Posted on December 29, 2016 by Dan Quick
From the earthquakes down the Pacific coastline to the hurricanes all over the Atlantic and everywhere between, there isn’t a community that doesn’t have some risk of natural disaster. Additionally, as distressing as it is to consider, we live in uncertain times and there exist a variety of other, man-made scenarios that could disrupt or damage businesses in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, like with the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina, disasters linger for days and weeks. But for even disaster events that take only a few moments to run their courses the repairing and rebuilding period can extend for months or even years. With such a huge window of uncertainty looming over any possible natural or manmade disaster, businesses need to protect against any ensuing downtime. Using an automatic business failover system is the best way how to protect business from disaster that would otherwise grind it to a halt.
Business Continuity Planning
Building a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is the first step to making sure your business keeps running no matter what the world throws at it. A comprehensive BCP covers details that aren’t front-of-mind when disaster strikes but are critical for the safety of employees and the business as a whole. Organizational flowcharts that show succession of authority, alternate regrouping locations, safety check-in protocols, and many more are all covered in a BCP. But how to protect your business from disaster is more than just making a plan, of course, it also relies on some highly specialized tools. Specifically, businesses that have no access to their traditional telecommunications channels need to have alternate arrangements in place. Companies with the best BCP preparations know that using a hosted telephone failover system like PBX Parachute is the best way how to protect business from disaster.
PBX Parachute is the always on, hosted emergency failover system of choice for thousands of professionals all over the country. PBX Parachute can be activated manually but is automatically deployed when there is an interruption to your on-site telephone network. With multiple awards recognizing its reliability, performance, and overall technological excellence, it’s no wonder that how to protect business from disaster begins and ends with PBX Parachute. Some of the benefits of a PBX Parachute system protecting your business include-
- Create emergency toll-free numbers for your employees that have mission critical messaging prerecorded and that are only live after PBX Parachute has been deployed.
- Replicate all or just the most essential parts of your everyday telephone network to allow either for executives to stay accessible or for sales engines to keep roaring during a rebuilding phase.
- Prerecord messages to inbound callers indicating a temporary service interruption instead of having them reach a disconnected number.
- Allow for employees to remotely continue work once they are cleared of danger from anywhere they have an internet connection.
- And most importantly, never allow an isolated incident at your office location result in lost business to a competitor because your telephones are down or inaccessible.
How Else To Protect Business From Disaster?
We’re fortunate to work with a lot of different types of businesses, each with their own creative approaches to leveraging the over 99.99% reliability of PBX Parachute for disaster recovery. Also fortunately, many of them have never needed to deploy the parachute because of an emergency. For those who do need PBX Parachute in emergency situations, it’s wonderful to know we were able to help them through an ordeal. How would you build your emergency call tree? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook. Or, if you’re just ready to build your own BCP with PBX Parachute, get started today!
Posted on December 27, 2016 by Dan Quick
Email is one of the most universally powerful tools ever created. But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. That’s why we’ve asked one of the most responsible people we know for help with maximizing the power we get out of our email. So are you ready to walk the path to email nirvana? If so, let these 5 tips for inbox zen be your guide to telecommunications tranquility.
Set intervals throughout your day to review and work through your Inbox with intention and focus. Don’t allow email to constantly distract you from work or life throughout the day because that habit can soon bleed into nights and on weekends. When not processing your Inbox, do just that – NOT processing your inbox! Quit your email client and/or silence all email notifications, especially on mobile devices, so you don’t get distracted.
Your Inbox is not a To-Do List
Of course, some emails require you to take action, but often that action can be taken later. Don’t treat your inbox like a task manager. Instead, utilize task management tools like Wunderlist, Todoist, and Trello for that and leave your inbox for emails.
Most task or project management tools allow you to forward email into them. Use this feature liberally to move tasks to the right tool to keep your inbox clear while putting reminders in their place.
Plus, if you want to keep your email and task manager the same, Gmail even has a task list built-in with a keyboard shortcut to add an email to your list.
Suggested Tools: Wunderlist, Todoist, Trello, and Google Tasks
Reply When Ready or Not at All – aka Punt!
When you first see an email you may not be ready or able to reply to it. Leverage an email client that allows you to snooze an email. Just like your alarm clock, snoozing an email helps you manage when you deal with it. You can push emails to the next business day, weekend, next week or at a specific date and time – when you will be ready to focus on replying.
Proactively Protect Your Time
There are always new meetings to schedule with so-and-so to discuss such-and-such. Just because there will always be new meetings doesn’t mean that you have to email back and forth to schedule them. Instead, try giving your attendees a list of dates and times to choose from in the initial response. This allows you to manage your time instead of the other party taking control. Some email clients, Outlook for iOS and Android and Nylas-N1, even allow you to insert a sleek list of options for the recipient to choose from.
