Accent Evolves with VoiceONE Connect

This post originally appeared on the Talking Pointz blog here.

Accent Communication Services, an Ohio-based national provider of telecommunications services and solutions, recently launched VoiceONE Connect, a new cloud-based telephony and unified communications (UC) service that represents an evolution of the company’s VoiceONE Business Edition introduced in 2017 for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) in North America.

VoiceONE Connect builds on Business Edition’s essential telephony feature set to add more advanced capabilities like a mobile application with integrated audio and video calling, chat, file sharing and business text messaging. Chris Cameron, President of Accent, explains that these types of collaborative features are no longer seen as options for larger enterprises, but are required – and even expected – by today’s businesses of all sizes. For this reason, the R&D team at Accent began developing the next generation of the Business Edition product, building in a more advanced feature set, but maintaining the same competitive price point.

The new VoiceONE Connect and earlier VoiceONE Business Edition solutions are both based on Asterisk technology, and use the same Grandstream phones, which makes for a smooth transition for Business Edition customers to Connect, if desired. Accent tells us, however, that Business Edition will remain available (though not advertised) for on-site deployments should that be a customer requirement. Business Edition supports both cloud and on-site deployments, while VoiceONE Connect is a fully cloud-based offering. Accent also offers the internally-developed, Zultys-based VoiceONE Enterprise (also with cloud or on-premises deployment) for even more sophisticated telephony, UC and contact center capabilities.

Online Ordering

With VoiceONE Connect, Accent hits on a key trend by offering a simple 3-step online ordering process that eliminates the need for a partner or any in-house IT resources to assist with set-up and management. There is no seat limit at this time. To set-up, customers can select “Do It Yourself” or opt for an Accent support specialist to assist (“Agent Guided”). Either way, the remote setup and configuration is complimentary, and Accent promises processing and provisioning within 60 minutes of order placement for orders placed during regular business hours, Monday through Friday (otherwise, processing occurs on the next business day). Accent also provisions and ships the Grandstream IP desk phones if selected, and will help set up any customer-provided SIP phones.

VoiceONE Connect customers can choose from three user plans, priced month-to-month or in a less costly 36-month contract; each plan provides one cloud telephony extension.

  • Virtual User ($14.99 per user per month for a 36-month contract) is an all software option for business users that don’t want any hardware on-site. With this plan, there are no physical desk phones. Rather, users communicate through Accent’s desktop softphone (Connect Desktop App) with headset or a mobile device (iOS or Android) running Accent’s Connect Mobile App. These Connect Apps also enable group voice/video calling, presence, chat, desktop and file sharing. A range of popular business telephony features, plus voicemail-to-email delivery, multi-party and meet-me conferencing, call recording, unlimited business text messaging (SMS) and voicemail transcription, round out the standard capabilities. The plan comes with unlimited local/long distance calling in the U.S. and Canada.

  • Standard User ($18.99 per user per month for a 36-month contract) has the same Virtual plan capabilities, but adds IP desk phone support. Accent offers three Grandstream models: the GXP2170 for higher call volumes, the mid-range GXP2135 and the more basic GXP1635. Or customers can bring their own third party SIP phones (from Cisco, Grandstream, Panasonic, Yealink or Zultys). Analog devices require an analog telephone adaptor or ATA.

  • Premier User ($23.99 per user per month for a 36-month contract) is Accent’s most popular bundle. It includes all Virtual and Standard features, but also includes a Grandstream GXP2135 IP desk phone as part of the monthly price.