Author: Megan Reninger
Posted on November 10, 2021 by Megan Reninger
The last 18 months have reminded us of the true value of communication in business and connecting with people.
Our team’s communication skills and tools have grown in planned and unplanned ways throughout this period, as has how we communicate with our customers.
Having delivered a “Virtual” phone platform for tens of thousands of businesses, we sometimes took how we used our own product for granted.
Our team embraced video conferencing and SMS and integrating tools like Slack and MS Teams into our work lives. Yet, the most impactful feature we experienced was the use of presence status displayed in the VirtualPBX softphone and programmed into Desk phones.
Team Member Presence and Communication in Business: Are You Available?
Presence is a long-standing feature of most PBXs and is fully supported on the VirtualPBX platform. This feature displays the current status of a user in real-time to other users.
The ability of our team to signal availability and for the platform to automatically indicate when team members are on a call helped our team operate more efficiently than ever It’s welcoming, almost beckoning for interaction– “do you need anything? I am currently available. Go ahead and call me.”
Additionally, the VirtualPBX desktop and mobile phones all share the presence data and include a way to quickly call, message, or collaborate regardless of the platform or location.
With a team spread across the United States and in multiple countries, presence represented the heartbeat of our operations every day. You find yourself looking to see if so and so is online, or one a call. This cut down on the frequent “are you free?” chat messages, emails, and voicemail messages left every day. After all, if you were in an office together, you wouldn’t send a message asking your desk-mate if you could ask them a question.
Cutting down interruptions and communicating transparently through the platform improved productivity and helped our team stay focused.
Posted on October 26, 2021 by Megan Reninger
Last week, we announced a new integration with Microsoft Teams, a feature customers have requested to maintain focus, improve their productivity and meet the evolving business needs.
To evolve your business, products, or team’s work environment, you must be open to change and even breaking things.
When I say break things, I mean, open your mind to different ways of achieving the same goal or outcome, but in better and more optimal ways.
How We Built Momentum with Trello and AirTable
One of many examples from VirtualPBX, our team used Trello for years, and then a company-wide project came along that was challenging to manage in our existing system. We used this challenge as an opportunity to try something new, and in this case, it was Airtable – an extremely versatile and easy-to-use online collaboration tool. We designed the process to manage the project, leveraging our experience with Trello to ensure it was easy for team members to transition between tasks.
As we experienced the new process, we identified ways of improving older processes or breaking bad habits that had grown around using the previous tools.
Also, as our team experienced the improvements that came with our implementation and use of Airtable, different groups chose to migrate their processes into the new tool.
We encourage this type of transformation across the company. Team leaders, members, and customers provide the best insights into the effectiveness of our processes and tools.
The evolution of remote and hybrid work environments requires companies to adapt to deliver the best service and attract the best talent.
Encouraging this type of positive breakage prevents the stagnation of your business and your products and helps build momentum.
This principle is driving work on some of the most exciting changes in VirtualPBX’s history. All are coming from being willing to break things, often our habits and preconceptions.