Archives: November2013

Home for the Holidays? Stay Connected with a VoIP Phone System

Did you know that a VoIP phone system could be your saving grace this holiday season? With Thanksgiving tomorrow, we’re sure you’re already thinking about gobbling up some turkey and fighting off that tryptophan daze.

But what happens if you’re also expecting an important business call that day? You might assume that this means swapping family time for a trip to the office. But what if you had another option to consider?

With the assistance of a VoIP phone system, you can give your employees the option to work from home. Since the only thing that’s needed to access your VoIP business phone system is a high-speed Internet connection, your employees can stay connected even while working their way through a second helping of mashed potatoes. That’s sure to make for some happy employees.

Plus, most VoIP service providers offer features that allow you to forward your office number to any mobile device, enabling you to make and receive calls from your office number even if you’re dialing from your personal cell phone. You can maintain that professional business presence anytime, anywhere.

So kick up your feet, enjoy this time with your loved ones, and let your VoIP phone system take care of all of your communication needs, secure in the knowledge that you can still respond professionally if an emergency comes up. Happy Thanksgiving!

How VoIP Saves Your Business Money

More and more businesses are slowly but surely replacing the traditional analog telephone systems with new and improved VoIP telephone systems. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and allows you to run your phone service through your Internet connection rather than your local phone company. So what are the benefits? Primarily, there are a variety of added features that VoIP offers, including auto-attendant, TrueACDTM Queuing, virtual fax, custom greeting, virtual extensions, and much more. These features are simply not available with a traditional analog phone that so many businesses have given up on.

Aside from the increased variety of features available for businesses, both small and large, is the fact that VoIP can help save your business money. Did you know that you can save 40% to 80% on your monthly phone bill with the installation of VoIP? There’s no PBX hardware to buy or maintain and there are often plans to fit your specific business needs, so you will never over-pay for a service you don’t need.

Save Up-Front on Equipment and Support
A traditional business phone systems require expensive PBX switching hardware that needs routine maintenance – a typical PBX switch costs anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per user. A great VoIP PBX provider will do the installation, maintenance, upgrades, and enhancements for free, saving you thousands of dollars on your phone system. A VoIP telephone system can grow with your company, regardless of size.

Full Service at Lower Cost
Low cost doesn’t mean low quality. Small businesses can now get all the same features as large businesses with a plan that’s right for them. When you choose a good VoIP provider, your monthly phone bills will be lower, thanks to free long-distance calling in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the fact there is no need for a separate fax line or fax machine. You get to choose the pick that’s right for your business, with smaller businesses choosing usage-based plans and larger businesses selecting the flat-rate plans with unlimited minutes.

With added features and lower-costs, what’s not to like? If you’re unsure about whether or not your internet connection can handle VoIP, take a VoIP test and see if VoIP is right for your business.

Traditional Phone PBX Systems Vs. VoIP Phone Systems: Which is Right For Me?

In today’s age of technology, more and more businesses are opting for VoIP phone systems over traditional PBX phone systems due to the added features and lower costs. VoIP, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol, is a system that delivers voice calls over the internet rather than a traditional phone line. Many VoIP systems are cloud-based so no on-site installation is required and there are no complicated settings to configure, as one might find in a traditional phone system setup.

The Facts
According to a survey by Independent market research specialists, Vanson Bourne:

  • 1/5 adults regularly use VoIP
  • 1/3 of businesses are currently using VoIP
  • 9/10 businesses that use VoIP do so to reduce monthly phone bills
  • 1/4 businesses that don’t have VoIP are considering implementing VoIP within the next year

The Features
Businesses are choosing VoIP phone systems over traditional phone systems not only due to the lower cost of initial setup and low monthly phone bills, but because of the variety of added features you can’t find anywhere else. Some of the more popular features include professional greetings, music on hold, custom auto-attendant, call forwarding, virtual fax, TrueACDTM queuing, call recording, and conferencing… just to name a few.

Save Money
Regardless of the size of your business, a good VoIP provider will offer more than one plan in order to suit your business needs. This means that a small business can get just as much out of VoIP as a large corporation, without signing on for extra features or minutes that are not needed.

VoIP was chastised for its reliability and quality in the past, making a traditional phone system a more favorable option for those not worried about saving money. However, through evolving technology and many upgrades, VoIP phone systems continue to rise in popularity among businesses and what was once considered the “phone of the future” is rapidly becoming the industry standard.

Getting Your ROI from Business VoIP

Congratulations, you’ve made the wise decision to invest in a business VoIP service. In order to take full advantage of the many benefits that business VoIP has to offer, it’s important to make sure you’ve laid down a solid foundation.

Here are three tips to help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment:

  1. Make sure your Internet connection is up to par: The primary requirement for business VoIP service is a reliable Internet connection – and speed is king. A slow Internet connection can ruin even the best VoIP service. Tools like ProSIP® Total Assurance Monitoring can help you conduct 24/7 performance monitoring of your network and will provide you with detailed insight into how your network is used by your team.
  2. ImageInvest in a cloud-based PBX system: If you’re a small to medium-sized business, a cloud-based PBX system is a great choice for you. After all, there’s no need to buy, install and maintain an on-site PBX. With cloud-based VoIP, the PBX of your phone system is housed in a secure data center. Instead of an upfront cost for a server, you simply pay a monthly service fee based on the number of users and type of calling plan you have.
  3. Get to know your VoIP system: Business VoIP service offers a vast amount of features that traditional phone lines simply can’t provide. You’ll have access to custom auto-attendant, virtual fax, professional greetings, music on hold, call forwarding, TrueACD queuing, call recording, conferencing and more. If you take the time to educate yourself on how to use these features, you can expect to be rewarded with increased productivity and substantial cost savings.

With the right preparation, you can expect that hosted VoIP will deliver a significant return on your investment. Plus, VoIP systems generate business benefits beyond the hard costs, delivering added value to your business.

Choosing the Right VoIP Provider For Your Business

Compared to conventional telephone services, VoIP services will lower your telephone bill significantly, typically 40-80%. And most service providers offer service features similar to traditional services features, such as caller ID, call waiting, call blocking, call transferring, speed dialing, 3-way calling, etc. along with the added features that are simply not possible with a traditional analog phone system, e.g., custom auto-attendant, virtual fax. Finding the right VoIP provider can be tough, as there are many to choose from, and you’re looking to get the most for your money. Below are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right VoIP provider for your business.

  1. Cost Effectiveness
    Every business is different and while some larger companies may find that they call internationally regularly, smaller companies may find that certain services like free international calling may not be beneficial to their business. A great VoIP provider will offer a plan that specifically fits your needs – why pay for extra features that you don’t need? Look for a VoIP provider that will save you money and give you the features that you need by offering more than one plan to fit your need and budget.
  2. ImageValue-Added Features Without Cost
    Aside from saving your business money, you are most likely switching to VoIP due to the vast amount of features offered that you simply cannot get with a traditional analog phone. In addition to custom auto-attendant and virtual fax, additional features include professional greetings, music on hold, call forwarding, TrueACD queuing, call recording, conferencing, and more.
  3. Great Customer Service
    Look for a provider that provides the best reliability in the industry, with fault-tolerant components and near-zero downtime. Check to see their customer support availability, as well as how easy and convenient it is to get in touch with someone if you ever experience difficulty with your VoIP phone system.

These are just a few things that make a great VoIP provider. You want to look to ensure that the plans offered are cost-effective for your business and that the provider offers the features you need without added costs. Great customer service is also a must. Before making a decision, be sure to “shop around” and check out online reviews to see which provider is best for you and your business.