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Vonage Business vs. Grasshopper

Posted on: May 6th, 2014

The competition between Vonage Business Solutions and Grasshopper is heating up. In the virtual phone PBX segment of the unified communications market, competitive advantage sought in state of the art virtualization of enterprise networks has led to the entry of a number of new companies all hoping to overtake Vonage.

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Grasshopper PBX is an example of a communications exchange that offers innovative unified communications solutions for smaller businesses. If virtual PBX is the next phase in communications infrastructure, the real challenge is creating B2B options that fulfill the demands of lean and align operations strategies. Phone PBX clients seek performance as well as cost efficiency, so it is precisely the class and quality of those products and service that demand will be met.

Smaller companies are especially challenged to stay abreast of new capabilities in communications. As the gap between small and large global corporations grows, the former are looking for ways to address market entry and virtual project management. Both Vonage and Grasshopper offer a model of phone PBX integration of virtualization with other communications infrastructure. The question is, which company builds more capacity into a small organization’s productivity, and ultimately how will it improve the chances that it will come out on top?

Virtual business systems are perhaps the most cost efficient measure of leveraging customers away from larger competitors. The benefits of a virtual PBX phone systems include business processing capabilities such as data storage and document sharing in mobile. Vonage is a recognized global leader in VoIP unified communications infrastructure. Grasshopper’s phone PBX is a private exchange offering smaller business clients lower than market rate product and service packages. Here is how Grasshopper holds up against the big leagues:

On Demand Services

On demand services in Grasshopper allow B2B customers to establish custom calling plans suitable for growing companies looking to save on virtual PBX. During the trial period, customers can test Grasshopper features, and use standard business processing apps to send emails, faxes and PDFs. With no long term contract, this pay-as-you-go service is popular with small business customers looking grow their business with virtual phone services.

Virtual meeting PBX in videoconferencing capabilities is found in both Vonage and Grasshopper service provision. A key feature in unified communications infrastructures today, virtual meeting capabilities are a relatively inexpensive, leverage resource. For small businesses attempting to compete in the global environment, the potential in video conferencing advances team participation and project development. Support features to virtual meeting infrastructure include multiple phone numbers, and toll free access.

Administrative features for managing participation such as caller identification screening, call forwarding, and call transfer enable small companies to operate like big enterprises at the touch of a button. So much for the imbalance in competitive advantage. Unified communications in VoIP and phone PBX systems promote the dream of expansion in the palm of a manager's hand. Mobile apps interface of a PBX exchange designates access.

Pricing Structure

Pricing of virtual phone PBX is competitive. Major VoIP services like Vonage offer a more extensive range of pricing options, yet the lowest cost to small B2B consumers is still likely to be Grasshopper in on-demand efficiency. Private branch exchange in Grasshopper also protects a small company from risks to proprietary information that may be compromised in the case where a major provider might be a target.

Virtual phone system plans that allow B2B customers to pay on demand are generally more cost efficient for small businesses. The fact that costs are only accrued if service is required, means that downtime is unpaid. While Vonage offers unlimited minutes in some plans starting at about USD $29.99 a month, Grasshopper virtual phone PBX systems outperform in pricing at a starting rate of $12 a month. Products and services vary, so it is important to review pricing plans for details about virtual phone services and other features such as mobile apps that may be critical to unified B2B communications somewhere down the road.

Flat rate plans are another popular model of virtual phone PBX service. Both Grasshopper and Vonage promote their B2B service plans with flat rates to capture the interest of customers. Once a business has actually identified its virtual phone PBX needs, plans are comparable a company’s checklist may be available or alternately customized according to client requirements.

For growing businesses projecting an increase in the number of stakeholders, a fixed plan with a set number of potential users or unlimited use packages will provide a set rate structure that can be included as a line item in a communications budget. Vonage offers the better flat rate plans defined by 1 to 50 plus users a month. Grasshoppers flat rate is less appealing in this regard, yet allows for total flexibility according to actual growth.

Service Reputation

Installation of virtual phone PBX by way of a private branch structure as seen in Grasshopper’s offerings sets the standard for small company customization. If an organization does not have specific strategic goals in regard to a unified communications infrastructure, Vonage is an established exchange that provides B2B customers with reliable products and services in line with the industry standards.

Once a virtual phone PBX service goes live the real test is in a company’s ability to provide optimum customer support. Both Vonage and Grasshopper perform well in conformance to customer relations management standards, in Web-based chat, email and phone support options. Subscriber account interface to the two companies is similar, in that dedicated access to customer support is part of the scope of service provision.

If the objective is to boost sales in small business unified communications performance, Grasshopper wins. Some may contest this opinion, stating that Grasshopper has yet to exceed Vonage in overall customer service and product offerings, the fact is that service is communications oriented nonetheless. The truth of the matter is that small businesses are more likely to be satisfied with highly accessible customer support.

It all comes down to communications return on investment say industry experts. If a company has already seen the benefits of no additional hardware and software costs, as well as elimination of IT administration hassle, evidence of immediacy in customer care is next on the list. Customer perception, or merely pie in the sky?

When B2B customers search for a service model that will increase productivity and improve performance, profitability is the defining factor. Value added in customer support has been essential to Grasshopper’s ascension as a major small business virtual phone PBX provider. Further differentiation between Vonage’s global leadership and Grasshopper’s niche segmentation is certain to follow.

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