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Sounds of the Season – Holiday On-Hold Music
December 18th, 2014

Rocking ReindeerIt’s that time of year again! Well, to be fair, some stores play holiday music hours after Thanksgiving or even Halloween so I suppose it has been, “that time,” for a while now. Be that as it may, did you know that VirtualPBX can give your business phone system a complete holiday makeover, no matter what the season? There are nearly 500 songs on the VirtualPBX jukebox that you can select from for on-hold music, including some familiar holiday favorites, that are already included as part of your phone service.

We are constantly looking to add to the library and have made great progress to produce such a variety of fully licensed titles for your use. To find the list and begin customizing your customers’ hold experience, simply head to the Auto-Attendant tab in your vConsole and follow the instructions from the On-Hold Music link.

Custom Greeting

Let’s say you’d like to include a custom message or voice recording to your callers along with the holiday on-hold music. Sure, that’s no problem, either. Like most of the VirtualPBX services, there are virtually limitless ways to tailor your system to your liking. For on-hold music and greetings, you can set what callers listen to immediately from the call being received, to anything in a specific queue or department, all the way down to individual extensions recording personalized holiday messages for phone mail. At any point in the process you can elect to play all music, a recorded greeting, or a looped music and greeting combination. You can always add messages yourself through the vConsole, or you can contact one of our expert Customer Support members who would be happy to assist you through the process.

Whatever your preferences, VirtualPBX makes it easy to tailor the right amount of holiday recognition for your business. We all hope this is a productive, safe, and enjoyable season for you and if you ever have any questions, please never hesitate to reach out. Happy Holidays!

Infographic – Dropbox Integration
December 15th, 2014

Call recording is something that a multitude of businesses can benefit from as a quality control measure, teaching aide, or compliance and regulatory requirement. But like any busy company, you probably have an awful lot of valuable conversations to keep track of. Now with Dropbox Integration as a part of your VirtualPBX business telephone service, rapidly and logically saving and storing all of those calls is easier than ever.

Dropbox Integration

Quality of Service – QoS, not PoS
December 12th, 2014

LoadingAt first glance, the term, “Quality of Service,” seems pretty straightforward. Though not immediately apparent that this is a telephony or computer network term, quality of service is more than just a measurement of how good something is. A little bit of research will yield that QoS is a rating based on a cadre of complex and technical metrics that cover everything from ping rates to echo and everything between.

If you happen to be like one of our awesome engineers or support team folks, then navigating through various metrics like error rates and throughput is second nature. Or you could be like the rest of us and, though, you don’t know exactly how the internet works, you know when it isn’t working. When that happens, we can easily confuse a complication with one of the metrics in the QoS for the belief that we have a network that is a PoS. If that’s the case, perhaps you could benefit from the ProSIP Network Health Check.

ProSIP Network Health Checks are weeklong, exhaustive examinations of your network’s performance that are easy to conduct because it requires no work on your end. When you have a health check performed for your business, our team of network analysts track and monitor your network remotely from our headquarters in San Jose. From there they can capture all of the relevant data to determine exactly your network’s strengths, weaknesses, and identify both potential vulnerabilities and unrealized opportunities, as well.

Of course, having the complete diagnostic profile of your network doesn’t do you any good if that’s where you stop. That’s why once all of the data is collected our expert technicians will also recommend and employ whatever fixes are required to bring your network up to speed. Following a ProSIP Network Health Check, you can be assured that the systems most vital to your business will keep humming. So there’s no more need to call your network names.

DNIS – The Carpool Lane for Phone Calls
November 21st, 2014

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.

DNIS Explained

For Data Security, Faxing is King
November 14th, 2014

The Champion Reigns SupremeNo, 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.

Infographic: How VoIP Works
October 30th, 2014

Voice over internet protocol, or VoIP, has increasingly become the ideal way for businesses to cut costs while at the same time improve the benefits and reliability of their phone systems. But while many businesses understand the many reasons to switch to a virtual phone system, there are still some people who don’t know how VoIP works. If you’re not sure how VoIP works or if you’re just interested in how great features like skills-based routing with TrueACD QueuesFollow-Me Calling, and DNIS numbers work, check out this useful infographic.

How VoIP Works

Technology That Fits Your Business
October 28th, 2014

Do you remember the first time you had email sent to your phone? If you’re like many of us, that will forever mark both the beginning of a new era of personal technological advancement and also the termination of the, “I haven’t seen that yet,” excuse for work. But we take the good with the bad, right?

We live at a different pace these days, a fact most likely attributable to more deeply integrating mobile communications into our lives. With this higher dimension of connectivity we have the ability to consume entertainment and news from anywhere in the world, check in with our personal lives via mobile social networking, or simply have clearer, more reliable cellular connection in a wider range of locations than ever before. But with that omnipresent connection comes a lot of added work and scheduling that sometimes can be a bit much to manage.

The intersection of information access and time management is exactly where today’s top developers are working to literally improve our lives. Organizational tools such as Evernote or David Allen’s Getting Things Done are useful for staying focused in this often frantic, fast-paced lifestyle. These types of time and task management apps are widely available now because developers have recognized that the way people live and work is changing, and they’ve got the opportunity to help us get where we’re going. Though we used to conduct business around the limitations of our technology, people are now designing technology that fits for the way we want to conduct business.

