Business Info - issue 138

24 | P2P Magazine 01732 759725 magazine 10 COVER STORY Spitfire is opening a new chapter in its history with the launch of a cloud hosted telephony solution developed in-house by the company’s engineers and software development teams using open source code. In engineering the system, Spitfire has drawn on over 30 years’ experience in telecommunications and listened to feedback from customers about the features and functionality that are really important to them. To date, the company has had considerable success with the award- winning SIP Communicator™, which remains an important part of their portfolio and continues to be sold where it is the most appropriate product for a customer. Spitfire also continues to offer the 3CX phone system in hosted and on-premise versions. The new solution, Spitfire Hosted PBX 2.1, provides small and medium- sized businesses with: n a full set of features out of the box (see panel); n free calls between extensions; n softphones and smartphone apps for full integration of mobile devices; and n an online portal for easy system management (for those who prefer to Complete control do this themselves). There are two main elements to Spitfire Hosted PBX 2.1: the system itself, which is hosted on servers in one of Spitfire’s secure core network nodes, with full power and back-up redundancy; and endpoints on the customer’s premises, including a router that connects to the hosted PBX using Spitfire voice-approved broadband or converged voice and data Ethernet circuits and a choice of auto- provisioning Yealink handsets. The solution is offered at the very competitive price of just £6 per extension, per month, with free set-up for contracts of 12 months and no upfront costs. Even when you add in the cost of handset rental, Spitfire Hosted PBX 2.1 costs just £9 to £11 per extension, depending on phone model. The fact that Spitfire charges by extension rather than by device, as some suppliers do, makes this an economical option for agile, flexible businesses, as it allows users to associate more than one phone with their extension. This could be their office phone, a cordless DECT phone (as a second office phone), a home office phone, a softphone on a notebook computer, an app on a smartphone, or all the above. As long as they are linked to the same extension, no additional subscription is required. A customer charged by device would have to pay another subscription for each additional device. Complete control The ability to be aggressive on pricing is just one of the benefits Spitfire has gained from developing the system itself, along with complete control over features, the administrator interface and the user interface. Dominic Norton, Engineering Solutions Director at Spitfire, says that gaining control over product development was one of the main reasons Spitfire chose to design its own system. “Ultimately, we wanted a hosted telephone system that we could fully develop in-house and over which we have complete control.We wanted to produce a robust hosted telephone system that had all the key features that businesses really need at the right price point, and that is ultimately what we have done,” he said. “Some of these features are pretty high end. There’s a really good conference bridge; there’s call queuing; voicemail to email; mobile twinning; auto attendant. Everything most small businesses could ever want – and all as standard for £6 a month, with free set up and auto-provisioning of handsets so customers don’t have to spend time programming them manually.” There are still features not yet offered or supported by Spitfire Hosted PBX 2.1, such as WebRTC. However, these are likely to be offered in future upgrades, which, because it is a hosted system, subscribers will benefit from automatically. Indeed, having control over the timing and choice of feature upgrades was a major factor in Spitfire’s decision to develop its own hosted solution. “When a system is not fully your own and people want different things, you sometimes have to start thinking about moving them to another system. What we are able to do with Spitfire Hosted PBX 2.1 is let customers grow with us on the same system,” explained Norton. As things stand, he estimates that Spitfire Hosted PBX 2.1 meets the needs of 60-70% of customers looking for a phone system and he expects this proportion to increase as new features Spitfire’s new cloud hosted telephony solution gives small and medium-sized businesses all the telephone features they need for just £6 per extension, per month, with free set-up and no up-front costs Spitfire Hosted PBX 2.1 ISSUE 138