Connect, with other VoIP products under development. 

She said Telecom had not seen a huge demand for VoIP services from SME customers, but did provide a suite of BusinessTime and Total Office products.

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