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General Telephony

Just the Facts – VoIP Phone Q&A
May 28th, 2015

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!

 

Earth Day
April 22nd, 2015

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
April 20th, 2015

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
April 17th, 2015

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.

Protect Ya Neck – The Top Tax Scams Of 2015
April 13th, 2015

White Collar Money BaggerIn this series of blogs we will examine all topics under the information security umbrella. From corporate blunders to rogue state attacks to the occasional celebrity hack, we believe there is something for businesses and individuals to learn from any cyber security event. We also believe that, while experience is the best teacher, it’s even better to let other people make the mistakes for you.

If you don’t know that taxes are due on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, frankly I would begin to get a little worried. That said, many of us are still hustling to get things completed in time and, in the rush, might be a bit less meticulous than we ordinarily may be. It’s not just personal filers who are at risk, though, as tax preparers are getting inundated with phishing scams at a higher rate than ever. That’s why this edition of PYN is going a little analogue and focusing on preventative measures for everybody’s favorite time of year- Tax Season.

The Dirty Dozen

It’s not just a star-studded WWII movie from back when action movie stars were actually badasses in real life (think Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, and Lee Marvin, just to name a few), it’s also the list of tax scams that the IRS just published as the year’s biggest threats. By my estimation, the list should be broken into two different categories, though, and because I’m writing this, we’re going to do just that.

The Sinister Six

Words are fun, especially when there’s alliteration involved. The items on this list are all actually scams where there is an unscrupulous tax-time predator and a target. Presumably, after reading this, that poor fool will be someone other than you, of course.

  1. Phone Scams – We know better than anyone else that phones are still the number one way to conduct business, legitimate or not. And just as Broadcast TV loses all of the headlines to streaming content but commands more in ad revenue, telephone scams also persist to rake in the cash for scammers with a silver tongue. Rule of thumb- any, ANY, unsolicited offer is one you don’t have to entertain until you’ve done some due diligence off of the phone.
  2. Phishing – This one is simple. The IRS, your doctor, HOA, or any other organization will never send out emails for you to update your personal tax and banking information. It never happens. Ever. So stop clicking those emails, please.
  3. Identify Theft – This isn’t really a scam relegated to tax season, just always be on the watch and “cover your pin keypad” so-to-speak. Keep your private information private.
  4. Return Preparer Fraud – This is a tough pill to swallow because it can create a chilling effect on our trust of professionals, but by staying with reputable, national or recommended tax preparers, you should be safe. If your preparer doesn’t have the proper credentials, they shouldn’t be handling your taxes.
  5. Inflated Refund Claims – If you see someone broadcasting a ridiculously high return number I refer you to number four.
  6. Fake Charities – Sometimes you have a bad year, sometimes you have a good year. When you have a good one you may look to “harvest losses” to offset your gains, if so, make sure you aren’t accepting unsolicited offers for charity (See number one) and that you give your hard earned money to an organization you really believe in and that won’t land you in hot water for claiming a fake charity.

The Wrist-Slap Six

The other half of the Dirty Dozen is really a bunch of tax “strategies” that really aren’t covered by the PYN umbrella. I’ve listed them below for posterity (and so I could make a new alliterative six-itemed list name, obviously) but a quick glance of them reveals that they are all products of decisions made by a tax filer, not a predator thereof. That said, don’t do these things, that would not be awesome.

  1. Hiding Income with Fake Documents
  2. Abusive Tax Shelters
  3. Falsifying Income to Claim Credits
  4. Excessive Claims for Fuel Tax Credits
  5. Frivolous Tax Arguments
  6. Offshore Tax Avoidance

That’s it for the cautionary portion of this edition of the VirtualPBX Security Serial, though I’m sure someone somewhere is hard at work right now giving us more material for the next one. The next thing you’ll want to focus on, however, is what to do with all of that hard-earned tax-return cheddar you’re going to be getting here shortly. I don’t have anything against jet-packs and Caribbean cruises, but we are also running a very limited, very special offer on all of our VoIP office phone equipment.

Sure it’s a great deal that probably won’t ever happen again, but you might also want to look into some capital investments in your business, you know, for tax purposes. As always, stay safe and remember to Protect ya Neck.

