Posted on February 27, 2018 by Dan Quick
We have some pretty big news, and it might be best if you were sitting down for the moment. Actually, because you’re reading this online, there’s a good chance that you are seated, but it’s best to make sure. Anyway, today we’re launching the all-new Dash Mobile Feature for our popular Dash Business VoIP Plans! This is a massive step forward that we announced online this morning and one that represents a culmination of a mountain of work on the behalf of everyone at VirtualPBX from the engineering teams to the operations and legal teams. Because this is the beta testing period of the all-new Dash Mobile Feature, in this blog we’ll take a high-level look at the bigger implications of what this development means.
How the New Dash Mobile Fits Into Dash
Answering this question is very much in-line with some of the most compelling benefits of the new Dash Mobile Feature. First is to understand that we are the sole operators of the mobile platform over the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) radio transmitter network. That means that we will be providing and selling the data access to the mobile phones on the network and that they will all be managed under a single Dash account. Because we’re now able to operate a purely mobile experience as part of the overall functions of a Dash VoIP Plan, we can treat it very much like any other premium option like Salesforce CRM Integrations or Inbound Call Recording. No matter how any one of our customers’ accounts is comprised, they only ever have to worry about one single, clearly itemized monthly statement rather than fussing around with expense reports and reimbursements for employees who use a personal cellular network. Plus, considering we’ve always valued employee freedom when it comes to device selection, we’re employing a simple SIM card system for importing new mobile phones into the service. There are some slight restrictions like the phone needs to be paid off and manufactured within the past couple of years, but they’re also common to what a person expects when they want to transition their mobile phone across different providers. We’re also going to be providing mobile phones directly to our customers as a compliment to our list of recommended hardware, but those items won’t be available until after the beta testing period is closed. For a complete list of the device restrictions and needs, you can look at the entire run-down on our Dash Mobile Feature page.
What Does New Dash Mobile Mean For Users?
Um, is it too broad to answer with the reply, “Everything?” because that’s really what will change for the better when companies decide to move forward with a mobile strategy directly from VirtualPBX. All kidding aside, there are several key advantages to adopting a mobile phone plan from Dash.
- Data Security One of the most commonly utilized channels that hackers use to access sensitive company data is not by “storming the front gates,” so to speak, but rather by first compromising an employee’s point of access. By using the new Dash Mobile Feature you completely eliminate the possibility of a weak access point because every VirtualPBX VoIP plan utilizes the industry’s most stringent security protocols.
- Device Management Additionally, because the mobile feature isn’t a separate platform but rather one that is managed under a company’s existing Dash VoIP plan, that means the management and visibility of mobile are just as simple as with every other extension or device. The simple and clear oversight helps admins make decisions affecting their network based on actionable and irrefutable data.
- Account Simplicity Fewer vendors, fewer expense reporting, and zero reimbursements all contribute to a categorical improvement in operational efficiency. Because all mobile data, devices, and minutes will be included in the standard usage statements that VirtualPBX customers already receive, the slick interface of Dash extends to the streamlining of managing the overall unified communications of your entire company, too.
What’s Next from the Dash Mobile Feature?
We’re always keen to share some of our most exciting developments on our VirtualPBX Product Roadmap, so there’s an idea of what’s to come always available there. Because the new Dash Mobile opens up our users to a wide new world of, well, mobility, we can certainly point to a few key updates. Specifically, you know that by introducing a mobile feature and by providing our own mobile data plans to users that texting over VoIP isn’t far away. However, remember that this is the new Dash Mobile Beta Period, so we’re keeping an open mind as to what we will be building and editing based on pending feedback from our beta testers. And with that in mind, we want to reiterate that participating in the beta testing period is limited to a set amount of organizations, so you’ll want to Sign Up Now to get in on it.
Because we’re always so inspired by our core users who frequently participate in these beta test periods, we’d like to remind you as well that the VirtualPBX Product Roadmap is always open to your feedback and we regularly conduct similar exercises to this mobile one. And if you have anything to add, feel free to do so there or on Facebook and Twitter, too. In the meanwhile, make sure to get in on the new Dash Mobile beta and take your work with you anywhere!
