Archives: April2017

Webinar Recap: Remote Work Tips and Tricks

Remote Work Tips and TricksIf you’ve ever thought that remote employees are less productive, out of contact, or struggle to communicate with management and colleagues, then we have a surprise for you. Studies show that all of these commonly held assumptions about remote workers are actually untrue. These are just a few of the myths we dispelled in the Remote Work Tips and Tricks Webinar held on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

Though the data presented in the webinar sufficiently disproves the misconceptions about remote workers and their productivity, we’ve taken it one step further. The virtual workplace landscape is constantly changing and adding more remote workers all the time, but many of these team aren’t fully prepared for all of the aspects of a telecommuting workforce. This webinar was designed specifically for remote teams seeking remote-centric productivity tips, communication tools, and best practices for building a sustainable team.

Our Remote Work Tips and Tricks Webinar Mission

We set out to close the gap between grassroots remote workers, introduce the best practices of our own seasoned remote team, and help all organizations with their telecommuting efforts. We’re in a unique position to advocate this mission because we practice what we preach. All of our employees have worked remotely and a majority regularly telecommute at least once a week. We pride ourselves on our innovative and proprietary cloud-based communication tools, so much so that we use them ourselves to add flexibility to our attendance policy. It was with that credibility that we wanted to present all of our experinces as a benefit to companies interested in maximizing the impact of their remote employees.

No Webinar Spoilers

While we could just spill the beans and list our best tips and tricks here, there’s no fun in that! Plus, we’re not big fans of spoilers, anyway. That’s why, if you’ve got about 15-20 minutes to spare, you can get our full webinar that covers employer and employee benefits, the tools we use, and remote work best practices.

Watch the Webinar Now

We’ve saved the recording for you, and you can watch the full webinar now to get your fix of remote work tips and tricks. If you have any questions after watching the recording, feel free to let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Just tag us with your question, and we’ll respond within 24 hours. Consider us your personal remote work resource from now on!

If you’re interested in taking your remote team to the next level with an award-winning cloud-based business phone system – start with a Dash 14-day free trial and discover the benefits for yourself!

VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone and Salesforce CRM Integration is here!

Salesforce IntegrationAs you may have heard on our Remote Work Webinar yesterday (a video of which is available to view), we are known for using our own products to facilitate flexibility in our attendance policies. One of the most commonly used tools we use is, unsurprisingly, also one of the most popular products for our customers. Of course, I’m referring to the VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone. The fact that we use our own softphone to conduct business, however, shouldn’t come as news to anyone, much less if you happen to follow our blog with any frequency. What currently makes it special, though, is that now the same softphone we’ve relied on for so long combines the flexibility of our hosted telephone service along with the thorough tracking and reporting of Salesforce.

Softphone and Salesforce – The Perfect Combination

By now, most companies at least know what Salesforce or customer relationship management (CRM) software is, let along have their own software at work. For those who may not, however, Salesforce CRM allows organizations to organize, automate, track, and measure for success any of their sales team’s efforts. And seeing as how you already know how the VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone, like most of our VoIP Products, allows for an unparalleled boost of productivity by allowing flexibility for employees like never before. Joining these two impressive business tools may seem like the best idea since sliced bread, and we’ve even been having customers asking why we didn’t do this sooner! To be fair, this is the best thing to happen to softphones in ages, but we just haven’t been able to launch it publically until right now. Curious what other incredible integrations or functions we have cooking? Of course you are! That’s why we’ve published a VirtualPBX Product Roadmap to keep you apprised on what we’re working on. There’s no promise we’ll put everything on there but we are committed to including some of the most popular feature requests and suggestions on there as they arise.

Is Your Business Ready to Integrate Salesforce?

I sure hope so, because we have the right Dash Plan for you! Not only will you be able to integrate your Salesforce CRM into your VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone, but the reports and data that this union produces will streamline your sales efforts more so than just using Dash alone. That’s just about the best endorsement we can offer to a VoIP plan, by the way, so give yourself the opportunity to find out more. If you already use Salesforce, you already know how much you rely on it. To get an idea of how incredible it would be to use it with an advanced hosted telephone system, you can try out a full version of Dash, right now, with our two-week free trial. Keep in mind, though, that while the free trial is a no-hassle way to try Dash and its entire set of core features, we don’t currently offer the Salesforce CRM integration on the free trial. But don’t let that stop you!