VirtualPBX Management Bios
April 1st, 2015

Management TeamTo get an idea of how well we work together as a team here at VirtualPBX, it is important to understand the battery of talent that makes up our leadership. It is in that interest that we offer you the following executive bios for some of the hands on the helm.

Paul Hammond

After being raised on a secluded compound run by joint forces from both MI-6 and the CIA, the agent known as Paul Hammond pursued education in international business and espionage. Not much is known about his whereabouts during the mid 1980s and early 1990’s, but it has been rumored that an individual matching his description was seen in several high-profile hot war engagements including Grenada, Panama, Bosnia/Sarajevo, and certain areas of modern day Myanmar. Though he currently serves as a high-profile board member, it is still widely speculated that these roles are merely a cover for Hammond, the mysterious and philanthropic playboy, as he monitors Silicon Valley’s super elite for the global power syndicate and clandestine order of The Illuminati.

Steve Lange
Steve Lange was the true inspiration of the original Cannonball Run. Taken from the pages of his checkered, and often violent, history during his days as a companion to Hells Angels Oakland Chapter founder and alleged outlaw, Sonny Barger, Lange’s travels across the Eisenhower Interstate System are nothing short of legendary. Generally unimpressed with Barger’s lack of, as Lange puts it, “cajones,” however, Lange broke off from the notoriety of the cycle club patriarch to from his band of, “true devil dogs.” There is a large period of time missing from Lange’s whereabouts but he reportedly garnered multiple soloist moto-enduro wins at the Dakar Rally and acquired the nickname “The Snowman” for his ability to stay cool under pressure and to supposedly make his competition turn ashy-white with just a cold, deathly stare from across the room.

Lon Baker
A lifelong devotee to show dogs, Lon Baker has brought numerous finalists performances to the Mayflower Kennel Society’s annual competition in New York City. Though his prized show pug, “Mister H. M. Snugglepug,” has been a powerhouse in the pug-heavy Northern California Regionals for four years in a row, Baker and Snugglepug have been the proverbial bridesmaids during each of those years at the ultimate test. Determined to find success at any cost, Baker, quite controversially, has recently employed the consultation of defamed show dog trainer, Ivan Vinokourov, who was the mastermind behind the widespread web of rampant international dog show doping violations in the mid 1990’s. Mister H. M. Snugglepug is undergoing unrelated and random-selection toxicology screens for performance enhancements and he nor Baker elected to comment on the matter.

Kevin Peyton
Kevin “Iron Sides” Peyton was born behind a scrap metal recycling plant on the south side of Chicago on a cold and rainy winter’s day. In spite of being surrounded by harsh and unforgiving influences from an early age, or perhaps even because of it, Iron Sides adapted a keen eye for beauty in unsuspecting places. A lifelong apprenticeship of metalworking and welding led him to a widely successful business building evocative and emotionally charged industrial art installations for collectors, architects, municipalities, and art lovers of all ages the world over. Often described as vulnerable and delicate, the paradoxical Iron Sides is still known for laboring away late into the night in his metal workshop for Banksy-esque urban guerilla art installations. Iron Sides has recently indicated, however, that his true outlet for creativity moving forward will be through a slam-dance style of interpretative dance inspired from his days as a child in the scrap yard.

Len Cacioppo
8th Dan Shotokan Karate master, chainsaw sculptor extraordinaire, and underground street car drifting competition veteran, Len Cacioppo’s greatest achievement is his collection of edelweiss. An avid mountaineer, Cacioppo makes a triennial pilgrimage to Mount Blanc to carefully select the most handsome Alpine blossoms, hand-deliver them safely back to his Silicon Valley home, and safely into his hermetically sealed, temperature controlled barometric chamber for safe keeping. It is upon his delicate and untouchable garden that the street racing octagon champion turned horticulturist gazes as he ponders the meaning of life and searches for inspiration for his next ice-block chainsaw sculpture.

If you haven’t noticed by now, your calendar does say today is the first of April, otherwise known as, April Fool’s Day. We hope you enjoyed this little bit of fun and to learn about our team and their real management bios, you can go here.

