Protus IP Solutions: Small business VoIP with nothing to buy.
Part 53 of Phone for Rent: Understanding Hosted PBX Services In addition to hosted PBX, Protus offers advanced faxing and e-mail marketing campaign options.
Protus IP Solutions, Inc., headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, was founded in 1997, and since that time has developed a number of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses with 1 to 25 employees.
Since its beginning, the company has been committed to delivering a superior user experience, which has resulted in a continually growing and loyal customer base, with market leadership in a number of industries including finance, insurance, real estate, healthcare, transportation, and government.
Protus has garnered a number of industry awards, including membership for five consecutive years in Profit Magazines Profit 100 list of the 100 fastest-growing companies in Canada; a 2009-2010 Employees Choice Award which honors organizations in the Canadian National Capital Region that employees believe create an atmosphere that makes them an ideal place to work; named to the 2009 Branham 300, a list of Canadas leading technology companies for five consecutive years, ranking number 76 in 2009; and a 2009 Standard of Excellence WebAward, sponsored by the Web Marketing Association, which recognizes the excellence in user-centric marketing websites.
With over 200 employees and 400,000 subscribers worldwide, Protus currently offers service in sixteen countries.
Protus strives to provide a superior customer experience that encompasses their Web interface, affordable price point, and the personal touch of their sales and support representatives, while hiding the complexity of the underlying technologies so that customers can focus on their own business operations. To accomplish this, they have developed three key service offerings that support different business communications requirements.
The first is MyFax, which is an Internet fax service that allows customers to send and receive faxes through their e-mail, Web, or smartphone accounts. This plan includes either a local or toll-free fax number, one year of online storage, a free faxing zone for international fax transmissions, and low monthly rates that begin at only $10.00 per month for 100 pages of fax transmission and 200 pages of fax reception.
Next is Campaigner, an affordable e-mail marketing service, which provides everything needed to create, launch and track e-mail campaigns. This service is also quite inexpensive, with unlimited e-mails starting at $10.00 per month, and allows the customer to choose from over 450 different e-mail templates, or take advantage of a free startup service that can tailor the first e-mail template to the customers requirements without charge.
In the voice communications arena, Protus offers my1voice, a feature-rich virtual phone service for entrepreneurs and small businesses that want to present a professional appearance while taking advantage of the convenience of a single business phone number for all employees. The simplicity of my1voice revolves around easy initial set-up and ongoing management of a complete package of communication features that work with any phone. The only decision to make is how many minutes per month are needed. The company even provides an initial company or voice-mail greeting that is recorded in their own professional studio all the customer has to do is to supply the script, and my1voice does all rest.
The my1voice service, available in both the United States and Canada, works with any telephone, and without the requirement for the purchase of any additional equipment. It comes with one of the broadest sets of complementary services, including unlimited extensions; dial-by-name directory; information messages, such as business address and hours of operations, promotions and sales, or product descriptions; Internet faxing; push-to-call online; and voice-mail to e-mail conversions.
In addition, my1voice includes a number of solid administrative tools, including a virtual receptionist; smart call forwarding, that includes the option to forward calls to a Skype address; request routing, which creates rules to direct incoming calls with information a caller enters on their telephone keypad (e.g routing calls to a specific extension, mailbox, informational message, or the virtual receptionist); enhanced voice-mail, including the ability to convert voicemails into sound files; and caller ID tagging, which adds a "tag" to the caller ID to distinguish the my1voice calls from direct calls to your phone.
Protus's pricing scheme is one of the most straightforward found within this industry segment, with three pricing options available: 150 minutes per month for $10.00 per month, 500 minutes per month for $20.00 per month, or 1,000 minutes per month for $30.00 per month. There is no additional charge for toll-free numbers. Additional minutes cost $0.05 each. Extra charges apply for calls that are forwarded outside of the United States and Canada, with rates costing $0.05 per minute to most international destinations served by the Protus network.
Further information on the Protus voice solutions can be found at www.my1voice.com. Our next tutorial will continue our review of various service providers hosted voice solutions.
Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.