Home and business communication systems specialist Ooma announced its foray into the market for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with the launch of Ooma Office, designed to deliver big-business phone service to small businesses with advanced features and customer support.
The Ooma Office starter pack is $249.99 and includes a base station and two Ooma Linx remote phone jacks to support up to three phone extensions. The starter pack is expandable to five phone extensions with the purchase of additional Linx devices.
Ooma Office costs $19.99 per line each month for unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada, and offers features such as a virtual receptionist that automatically greets and directs incoming calls and answers differently during business and nonbusiness hours. Ooma Office also provides extension dialing, music-on-hold, ring groups, conference bridges, virtual numbers, and Ooma Linx remote phone jacks, which use Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) 6.0 technology designed to offer easy installation and a wire-free workplace.
"We believe that the size of a business should not determine phone service quality and features. Ooma Office will help small businesses save money and time while presenting themselves in the most professional way," Ooma CEO Eric Stang said in a statement. "We're proud to bring our consumer track record of crystal-clear voice quality and the utmost reliability to the small-business community."
The platform is capable of hosting up to 10 lines and five phone extensions and features high-definition voice quality, 24/7 customer support and compatibility with analog telephones (no Session Initiation Protocol, or SIP, phones needed) and fax machines. Small-business owners can also choose to use their existing phone number or select a new phone number at no extra charge. Ooma uses an advanced voice-compression algorithm that reduces bandwidth consumption by 60 percent over standard voice over IP (VOIP) technology.
The Ooma Office online interface also allows remote access to settings (like the virtual receptionist) to keep the business running outside the office. This feature is designed for small-business owners trying to improve communications with their mobile workers.
According to a report from Forrester Research, 95 percent of very small businesses (VSBs) have mobile employees, and only half of VSBs operate from a single office.
Ooma also offers its Mobile HD application, which allows customers to make U.S. and international calls from Google Android or Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. The app is $9.99, and Ooma Premier customers using the mobile app receive 250 minutes of U.S. calling for free every month.