Of course, not all of us get our own bio but we’re all more than willing to help you with any of your hosted telephone questions any time. Go ahead and drop a line to our industry-leading Customer Support team and see how we can help your business begin saving with VirtualPBX today.

Avoiding the Next Tech Bubble
March 20th, 2015

Stock ChartsYeah, we live in Silicon Valley, home of the 20-somethings with million dollar homes and genius code junkies who are more likely to afford a new Porsche than they are to have graduated from college. It can get a little weird, a little intimidating, and a lot more volatile. Especially because memories of the dotcom bubble bursting in 2000 are often short, even nonexistent for many Ivy League or Stanford MBA wunderkinds who were in elementary school at the time. But these young, brilliant minds are where thousands of angel investors are betting millions of dollars on in the hopes of getting equity in the next Google. These groups are also, according to billionaire investors Mark Cuban and Bill Gurley, exactly who will be responsible for the next, and in their mind inevitable, big tech crash.


A Penny Spent Is A Penny Burned

“Burn rates, the amount of cash companies are losing every month to operate, are higher than they have ever been,” according to Gurley who says that spending by VC-backed startups is basically out of control. The type of financial outlay that Gurley suggests these early startups of committing is unsustainable in that they are spending in excess of their revenues in attempts to drive growth. This strategy exposes the company to burning out before it has established a solid, foundational business model simply by establishing risky business habits that are, according to Gurley, shortsighted.

But to all rules, of course, there are exceptions. The business software maker, Slack, is breaking even the wildest of molds in every single way. Not only has the company, originally founded as a failed gaming application, reached a billion dollar valuation in an unprecedented eight months, it is doing so while producing admirable revenue with strict adherence to sound financial operations. Purported to only be burning $100,000 a month, the company is rising at a meteoric rate of 7% growth, each week. Yes, it’s true that this type of growth is unsustainable, but having had this growth for most of a year combined with fiscal discipline and a $1 billion bankroll is a reliable recipe for long-term stability.


FOMO Struggles are Real

FOMO, or fear of missing out, as the kids are calling it, is another contributor to what the mega-investors are saying will lead to a possible bubble burst. Mark Cuban made his fortune with getting out near the top of the 2000 dotcom bust with Broadcast.com and has remained a cunning investor ever since, even launching his reality show, Shark Tank, which allows him and other angel investors to capitalize on trends and innovation in any market. Cuban is claiming that, unlike the public companies that failed in 2000 where investors could still sell (though often at a massive or total loss) their stake in failed companies, the current private equity that fuels Silicon Valley is a risk greater than that of merely sitting on the sideline.

With investors lining up to throw money at the newest startups to try and get into the ground floor, there has been an increase in the number of actual accredited investors to over 225,000 such capitalists. Because most people can’t achieve actual VC status, though, there are new opportunities to invest in the burgeoning tech scene in today’s Silicon Valley and beyond. Operations like Angel List are new investment aggregators where for $25,000, anyone can get in the game. The problem, Cuban contends, is that there is no liquidity nor escape hatch for these amateur investors to kick the plug with should their investment go south. With private equity, there’s no public market for their stake in a company so, should their darling startup falter. This unprecedented marriage of middle-American wealth with volatile venture capital is exactly why Cuban believes the effects of a tech correction could be massive.


Hedge Early, Hedge Often

For companies of any size or description, simple steps can be taken to ensure long-term financial stability in the face of market volatility. In this case, the best offense is definitely a good defense. Companies like Slack that are disciplined in their expenses have the best chance of combatting any threats to their business, of course the billion dollars doesn’t hurt, either. For companies that don’t have those coffers to rely on, though, simple steps, like vetting utility providers, can prove invaluable. Flexible payment plans, modifiable options and features, and pooled resources are all characteristics of a solid service partner. Not coincidentally, those are just some of the benefits of VirtualPBX’s award-winning Anywhere Plans.

A commitment to reliability and service is what has seen VirtualPBX through recessions, depressions, and corrections. The unprecedented value of services like the Anywhere Plan is what has helped our customers do the same.

