Posted on November 26, 2014 by Dan Quick
Ah yes, the mighty widget. The widget has been an integral part of committee meeting proposals and cocktail napkin doodles alike. Widgets as surrogates for actual products are necessary to navigate business school scenarios of cost benefit analysis, supply chain management, and inventory management, too. But when mythical product placeholders and obscure industry terminology begin to leave the classroom and boardroom, people tend to get confused. And if there is one thing that seems to be universally true in business, it’s that assailing your prospects with technobabble is rarely rewarded with buying questions.
Nobody Likes to Feel Talked Down To
A recent study of over 4,000 people by Daniel Harris from Software Advice, an online software selection service, found compelling arguments against overusing jargon in sales and marketing communications, especially in emerging or unfamiliar technologies. The study chose to use VoIP as a key area to focus on due to the hosted phone service industry’s tendency to overuse unfamiliar, overly technical language.
Jargon that is unfamiliar to an audience makes them feel uninformed, and in a business setting, that can be a pretty exposed feeling. Not terribly surprising, though fairly conclusive, was the fact that when people don’t understand the terminology used to describe something, they are measurably disinclined to make a purchase. What makes this revelation more interesting, though, is that this phenomenon seems to apply to technologies that the participant was already familiar with, but had been presented in an unfamiliar way. Using email as a topic, researchers saw a significant difference in reported familiarity based on the terminology they used to pose their questions.
Know When You’ve Transitioned From Familiar to Far Out
Another point that this study brings up is relevant to a recent Federal Communications Commission report that cited that, while VoIP subscription has steadily grown for residential use, the adoption rate for business has not reflected similar increases. In light of what we know about jargon and how it impacts buying decisions, the fact that residential phone systems need fewer lines and features than a business begins to make sense. When a residential hosted phone subscriber is shopping for what is comparatively a simple service, VoIP providers are able to keep the terminology simple and direct. A problem arises, though, for the business owner who is blind sighted with the technical explanations for extension routing, advanced queues, and business failover. If the business owner has even a basic understanding of VoIP technology’s benefits beforehand, when confronted with technobabble, he or she is still likely to continue suffering through an expensive and antagonistic relationship with their traditional copper phone line provider rather than trudge through the new terminology.
Focus on Benefits, Not on Features
One set of results from the study that highlights this fact was when researchers posed questions about saving money on a VoIP phone system. Regardless of the current level of knowledge about hosted phone service technology the respondent had, their answers were severely impacted when the questions were more technical in nature.
“Even when respondents understood that SIP trunking would somehow save them money on their phone bills, they were still far less likely to consider the service when we employed a technical rather than a functional definition.” Harris added in his synopsis.
Many conclusions can be drawn from a study, but the accuracy with which this one seems to capture what we’ve all already known is pretty remarkable. People don’t go online shopping for a new SIP (session initiation protocol) or DNIS (dialed number identification service). All they want is a telephone service that gives them the features they need at a price that works for their budget. VirtualPBX can offer businesses of any size just that. Widgets included at no extra charge.
Your Business Twin – Be in Two Places at Once
Posted on November 24, 2014 by Dan Quick
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be in two places at once? If you have children or run a business (which can be strikingly similar) then you probably have considered it plenty of times. For those of you with both the title of parent and employer, perhaps two places at once still isn’t enough!
Even when things are going smoothly, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete everything that requires your attention. There are a host of services out there to help keep you organized, and we even outlined a few ways people can use technology to work around their schedules recently., All of these tactics help get us through the day-to-day grind., but what happens when the train leaves the tracks and you can’t share your attention anymore?
If your company has a Business Continuity Plan you’re probably perfectly aware of what happens next, because you’ve invested the time to plan for any contingency. What may not be included in that plan, however, is where exactly your energy will be required to help your organization get out of a jam quickly, safely, and without losing any of the momentum that it has worked so hard to build up.
But if you’re there, who’s answering your phone?
PBX Parachute is your doppelgänger, your twin, your surrogate for all of the business calls you would normally be handling while you’re off saving the day. The award-winning automatic business telephone failover system can let you stay focused on the critical tasks of navigating a disaster or disruption in service by-
- Duplicating your on-site phone system, keeping extensions and voicemail lines active
- Forwarding each extensions calls to up to four different devices
- Speaking for you, literally, by launching a pre-recorded emergency hotline for your employees
We have all tried to juggle too many things at once, sometimes it works out and sometimes things fall to the ground. Don’t take that chance during a period of emergency when your company needs you the most. PBX Parachute can’t duplicate you so you can be in two places at once, but it can allow you to be in the one place that really matters in an emergency, which is the next best thing.
Get in touch with one of the expert VirtualPBX business consultants today to see how you can multiply yourself in an emergency.