Posted on February 23, 2018 by Charlie Galaviz
Welcome to Edition 23.0 of The VirtualPBX 5 where we share our favorite topics, gadgets, and apps!
Do you love the bustle of shared offices, unlimited coffee privileges, and have a keen eye for design? When it comes to coworking spaces, where you work is equally as important as what you’re working on. So grab your passport and mobile devices because it’s time to explore the 5 most beautifully designed coworking spaces on earth part II.
5 Most Beautifully Designed Coworking Spaces on Earth Part II
1. Ministry of New located in Mumbai, India
How does one find a pastel paradise in Mumbai? Simple, step foot inside the 2200 sq ft brainchild of Dutch co-founders Marlies Bloemendaal and Natascha Chadha. Ministry of New was transformed from an old factory to an inspiration-filled creative safe haven in 2013.
2. Neuehouse located in Hollywood, United States
Two generations collide into one at this present day Neuehouse flagship. The Rockwell Group revitalized the historic CBS Radio Building in the heart of Hollywood to its former glory for a new generation of entertainment creators. Today the mix of concrete and metals capture the energy of its former life.
3. HUB 4.0 located in Kiev, Ukraine
HUB 4.0 brings to life the spirit of a modern society. It’s sci-fi like design by Nika Vorotyntseva Design & Architecture Bureau is symbolic of an increasingly more progressive Ukraine. Located in the capital city of Kiev – Ukraine’s top minds gather to build the future under a dynamic lighting setting.
4. Office Space in Town Mayfair located in London, England
This ultra-exclusive office space in Town Mayfair emits the elegance and class of coworking royalty. Peldon Rose designed this 15,500 sq ft luxurious office space with a 1920’s inspired glass atrium, gold and silver fixtures, and a Weber Grand Piano. The Mayfair office delivers nothing short of a bespoke experience for its clients, however, they should expect to pay a hefty price for this one-of-a-kind, white glove experience.
5. Klique Desk located in Bangkok, Thailand
The Shinawatra building remained empty for 30 years until K2 Design and Studio of Design and Architecture gave it a new identity. Now in its second act as Klique Desk, the building has a bright atmosphere and yellow geometric design that is intentionally reminiscent of its prior life as a silk factory. The design radiates optimism in both private and open settings.
Which coworking spaces will you add to your office bucket list in 2018? While you’re globetrotting to different coworking offices don’t forget your customizable business phone system. In addition, you can improve your communications and grow the global footprint of your business with advanced features like Follow Me Calling, Phone Numbers, Universal Device Compatibility, and more. With reliable, intelligent, and dynamic communication technology, you can stay connected to your team and clients anywhere you may wander.
We hope you enjoyed part II of our 5 most beautifully designed coworking spaces on earth. Digging our favorite co-working spaces? In addition to these examples, the original is pretty stellar as well and can be found here. Let us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter! Also, be sure to follow the VirtualPBX blog for more on flexible working and more!
Posted on February 22, 2018 by Dan Quick
We live in a pretty amazing time, don’t we? It used to be that when local businesses needed to adopt a digital component to their operations they would have to search for highly specialized talent to get the job done. Now, however, all of the online business management tools small or young businesses need to succeed are just a few clicks away. Technology has been democratized to a point that opening a business’ digital operations is easier now than ever. Want to build a website but don’t know how to begin? Companies like Wix have a free website builder that is glossy and simple enough for even me to use. Okay, what about generating sales off of your new online footprint with an e-commerce portal? The folks at Shopify have you covered with inexpensive and wildly simple e-commerce templates that can have you up and running in literally only a few minutes. All of these increases in the accessibility of the tools to create and improve an internet business are terrific, but they do nothing to help a company get top billing when customers begin looking for them. Getting listed on Google and other search engines is admittedly, far more complex of a topic than can be covered in a single blog post. There are a few easy steps to drastically improving your business’ visibility, though, and they all have one simple element in common. Specifically, getting listed on Google with a local business telephone number is the single most effective way to get started, and we’ll tell you why.
