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VirtualPBX Blog

Just the Facts – VoIP Phone Q&A
Posted on May 28, 2015   by

Yealink VoIP Phone

In the interests of showcasing some of the features of the all-new Yealink SIP-T21P VoIP phone and learning more about VoIP phones in general, we’re taking a minute to sit down with Kevin Peyton, VP of Sales at VirtualPBX. Kevin has been integral in researching all of the leading VoIP office phones and desk phones in the market so that we can offer only the best values to our customers.

What would a company that just got their first hosted phone service look for in a new desktop phone?

The most important thing is that you’re not able to notice the difference between a VoIP phone and one that operates over traditional copper wire technology. Familiarity is important for new technology to be adopted successfully, which also dovetails nicely with another important topic, ease of use. If there are a bunch of hurdles to jump over with configuring your new VoIP phone, it’s going to hurt the chances of your staff leveraging its benefits. That’s why we preconfigure all of our phones for each individual customer’s network before we send them out. Then, of course, you will want to make sure that the sound quality is top notch. The Yealink SIP-T21P packages a respected technology foundation with a familiar platform into an easy to use and crystal clear desk phone.

Would a user notice any differences between VoIP phones and traditional phones?

If they are really looking closely they will notice that the phone is connected through an ethernet cable, not a traditional phone line, but the big thing that users will ultimately recognize is the added functionality of modern VoIP phones. Not only do they have a host of customizable network functions that are typically more in the back-end than a person at a desk will realize, VoIP phones can now link with multiple devices to establish truly unified communications for employees.

What about the Yealink SIP-T21P makes it such a compelling option?

Right off the bat – when you consider this phone you’ll see it’s just such a great value. Yealink in general has been so rapidly and widely adopted in the marketplace over the past 10-15 years because they recognize the core functional features that businesses need, include the best variations of them, and trim out the excess. What you end up with in a phone like the SIP-T21P is high quality construction and sound, customizable technology, future compatibility, and all at a very competitive price point. But personally my favorite part about the phone is the big HD screen on it. You can customize it with any information or company logo as you’d like and it’s similar to how I expect to interact with my other devices, which is nice.

For someone who is still considering a cloud-based phone system for their business, what are some of the pitfalls they would like to avoid?

From an infrastructure standpoint, having wired ethernet at each location is critical, but the other obstacles might not be so obvious. You will want to make sure that the network you are operating your business on will be able to accommodate the addition of the hosted phone system on top of that. That includes if there is enough bandwidth to handle your daily internet use plus the added data travel of VoIP and if your network supports QoS. We can help with all of that in a flash, too, of course by either conducting an easy VoIP Speed Test or doing a comprehensive Network Health Check that includes a complete battery of diagnostics.

Anyone at VirtualPBX can help you get started with a Speed Test, Health Check, or just to field any other questions you have that we didn’t cover here about VoIP phones. Talk to one of our award-winning Customer Support members and see how VoIP can help your business grow, today!

 



Memorial Day and Military Programs
Posted on May 22, 2015   by

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day weekend you’ll hopefully be out camping, picnicking, road tripping, or just hanging around with your friends and family. One thing that we hope is involved no matter what you have in store, however, is a recognition of the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and their families so that we could all enjoy the freedom to do whatever we please this long weekend.

Success on the Battlefield, and in the Boardroom

There has been a rising tide of desirability for having veterans on staff as their many leadership and objectives-based qualities are just what corporate America looks for in ideal candidates. Furthermore, many veterans are taking their innate skills and focusing on building their own companies backed by the increasing number of entrepreneurial lending options catered just to veterans.

Our Turn to Serve

For years, VirtualPBX has been committed to supporting our nation’s service men and women as they reenter into civilian life. Fueled by the new influx of capital provided by veteran-focused investment, many of whom are bound to continue accomplishing new missions in business. Having trudged challenging roads enough already, we want to make their pathway to success in business as smooth as possible from here. That’s why we offer and will maintain evergreen, special military pricing incentives on our award-winning VirtualPBX business telephone service for current and former servicemen and women.

Moving Forward

We know that what we have to offer pales in comparison to that which has been given to us so freely by our nation’s veterans. We also know that, while every customer benefits from our industry-leading support, we take unique care and pride in each and every one of our veterans that we have the honor to serve.