DNIS – The Carpool Lane for Phone Calls
Posted on November 21, 2014 by Dan Quick
Ever wonder what it would be like if you could bypass the seemingly endless list of extensions on most telephone systems and get directed right to exactly the person you need to speak with? So do your customers. With an advanced Direct Number Identification System, or DNIS, your callers are treated to a much sleeker and quicker on-hold experience. VirtualPBX has a full library of toll-free, local, and international numbers for you to choose from to generate dedicated phone numbers for anything from a promotion or product line to an exclusive VIP line that, when dialed, automatically reaches the members of your team who are ready for those specific callers. Plus, using DNIS numbers also sorts through otherwise unorganized call data so that your team can learn and grow to create stronger, more profitably customer experiences using a litany of call reports and data. All of this while keeping you free to pay attention to the things that really matter. Check out this handy infographic to get a better understanding, and get in touch with one of our DNIS experts if your business could benefit from an improved call-waiting experience.
Pennywise and Pound Foolish
Posted on November 18, 2014 by Dan Quick
You may have heard this one before. It makes sense, though, we shouldn’t sacrifice our long-term opportunities at the expense of saving a few extra bucks here or there on things that we ultimately need to invest in.
Sometimes doing this means shelling-out for that killer software or computer that is outside of your typical onboarding package to make sure your new hire can help elevate your game. Or, maybe you’re just starting out and you are putting some of your salary dollars right back into your business. No matter what the case may be, the simple fact is that there will always be expenses that will come back as revenue even if it’s not as soon as we may prefer. Sometimes, though, our investments are immediately calculable.
Just like switching to a hybrid or electric vehicle will result in immediately realized gains at the gas pump, and retrofitting facilities with water-saving devices or LED lighting will positively impact utility bills, there will always be opportunities to gain from an appropriate amount of prudent investment.
Enlisting the service of an off-site telephone failover system like PBX Parachute allows you to mirror your existing system as we discussed recently. What you may not have known, however, is how you can realize gains from employing PBX Parachute even without a system failure or emergency.
There comes a point for every business where you can no longer divert valuable time and energy into certain tasks, and so finding economical ways to outsource them becomes paramount. Kara Taylor, VP of IS at Qualstar Credit Union in Redmond, Washington, was in such a position when her company of about 100 employees enlisted PBX Parachute to cover their nearly 100,000 inbound calls a month. Her savings were immediately realized. “The solution allowed us to greatly reduce our communications disaster recovery time from potentially hours to less than minutes and in so doing, virtually removed IS from managing another system in a recovery situation.”
You can read the entire case study from Qualstar and learn more about PBX Parachute from one of our experts in San Jose, but one thing you can’t do, however, is let your Information Security team off of the hook without PBX Parachute.
For Data Security, Faxing is King
Posted on November 14, 2014 by Dan Quick
No, this is not a headline from a breaking news story straight out of the mid 1960’s, we’re serious. The convenience and speed of subsequent telecommunication methods have definitely contributed to the gradual decline in fax machine usage. Obviously, when you can send and receive emails from the palm of your hand, the notion of walking over to the copier/scanner/fax/vacuum/espresso machine to send a fax is a little daunting. Don’t worry. This happened to us all with the TV remote control, too.
Conducting business has become more accessible and adaptable thanks to the introduction of everything from cellular data and wireless internet to email and social networks. Our basic suite of business tools have increasingly accelerated in function, feature, and feasibility but have left the once undisputed king of document transfer, the fax machine, untouched, right? Wrong.
Because of its unparalleled data security, faxing is still the only, non-physical document delivery method permissible by organizations like The American Bar Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These entities and countless others that deal with privacy concerns and confidentiality rely exclusively on faxes on a daily basis. The reason why governments, health organizations, and even financial institutions are adamant that they keep faxes for document transfer is that faxing remains the most secure transmission option available short of personally handing off paperwork.
T.30 protocol is the pivotal technology upon which faxing is based and, ultimately, it also provides the foundation for faxing’s inherent security. As a point-to-point communications system, should any malicious attempt to alter or intercept the fax be made, the transmission will fail, as it cannot be routed to a third location. This is why faxed contracts retain the same legally binding status as hand-signed ones but emailed documents, which are easily intercepted, do not. The unparalleled security of faxes plus their worldwide ubiquity, even in developing countries, is what makes the fax a critical communication vehicle for any enterprise.
Faxing’s important role in business is why forward thinking companies like VirtualPBX have devised ways to bring faxing up to modern expectations for convenience while maintaining all of the security that keeps faxing relevant. Now with Online Faxing, subscribes to VirtualPBX Business Phone Plans can send and receive faxes from a desktop computer over their existing cloud-based phone line. Faxes on this system do not require additional cumbersome and costly machinery to send and receive faxes, saving space, money, and energy. Faxes can even be sent and received over a VoIP telephone line from VirtualPBX, so businesses no longer need multiple telephone numbers to fax.
Elevating the safety of faxing to the standards of flexibility and mobility that modernity has conditioned businesses to expect from their technology is only one example of the solutions that VirtualPBX is know for. Get Online Faxing for your business to keep your data secure and to share documents with confidence. Faxing, long reign the King.