Gamma Horizon Hosted Phone System [PRODUCT REVIEW]
So, for the last 10 years the hosted phone system has been growing in hype and popularity, the Gamma Horizon Hosted phone system has now become one of the leading systems in the UK marketplace.
Gamma have been at the forefront of VoIP for many years, including their industry leading SIP trunking offering.
The Horizon phone system is built on one of the world’s leading hosted platforms in Broadsoft and brings 2 of the main players in VoIP together to create what professes to be a very powerful solution for businesses in the UK.
With so much excitement within the Telecoms industry we thought it was time to put it through its paces against more traditional PBX solutions available on the UK market.
History of Gamma Horizon
The Horizon hosted phone system has been available in the UK since 2011. There were previous iterations of the hosted PBX from Gamma in the forms of the Feature plus and Communicator systems.
The horizon system has been sold through Gamma’s network of channel partners and resellers, of which Comms Consult are one, to gain a very strong foothold in the UK business telecommunication market.
Gamma is a UK carrier and has built out its own network for voice, data and mobile services. They only work with businesses in the UK and have placed huge emphasis on the availability, reliability and quality of the network. Great if you are a business needing to provide a good level of customer service, and let’s be honest if you’re not you won’t be in business long!
How easy is it to install?
With hosted phone systems, part of the attraction is the speed of deployment. With Gamma Horizon it becomes even simpler than some of the systems we’ve used in the past.
The engineers back in the office (well we don’t even need ‘engineers’ it’s that simple to set-up but don’t tell them) take the initial client specification and project specification documents and configure the overall system preferences. For example, the number of extensions needed on the phone system, therefore the number of voicemail boxes needed, any specific routing options which get specified in the pre-installation meeting.
That’s the phone system bit done, then the MAC address of each phone is programmed into the extension panel in the online portal. The phone can then be plugged into the internet within the office or can just be left in the box to be shipped out to the client site.
The auto-configuration means that we can send out phones through the post, not that we do, which can be unboxed by the client, plugged into an internet connection and boom, you have your phone system up and running.
We do, however, specify that our clients use the Gamma Horizon PBX with the dedicated internet connection that Gamma provide. This way we have one point of support if anything should happen and we need to diagnose what the problem is. If we stick with Gamma throughout as much of the technology set-up as we can then it is easier to fix.
How reliable is the connection?
As per the above paragraph, we make sure that we only install the system within premises using the Gamma dedicated internet connection.
When using this there are certain guarantees for service uptime. But we’ve only had one incident where the system stopped working in the last 4 years and this was overnight for about 30 minutes.
Is the system scalable?
A hosted phone system is scalable by nature. It is built to work by making the phone connections via the internet.
If you would like to understand how a hosted phone system works check out our article here.
Cost of ownership
The package we have negotiated with Gamma means we can offer most businesses (depending on number of extensions) a free phone, free installation, free unlimited calls to all mobiles & landlines and free support starting from £12.50 per month per handset!
I mean how much better could a cost of ownership be? No capital expenditure and one fixed monthly fee for everything.
Main features of the system
There have been additional features added to the horizon system over the years but fundamentally it is a VoIP hosted phone system that can make, take and transfer phone calls. But with it being hosted it can do this to handsets which are spread across the world.
Horizon now boast a vast array of options you can take with the phone system, Soft clients enable you to connect your laptop or desktop computer to the phone system, making and taking phone calls wherever you have an internet connection.
Even better, you can now get a softphone client or better known as a phone app to connect to your phone system and have a phone extension on your Smartphone. Either through an iOS device like an Apple Iphone or an Android device.
The Horizon Integrator add-on allows a business to connect the horizon PBX to Microsoft outlook and enable screen pop of your contact before you answer the phone call right through to allowing you to connect your phones to your CRM software solution.
You can use it for click-to-dial function which allows you to highlight a phone number a click to ring it. Either on a normal screen or you can even highlight a phone number on a website and dial it through your PC.
The call queueing option makes sure that you will never be in a position where customers can’t reach your business. True, queueing is not the best for the caller but sometimes it’s more professional than not being able to get a ring tone. And you can use your own branded message to play to people in the queue.
Akixi call reporting is the latest in the additions, giving you all the data you could want from a call logging system. Perfect for an inbound or even outbound call centre. There is even talk of a dialler being available very soon for Horizon.
The receptionist console brings it to the professional services market. Being able to have a console for the reception means it becomes a very viable option to the professional sectors such as Legal firms, accountancy firms and other professional service based businesses.
Call Recording, now Mifid ii compliant and PCI DSS compliant. Your calls can be stored in the cloud for ease of use or they can be downloaded to your preferred storage PC or even better they can be sent direct to an FTP based server environment.
What handsets can you use?
In theory, you could use any SIP based handset to use the Horizon phone system. But why bother buying them when you can get the Polycom SIP handsets free with your monthly rental?
The Polycom handset which is normally sent with the system is he VVX411, a 12 line HD Voice business media phone with a 3.5″ colour LCD display and dual Gigabit RJ45 ports for knowledge workers and office staff. The VVX 400 has an intuitive larger colour display and easily integrates with third-party UC and productivity applications helping make it easier to use.
The Gamma horizon hosted phone system gets a 5 star from us here at Comms Consult. We use it ourselves and recommend it to 75% of our prospective customers. The main reasons are the price factor, the feature set out of the box and the pure ease of use.
They have produced a phone system in the horizon platform which provides the end user with everything they want from a phone system but in a monthly, easy to manage price. It removes any of the normal associated costs of a more traditional ‘in the data rack’ type phone system.
10 Things to Consider Before Using a Hosted Phone System
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