What is our primary use case?
We were vendors of Broadview and supported the end-users of the system. Once Windstream took over, we were dropped as vendors because we didn't sell very many systems. We used their VOIP phone systems as well as the desktop and phone applications. We also used the auto-attendant to route calls and faxes.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to go into much more detail because they dropped us as vendors before we could really find many use cases outside of VOIP phones. We didn't use any of their other products, so we can't really speak to the integration.
How has it helped my organization?
Honestly, the features offered by this system really were not an improvement over any other phone system. They are average at best, and really nothing revolutionary. It's an improvement over nothing, but only because it allowed us to centralize our point of contact and be mobile without handing our cell numbers to clients. There are a few applications for this, such as thwarting auto-dialers and robocalls. It also has a mobile app that you can use, but as I explain below, it's not very good. However, as I said, there is nothing revolutionary about this platform.
What is most valuable?
The ability to route calls via auto-attendant to agents was nice when you finally figured out the interface. We were able to route calls to mobile devices as well as hard phones. We were getting a ton of spam calls, and we were able to stop them by prompting for an input from the caller. From there, we were able to route to an individual instead of ringing everyone at once.
We enjoyed having the phones tied to the mobile app and the ability to take calls from our mobile devices. However, it didn't work very well. The app was very flaky and didn't like running in the background even if you gave it permissions. We wound up just forwarding our lines directly to our cell phones.
What needs improvement?
Their pricing and "automatic contracts" are abhorrent. We left Broadview for Intermedia because, at the end of the day, we are in the business of being a complete IT solution, which we can't do without offering a phone system. We are firm believers in practicing what you preach (or dogfooding if you prefer). As I stated previously, they dropped us as vendors because we couldn't sell many systems.
The auto-attendant setup was horrid. It was extremely dated and doesn't have any modern features that you would expect for the price point. The mobile app, desktop app, and hardware was outdated and clumsily integrated.
One reason we couldn't sell the product is that they nickel and dime you to death. For example, a line is one price. If you want a soft phone, that's extra. Mobile app? Extra. Auto-attendant? Yup... extra. We went with Intermedia because they have a far more modern system with seamless integration and simpler pricing. It is one price per user that includes everything Broadview charges extra for.
Finally, after we switched, Broadview is trying to extort us for a year's fees stating we didn't terminate the contract in time. Importantly, we did, but it was "auto-renewed."
Basically, if you want phone technology from the '90s and the practices to go along with it, Broadview is your ticket.
For how long have I used the solution?
We started using Windstream after they acquired Broadview in 2017. We had been Broadview users.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We never had any reliability issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The system is easy enough to scale, but watch for the fees and contracts. Every feature you add has an additional fee, and adding new users may trigger an extension of your contract.
How are customer service and technical support?
Once we were dropped as vendors, support was non existent.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
This was our first unified communications system. We now use Intermedia because their software is modern, you don't get nickel and dimed for features, and pricing is simple and affordable.
How was the initial setup?
The interfaces are confusing and there is almost no support or documentation available. If you know your way around older phone systems, you will be able to muddle through.
What about the implementation team?
It was all in-house with no support from Broadview.
What was our ROI?
Since we were no longer allowed to sell the system, I would place ROI as a negative.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
My advice is to evaluate your needs carefully, as adding features later can bloat your monthly fees badly, exceeding budgets easily.
Also, make sure to pay attention to the contracts. They like to hide clauses in there that will lock you into enormous fees.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I was not involved in the company at that time, so I can't say what other systems were evaluated.
What other advice do I have?
I would avoid this service, to be frank. I haven't even touched on the lack of support, documentation, or even marketing materials for vendors. They never really innovated anything. Rather, they simply buy out other companies and clumsily brute-force integration.