Suggested Tools: Outlook for iOS/Android, Airmail, Polymail, Nylas-N1
Automate, Automate, Automate
Your company sends a boatload of notification and alerts which, for anyone who is typically paying attention to what’s going on, is really nothing more than extra noise. Most apps and services have filters or rules. Use them to file, delete or forward these emails as you need. This will reduce the clutter in your inbox and silence the noise in your email zen garden.
Suggested Tools: Google Gmail, Apple Mail, Airmail, Polymail, Nylas-N1
Let others have the last word
Don’t respond to emails with “Thanks,” “Sounds good,” or ?. These emails are nice, but create opportunities for more distractions. Another benefit is the less you say, the more your emails will be read – others will know it’s important if you send something.
Suggested Tools: You!
Posted on December 22, 2016 by Dan Quick
It’s not unheard of to receive a gift and then turn around and use it as a gift from you to someone else. Regifting, people, it’s a real thing. Okay, we’ve all had to feign excitement for a gift once or twice in our lives, but that’s no excuse to turn right around and give it right back! But let’s forget the brow furrowing ethics questions that underline this present giving practice and think about how to stop it from happening altogether. Of course, you never know what to get for some people and that will persist probably as long as gift-giving is a thing we all do. However, there is a way to prevent this from being an issue for your colleagues by offering them what is effectively some buyer’s remorse insurance.
Stop Regifting at the Source
We understand that not everyone out there will choose one of the VirtualPBX VoIP plans we offer. But while most other VoIP options on the market are adequate replacements there are those, too, that have left customers feeling like their hands are tied after they sign a contract. Often times, problems with VoIP service can be identified rather quickly, and sound quality can be restored to crystal clarity. Unfortunately, there has never been a VoIP service provider that offered the type of diagnostic work to solves this for businesses that were on competitors’ plans… until now!
VoIP Clear Fix Service
The all-new VoIP Clear Fix Service is designed to be exactly what the doctor ordered for any VoIP user who is less than thrilled with their service. By breaking all of the molds, VirtualPBX VoIP Clear Fix Service has designed a way to channel all of a company’s voice traffic through an independent and protected hosted environment so that its quality never suffers. Additionally, by isolating the voice traffic away from the rest of the internet traffic a company has, VoIP Clear Fix protects VoIP traffic at the same time it leaves the rest of the network traffic to flow freely. This means that all of your last-second shopping or college football bowl game research can proceed unhindered while the conference calls and Support Team can keep on humming better than ever before.
Telling a colleague who is experiencing network challenges on their hosted telephone service about VoIP Clear Fix Service is the one present guaranteed to not be regifted. So join us in the fight to end regifting completely and to improve the way every business communicates. And until then, have a safe and happy holiday season!
Posted on December 21, 2016 by Dan Quick
Greetings to all on this fine Winter Solstice, and what a year we’ve all had! Today is a special day because it is the shortest day of the year and a reminder to make haste to complete the tasks at hand. That is a fine analogy for how all of 2016 has gone for us at VirtualPBX, in fact, because we have wasted no time in bringing more new products to market this year than ever before. And with so much happening at VirtualPBX, it seems fitting to take a look back at the 2016 year in review.
2016 Year in Review: The Big Milestones
We made waves this year by introducing some great new technology alongside our legacy products that garnered some wonderful praise, as well. To recap, we have some of the high points that we’ve included into the embedded SlideShare below-
Regardless of the success that we’ve been fortunate to enjoy over the past 12 months, we are still unwilling to rest on our laurels. Moving into the New Year means accomplishing more and continuing to strive to provide the best possible hosted communications solutions to our customers. Doing what is best for our customers is our core, driving value and we’ve always made a point to underscore the importance of it over all else. Our year in review makes clear we focused on it this year, and you can consider this our reinforcement of that commitment for the coming months and years.
So please make sure to come with us on the journey, you can start by following our Product Road Map on Trello. We promise to make it just as exciting and enjoyable as it has been throughout the years and with even more new milestones to be reached. But until then, please make sure to head home for a reminder of why we invest so much into making remote communications a part of everyone’s life. Hug your loved ones, and have a safe and happy holiday season.
Thank you, and we’ll see you again in the New Year!
Posted on December 16, 2016 by Charlie Galaviz
Your small business New Year’s resolutions are anything but ordinary. Besides traditional resolutions such as eating healthier and exercising more frequently, you have big dreams for growing your business in 2017.
There are no limits to what your business can achieve this year. Here are 5 strategic resolutions that can take your small business to the next level.