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VirtualPBX Blog

You Never Know What You Can Learn From A Potluck
Posted on April 30, 2015   by

Produce Options

Variety is the spice of life. We recently had a potluck luncheon here at our headquarters in beautiful downtown San Jose and there were plenty of examples of exactly how diverse our team really is. The spice in our office comes from all over the country and has roots all over the world. It was a great experience to enjoy what each member of the diverse team thought was the best representation of their customary cuisine. Seriously, from the Spam Musubi, to the Butter Chicken, three kind of raviolis and a peanut butter fudge/pineapple upside down cake dessert-off, the variety was there in spades. Considering the multitude of options available out there, though, having experts go through and handpick the best of the best was a uniquely pleasurable experience indeed.

Can’t Everything Be That Easy?

No, no it can’t. Let me back up a bit first, though. Barry Schwartz, who is a professor of Social Theory and Social Action and the author of The Paradox of Choice, made famous his examination of our preponderance of choices by examining the 175 different varieties of salad dressing in his local super market. This oversimplification of his studies is used to illustrate how, while we may have a clear understanding of how added options means added value, there is a point at which too many options have the unintended consequence of stifling our decision making process all together.

This was an example done on something incredibly simple and entirely subjective. Salad dressing is something that can appeal differently to many people and even individuals may have tastes for different flavors from day to day. If paralysis can occur from some simple oils, vinegars, and seasonings, how do people react to complex technological products that are constantly changing? Fortunately, if you’re talking about business phones for VoIP, I think the reactions are about to get a lot better.

Trust the Experts, That’s Why They’re There

We’ve been in the VoIP game for a while. All of the whiles, really. Our founders were part of the team that wrote the original software for the first hosted PBX phone system and we’ve been on the cutting edge ever since. All of that experience makes for some keen eyes for quality and reliability, plus an understanding of exactly what features are and aren’t worthwhile for business VoIP equipment. Now we’ve taken that wealth of expert experience and applied to the herculean task of sifting through and deciphering the mountains of potential desk and conference phone options for the modern office.

What we’ve come up with a quintessential list of good-better-best options for companies of any size and any needs. We’re so proud of all of the hard work it took to distill the entirety of VoIP equipment into these choice gems, that we want to share them with the world and are offering a very limited opportunity to get them for a promotional price.

We’ve put a lot of time into picking these winners so you don’t have to. This is good because now you’ll have the time it takes to actually run your business, not just get the equipment to keep it connected. Plus lets face it, you’ve got a lot of salad dressings to consider, too, so let us handle the VoIP phones.

If you have any questions about these great phones or about how to get the most from them with our award-winning VoIP service, you can get in touch with our expert support team today.

Attend a Conference From Anywhere
Posted on April 27, 2015   by

Hello My Name Is

Staying on the cutting edge of your industry can only be done with a combination of real life application, trial and error, and continuing education. The continuing education portion is especially important because, while plenty of solid refinement and experience can be achieved in the laboratory of day-to-day business, without learning from other experts we’d potentially miss out on critical new trends and tactics.

“Hello, My Name Is ________________”

One of the more popular ways to gain your continuing education credit is through the burgeoning conference market. And boy or boy is it ever burgeoning. A city known for a laundry list of not fit for print indulgences, Las Vegas, NV, is also the site of some of the most massive conference and convention audiences in the world. According to the City of Las Vegas, over 22,000 conventions that drew over 5 million attendees were held in the city’s massive, and numerous, conference halls last year. Needless to say, sharing information to a wide audience in a directed fashion is so valuable, that companies invest literally billions of dollars each year to get involved on both sides of the presenter and attendee spectrum.

Of course, not all companies can afford to send their employees all over the globe chasing down the next big idea and trend, let alone are they able to include all affected employees in the journey when they can. Furthermore, making certain that the information gained by those who do attend is shared quickly and efficiently is another challenge that some companies face.

Hold Your Own Summit

Okay, it may be difficult to reproduce the glam, glitz, and swag that comes form a proper Las Vegas conference, but you can execute the same type of quality group education from the convenience of your home office. Teleconferencing is the best way to engage larger groups of people in a simple, effective way. Plus, much like how Sin City is the site to where people travel from all over the globe, teleconferencing also brings together dispersed groups better than anything else can, without all of the airfare.

Teleconferencing can bring people together from over the phone lines, but when you have multiple people in one place, having a proper conference phone is important to getting everyone in the room involved. There are many options out there for a quality product, too many, in fact, to realistically consider all of them as contenders. VirtualPBX has narrowed down the field for you with the best values for high-performance phones and even have a very limited special opportunity to save on select models.

Injecting new ideas into your organization is critical for staying competitive and teleconferencing is one of the most cost-effective and reliable ways to do that. To learn more about how to bring teleconferencing to your team contact the conferencing experts at VirtualPBX today, and you won’t even have any more “creative” expense account charges from Vegas ever again.

Earth Day
Posted on April 22, 2015   by

Earth Day

Have you been outside lately? That place is awesome. Literally from sea to shining sea, and well beyond, we have a marvelous place to call home. That’s right, Earth. She’s a beaut, isn’t she? I don’t know about you, but I’d like to make sure we can enjoy her for as long as possible. Good thing, too, because a bunch of other people agree.

Earth Day

From it’s impressive beginnings in 1970 when 20 million Americans unified to launch the modern environmental movement, the Earth Day Network has been leading the way for promoting stewardship of the world around us for future generations to enjoy. Now with over 1 billion people participating in annual Earth Day events, the organization is more powerful than ever, which is important in light of the ever-growing hazards of our increasing infusion of technology into our daily lives.

