At Fall VON last week, in Boston, we had the opportunity to meet with Mike Oeth (CEO) and Rob Wolpov (president) of New York City-based Junction Networks, who were showing off their new onSIP Hosted PBX offering, a platform built on Asterisk and other open-source resources.
Taken as a whole, it's a pretty eye-opening solution that moves business telephony into a very new place.
First of all, onSIP is almost entirely user-managed and -configured. The company has created an elegantly simple online portal interface that lets customers add extensions (as many as they want/need), create call groups, configure call forwarding rules (per extension), and generally carry out the kinds of tasks that telephony system integrators typically charge big bucks to manage.
The portal also provides direct access to complete call records, and accepts payments for the various service plans and per-minute charges. (More on this, below.)
onSIP works with any SIP device, from the fanciest executive deskset to ATAs to any of the many available SIP softphones.
Junction provides each customer with its own SIP domain, and all the customer's telephony devices within that domainin one location or manyfunction as extensions on a single on-premise PBX. Calls among extensionsand, indeed, among any and all SIP phones worldwideare free.
Interactions with the PSTN, including outbound and inbound callingeven toll-free inbound callingare charged at low, per-minute rates. U.S. direct inward dialing (DID) phone numbers are available from Junction at stunningly low rates.
The hosted service provides a number of enterprise-ish features, including voicemail with e-mail notification, 'hunt groups,' a touchtone dial-by-name directory, and auto-attendant menus. onSIP also lets users register multiple devices to a given SIP address, so that three or four phones in different locations ring simultaneously for the same call, like home extensions.
Automated call distribution (ACD) queuing is available as an extra-cost add-on.
Speaking of cost, here's the other stunning thing about onSIP: It is usage-based, not user-based. Whereas other hosted PBX services typically charge around $39.95 per month per extension, Junction's price is $39.95 per month per customeragain, with unlimited extensions.
That's for the "Complete" package (everything except ACD, inbound and outbound PSTN, and DID). For customers who, for whatever reason, prefer it, there is an optional à la carte planwhich still provides free calling among unlimited extensions, and to SIP phones, worldwide.
Other, more specialized and/or sophisticated voice applications, such as a speech-enabled dial-by-name directory and store-finder and survey IVRs are available as well, as are custom apps.