Intermedia Review

In a Nutshell

Intermedia Unite is an award winning VoIP solution designed specifically for small and medium sized businesses.  Unite offers a comprehensive and integrated portfolio of VoIP capabilities that are easy to set up can be easily managed from a single dashboard.  Intermedia Unite includes free business phones with no contracts, thereby minimizing commitment requirements and up-front costs.

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Pros

  • Reliable with uptime agreement
  • Wide array of features
  • Easy to deploy and manage
  • Free business phone for each user

Cons

  • Slightly costlier than other options
  • Some missing call center features
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Employees can link up to the system by laptop, desk phone, or smartphone no matter where they are, allowing teams to stay connected even if they are working remotely. Intermedia offers voicemail to email, advanced auto-attending, customizable hold music, and long distance calls. New phones don’t have to be physically connected to a phone line, so as a company grows, new employees can be added to the line without needing a free port in the phone system.

Highlights

  • Keep your current phone numbers
  • Top-notch security
  • 99.99% uptime service level agreement
  • 24/7 customer support

Integration

Phone/computer integration is carried out through Intermedia’s desktop and mobile apps which provide real-time information about the availability of employees for calls, as well as call transfer, monitoring, and remote call pickup. Through integration, employees can use their computers to control their phones, and listen to voicemail and accept or reject calls directly through their desktop.

Unite integrates with Microsoft Outlook’s address books, making their contacts reachable directly through the app or by making calls directly through Outlook all with the simple click of a mouse.

The system incorporates the company’s customer relations management (CRM) data, so users can pull up a customer’s information the moment they call, giving them real-time information to help improve sales and customer service.

Standout Features

  • Unite can be accessed on PCs and laptops as well as mobile phones and tablets, by way of an app
  • Includes phone service, video conferencing, team chat, screen sharing, file backup and sharing and more
  • Auto-attendant. Callers who call you will be presented with a set of options accessed by their keypad. Attendant can route calls, provide information to callers, dial by name or extension options and more, all to be determined by the user during setup
  • Intermedia works with users to migrate contacts and data
  • All aspects of the service can be managed from a web-based portal
  • "Virtual" fax service that allows user to receive and manage faxes via the web or email 
  • Mobile and desktop applciations ring along with desktop so you never miss a call 
  • Voicemail messages are automatically transcribed and delivered via email or view in the mobile applciation

Value for Money

Unite$30.99 per month
Unite Pro$40.99 per month

The Unite package includes:

  • Unlimited calls in US, Canada & Puerto Rico
  • Team chat/messaging
  • Video Conf. and screen sharing (4 web /200 audio attendees)
  • Virtual vmail & transcription
  • -File sharing & backup (2GB/user)

The Unite Pro package inlcudes Unite Plan features plus:

  • Increased participants for video conference & screen sharing (30 web/200 audio attendees)
  • -Increased file sharing & backup (100 GB/user)

Mobility

Intermedia Unite automatically routes all desktop calls to mobile and desktop applications so they never miss a call and can take their entire call history with them no matter where they are.

Intermedia Cloud PBX can be accessed remotely through any web-connected PC or laptop by way of the softphone service. With mobile access through the CallScape app, offices can stay connected even if workers are located off-site. The mobility means you miss less calls, and you can arrange conferencing with large numbers of people without them having to be onsite, and without any indication given to participants about who else on the line is located within the office.

The voicemail to email feature allows users to remain on the go, simplifying communication and forwarding of voice messages to email without the user having to stop and fire off a written message.

Scalability

Since Intermedia Unite is hosted in the cloud, it’s easily scalable and doesn’t require buying and hooking up new phone lines as an old landline-based system does.

As a business grows, it can increase its number of users with Intermedia Unite simply by ordering a new handset from the company, plugging it in, and adding a new user through the admin dashboard. An additional user charge is added to the account (the same flat rate per user) for each new phone added.

Ease of Setup and Management

Setting up Intermedia Unite doesn’t require any technical know-how or arguing with the phone company. You simply order the phones from Intermedia and hook them to up the internet when they arrive. If you already have compatible phones, then you just order a new user and hook it up.

Like the other Intermedia services, Unite is managed through their HostPilot control panel. The control panel is intuitive, easy-to-use, and integrates all Intermedia user accounts, services, and devices so they can be easily controlled through a single interface. Users can also enable two-factor authentication on their HostPilot dashboard to increase security.

As always, Intermedia’s customer service representatives are available 24/7 to assist in any problems that may arise with the operating system.

Intermedia Equipment

Intermedia offers its service through a variety of phones made by Polycom and Yealink. The phones are split into 3 categories–basic, advanced, and enterprise. Color model phones are often available at no cost while higher-end models are available with a $75 rebate, though if you have your own phones which are compatible they can be hooked up to the system, too.

Basic phones are “ideal for the average employee’s calling needs,” according to Intermedia, with 2 or 3 lines available. Advanced phones have more options and can handle 4 or 5 lines, while the enterprise phones are considered best for receptionists, with up to 10 lines.

Intermedia Customer Service

Intermedia takes pride in its 24/7 phone and online chat support and has received the J.D. Power certification for excellence in support for the last three years. A chat query made was answered and resolved within 2 minutes, with a satisfactory answer. The expert phone support representatives have CompTIA Net certification.

Though many online users reviews express displeasure at the level of customer service, Intermedia says “unlike other providers, we won’t push you to self-help solutions. We’ll stay with you until we resolve your problem.”

Users’ account information is shared with the entire support team, meaning that all of them have the information needed to be able to help, and users who call in with an issue don’t need to start from scratch when they call back.

Support is available 24/7.

International VoIP Calls

Intermedia Unite offers international VoIP calls to what appears to be every country on Earth according to the very lengthy list included on the company website, including North Korea, Somalia, and South Sudan, to name a few. Each option includes a pricing table that lists the costs of calling a number of different lines, including cell phones, and landlines. The costs vary widely depending on locale, with a call to a Mexican land line costing $.0053/minute, while a call to a cell phone in Papua New Guinea will set you back $1.5209/minute. There is unlimited domestic calling in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico on the cloud service.

Unified Communications/Multi-Channel

Intermedia puts a big focus on unified communications, integrating email, phone, internet, messaging, and Microsoft Office products under one roof. The voice-to-email feature is a good example of this approach, which unifies 2 separate forms of communication, allowing for greater efficiency and convenience. Through the HostPilot central dashboard, users can easily manage the settings and specifics of all the different devices using Intermedia’s service, further enhancing efficiency across all channels. Intermedia also allows for the integration of fax machines through the VoIP system, and by unifying communications across users mobile and desktop devices, it allows users to access the system remotely.

Bottom Line

Intermedia Unite offers a feature-rich and highly reliable VoIP solution that is ideal for the small and medium-sized business.  Intermedia's J.D. Powers certified support services enables companies to get up and running quickly and seamlessly, while Unite's intuitive and integrated platform makes it easy to take advantage of all that this VoIP solution can offer.

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About Intermedia

Intermedia started in 2000 as the first provider of hosted Microsoft Exchange, and became the first hosting service for Exchange Email in 2007. It continued to expand its business management offerings, and today the company bills itself as a “one-stop-shop for cloud business applications,” with some 30 cloud IT apps integrated across their systems by way of the “Office in the Cloud” suite. It boasts over 100,000 business customers and more than 6,500 partners, with company offices in the US, the UK, Australia, and Russia.

Cloud PBX and SIP trunking are key aspects of this overall business management toolbox and provide scalable, easy to set up and operate solutions for running internet-based phone services for businesses.

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