RCN Hosted Voice Review

We're able to listen to voicemail via our email, which is easier for our employees who travel


What is our primary use case?

We use it for phone services. We replaced our regular phone carrier with the VoIP.

How has it helped my organization?

We're a very small company, there are ten employees, and only seven of them are in the office and utilize this phone. We didn't need a whole lot of features, but I have definitely heard feedback that being able to get voicemails instantaneously via email is helpful. The way we do business is email correspondence. We're able to get those messages instantaneously without having to call in to the desk phone.

And because we can get calls to our desk phones on our cell phones, we get the important calls we need to get.

What is most valuable?

For us, one of the most important features is the conferencing. We use that feature a lot.

We also like that long distance is included, because it's over the internet.

We use our voicemail and all of us love the fact that we all have it emailed to us as well, getting it on our phones. A lot of our people travel, and it's a lot easier for them because they're always checking their email. It's easier to listen to it there rather than having to dial into the phone and put their codes in and go in and retrieve messages. It makes it really quick to be able to get your messages. You're notified right away when you have one, and then all you have to do is open your email and click on it and you can hear it. That's been a very convenient feature.

Another nice feature is that we're able to transfer a call to our cell phones. We have the Mobility app and we are able to set it up where our desk phone can ring on our cell phone. When we're traveling, we can turn that on and we can get those calls right away, and they don't even have to go to voicemail. That's been a helpful feature. I know there is call forwarding on other phones, but with this one, if they dial our number, when we pick up on our cell phone, or if we call from our cell phone on that app, they're seeing our work phone number. It's like they're reaching us at work, even though we may not be at work physically.

What needs improvement?

The sound quality was different. It wasn't necessarily worse or better, it was different in the sense that it sounded like the sound was in a tunnel.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support people are great. They're very responsive, and any time I've had to call, which is infrequently, they have given me the answer I need.

It helps that they're very local. Grande started in a town 30 miles from here and now they're all over San Antonio. That helps a great deal in terms of not only the products they offer but being able to service them, and the pricing. The pricing is very good.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

The main reason we switched was cost.

We had Grande for internet for about three years before we moved over to this. We had some concerns with the previous internet carrier, it was Time Warner Cable, and we had issues frequently. We thought, "We don't need our phone down frequently. We can't do that." When we switched to Grande for the internet, they didn't offer the phone service right then, it was about a year later. We waited an additional year-and-a-half because we wanted to make sure that there wouldn't be these outages - like we had experienced with the other internet company - before we committed to a VoIP product. They proved that they were very reliable so we went ahead and made the switch.

We weren't looking to move the phone at all, but because the internet provider proved to be consistent and it was much cheaper to go to this VoIP product, we entertained the idea.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was pretty straightforward, both in terms of the phones and the VoIP. Both were fairly easy because there wasn't much change from what we had with the regular phone. It's just the way we were receiving the calls was different.

We're still getting the calls like we used to, no delay. And we can get them more conveniently.

It took about 30 days to transfer over from one system to the other, in total. Most of that was just transferring the phone numbers over because we had direct lines. It was a pretty smooth process.

What about the implementation team?

Grande came out and did the transfer and the setup and then they provided some training to us as far as how to use the phones. Grande is like a cable company or an internet company that provides internet service.

They got it up quickly and they were very available for any customer service or help, as we were getting used to the new phones and the new service. They were really good on the service end and then the implementation as well.

What was our ROI?

For us, the ROI is the decrease in the monthly phone bill.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing is much better on this product. The licensing would apply to us in the sense that we pay per actual phone device. We have to pay for that many licenses so we get that many phones. It has saved us $300 a month. Licensing isn't an issue.

In years past we had looked at other phone systems, because we had an old phone system and some of the newer products don't work on the older phone systems. We looked at purchasing a new phone system where we would actually buy the phones and it was very costly. It was going to be almost a $10,000 investment, plus monthly service. Whereas here, we're just paying the monthly service and the phones are leased to us. If we were to ever move to a different company, they would take these phones back.

When we did look at other phone systems in the distant past, you had to buy an asset and you paid an asset price, at 10 grand just to get a phone system. And then you would still have to pay a monthly rate.

What other advice do I have?

It has been a very good product for us, but you need to have a reliable internet provider because this system does use the internet. That's the only recommendation I would have: Make sure that you have a very sound and stable internet provider to host this phone system.

If a colleague were to say to me that a cloud solution is not safe, I would respond that it depends on what kind of information you're putting out on that cloud device. We're talking about phones here, so if you have very private conversations that you need to secure, then you need to consider that. That's a decision based on what information you're putting out. For us, it works. We don't have vitally important information that needs to be secret. There's not a concern there.

In our company, seven people use the RCN system and they are all professional graphics managers, project managers, marketing managers, and sales managers. They have been very pleased with it.

I handle the maintenance, I'm the administrative person in the office. I'm not a technical person, but I do it. It's not my primary role and it's not my sole role. But when I have needed help, again, I just call Grande and they help me figure out what I need to figure out. Maybe we haven't had it long enough to have maintenance issues, because we haven't had any problems.

I haven't seen the automatic upgrade feature.

It probably does a lot more than we use it for. We don't need all the extras. I don't foresee us learning more of the features it has. We don't have plans to increase usage.

This product has been a ten out of ten for us.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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