How to Begin Getting Listed on Google
One facet of the overall Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy for companies should be to secure and manage their own Google Business Listing. Having a Google Business Listing is simple and free and only requires a handful of pieces of information. One of those items of information, however, is not something that people need in order to build their digital footprint. Specifically, having a local business telephone number is essential to be considered a verified business and therefore one that can be promoted through Google’s local search. But because having a local business phone number isn’t required to build a website or communicate through an e-commerce portal, not every new venture out there considers it essential. Often times, businesses that use the simple and free or low-cost tools available to them to open their online operations don’t know where to look to get a local business telephone number so they resort to inquiring with their local telephone provider. Acquiring a telephone number from an older, legacy telephone service provider can be a very costly endeavor, and that’s why so many companies opt to use their personal numbers instead. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Getting a Local Business Telephone Number to Boost Your Google Listing
To really take advantage of the new algorithms in the Google Search platform that are beginning to favor mobile search behavior, you will absolutely need to have a local business telephone number. But acquiring a telephone number just to have it is pointless if there aren’t any associated business communications services that accompany it. That’s why most savvy businesses that value cost-savings and the increased access to advanced features previously only reserved for larger corporations are turning to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to satisfy their business telephone needs. Just like anything else, though, not all VoIP plans for businesses are created equal and many of them may lure users in with low face value but that end up saddling them with hidden fees and charges. This is definitely not what the democratization of technology should look like, so don’t be fooled by that. Instead, take a look at the award-winning Dash VoIP Plans from VirtualPBX. Each Dash Basic, Pro, and Unlimited account comes with at least one free business telephone number included and you can choose from a databank of hundreds of thousands of options. Also, getting the business telephone number you need to boost your Google listing by choosing VirtualPBX also gets you dozens of advanced, enterprise-grade features that normally come with a surcharge on other plans. And while some people may expect that they would sacrifice quality service in exchange for such a wealth of options, Dash doesn’t play that game, either. Every Dash Plan is backed by a no questions asked 30-day money back guarantee along with the industry’s most awarded Customer Support team that is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Get Started Today
One of the common threads of both the internet economy and the tools that are used to build it is immediacy. Customers want goods and services as soon as they’re ready to buy and companies need to reduce the length of time it takes to get them what they want. The best tools available to accomplish this don’t just come quickly, but with quality and repeatable positive outcomes. Getting a local business telephone number from a Dash Plan is as swift as it is effective. And with an industry-leading 99.999% operational uptime, multiple redundant servers, and that killer Customer Support we mentioned to back it up, you have the confidence you need to know you’re getting the best from your new cloud-based business phone service. Plus, with the free local business telephone number that comes with your account, you know you’re also getting listed on Google more prominently than you would have with just a website alone. So don’t delay in getting started with your new Dash Plan, and begin boosting your sales along with it.
Posted on February 16, 2018 by Dan Quick
Every industry is plagued with some of the same types of problems. For many technologies, one of those problems is the proliferation of wonky, confusing jargon, and the telecom industry is certainly no exception. With such an advanced set of features and functions increasingly available to employees through the advances in the telecom engineering infrastructure, surely there will be some terms and phrases that are a little more hardcore than the average person is able to comprehend. This doesn’t have to be the case. However, because it’s not an uncommon issue, today we wanted to take a moment to review the differences between two commonly confused terms that aren’t interchangeable and represent distinctly different functions for a telephone system. Specifically, today we’re discussing the difference between transfers and forwards in relation to our award-winning Dash Plans.