That’s exactly why VirtualPBX business telephone plans have unique features like Follow-Me Calling that allow you to work how you need to and where you want to. Additionally, there’s a brand new twist on the popular Call Recording option that now lets you save and retrieve recorded call data just as conveniently. Going forward, businesses can now save calls with a single click from their vConsole directly to a Dropbox account. Dropbox is a virtual data storage management service that has a clever platform where you can access, review, and even share via email all of your saved calls from any mobile device or computer.

How do you want to work? Do you get to use technology to accommodate your schedule, or do you have to change plans to fit into the construct of your current business tools? Take a peek at the VirtualPBX Plan Comparison to see which one, and which features like Call Recording or Follow-Me Calling, can support the type of business you want to have.

True Toll-Free 800 Numbers Boost Performance
October 25th, 2014

Using toll-free numbers for your business is a great way to elevate your company’s image, establish a national presence, and ultimately boost overall performance. Clients can call from anywhere in the country with no charge, and your number can be listed in a nationwide directory of toll-free businesses.

Since their introduction, it was immediately clear that people preferred the convenience and cost-savings of doing business with firms that employed toll-free 800 numbers. Developed in the late 1960’s as an alternative to collect calling, toll-free numbers have only become increasingly popular ever since. The original 800 numbers’ value steadily increased as they were quickly claimed as more companies realized the importance of toll-free calling for business.

In fact, the advantages of having an 800 toll-free number are quantifiable as indicated by numerous consumer studies, as well.

  • A 2011 consumer research study by 800connect found that 97% of consumers recognize 1-800 numbers as being toll-free but were far less likely to make the same association with newer toll-free exchanges like 888, 877 and 866
  • The Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing in the UK found that providing an 800 number in advertisements that previously didn’t have one listed can increase their response rate by 180%
  • That same study found that, when considering two otherwise equal advertisements, consumers were significantly more likely to engage with the one with an 800 number listed than the one without

The ubiquity of toll-free calling today is great for consumers but it has left companies without a clear source for providing the service. That is until now. VirtualPBX owns a bank of the original 800 numbers that can distinguish businesses from those that rely on the lesser-known toll-free prefixes such as 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844.

Obtaining one of the emblematic 800 numbers is as powerful of a confidence-builder for your customer base as it is easy to accomplish. You can claim one of these numbers for as long as they are available and, if you’re curious about making a custom, vanity toll-free number, here are some useful hints on how to begin.

Call Recording is your Steel Trap for Business
October 21st, 2014

We’ve all been there. Those times when you’re in a relationship with someone who remembers every little detail and nuance of your conversations. Sometimes we may THINK we recall the details, but this person never fails to blow our mind, or to blow away any argument we may be crafting with their uncanny memory, that is. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have the same pinpoint accuracy and flawless recall? You can.

Truth be told, you’re on your own with any nifty mnemonic technics that will help you track all of your relationship conversations, but with call recording from VirtualPBX, we can do that for your business.

VirtualPBX Call Recording is a feature available on all Anywhere and Office Plans we provide. Which is good, because call recording is a regulatory necessity for some industries and an added benefit that provides a competitive advantage for the rest. VirtualPBX’s call recording feature has a wide range of applications and features and is used for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Quality control of customer service or support departments’ conversations.
  • Training new hires and continuing education of existing employees.
  • Recording, cataloguing, sorting, and storing recorded calls as an augmentation to your accounts payable and accounts receivable departments’ bookkeeping
  • Or just sharing your team’s successes and learning to strengthen their skillset and also empower them by giving them a stake in the greater team’s success.

Don’t let the opportunity to make meaningful improvements to your business pass you by. Call recording is way easier than you may have thought, it can be automated for any or all phone lines, and it can be initiated anytime mid-call with a simple command on your dial pad. Beginning a comprehensive call recording strategy will give your business a steel trap of a mind, and it’s way less unsettling than trying to do this in the personal realm.

Firedrill Confirms Business Telephone Strength
October 10th, 2014

Firedrill exposes vulnerability in telephone systems

Today at our corporate headquarters in beautiful downtown San Jose our building underwent a routine fire drill. Okay, short of having to trudge down the 187 steps to the ground floor from our office, we were all really quite fine to get some beautiful Silicon Valley sunshine. That’s because our office calls followed us outside. Our neighbors weren’t all so lucky.

Coincidentally, some of our co-tenants have employed VirtualPBX Office for their business phone needs so our days all kept on rolling without missing a beat thanks to the follow-me calling feature. For both of us it was almost like our professor decided to hold class outside. Business as usual, but with a nicer view.

Once the drill was over and the building cleared for reentry, the scene resembled a crowded commuter train as our neighbors were loading themselves into elevators in a surprisingly frantic hurry to get back to their desks. Turns out, if you don’t have the latest VoIP technology keeping your company connected no matter where they are, you can miss a lot of important work. All kidding aside, it was admittedly pretty nice to be able to continue conducting business on our own schedule, and not on that of the local Fire Inspector.

Right now, new customers to VirtualPBX Office or current VirtualPBX Anywhere customers who upgrade to an Office Plan will get one month of service for free if they buy the NEW Desktop VirtualPBX Softphone. Don’t let life keep you from speaking to your clients. Stay connected with VirtualPBX Office and enjoy all of the flexibility of a customizable, feature-rich phone system without the hassles and costs of a traditional copper wire telephone provider. All of the details of how you can get your first month of VirtualPBX Office are right here.

Thanks, and good luck out there!