In a Nutshell
- Easily scalable
- Wide array of features
- Easy set-up
- Slightly costlier than other options
- Many users online report problems dealing with customer service
Employees can link up to the system by laptop, desk phone, or smartphone no matter where they are, allowing teams to stay connected even if they are working remotely. Intermedia offers voicemail to email, advanced auto-attending, customizable hold music, and long distance calls. New phones don’t have to be physically connected to a phone line, so as a company grows, new employees can be added to the line without needing a free port in the phone system.
- Company phone numbers can be transferred over to the service to maintain contacts
- Top-notch security
- 99.99% guaranteed uptime
- 24/7 customer support
Intermedia’s VoIP services can be integrated with Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office 365, and Skype for business. The phone service integrates with email hosting and archiving allowing all to be managed through the same console.
Phone/computer integration is carried out through Intermedia’s “CallScape” app, which provides real-time information about the availability of employees for calls, as well as call transfer, monitoring, and remote call pickup. Through integration, employees can use their computers to control their phones, and listen to voicemail and accept or reject calls directly through their desktop.
CallScape integrates with Microsoft Outlook’s address books, making their contacts reachable directly through the app or by making calls directly through Outlook all with the simple click of a mouse.
The system incorporates the company’s customer relations management (CRM) data, so users can pull up a customer’s information the moment they call, giving them real-time information to help improve sales and customer service.
- Can be accessed on PCs and laptops as well as mobile phones and tablets, by way of an app.
- Offers hosted email and email and data archiving.
- Auto-attendant (for extra fee). Callers who dial you will be presented with a set of options accessed by their keypad. Attendant can route calls, provide information to callers, dial by name or extension options and more, all to be determined by the user during setup.
- Intermedia works with users to migrate contacts and data.
- All aspects of the service can be managed from a web-based portal.
- Fax machine integration.
- Automatic forwarding of desktop calls to mobile devices.
- Voicemail to email sends voicemails instantly to users’ email, which they tend to check more often than their voicemail, reducing the chances of missing messages.
Value for Money
The basic price for Cloud PBX is higher than much of the competition, which tend to be closer to the $20/month mark. For $30.99/month users receive 1 direct dial phone number and extension, WebFax capability, find me/follow me (call forwarding from office to mobile and vice versa), personal online portal, CallScape integration with computer, voicemail and voicemail to email, unlimited calling in the US, and more. Each Cloud PBX account includes 200 toll-free minutes of Smart Conferencing per month, 1 auto attendant, call queuing, music on hold, and free onboarding and migration.
With SIP trunking, the unlimited plan comes with unlimited local and long distance, while the bundled plan is limited to 300 long distance minutes and unlimited local minutes. There is a minimum of 2 SIP trunks per order.
Both Cloud PBX and trunking are also available as part of Intermedia’s “Office in the Cloud” comprehensive package, which can cost from $3.99/month per user to $99.99 depending on the number of services included in the package.
Find me/Follow me automatically reroutes desktop calls to mobile phones (and can be set up to simultaneously ring both). Smartphones and tablets can be enabled to manage the find me/follow me option so you are less likely to miss calls. By integrating your mobile device directly into the CallScape app, you can place calls through your mobile device that will appear with your office phone number.
Intermedia Cloud PBX can be accessed remotely through any web-connected PC or laptop by way of the softphone service. With mobile access through the CallScape app, offices can stay connected even if workers are located off-site. The mobility means you miss less calls, and you can arrange conferencing with large numbers of people without them having to be onsite, and without any indication given to participants about who else on the line is located within the office.
The voicemail to email feature allows users to remain on the go, simplifying communication and forwarding of voice messages to email without the user having to stop and fire off a written message.
Since Cloud PBX is hosted in the cloud, it’s easily scalable and doesn’t requiring buying and hooking up new phone lines as an old landline-based system does.
As a business grows, it can increase its number of lines with Intermedia Cloud PBX simply by ordering a new handset from the company, plugging it in, and adding a new user through the admin dashboard. An additional user charge is added to the account (the same flat rate per user) for each new phone added. The same goes for SIP Trunking—scalability is a breeze and no technician is needed after the initial setup.
Ease of Setup and Management
Setting up Cloud PBX doesn’t require any technical know-how or arguing with the phone company. You simply order the phones from Intermedia and hook them to up the internet when they arrive. If you already have compatible phones, then you just order a new user and hook it up.