Difference Between Transfers and Forwards: Transfers
Call transfers are unique in that they can only occur once a call has been connected. Transferring calls refers to the moment when an employee is on a call, and the caller on the other end needs to speak with another employee. That can be for any one of a variety of issues, but the specific definitive facet of what makes a transfer unique to a forward is that it’s always an on-going call. You can actually execute an Advanced Transfer from your Dash VoIP plan in a variety of ways. One of the most popular, and possibly the fastest, methods is to use the transfer Feature Codes directly from your dial pad. However you choose to send a caller to a different member of your team or to a different department, when you are sending caller to continue a conversation with someone else inside your organization, you know you’re transferring them.
Difference Between Transfers and Forwards: Forwarding
Call forwarding is a similar, though entirely different function in telephony. One of the first things to consider when you want to know the difference between transfers and forwards is when the call is received. Like we just discussed, the transfer is when you transition a conversation from one employee to another after the conversation has begun. A forward is different because it can occur either during the conversation using a Feature Code, or more commonly, it is a directive that occurs before a call is answered. Call forwarding is when a caller dials a number but the conversation is sent to a different 10-digit number. This may sound deceptive or confusing, but it’s actually both common and wildly helpful for thousands of businesses. One of the most popular ways to utilize call forwarding is the Follow Me Calling feature on Dash. This is when an employee knows he or she will be moving around in and out of their office throughout the day but still needs to be taking calls. By entering a series of telephone numbers to all of the different devices that employee could be reached at, the Follow Me Calling feature will ring them (either concurrently or in succession per the employee’s preference) until the caller reaches their desired party or the call is sent to voicemail. This is just one of a variety of forwarding methods, but again, the key differentiator is that forwarding can, and often does, occur before a call is answered.
Difference Between Transfers and Forwards: The Grey Area
A variety of of call forwards and call transfers are always included for free into every Dash Account, and they are useful for an ever increasing number of scenarios. There exists, however, two other areas that are similar to, though wholly different from, both transferring and forwarding. First is VirtualPBX Valet Call Parking which is a technique used to put a call on hold in a place where anyone in the organization can answer it. There is also the much larger category of call routing that encompasses a massive amount of variables involved in routing callers to individuals or departments as part of a complex network of extensions at the point of reception. The possible routing options are so vast that it warrants its own blog later, but they can be either automated by factors predetermined by the company being contacted or they can be prompted by a caller inputting information from his or her dial pad.
While the difference between transfers and forwards can seem nuanced at first, as you can see, it refers to a distinctly different set of functions for a hosted business telephone system. You can call it jargon if you want, but no matter how you label it, if you ever need help working through the features of a Dash plan, you can rest assured we’ll be there to help you through the process. In fact, we’re here 24/7/365 for you on both our Customer Support channels and on social media as well. Plus, because there seems to be an entirely different set of nomenclature for both Twitter and Facebook, you can rest assured we’ll be able to help decode your message there, too.
Posted on February 13, 2018 by Dan Quick
We’ve been around for a long time and have collected some of the best minds from across several industries, and we think it’s high time they got their day in the spotlight. In this series of blogs we’ll be unearthing some of the technology and talent that power our hosted communications platform.
Ensuring that the thousands of new companies that switch to VirtualPBX every year have a smooth and seamless transition is a responsibility that we take quite seriously. For the vast majority of them, setting-up their new Dash VoIP plan is simple and they can be up and running in about five minutes. We also have a category of customer that includes far more complex organizational needs and, for them, we offer a high-touch onboarding and system management service aptly named our VirtualPBX Concierge Service. Linda Freitas is one of our most experienced and capable Onboarding Specialists who has seen just about every possible configuration of business phone system imaginable. Also, never one to take the fact that we’re a global company too lightly, Linda is one of the most worldly and well-traveled people you’ll ever meet. In fact, last year she visited a total of 6 new countries but we happened to catch her while she was here in California to sit down for this installment of VirtualPBX Tech Talks.
So Linda, what is the first thing that most companies encounter or ask about when they start setting-up their Dash account?
