Archives: May2018

KP360 on VoIP and VoIP Phones: It’s Always Easy When You Know

SIP Trunking & Hosted PBXYou’ve got questions, KP’s got answers. Kevin Peyton is, on the surface, the Vice President of Sales at VirtualPBX, but digging a little deeper reveals so much more. An expert in everything from hosted telecom to competitive roller-skating (seriously) and everything between, Kevin fields whatever we throw at him, so we thought we’d let you have a shot. The gauntlet has been thrown, welcome to KP360!

One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s always easy when you know.” This is true for many things, a new smartphone, a new car, a new washing machine. They all have features and functions that we know nothing about when we first encounter them. This can be very frustrating until we have mastered the basics of these new items. Soon after becoming familiar with new technology, however, we find ourselves more reliant on it than we ever thought possible. The same can be said for a new phone system. Business telephone systems are no different, and in fact, can seemingly be even more daunting to become proficient with. The good news is that modern cloud phone systems are much easier to setup and manage than you may think. To help understanding how modern phone systems work, I’d like to break it down into three fundamental components.

Phone Numbers

Historically referred to as “lines” due to the need for an additional phone number for each concurrent call you may need (ie: rollover lines). Think of phone numbers like your email address in that it’s how you’re found and contacted over the telephone network. Also, just like when someone sends an email to the correct address, the call comes to you. In the VoIP world, the need for rollover lines is no longer what it once was. In fact, a single number can support dozens of concurrent phone calls whereas older technology had much lower traffic thresholds. Alternatively, adding individual numbers can replace navigating through an automated attendant by being designated as direct inward dial (DID) numbers where a caller may call directly to a person or department. There are many other uses too, like marketing campaigns or having a local presence where you may not have offices. This can be easily accomplished by adding phone numbers with whatever area code you need.

Features & Functions

This is the fun part and where all the magic happens. Many of these features used to require an expensive investment in a hardware PBX (private branch exchange), a PRI (primary rate interface), annual licensing fees, and IT staff to manage and maintain it. Other features on a modern VoIP plan may not have been available at all, even with all of that added hardware. The good news is that because hosted telephone systems all live in the cloud, they’re easily set-up and managed through a simple web browser. You never have to worry about capacity, or any confusing telephone people jargon, either. You can simply add the users that you need and can add or remove them at any time as your business needs evolve. A lot happens behind the scenes to make all of the features of a VoIP platform work, but the complexity of it all is hidden with an intuitive user interface that lets you simply point, click, or drag-and-drop to get the behavior you want from your phone system. In addition to ease of use, when you need more help our award-winning Training Team can walk you through it for free, too.

Phones & Devices

An IP or VoIP phone is the only thing installed at your location. There are many choices of phones and this can sometimes be the most confusing part of getting a new phone system. I try to break it down to a few fundamentals that will narrow down the choices. Will you use “Soft Phones” or “Desk Phones?” Both of these are VoIP Phones, one made of software and the other made of plastic. Second is budget, how much do you want to spend? The price range is dramatic with some phones starting as low as below $50 upwards to $1,500 for the most powerful and cutting-edge technology. Third is features like mobility in that would you need a simple desk phone or maybe a cordless phone? Color touch screens with lots of programmable features? Will it be used in a conference room for conference calls? Do you prefer more elegant phones for executives and if you have a receptionist answering all incoming calls, that person will need a useful phone to manage the call traffic. With phones, it’s important to keep in mind what is the most productive phone features for specific roles in your business. Whatever phone you happen to choose, however, the good news is that once you get them plugged into the internet and power and they just work.

5 Benefits of 4G LTE Mobile for Business – Infographic

When VirtuaPBX incorporated a nationwide 4G LTE mobile network onto the award-winning Dash Business Phone System, the most powerful communication platform in the world was born. 4G LTE Mobile for Business is the first and only all-in-one business communications solution that delivers uncompromising use of mobile phones for employees. Native integration of the VirtualPBX Business Phone System with a nationwide 4G LTE network solves many of the challenges today’s organizations face when addressing battery draining apps or call forwarding. VirtualPBX Powered Mobile Phones deliver all the features you love on the VirtualPBX platform, but with the advantage of bringing data and texting to your fingertips. Need more reasons to make the leap to mobile? Check out these 5 benefits of 4G LTE Mobile for Business:

5 Benefits of 4G LTE Mobile for Business

Thanks for checking out these 5 benefits of 4G LTE Mobile for Business. Have questions about VirtualPBX-Powered Mobile Phones? Send us a shout on Facebook and Twitter! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

VirtualPBX Answers: How Does an Internet Phone Call Work?

