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Ringio: the contact center and virtual PBX for small business.

There’s nothing that new in the virtual PBX business, right? Well, if you think that then you likely haven’t heard about Ringio, which just came out of beta last week.

Ringio is a cloud based voice service for businesses. A hybrid of CRM, call-center, and PBX, Ringio is probably the perfect answer for any small business (especially a start-up) that wants to look like a big business to its customers.  It’s a classic Voice 2.0 application – mashing up telephony, the web, and mobility into an affordable and sophisticated suite of business communications tools.

  • Web-based tools. They claim 10 minutes to configure, and I believe them.  You can either bring your own PBX and use Ringio for screen-pops, IVR, tracking, and more, or use the Ringio Virtual PBX.  Even if you have an existing PBX, you’ll probably want to replace some of its functionality with the Ringio equivalent.  Ringio’s web based capabilities are probably better than what you already have, and because they’re evolving in “web time”, they’ll get better even faster.
  • Smart Call Routing. This is way beyond basic find/follow, skills based routing or even time of day routing (all of which Ringio supports).  With Ringio, callers can be greeted by name, automatically routed to the last person they spoke with, and allocated priority based on “VIP” status. And as calls are received, screen pops show contact information, relationship status, the last communication with that person and call history as well.
  • Smart Voice Mail. It’s a simple feature, but when you leave a voicemail for a Ringio user, Ringio sends you a voicemail receipt.  Need to “nudge” the person who you left the voicemail for? Well, you could leave another voice mail or… email the receipt back to them and ask when they’re available to talk.
  • Google Contacts Sync. These days so many small businesses are switching to Google for email, calendar and contacts that it only makes sense for Ringo to integrate with Google contacts.  Now when you receive a call, Ringio can pop-up the entire communications history for that customer.

There are tons of additional features, such as Gravatar support for picture caller-ID, an Android based mobile version, toll-free numbers, and a management dashboard for the folks who have to track and pay bills.  And you get all this, for up to 4 users, for $99/month including 2,000 minutes of calling.

What I like most about Ringio is how cleverly they’ve targeted the start-up world.  For example, they’ve decided to use Google Contacts for the address book, rather than try to tap into an enterprise class offering such as Microsoft Exchange.  They assume that people will be mobile and that offices might be virtual, which is another reality in the start-up world.  They’ve priced their offering to match the cost needs of start-up companies. And they leverage the tools, like Gmail and Google Contacts, that start-ups are using today.

If I was starting a company today, or running a small business and looking at replacing an existing PBX, I’d definitely look hard at Ringio. The price is right, and the feature set is guaranteed to please.

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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Chris Beeler August 30, 2010, 3:43 pm

    I am thrilled with what Ringio has to offer. I'll be adding their service over our existing Avaya One-X Quick Edition system soon.

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