That really depends on if the company is a new enterprise or if they’re coming to VirtualPBX from a different business phone service. For folks with an existing phone plan and their own telephone numbers, we can port
in their numbers so they never have to worry about losing their current number. For other companies that don’t yet have a telephone number, they just have to pick one from our number bank. This is actually fun for a lot of people because all of the Dash Plans come with at least one number included and we have literally hundreds of thousands of numbers, from local numbers to international numbers to toll-free numbers, to choose from. The sheer amount of options can get a bit overwhelming for some folks so I always remind them that they can add new numbers for just a few dollars whenever they want, that generally helps them be comfortable with the decision.
Great, so once they have their number situated, what is the next thing people will typically look to accomplish?
Easily the biggest thing that people get excited about is setting up the incoming call strategies for their phone system. Honestly, it doesn’t sound that jazzy on the surface, but once admins begin realizing the extent to which they can control everything about the path of an inbound call, it makes sense why they love the Virtual Receptionist. There are a few major templates on how to route the inbound call, and easily the most popular is direct to the Virtual Receptionist. That’s because businesses generally enjoy being able to put the power of choosing where to go right into the hands of their callers, and they can do that without having to tie-up any of their employees in the process.
Other than the few major tracks that you mentioned people can choose to direct inbound call traffic, what makes the Virtual Receptionist really all that special when it comes to customizations?
Again, there are a bunch of nuanced edits that can be made to really fine-tune the experience for any business, but for the sake of time, I can talk about two of the big ones. First is the way people can customize the audio message of the Virtual Receptionist itself. This is a big deal for basically everyone because a franchise that doesn’t own all of its locations would still want a uniform message for the company and even a smaller mom and pop shop would want to keep the message as authentic as possible as to not alienate anyone who has come to expect a certain level of personal attention from a neighborhood business. The audio can be recorded to your computer and uploaded, we can have our professional audio partner Snap Recordings record it for you, or you can even use the automatic text-to-speech feature where you just type in what you want the receptionist to say. The other big feature for most people is the programmable business hours. In just a few clicks you can arrange for the opening and closing hours, lunch hours if necessary, and even holidays for the entire year to be determined so you don’t ever have to worry about if you set up voicemail for a long weekend ever again. Plus, once you’ve set the hours, you also have the option to tailor the inbound call experience to cater to the fact that nobody is around to answer the call with additional audio messages and even unique routing options. Again, once people get to tinkering around with the Greetings Manager, they realize how much better it is than they ever expected.
Let’s go back to the audio options you mentioned just now, what is the text to speech feature all about? Is that something people can reliably trust to sound relatively human?
Absolutely! This new text to speech platform is an advanced system that sounds terrific. There are some nuances to all automatic speech programs that need to be understood, but once you’re aware of them it’s a pretty easy process to navigate.
What types of things should users be aware of when they’re getting started with text to speech?
It really boils down to pacing. You want these messages to have the same pace and cadence of a normal conversation, and the best way to ensure that is adding punctuation strategically. For example, just tossing a comma or a period in whenever you would normally be taking a breath is always a good way to make sure the message comes out in a comfortable, natural fashion. Plus, you can preview the message whenever you want simply by dialing your number and listening right there over the phone.
Okay one more thing, what are your next big travel plans for 2018?
Well, to be honest, I always have a million different places to go, but so far I think I’ll be staying relatively close by with a trip to the Caribbean somewhere. I know that’s already pretty great, but I always like to get a new stamp in my passport, so if it does happen, I’d hope it’s Spain so I can get some tapas!
No matter where Linda or the other members of her team will be, you can rest assured that you’ll get the award-winning Customer Support that VirtualPBX is known for at any point in your onboarding process. Plus, because we’re one of the only companies to include our Support Team at no extra charge, you can use their expertise any time you want. And because we’re also available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we really mean it when we say any time! So what are you waiting for? Get started with your new Dash Plan today, and we’ll be sure to be here if you want some help getting on-boarded. In the meantime, let us know where you’d go visit if you could pick anywhere in the world by joining the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, and for the record, I’d go see the Northern Lights in Iceland before the season is voer!