Thank you to all of our veterans, their families, and all active men and women in the Armed Forces. We hope you all get a moment of rest this weekend as we honor you and your sacrifices. If we can help you in any way or if you have any questions about the special military pricing, please do not hesitate to contact one of our expert support representatives today.



RadioShack- Building a Powerful Franchise One Transistor At a Time
Posted on May 18, 2015   by

Behind the Radio

Some of us will remember being able to buy any number of different components to build a transistor radio or basic computers at the local RadioShack. Heck, even the first wearable technology, Lizzy, was constructed with a few odds and ends that came from the nationwide hardware retailer. Though things have not been so rosy lately for the ‘Shack. With the advent of online retail and big box stores decimating their market share over the last 15 years, the venerable retailer has had to make some big changes to stay afloat.

A History of Communications

Founded in 1921 by a pair of ham radio enthusiast brothers, RadioShack has been a model of American franchise business. Even in spite of deciding to close nearly 20% of their locations in 2014, RadioShack persists to be a desirable franchise business opportunity and still cracked into the top 150 companies in Entrepreneur’s 2015 Franchise 500 list of best franchise investments. Though there are many financial reasons that contributed to this favorable listing, one of the most valuable propositions of owning a RadioShack franchise has been far less tangible.

Brand Stability Equals Profitability

Even in the current state of affairs where RadioShack has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, there persists a very profitable endeavor to acquire the majority of their locations. If the company is in decline, sells dated technology, and is currently contracting, though, why then would there exist a bidding war for their last storefronts? The same things that investors want from them now is what entrepreneurs and IT professionals have known they would be able to get from them for almost a century- a consistent, authentic, enthusiast’s experience for communications technology. Creating a solid brand experience is one thing, curating and preserving it through global expansion how RadioShack has done for decades is entirely another. Maintaining that purity of a brand as it is entrusted to a multitude of franchisees is something that throttles many business owners as they look to expand their own companies. It doesn’t have to be that scary.

Keep Your Business Yours, Even When It’s Someone Else’s

No, that’s not a riddle or Zen kōan, it’s how business owners maintain consistent brand standards with their franchise partners everyday with VirtualPBX Franchise Phone Systems. With locations growing and cropping up all over the country, there exist two key challenges to keeping a brand’s core experience intact, Customer Connection and Brand Cohesion.

You’ve built a successful regional or national brand, how do you continue to connect customers over an increasingly large area with the right locations during rapid expansion? The best way to do that is with singular, corporate contact points in the form of your existing website and a national toll-free number. Just having a toll-free number can be a drain on your staffing requirements if it requires a call-center and operator functions, though. VirtualPBX toll-free numbers can be programmed to automatically direct your callers to the most appropriately located by identifying the caller’s area code and routing it to the nearest franchisee.

manage, change, edit, and monitor the content and function of the toll-free number from anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection.

The Unfair Advantage

RadioShack didn’t have access to these types of unified communications when it was founded. They, like you, have relied on the tried and true method of identifying a need and providing a reliable and valuable solution to fill that gap in their communities. Today, you can utilize the latest iterations of technologies that were designed with RadioShack components to ensure that your brand’s growth can be at least as potent, consistent, and effective as even the largest franchises in the world.

To learn more about how VitualPBX’s unified communications strategies can best be employed for your business, you can read more about it on our blog or get in touch with one of the VirtualPBX Franchise Experts today.



National Bike To Work Day
Posted on May 14, 2015   by

Bike To Work

May is National Bike Month and today with the second full week being Bike to Work Week and today, Thursday May the 14th, is National Bike to Work Day. That basically is like the epicenter of the your-co-worker-might-be-a-bit-stinkier-than-usual month that marks (for most) the gateway into the summer months. All of the added hours of commute time that the budget-conscious, fitness-oriented and environmentally-minded cyclists in the office will have to put in this month, plus the days away from the office that typically occur during the coming summer months, make finding ways to stay connected when on the road even more important.