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said that, “It’s difficult to call a top, but it’s pretty obvious we’re far from the bottom.” This is couldn’t possibly be more true. However, though we don’t know if we’re actually staring down the next tech bubble or not, we remain committed to staying true to our core values and to providing industry-leading innovation at prices that are right for every budget. No matter what the future holds, you can count on that.

Keep Business a Well-Oiled Machine: Over The Top Apps
March 11th, 2015

Well Oiled Machine

Businesses didn’t used to have a surplus of options to rely on when it came to staying in touch with coworkers or customers. Today, however, businesses and the people who run them are bombarded with communications options from texting and instant messaging apps to voice and video conferencing. While some people may malign the transition from true face-to-face interaction to FaceTime, the fact is that companies are saving huge amounts in telecommunications investments by augmenting their unified communications plan with Over-The-Top (OTT) communications applications. With the growth of OTT apps reaching maturation, integrating them as part of a comprehensive telecommunications strategy is integral to keeping business engines running smoothly.


You Down With OTT?

OTT App Use86% of all respondents reported using OTT apps at work

Chances are that, yes, you probably are. Software Advice, the online software research and recommendation engine, recently published a report on OTT use in the workplace and found that a whopping 82% of workforces are already using some form of OTT app for business. Many OTT options include simple text or IM platforms but can get rather complex with real time video and screen sharing capabilities.

OTT apps are referred to as such because they circumnavigate traditional cost barriers that traditional telecom providers have for including specific, relatively sophisticated communications platforms by effectively hurdling them. Yeah, you get it, right over the top. Therefore, whenever you were to use Gchat or Skype to ping back and forth with a coworker, you are employing an OTT app that is saving money for your company. Kudos!


Making OTT Work for Your Business

I can hear some operations people reading this in their heads thinking, “82% usage? Well we need to get a policy in place for this!” Cool your jets, there are a few things to consider before jumping into a decision right away. Obviously it is always important to look at the costs of any service, but how familiar your users are with the technology and which platform works best for them should also be considerations.

Video OTT DisadvantagesThe chief complaint with free or freemium OTT apps was video quality
  • Open Source vs Free(mium): Open Source apps are great for companies that have the technological knowhow to put together a custom built suite of features for their company by using a platform already available online. The price is right for companies with a staff savvy enough to build a complex system with what is basically a pile of disassembled IKEA furniture minus the step-by-step instructions. Freemium is what most respondents recorded using and will likely be the most quickly adopted services is for nothing other than its familiarity alone. While a quickly adopted app that requires no technical expertise to deploy is appealing, the drawback of these aps is functionality and features. Many of the more compelling features of an app will be available at a subscription rate while the basic IM functions are offered for free.
  • Platform Preference: The types of OTT apps can be broken into two basic groups, text and streaming. Texting or IM are advantageous because employees rank familiarity as one of the most important features in an OTT app at work and because the quality of service for simple text apps is routinely very high. OTT apps that offer voice and video streaming are more challenging in that these are often additional features of apps that are pay-per-use or that they are free but with unreliable quality.


Making Dollars and Sense

There is, of course, no one OTT solution that will be right for every company, but every company can find a way to benefit from augmenting their existing telecom platform with the right OTT. Daniel Harris, Software Advice’s Market Research Associate, is quick to note that both text and streaming application platforms have a role for the right company, though.

“Businesses should consider choosing freemium solutions for their text and instant messaging needs before they consider freemium solutions for audio and video interactions, in which audio and video quality is a consideration of paramount importance.” Said Harris.

Business SizeThe size of companies polled varied significantly and likely impacted findings on perceived value of specific OTT platforms

In other instances, phone and videoconference quality cannot be sacrificed. For those companies, it would be best to include those features as part of their telecom budget, rather than relying on cost-saving OTT apps. Often times, these are larger companies that can afford to dedicate a software platform other than an OTT to meeting with clients and dispersed team members.

“Business models in which phone calls and videoconferences are mission-critical may not be well-suited to freemium technologies,” Harris adds, “As savings in the communications budget could be offset by decreases in revenue, should the apps perform poorly.”