With SIP Trunking, once a user has signed up, Intermedia sends a team to the business to make sure the data network can handle high-quality voice calls. The technicians then run the system through a battery of tests to make sure it can handle SIP Trunking and transfer your data to the trunk system and set up VoIP gateways if needed.
Like the other Intermedia services, Cloud PBX is managed through their HostPilot control panel. The control panel is intuitive, easy-to-use, and integrates all Intermedia user accounts, services, and devices so they can be easily controlled through a single interface.
Users can also enable two-factor authentication on their HostPilot dashboard to increase security.
In addition, Intermedia will set up the customer’s HostPilot control panel both for Cloud PBX and Trunking customers.
As always, Intermedia’s customer service representatives are available 24/7 to assist in any problems that may arise with the operating system.
Intermedia offers its service through a variety of phones made by Polycom and Cisco. The phones are available with 0% financing for 12 months, though if you have your own phones which are compatible they can be hooked up to the system, too. The phones are split into 3 categories–basic, advanced, and enterprise.
Basic phones are “ideal for the average employee’s calling needs,” according to Intermedia, with 2 or 3 lines available. Advanced phones have more options and can handle 4 or 5 lines, while the enterprise phones are considered best for receptionists, with up to 10 lines.
Intermedia also highlights a number of Jabra headsets for hands-free conversation. These include more basic options and an advanced wireless headset that comes with a touch screen. As a cloud service, the rest of the hardware is stored off-site by Intermedia.
Intermedia Customer Service
Intermedia takes pride in its 24/7 phone and online chat support. A chat query made was answered and resolved within 2 minutes, with a satisfactory answer. The expert phone support representatives have Microsoft Office Specialist certification and all voice support workers have CompTIA Net certification.
Though many online users reviews express displeasure at the level of customer service, Intermedia says “unlike other providers, we won’t push you to self-help solutions. We’ll stay with you until we resolve your problem.”
Users’ account information is shared with the entire support team, meaning that all of them have the information needed to be able to help, and users who call in with an issue don’t need to start from scratch when they call back.
Support for questions about web hosting is not available on the weekends.
Intermedia has 2 separate phone numbers for customer service—support for business applications (Exchange Email, SecuriSync, Email Archiving, and others) at 888-302-6967 ext. 3, and support for voice services including Cloud PBX, SIP Trunking, and Conference Calling at 877-880-0055. There is also a series of email addresses listed online, arranged according to subject, with everything from billing to legal to technical support.
International VoIP Calls
Cloud PBX offers international VoIP calls to what appears to be every country on Earth according to the very lengthy list included on the company website, including North Korea, Somalia, and South Sudan, to name a few. Each option includes a pricing table that lists the costs of calling a number of different lines, including cellphones, and land lines. The costs vary widely depending on locale, with a call to a Canadian cell costing $.0099/minute, while a call to a cell phone in Papua New Guinea will set you back $1.5209/minute. There is unlimited domestic calling in the US on the cloud service.
Intermedia puts a big focus on unified communications, integrating email, phone, internet, messaging, and Microsoft Office products under one roof. The voice-to-email feature is a good example of this approach, which unifies 2 separate forms of communication, allowing for greater efficiency and convenience. Through the HostPilot central dashboard, users can easily manage the settings and specifics of all the different devices using Intermedia’s service, further enhancing efficiency across all channels. Intermedia also allows for the integration of fax machines through the VoIP system, and by unifying communications across users mobile and desktop devices, it allows users to access the system remotely.
Intermedia started in 2000 as the first provider of hosted Microsoft Exchange, and became the first hosting service for Exchange Email in 2007. It continued to expand its business management offerings, and today the company bills itself as a “one-stop-shop for cloud business applications,” with some 30 cloud IT apps integrated across their systems by way of the “Office in the Cloud” suite. It boasts over 100,000 business customers and more than 6,500 partners, with company offices in the US, the UK, Australia, and Russia.
Cloud PBX and SIP trunking are key aspects of this overall business management toolbox and provide scalable, easy to set up and operate solutions for running internet-based phone services for businesses.
Intermedia has a series of features like voicemail to email and full integration between mobile devices and PCs, which allow companies to hold conference calls and manage internal and external communication no matter where their employees are located.
Intermedia Cloud PBX and SIP Trunking offer serious security and reliable, responsive customer service and a 99.99% uptime guarantee which is hard to beat. Simply put, though the prices are higher than many competitors, Intermedia provides a quality service with a host of options that can make your business more efficient and cost-effective.