Our appetite for increasingly powerful and sleek gadgets, fueled by Moore’s Law of accelerating advancements in technology, is generating more electronic devices each year than the one before it. The complex assembly of electronics and the precious metals and compounds critical for their manufacture poses a new and growing challenge for landfills. That, plus the fact that the more these metals are simply discarded, the more expensive it will become to produce modern electronics going forward.

Call Me Captain Planet

Okay, super powers and spandex notwithstanding, we’re still a long shot away from being Captain Planet, or even his Planeteers. What we are, however, is pretty excited about our new online resource for help in reducing the overall impact on the environment of our industry’s contributions to e-waste. Whether it’s finding a new home for your outdated gear or finding a place to safely and properly dispose of it when it is beyond repair, we’ve got a little bit of everything to help you keep our landfills free of harmful chemicals, and our industry operating efficiently.

To see about either upgrading your telephone equipment if you are sending some old gear out to pasture, you can look at our limited supply of telephone deals while they last. Also, you can get in touch with one of our expert support staff for any other needs or ideas on how to keep you company going greener today and each and every Earth Day.

Infographic: VoIP Phones, the Tools of the Trade
Posted on April 20, 2015   by

They say that it’s not the tools, but the craftsman who makes a quality product. That’s true, but having the right tools can make a whole lot of difference, too. Have you ever tried to chop down a tree with a spoon? Sure you could do it eventually, I bet, but a chainsaw would be way faster. We’ve got several capable, brawny tools at your disposal that we wanted to help you get to know a little bit better. So go ahead and leave that spoon in the silverware drawer.Infographic Tools Of The Trade

Secure, Functional, and Friendly – Cloud-Based PBX Out Preforms On-Premesis PBX
Posted on April 17, 2015   by

Strong Foundation

The folks at Software Advice, the free online reviews tool for software buyers, have released the second part of their SIP Trunking Provider and Implementation User Research Report, and we’re pleased to see the results. Software Advice takes complex IT and software issues and distills them for non-technical users to make simplified software decisions. In this two-part research project, they studied the usage, effectiveness, and satisfaction of hundreds of network telephony experts and found conclusive evidence that SIP trunking was a supreme advantage for SMB’s looking for cost-effective ways to maintain a secure, high-quality business phone service. In the second part of their research on the topic, Software Advice Analyst, Daniel Harris unearths more findings in support of a hosted PBX phone service for business.

Unrivaled Functionality

Cloud-Based PBX Features

One very compelling finding of the report is that users of cloud-based PBX systems were nearly 29% more likely to have all of their desired features supported by their phone service than were their on-premesis PBX colleagues. This conclusion is emblematic of one of the most convincing reasons to switch to a hosted telephone service. Features included or added onto an on-site PBX system – from introductory to the most robust – can be prohibitively expensive. However, those same features and more can be included with most any level of cloud-based PBX service.

By being hosted in the cloud, virtual phone systems aren’t hindered by the same limitations of their physical, on-site counterparts. This means that for any added feature or modification to an existing one, neither specially trained technicians nor unique and expensive equipment is required. By simply reconfiguring the cloud-based system from an online management portal, a sophisticated VoIP provider allows users to be masters of their own phone options, without any special training.

Friendlier User-Friendliness

Considering the high technical fluency of the audience in the Software Advice report, configuration challenges shouldn’t be something that were often encountered in implementing new PBX systems of any variety. However, even though the lack of special training wasn’t a concern with this sample group, there persisted to be challenges for configuring the on-premises PBX with SIP trunking.

Cloud-Based PBX ConfigurationThe compatibility of physical devices is one reason the expert IT world struggles with on-site PBX systems. PBX hardware is not unlike mobile phones that require a specific type of charging cable or TVs or monitors that require certain AV connections. These types of incompatibilities are much more challenging to overcome than simply finding a converter, though.

“When it comes to configuration, our respondents have more difficulty configuring on-premise systems than cloud systems, most likely because of the proprietary hardware involved in this setup,” said Daniel Harris of Software Advice. Where physical configuration can eventually be overcome with costly work-arounds, there are still issues with making the on-premise hardware recognize SIP trunking software. Unlike the malleability of codes, hardware can’t be as easily updated to accommodate new third-party applications.

“With on-premise systems, however, the SIP trunking provider has to ensure that its service can support proprietary PBX software and hardware from a third-party vendor,” Harris added.

Secure From Every Angle

More often than not, we are assailed with new reasons to be concerned for our data security. While not typically the first place we expect intruders to try and illegally access information, securing business phone lines is especially important. This is another reason why IT pros were keen to report more robust security on their cloud-based PBX over an on-premise option. One of the more popular ways to secure SIP trunking transmissions is Transport Layer Security (TLS), a method often used to secure payment information online. Idealized for securing the transfer of data packets that VoIP conversations are converted into, TLS encrypts the SIP requests between clients and servers, or in this case, businesses using cloud PBX systems and their SIP trunking providers. The heartiness of this method is ideal not only for the protection of financial information online, but for the prevention of DoS (Denial of Service) attacks like have been perpetrated against banks and the US government.

The Verdict

Past research has already shown that SIP trunking offers meaningful cost savings for small and medium businesses, but this new study suggests those savings go even further. By not tying up the limited bandwidth of a company’s tech team with cumbersome, troublesome, and unsecured telephone connections, an SMB can free itself up to focus on the jobs they want to do to grow. Also, added savings come from the prevention of crippling security failures that might be suffered absent the staunch defenses offered by a strong security configuration to any cloud-based PBX.

For more information on VoIP for business and for any questions you may have on how to configure a cloud-based telephone network that will bring these savings to your company, contact our award-winning business experts today.