Just as the introduction of VoIP has retaught the conventional wisdom on how phone service should be delivered and billed, OTT solutions are well on their way to making their own mark on business as well. Furthermore, as long as adoption of these emerging technologies continues to be highest among younger employees, it is safe to say that finding OTT options that work for your business might be as useful for productivity as it is for talent recruitment and retention as well.

For more applications of past Software Advice reports towards the telecom business, check out these links-

Work From Anywhere
March 6th, 2015

Working at CafeDispersed and telecommuting workforces are becoming more and more frequent in the modern workplace. This is not the biggest headline. What is more important now, however, is how the job market has begun to shift as a result of this added freedom in work routines. The populist movement back into the home for working hours has meant that companies now have to totally reconsider the conventional wisdom of hiring and benefits packages that have been mainstays for decades.


It’s Not Just Those Dang Kids

Millennials get a bad wrap from some of the old guard for their perceived lack of loyalty, high need for positive reinforcement, and, more relevantly, their desire for “chill” and flexible work environments. The fact is that a lot of those myths are simply that, myths, but younger workers are often credited with impacting the changing landscape of the modern workplace. The reality is, however, that there are many popular movements calling for change in time at the office expectations, not just millennials.

LeanIn.Org, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women achieve their goals in the American workplace, sees flexible work schedules as more than just a nicety to offer applicants. By improving maternity/paternity leave benefits and family-friendly flexible work schedules, businesses can count on greater investment and loyalty from their workers who have been historically penalized for adopting a family-first approach to work/life balance.


Change is in the Air

The typically straight-forward listing of the 100 best companies to work for has seen a complete recalibration when tailored for those seeking better work/life balance and the flexible schedule that working from home provides. In the spirit of competition, both for the best talent and for the sake of being number one, a greater number of companies are making strides to offer more than at-work lunches and a gym stipend. By ensuring a more accommodating and less punitive approach to work place flexibility, employers and employees alike are reporting higher job satisfaction than ever before.


Work From Home, The Simple Solution

Establishing a realistic work from home policy at your workplace is more than just typing up a document from Human Resources. Having the guidelines that work for your organization in place is only one half of the solution, though. The other half of executing on your WFH strategy is having the right tools to empower your newly remote workforce.

Possibly the simplest way to make your turn-key transition into a mobile-friendly, dispersed workforce is with the VirtualPBX Anywhere Plan. With it, companies can offer a variety of compelling features to their employees, including-

  • Let your employees use their existing mobile devices
  • Keep private numbers private by using just a single office number with Softphones
  • Offer conference lines, accessible both inside and outside of the office
  • Manage phone system activity, usage, and access wherever you have an internet connection
  • Expand and change your system with ease to meet your current and evolving needs

VirtualPBX’s award-winning Anywhere Plans are packed with features and customization options that are ideal for smaller organizations who want to offer their teams industry-leading telecommuting options that let them work from anywhere. For any questions about the Anywhere Plan, inquiries about solutions for larger organizations, or any other VoIP issues, please contact the VirtualPBX Support Team today.

Perusal Amusal – Why We Love the Internet
February 27th, 2015

Coffee and NewsThere’s a lot of noise out there in the worldwide interwebz, we get it. But beyond all of the pseudo-science, cat videos, and conspiracy theories there are also some gems, too. We’re known to mine for them from time to time and want to share this week’s best of the internet with you. Because you deserve it.

Because not everyone thinks that history is as important as their own world views-
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/26/isis-fighters-destroy-ancient-artefacts-mosul-museum-iraq

Because the Father of Modern Design-Led Business deserves some recognition-
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3042762/how-graphic-design-legend-paul-rand-ushered-in-an-era-of-design-led-business

Because speaking about design, a nice interface can make problem-solving more fun-
http://www.unstuck.com

Because there’s more than one way to deal with overflowing landfills-
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/25/kfc-edible-coffee-cup_n_6752366.html

Because sometimes graffiti comes in moving pictures-
http://mashable.com/2015/02/25/banksy-gaza-documentary/

And because jackhammers aren’t the only way to beat up works of art-

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/26/no-respect-for-hip-hop-s-ogs-why-many-legendary-mcs-still-need-to-hustle.html