Internet Phone CallPlacing a phone call is pretty straightforward and something that most people probably don’t think twice about. With the advent of the digital age, placing an internet phone call is becoming more common and, although the end result is the exact same as with a traditional call, many people question the mechanics behind how this works. And because plenty of our readers have asked us on either Facebook or Twitter exactly what an internet phone call is and how it works, we’ve decided to address the topic in this latest edition of VirtualPBX Answers.

What is an Internet Phone Call?

In its most simplistic terms, an internet phone call can refer to any type of voice communications that don’t rely on traditional copper-wired telephone line infrastructure. This means that an internet phone call is a voice connection that relies on data connections over the world wide web to connect two parties. This is where it gets a bit nuanced, but there’s a difference between an internet phone call and other voice connections. Connections that link parties via actual phone numbers require a particular set of technologies, and this blog will focus on those. Conversations that occur between phone numbers will always need to interact with the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) regardless of if they are antiquated wired phone calls or modern internet phone calls. Picturing the PSTN as a massive switchboard that directs traffic to all known telephone numbers may be a bit difficult to conceptualize, but it’s an accurate summation of what it does. Older analog telephone calls route through wires into PBX’s (Private Branch Exchange) that are like sub-stations for the PSTN and can be either on-site (for corporations, perhaps) or installed as intermediaries by a telephone company (in neighborhoods or apartment complexes, for example). The call is then routed from the PBX to wherever the destination is located via a series of wires and PBX locations along the way. An internet phone call does something identical in result with a fraction of the logistics.

How Does an Internet Phone Call Work?

An internet phone call relies on converting the audio of a phone call into packets of digital information that it will transmit over data connections. These packets travel into a virtual PBX, which is a digital facsimile of the aforementioned PBX, but it is entirely hosted in the cloud. The audio is then ushered to its destination form the hosted PBX to the PSTN and thereby the internet phone call is connected to the desired telephone number. The name for voice connections that use this method is Voice Over Internet Protocol, commonly referred to simply as VoIP.

What is the Advantage of an Internet Phone Call?

There are a variety of benefits for using VoIP and internet phone calls over traditional means, most of which are immediately apparent in a monthly telephone bill. The cost savings of VoIP over a traditional phone service can be staggering, too, when organizations with more complex needs like call routing, ACD queues, and call recording are present. However, even simple phone plans for individuals are routinely more affordable over VoIP, as well. Additionally, the fact that internet phone calls require no physical equipment or on-site engineering know-how to operate makes their flexibility, adaptability, customization options, and scalability the hands down winner over older, copper-wire telephone options. Not to mention the fact that with advanced WebRTC (Web-based real-time communications) options becoming more popular, there are even free web phones that operate perfectly from any modern web browser, too. To find out how much your business would benefit from a new VoIP service, simply compare your telephone bill with one of these Award-Winning VoIP Plans from VirtualPBX.

Why Remote Working Could Help Families Live Better Lives

Why Remote Working Could Help Families Live Better LivesTrying to stretch a dollar to its maximum impact is nothing new. For as long as Americans have dealt with a shift from a production to a consumption-based economy, venturing to get more for less has been just a way of life. But in a recent study, it was determined that nearly half of American families can’t afford basic costs of living like rent, food, and child or health care. While many of these families were involved in service roles that require an in-person presence to perform the functions of the job, others are able to execute on the expectations of their jobs from almost anywhere. This is why remote working could help families live better lives if they are able to relocate to more affordable areas without the burdens of commuting or the high costs of living associated with more densely populated areas.