Go ahead and give Dash a spin for a free fortnight and let us know what you think. You can also just get in touch with us here or on Twitter or Facebook. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

New Dash Options

New Dash Options For Business VoIPWhen we first introduced our Dash Plans a little over a year ago, they were the most feature-rich and easy to use VoIP for business options around. Ever since then, we’ve not let off the gas one bit. Shortly thereafter, we introduced Dash Unlimited, we’ve received multiple awards from our peers acknowledging the impressive combination of form and function that Dash has, and we’ve kept on adding new features to the list per our this VirtualPBX Product Roadmap. With all of this being the norm, it should come as no surprise that we’ve recently just updated the current offerings to include three new Dash Options, but we just did, and they’re already gaining traction.

New Dash Options Fit For Any Business

One of the first reactions to hearing that your favorite VoIP plans for business are getting a facelift may be that you’re afraid of what you might be losing. In this instance, the only new Dash options that lose anything is in the price to get the cleanest and most capable VoIP for business platform around. To look at all the new plans and their benefits, we have a brief description of them below-

  • Dash Basic For literally pennies on the dollar of what a traditional phone system would cost, and with far more features and capability than what other VoIP providers can offer, Dash Basic is the most affordable option for tighter budgets. Plus, by still being a Dash Plan, none of the reliability is spared because it is built on the same, robust and reliable platform that all of the Dash Plans benefit from.
  • Dash Pro The most familiar to existing Dash offerings of the past, but with more flexibility on minutes and expandability. Specifically, an increased pool of minutes and local and toll-free numbers hallmark the biggest changes to Dash Pro. However, there are other changes to the affordability of this plan that we are confident will find more companies flocking to the clean and capable Dash Pro platform.
  • Dash Unlimited Reminiscent of the Dash Unlimited Plans of yore, the new and improved Dash Unlimited takes what was working on this plan and boosts it into overdrive. We still add a huge lump of toll-free minutes, we’ve added up to 3 local or toll-free numbers already included, and done it all for even more value than we ever thought was possible, Dash Unlimited is going to be the backbone of many growing and enterprise businesses for years to come.

New Options For Pricing Flexibility

One more factor that is sure to contribute to the continued success of Dash Plans is the ability to customize the pricing to fit your budget. Not only is picking the right plan for you easier than ever, once you identify which one to go with, you can tailor the way you pay for it, too. Choosing from an annual agreement, monthly no-obligation agreement, or an annual agreement with a monthly payment allows companies to precisely target their phone budgets. Why is this so revolutionary? Honestly, we have no idea why it’s not more common in the industry, but it is. The reality is that our transparent and forthcoming pricing remains to be one of the most routinely appreciated aspects of shopping for VirtualPBX service that our customers mention.

Ready to Get Started?

We sure hope so! Go ahead and check out our new plans and let us know what you think about them. Or, you can contact us directly to skip the dilly-dallying, we’re happy to help you out either way. Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook because we’re always adding updates like these new Dash options and sharing info on other, helpful business tips and topics.

Virtual Meetings – Join the Remote Working Webinar From Anywhere

virtual meetingsAs you may recall, the countdown is on for our VirtualPBX Remote Work Tips and Tricks Webinar, and that means that seats are filling up fast. Or, to be more accurate, there aren’t actually any seats to speak of, but people are registering. The nature of webinars is that, similar to Audio Conferencing that allows people to contribute to meetings from anywhere in the world, our webinar is understandably drawing attention from all corners of the globe. We are thrilled to have seen such a positive response from our audience, many of whom are Digital Nomads, or professionals who world purely from satellite locations and often change their settings constantly. Virtual meetings are gaining popularity with more than just Digital Nomads, though, as more and more companies are offering creative ways to grow audiences for their events.

Virtual Meetings For Both Startups & Massive Enterprises

We’re modestly proud of the turnout we expect for our upcoming webinar. It turns out that specifically addressing many of the soft skills that go into developing a cohesive corporate culture and identity even when employees aren’t centralized in a single office is a compelling topic in today’s world. But it’s not just private companies that leverage the benefits of virtual meetings. Just this week, in fact, Facebook held their annual F8 summit, the majority of which was available to attend for free via livestream technology similar to the core of what our webinar is powered by. Google, Apple, and the complete list of “who’s who” in the tech industry all broadcast their major trade shows and keynotes via similar virtual meetings, as well. And it’s not just technology companies that use virtual meetings, either. Over the past decade, more publically traded companies of all industries have opted to conduct their quarterly earnings calls over web-based virtual meetings rather than over traditional telephone conferences.

