Updated on 1/18/2013...
Nextiva and 8x8 are two companies that offer very hefty feature sets for small and medium sized businesses. They offer a number of similar features, but the way in which they package them can differ significantly. Both 8x8 and Nextiva are constantly developing new and better technology, and keeping prices low in the competitive world of business VoIP. Unless otherwise stated, all add-ons have a one-time activation fee (or no fee), and are charged on a monthly basis.
Shared VoIP Features: Standard Call Features, Advanced Call Hunting, Auto Attendant, Call Recording, Call Rules, Desktop Integration, Dial-By-Name Directory, virtual Fax, Enhanced Voice Mail, Find Me/Follow Me, Holiday/Custom Scheduling, Intercom, Music, Remote Access, Speed Dial, Virtual Extensions, Web Portal
Metered and Unmetered Plans: 8x8, as of this writing, lowered the price of their Unlimited Extension Pro from $64.99/mo to $49.99/mo. This is the same price as their metered extension price, which, for whatever reason, they have not lowered as well. 8x8 offers a Global Extension Pro which has unlimited calling to over a dozen countries for $104.99 a month, and the extension can be as few or as many extensions as needed. Nextiva has their metered Nextiva Connect plan, which, if you read our blogs, is the same as inTALK’s Nextiva Connect plan. You need to sign a yearlong contract in order to get 100 minutes for $8.95/mo or 500 mins for $19.95/mo. The unlimited Nextiva Office Pro varies from as low as $19.95/mo to as high as $29.95, and the Nextiva Office Enterprise, which has even more features, starts at $34.95/mo.
Conference Bridge: 8x8 has up to 20 calls on one conference call without an upgrade; Nextiva has up to 15-way calling.
Call Transfer Features: Both 8x8 and Nextiva have great call center plans, but this comparison is only for the office plans.
8x8 has a GUI switchboard software (no hardware needed) for $19.99/mo per installation, after a $9.99 activation fee. Nextiva has a web-based Office Receptionist, new for their NextOS 3.0, available as a “Pro” for up to 8 employee lines, “Premium” for up to 30, and “Enterprise” for unlimited employee lines.
Nextiva charges $14.95 for call queues plus 3 cents per minute. 8x8 allows up to 20 callers per queue and 102 queues per PBX. On top of that, each queue includes a secondary queue extension group and a voicemail box. 8x8 queues are sold in sets of 6 for $14.95 each set.
On a related note, 8x8 includes up to 9 ring groups free, and then offers them at $5 each more, or bulk purchases of 6 for $25 or 15 for $50.
8x8 includes 1GB of recording storage, which works out to 35 hours, and charges $12.99/GB over that. Nextiva, on the other hand, charges per line at a price of $6.95/line.
Nextiva offers free on-hold music, and ringback is available only for Office Enterprise subscribers. 8x8 has an extensive selection of on-hold music, but also suggests you take advantage of their recording studio to make a customized hold message.
Toll Free: Nextiva offers a simple Toll Free plan of 2.5 cents per minute. 8x8 offers bulk toll free minutes that can be shared across several phones. The number itself is a $4.99 virtual number, after $9.99 activation, and you get 150 minutes/month for $4.99 (4.5c over); 1,500 minutes/month for $39.99 (3.9c over); 5,000 minutes/month for $94.99 (3.85c over); 20,000 minutes/month for $359.99 (2.75c over), 50,000 minutes/month for $849.99 (2.49c over) and 100,000 minutes/month for $1,599.99 (2.95c). If all of that is too complicated, remember that 8x8 will match any of their competitor’s quotes.
Fax: Nextiva’s fax plans can be used for paperless fax or paper fax, but a paper fax requires a $150 fax bridge adapter. Paper or paperless, you get $500 pages for $4.95/mo, 1000 pages for $12.95/mo, or 3000 pages for $29.95/mo. 8x8 has unlimited paperless fax with Virtual Office Pro. For paper faxes, 8x8 offers both metered and unmetered faxing options. 8x8’s Analog Terminal Adapter costs $60, which is less than half that of Nextiva’s, and then fax plans have either a $29.99 or $14.99 activation fee, which is still less than Nextiva. Unlimited inbound and outbound paper faxes are $39.99/mo after $90 in equipment and activation fees, and a second fax machine will be a comparatively low $29.99 activation, and $39.99 per month. Metered plans are again $90 in activation and equipment fees, then $14.99/mo for 300 outbound and unlimited inbound faxes. The second fax machine will be, again, $29.99 to activate, then another $14.99/mo. You can get one metered and one unlimited fax extension, if you wish.
Softphone: Nextiva offers softphone support and gives instructions on how to configure X-Lite, a popular softphone client, but does not have its own softphone preconfigured. 8x8 users can use the 8x8 Virtual Office Softphone, which has all the features of a desk phone, including 3-way calling, DND, call transfer, and even multiple call appearance lines.
Custom Greetings: Both Nextiva and 8x8 offer the option of having their in-house team record custom greetings, IVR prompts, messages, voice mail greetings, and on-hold announcements. Nextiva offers one free greeting. In either case, you can go to their respective recording studio web pages, and send them a script, and you can choose which voice you like. International accents and other flair costs more.
International calling: Nextiva offers per country per minute rates. 8x8 also has per minute rates for the basic plan, but you can subscribe to their Global Extension for $79.99/mo after $39.99 activation. The global extension includes unlimited calls to landline phones in:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Moscow-Central, Moscow-Suburb, St. Petersburg, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom,Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Sao Paulo, Caracas, Mexico City, Monterrey Guadalajara, Israel, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and Guam
The Final Bell: Both 8x8 and Nextiva offer a hefty feature set that favors established companies willing to make a complete overhaul of their existing PBX systems to upgrade to VoIP. Both have very strong feature sets at competitive rates. 8x8 is less expensive for heavy paper fax users and frequent international callers. Both Nextiva and 8x8 have great receptionist and virtual receptionist software, and at affordable rates. Both Nextiva and 8x8 are capable of supporting businesses that have offices in many different parts of the world. Both are market leaders, and both provider services that aren’t available with traditional phone companies.