To make this work, Verizon has developed simple tools that help determine whether the customer network can handle the service.
Frank Moynihan, CEO of Jade Intel, an exclusive Verizon agent since fall 2010, was one of the trial participants. He installed the service at his own company as well as at two of his existing customers.
Jade Intel targets SMBs nationwide with one focus being winbacks for Verizon. Without a hosted PBX offer, the agency was unable to easily migrate customers dissatisfied with their existing hosted PBX services, but still encumbered by a phone lease. Now, Moynihan said, he has a similar product to offer, making him more competitive in the market. Plus, he added, Verizon has developed a pre-sale network assessment to make sure that the service will perform as advertised. In his own case, for example, the assessment resolved three issues with his company's network before implementing the service.
Aside from existing hosted PBX users, Moynihan sees a ready market for Verizon's hosted PBX service as an alternative for companies that are considering upgrading to advanced features or moving from a key system to a PBX.
"It offers increased value in services for what they are paying today," Moynihan said.
Because of the price point, it's also good for very small businesses, like a pizza parlor, that need auto attendant and other call-routing features but can't afford a key system or PBX.
Schijns said two of the favored features among the trial users were unlimited calling and simultaneous ring. They liked the ability to customize the simultaneous-ring feature by time of day and caller, she added.
Moynihan said ease of use was praised by his trial customers. He volunteered Jade Intel for the trial to help sort out problems before commercial launch.
"Out of the gate, I was surprised how well it worked," Moynihan said, noting the one instance that surfaced was related to a phone set, not the service itself.
In addition, Moynihan found the service easy to install. For a 10-phone deployment, he estimated it would take 30 minutes.
Besides giving Jade Intel a more competitive portfolio, Moynihan said he expects the product to be a big seller, projecting his agency soon will be selling 500 seats per month.