The Benefits of Virtual Meetings

In addition to the immediacy of being able to host a virtual meeting with distributed teams at the drop of a hat, the cost savings over holding an in-person equivalent are staggering. Webinars are also some of the most cost-effective practices available to educate and evangelize for products and services, regardless of the size of the company hosting them. One challenge that is often overlooked by companies that make the shift into a virtual meeting strategy, however, is that there are more than just technical knowledge barriers to executing a virtual strategy well. Conveniently, the webinar we’re hosting next Wednesday specifically addresses the soft skills that go into a virtual strategy. The advantages of adopting a virtual strategy for a business communications platform, a meeting strategy, and even just from a more flexible working schedule point of view are boundless, but only if it’s executed in a sustainable and conscientious way. Sign up now
to join in on the conversation about how to ensure that execution is seamless at your company. And remember to join in adding your questions to the list of specifics we’ll address during the event on Twitter and Facebook, and we’ll look forward to virtually seeing you then!

Boston Marathon Trailblazer, VirtualPBX Salutes Kathrine Switzer

Boston Marathon Kathrine Switzer

Race Officials at the boston Marathon tried to knock Switzer from the course in 1967. Photos by Harry Trask of Boston Traveler. Photo credit to the Boston Herald.

We’re no strangers to doing new and exciting things. As some of the pioneers in offer VoIP to businesses as a utility and reinventing what hosted communications look like again and again over the past 20 years, we know a thing or two about shaking things up. But everyone including us, can take a lesson in challenging the norms as taught by Kathrine Switzer. Switzer was first made known to the world as, “K. V. Switzer,” when she became the first woman to ever have an entry into the Boston Marathon. And while Bobbi Gibb technically owns the record for the first woman ever to complete the iconic marathon, it was Switzer who, by being coy to register with her gender-neutral moniker, became the real Boston Marathon Trailblazer that opened the world of distance running to women everywhere.

Women Can’t Run a Marathon

Or at least that was the conventional wisdom of the time. In fact, in the mid 1960’s when women like Gibb and Switzer were already regularly logging 40 mile runs, the Boston Athletic Association, the body that oversees the Boston Marathon, was busy endorsing “scientific fact” that cited the life-threatening dangers women faced from endurance competition as defenses against allowing them to compete in the historic race. Well, although Bobbi Gibb’s unofficial race time technically was faster than hers, it was Switzer who earned the honor of logging the first, and therefore fastest ever, official marathon time for a woman. This respectable 4:20 has, of course, been bested many times over since Switzer ran in 1967, and in fact, 25-year-old Jordan Hasay broke the record for the fastest American woman’s marathon debut time with a blistering 2:23. To think that what Switzer accomplished that day 50 years ago can be distilled down into hours and minutes, though, is to miss the point entirely. She, over the course of a little over four hours, completely dismantled an entire network of propaganda that had been built to prevent women from participating in the joys of competitive endurance racing. And like all good positive disruptions, this one wasn’t over at the end of 26.2 miles.

It’s Not a Sprint, it’s a…

The story of Switzer and Gibb is a great way to remember that sometimes it’s worthwhile to break or bend some rules. Occasionally, systems that have stood in place for a long time need to be challenged. We support those efforts wholeheartedly. We’ve been challenging the powers that be ever since we hung our shingle and we don’t plan to stop making products that do that any time soon. Therein, specifically, is where the real message to take away from Switzer’s record-setting running career lies. The real message behind Switzer’s mark on history is a corollary for the marathon itself in that you need to prepare yourself for the long haul. To illustrate that running for gender equality is a long road, Switzer just set another new record by becoming the first woman ever to complete a marathon 50 years after her first. Switzer returned to Boston to run once more before retiring from the marathon distance.

She told the media that during her first Boston Marathon, “Every step of the way I felt paranoia. This year, all I felt was support.”

I think that if her first marathon didn’t create room enough for Switzer to be remembered forever as being a person of great strength and character, the fact that she came back half a century later to do it again most certainly should. Oh, and one more thing, at only 70-years-young, Switzer clocked a 4:44:31, not even a half hour over her first time.

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