Published December 29th, 2008 by Jennifer LeClaire
Globalization. It’s a big word, but it doesn’t have to be a big expense when you turn to virtual office solutions that serve up international services.
Global Virtual Office Solutions is a prime example. This company is based in Ireland, but offers global city telephone lines that will forward to any telephone number worldwide. That means you can get a call from Sydney to your U.S. mobile phone – and the caller thinks he’s calling you from your office Down Under. This is also an ideal solution for the mobile professional that needs a number to follow him wherever he goes.
Global Virtual Office Solutions lets entrepreneurs set up shop virtually in many countries. Here’s a short list: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia… you get the idea. The company currently provides service to 35 countries and dozens of cities.
More Than a Global Local Number
Of course, Global Virtual Office Solutions is competing with the likes of Phone.com. Phone.com is offering American companies local phone numbers in more than 40 overseas countries. It’s not a new concept, but one that continues to gain steam as the need to have local offices, even if they are virtual offices, in many parts of the world.
Global Virtual Office Solutions isn’t just about phone numbers, though. As its name suggests, it offers the entire package. The company offers mail drops in 35 cities worldwide along with voicemail, fax, re-mailing services. That opens the door to doing business in some of the most prestigious cities in the world, as well as emerging economies where small businesses are looking for a foothold.
Global Virtual Office Solutions’ mail drops are professional street addresses around the world and the company promises security and privacy. The mail can be forwarded on a daily or weekly basis. The prices vary depending on location. A mail drop in locations like Qatar, for example, costs 1,000 euros, while a mail drop in Manchester, United Kingdom is only 400 euros.
On the voice mail and fax front, Global Virtual Office Solutions forward the data to your e-mail address. If you want a live operator in one of the cities the company serves, you can opt for live answering 24 hours a day, seven days a week by a professional receptionist. Like other virtual office packages, the calls are answered in your company name.
Counting the Costs
Since the services are all charged in euros, this may be a more expensive option for U.S.-based entrepreneurs. Phone.com charges in U.S. dollars and has starting prices ranging from $4.88 to $12.88 a month. But it is not immediately clear whether the 400 euro price in the United Kingdom is an annual fee. Even still, Phone.com seems to have lower prices. Phone.com also has wider coverage – serving 40 cities compared to Global Virtual Office Solutions’ 35.
Where Global Virtual Office solutions seems to shine is with its breadth of services, including the live operator, the mail drops and the fax solutions. What’s not clear, though, is if Global Virtual Office Solutions offers the depth of features and functionality on its global lines that Phone.com does, such as conferencing, dial-by-name directories, and call handling rules.
We’ll check in with Global Virtual Office Solutions and offer an update on some of these finer points. In the meantime, buyers looking for international numbers need to dig into these sorts of issues and really understand – straight from the company – what they are getting – and what they aren’t.