Keep In Touch

Though cell phones, laptops, and devices galore have become ubiquitous in today’s society, not everyone wants to leverage their digital flexibility at the expense of their personal freedom. Giving out personal information like mobile and home phone numbers makes delineating clear lines between the beginning and ending of work hours difficult. Even for sales executives who are on-call more often than not, maintaining an element of anonymity for the times they do not want to be disturbed by work is important for a healthy work/life balance. Furthermore, for either budgetary or logistical reasons, carrying separate mobile devices for work and for personal use is not a realistic solution for many people or businesses.

Have Your Cake and Eat it, Too

Forget for a moment how ridiculous this expression is (seriously, I always eat all the cake I have, every time) and focus on how great it is when things work out with a double-whammy like it implies. Now you can use any device to conduct business. Whether it’s your work, personal, family, or borrowed device, as long as it has an internet connection, the VirtualPBX Softphone App mirrors your office presence from anywhere, anytime.

The VirtualPBX Softphone is an application that uses internet, wifi, or a network data connections to create a portal into your company’s hosted PBX system so that you can access it remotely. By using the company’s existing phone network, you can mask all of your communications with the work telephone number that you use when you’re at your desk in the office. No more missed calls, no need to share private information.

Get Started Now

Unlike how some of your bike-riding co-workers may have realized that they probably could have benefitted from a few rides beforehand to ramp up to their commute today, you don’t have to prepare anything to get started with the VirtualPBX Softphone App. In fact, the sooner you get the desktop or mobile app download, the sooner you can start working remotely as if you were in the office.

If you have any questions about the Softphone App or hosted telephone service for your business, you can always contact our award-winning VoIP for Business Experts. They have probably cleaned-up from their rides in by now, too.



Blocking and Tackling: It’s all about Fundamentals
Posted on May 12, 2015   by

FoundationFor sports fans, the Bay Area is a great place to live. We have two Major League Baseball teams, two National Football league teams, a National Basketball Association team (go Warriors!), a National Hockey League team, a Major League Soccer squad, and a host of other pro and semi pro teams ranging from Roller Derby to Cycling and everything between. Maybe it’s the great weather or big industries that are synonymous with Northern California, or maybe it’s just that we’re really fortunate, but the point is that we have an abundance of opportunities to improve business with lessons from professional sports.

Recently the NFL held its annual draft of college players into the pro ranks and this inspired many conversations around the office concerning each prospect’s relevant skills and upside potential. In spite of an impressive 40-yard-dash or bench press reps completed, however, the key thing that it always came back to was how fundamentally strong the athlete was. In sports, just like in business, how strong a foundational skillset and functional intelligence an athlete or company has will dictate much of how scalable and ultimately how successful they will be.

Operations – The Base of the Pyramid

We’ve discussed in the past how important basic operations and balance sheets are for avoiding a potential tech collapse, but basic skills go beyond accounting into other compliance and regulatory areas, too. For many large industries, like healthcare, legal, and any service capacity, proper record keeping isn’t just good business, it’s often times a matter of regulatory necessity.

They say a big part of success is just showing up, that’s true in a lot of ways and the concept extends to other areas of being present, too. Dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s is not the sizzle to any workplace steak, but it often makes the difference between success and failure. Think about how important procedure is in a court of law where improperly handled evidence or questioning can result in mistrials or dismissals. From a reporting perspective, many pitfalls and regulatory sanctions can be avoided by simply keeping organized records.

Avoid Human Error, Automate Compliance

Recording conversations, contacts, and events has become easier with email archiving, but for many businesses that is merely one portion of their communication. With so many critical conversations still occurring over the phone, establishing an equally reliable and automated call-recording procedure is the best way to mirror an electronic message capturing protocol.

VirtualPBX has a battery of call recording features that achieve the highest standard of compliance for business to keep running smoothly. From the convenience of the Extension Manager, call recording preferences can be set and changed from anywhere there is an internet connection and in real time. Features include-

  • Set automated call recording by extension or by entire queue
  • Toggle recording in call with a simple key-pad entry
  • Set recording storage and delivery preferences to email, cloud storage, or send a recording directly to your DropBox account

The basics of record-keeping and operations aren’t solely responsible for a company’s success, but improperly addressing these things can effectively damage the chances of that success. To discuss how your company can keep its fundamentals strong with automated call recording and storage, contact one of the compliance experts at VirtualPBX today.