How Remote Working Could Help Families Live Better Lives

The crux of the issue about affordability struggles in the face of an unemployment rate below 4% is that wage increases have been notoriously lagging behind those of costs of goods and inflation. This has been infamously the trend since back in the 1970’s but, in light of these near-historic unemployment rates, takes a new place in the public conversation. The way that many American families have been choosing to deal with the issue is by participating in the gig-economy of picking up side jobs or simply going without vacations in an effort to keep their productivity at a high level. From a health and productivity standpoint, taking time off from work cannot be overstated in its importance, but alas, this is the choice many Americans make. It doesn’t have to be that way. By leveraging the advanced, cloud-based communications tools and techniques available to the nearly 40% of the workforce cited in this study that doesn’t rely on physical tasks to complete their jobs, there is a better solution. Remote working isn’t just a convenient way for business travelers to remain productive and connected while on the road, it’s also a viable option for many workers to beat the affordability curve and live truly better lives.

Find the Right Location and Go There

At the risk of oversimplifying what is obviously a complex and emotionally charged topic, the benefits of relocating to less expensive areas and conducting more work from there is an immediate way to make income go further. With the increased access to high-speed internet access across the country becoming more common in more places, there isn’t much else a modern worker would need to contribute right from the comfort of his or her own home. Plus, with cutting edge technology like the free VirtualPBX Web Phone increasing accessibility for cloud-based communications, the barriers to entry into a remote working lifestyle are virtually nonexistent. Plus, there are hosts of resources available for companies that are new to remote working policies on how to manage remote teams that will help smooth the transition into a more distributed workforce. So what are you waiting for? Hop on the web and start picking the hometown of your dreams and maybe you’ll find that your expenses won’t be as great of a percentage of your income before you know it. If you need any help on tips or tricks on how to proceed, feel free to ask us on Facebook or Twitter and we can help point you in the right direction, wherever that may be. And before long, you can see why remote working can help your family live a better life!

VirtualPBX Answers: What Are Online Phone Calls?

online phone callsThe concept of what a telephone call is shouldn’t be abstract to anyone reading this. Basically, a point-to-point voice conversation is something that has been a part of our daily lives for generations. While not everyone knows the mechanics behind how a telephone call actually connects two people, the basic concept is widely understood. The advent of the digital age and the proliferation of access to high-speed data connections have introduced the possibility for online phone calls to grow in popularity. Online phone calls are very similar to traditional phone calls in that most people understand the concept of using the internet to connect two parties, though again the mechanics of how that occurs tend to be less commonly understood. In this blog both the methods of how to make online phone calls, as well as the technology behind them, will be made clear.

Understanding Online Phone Calls

Online phone calls are like regular telephone calls in that they each connect calls over the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). This is basically the massive “switchboard” of sorts that all telephone calls need to go through in order to connect to each other. Traditional phone calls do this by routing through copper wires that are physically connected to the PSTN, and online phone calls use VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) to do the same thing. To accomplish that, VoIP uses cloud-based facsimiles of the junctions that wired telephone calls go through, called a PBX (Private Branch Exchange). Because it’s logistically unrealistic to wire a single cable from one phone to all the other phones on earth, these junctions (PBXs) act as efficient aggregators for connecting the world. A hosted PBX, as used by a VoIP system, is a virtual equivalent of a standard PBX and as a result doesn’t require any of the physical equipment or costs associated with an on-site option.

Benefits of Online Phone Calls

Without comparing all of the relevant benefits and restrictions that exist between a hosted and an on-site PBX, the reality is that more businesses are choosing to make online phone calls over traditional ones every year. The main arguments for this seem to fall into one of two different categories; price and flexibility. By relying on digital technology to connect calls to the PSTN, companies can save upwards of 70%-80% over on-site analog options. Additionally, because most employees have a nearly constant access to high-speed data connections, leveraging a VoIP-powered business phone system makes more sense for people who are often outside of the office. This is especially true considering how some telecom options include 4G LTE nationwide mobile networks fully integrated into their business VoIP packages. Additionally, with mobile communications continuing to evolve and integrate further into existing web-based technology, there are even more flexibility and cost benefits to be had. Most notably, the open-source software WebRTC (Web-Based Real-Time Communications) have allowed for free web phones to become available for making online phone calls over any modern web browser.

Begin Making Online Phone Calls

Getting started with making online phone calls is easy with the no-strings-attached free trial of VirtualPBX VoIP service. This 14-day option lets a business try all of the full complement of VirtualPBX hosted VoIP features and even includes several hundred minutes of use, too. And considering that the VirtualPBX Web Phone is totally free to use and only draws from the existing pool of minutes on an account, making online phone calls is about as simple as clicking through to a pick your plan now!

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