Horizon Hosted Telephony (Virtual Switchboard)

As with many aspects of IT, communications are also on a path towards 'The Cloud' (hosted services). Onega has traditionally installed and supported onsite PBX systems to provide an office with effective voice connectivity. Where a good and reliable Internet connection is in place then it is possible to make use of this on a hosted basis using your Internet line for connectivity of IP phones on a desk to the exchange in a data centre (which then connects to the wider telecom network).

Onega's offering in this space is called Horizon, and is very well engineered so that it can provide most of the features of a traditional PBX but without having to have any equipment (other than the desk phones) onsite. This then makes for a very versatile and reliable service.

What does it do?                                                                                                                                                 Horizon offers a fully featured IP telephony system, using the latest Cisco or Polycom IP phones along with mobile phone client and call centre functionality and CRM integration if you need it (ie simple VOIP phones up to advanced business services).                                                                         

Example of the Cisco VOIP Phones used on the Onega Horizon phone service.

Example of the Cisco VOIP Phones used on the Onega Horizon phone service.

How does it work?                                                                                                                                                                         We can provision IP phones which are remotely managed via a simple web interface. When the service is ordered a new phone is setup for you and sent out along with any power adapters etc. such as you might need. When the phones arrive, you just plug them into your network and they download their config so that they are live in minutes and route your calls over the Internet (the phones look like normal office phones and are used just the same). Part of the beauty of the Onega Horizon VOIP system is that you can unplug your phones from one location and plug them in in another and off they go - making for the easiest office move in the world (for this aspect anyway). If you want to work from home (or St. Tropez) for a week just take the phone and plug it in. The system works almost anywhere you can plug into an Internet connection.                                                                    

What does it cost?

We've got a full price list of all the details and choices of the latest and greatest phones (ie if you want a colour touch screen we can do that) but the most popular standard phones which are very robust Cisco 504s are available for free if you are happy to commit to the system for a 36 month min term. As most phone systems are installed for far longer, this seems a sensible route. In this case we have to charge for delivery and any ancillary kit needed, but that is usually quite a small cost.

The most important figure that you need to know is £12.50 a month Ex VAT. This is the recurring line rental for each phone / line. This is less than you'd pay for a single standard BT business line, but also importantly includes the cost of all UK local, national and mobile calls. There is a fair use clause on this but none of our clients have ever hit this as it is more than most people ever use. So thus, your monthly phone bill for calls and service would be close to £12.50 x number of phones. Eg for a 4 person company with one phone per desk you are looking at £50 ex VAT per month for your business phone system and calls. As calls to UK mobiles are included, you can also set your desk phone so that it forwards to your mobile if you are out of the office or unavailable and thus you get flexibility and can get your voicemail via your mobile phone (traditional voicemail is available for about £1.50 a month each on phones that need it, which includes voicemail to email functionality). To avoid any extra call charges (which are at very competitive rates) you need to be mindful to use the Internet for phone number lookups where it is free (118xxx services are premium from any phone), and avoid premium rate services (again, you can use the web to predict your future instead of phoning Mystic Meg). International calls are least cost routed automatically.

We have had some clients move onto the system that have saved literally thousands of pounds a month using the Onega Horizon Hosted VOIP Service compared to what they were paying before and reducing their bills to around 25% of what they used to be. Your mileage may vary but we'd be happy to look at what you are paying now and see what we could potentially save you.

The migration process is straightforward - we can (in the vast majority of cases) port your existing phone numbers into the system so that you don't have to change your number if you move outside a telephone exchange area. As the system is VOIP based, you could also potentially have us allocate you numbers in cities where you'd like a presence but don't have an office. For example if you are in London but would like an Edinburgh or Cardiff number for people to call then that's fine and costs no extra. The Internet does not mind where you are as long as you are connected.

For more information - Please contact us on 0207 536 6350 and we will be happy to discuss Horizon with you, and run a demo of the service.