Broadview Review

Reviewed By: Derek Cromwell

Executive summary 

Broadview Networks provides one of the most feature-inclusive yet affordable VoIP services available on the market, bringing enterprise level unified communications to businesses of any size.

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Broadview Highlights 

  • Feature-rich IP phones

  • Mobile softphone accessibility

  • Toll-free service availability

Pros

  • Complete system control from a single dashboard

  • No capital investment or maintenance contracts

  • Online fax ability included

  • HD video conferencing

  • Unlimited calling

Cons 

  • Equipment lease terms may apply

  • Website lacks a complete feature list for VoIP services

  • Cancellation and contract obligations may apply

Value for Money

Unlike some of the more common VoIP providers, Broadview Networks provides their service through a single cloud-based software service (SaaS) which bundles their VoIP as a unified communications system.

This approach provides a wealth of included features at no additional cost compared to other VoIP services that may charge an additional amount for premium add-on features.  While the site doesn’t list a full feature list, instead touting “100’s of advanced features” there are a number of notable included features at no additional cost.  This includes:

  • Online fax

  • Online HD video conferencing and collaboration

  • Toll free services

  • Unlimited auto-attendants

  • Mobile twinning (passing calls to mobile to avoid missed calls)

  • Company-wide chat voicemail with speech to text transcription

  • Employee access and employee-facing update portal

These are in addition to standard VoIP features you get with any kind of hosted PBX service such as call groups, routing and hunting, real-time and historic reporting, call monitoring, queues, conference bridge, and CRM integration with platforms like Salesforce just to name a few.

This service is currently available under OfficeSuite professional starting at $23.95 per month per employee. While the company insists there is no capital expenditure there is still the cost of the individual phones which come starting at $10 per month/per phone for leased equipment, or phones can be purchased outright so no lease agreement would be required.

Depending on the size of your organization that initial investment could be sizable as you purchase IP phones for all of your employees.  Still, this wouldn’t be as expensive as paying for an onsite VoIP system with your own hosted servers so there’s substantial savings.

The base monthly cost of $23.95 per employee per month is on par with other VoIP options in the industry, though given all the bundled features with OfficeSuite Professional, this is great value.

Future Scaling

The offering from Broadview Networks is infinitely scalable thanks to the nature of the cloud-based software. With unlimited auto-attendants and the ease at which new employees can be added it’s an ideal solution for companies that plan to expand into even multi-site operations or those with remote teams.

What’s more impressive is the suite of other services offered by the company that are designed to help businesses grow and scale. Beyond the standard VoIP offering they also offer Data and SIP services as well as cloud computing and call center operation support services. No matter the direction your business grows, Broadview can support those efforts.

Ease of Setup and Management

The web-based or cloud-based OfficeSuite system means there is absolutely no software to install. Configuration per employee is easy, with the system using a visually intuitive interface that makes navigation and setup extremely simple.

Any phones you acquire from Broadview will be preconfigured to work on arrival, so setup is as simple as plug and play. The most time consuming aspect of setting up Broadview’s VoIP system will be the individual configuration of employee extensions and accessibility. Once this is completed, maintenance is a breeze.

The site does offer an expansive database of training videos and tutorials on setup, so in the unlikely event that you get hung up with the configuration process there is a wealth of information to help move you through setup to get your system running at 100% efficiency.

Customer Service

Broadview Networks has one of the most information-heavy support systems we’ve seen with a VoIP provider. Clicking into the support segment of the website provides immediate access to a “getting started” guide to walk you through setup and configuration. This includes individual quickstart guides and installation videos for every type of IP phone available from the company.  Likewise you’ll find self-installation videos, installation diagrams, and detailed instructions on setting up and managing voicemail.

The customer service area also includes a list of downloads geared around softphone use, meaning you can skirt using a standard IP phone if you have a compatible mobile device or headset that can be used.

If you’d like to bypass working with customer service, they do provide an OfficeSuite Community where you can get answers on phone and other cloud services from other customers and community members, as well as company moderators and specialists. Self-help can also be found in their FAQ section on the website.

If you prefer the support of the company representatives they can be reached via email as well as an 800 number that gets you in touch with their support department, 24/7.

Mobility

Broadview Networks offers mobile softphone support allowing your employees to access the system using either Apple or Android devices. This makes it easy to go anywhere and keep your team connected.

Softphone support is also available on PC including a connector for Skype for Business, so you can initiate calls on your desk phone from within Microsoft Lync. There’s an astounding amount of softphone support and functionality with Broadview Networks that allows your team to make and receive calls – even international calls – no matter where they are. All without using mobile minutes.

Conclusion 

Broadview Networks has created an impressive platform, providing businesses with affordable access to  unified communications, something that even larger businesses and growing SMB’s can appreciate. It’s a feature rich and comprehensive platform that can scale up to enterprise operations, providing everything an organization needs to stay connected with their customers while keeping employees productive.

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