Posted on August 18, 2016 by Charlie Galaviz
Globetrotting entrepreneurs working from palm tree lined beaches is the essence of what makes working remotely so appealing to aspiring digital nomads. The truth is working from anywhere is only as fabulous as your connection to your clients and team. In a time where many social communication apps battle to become relevant for business communication, there always seems to be something missing. Staying connected is the lifeblood of business, so it’s important to understand which apps are merely fat, and which apps are lean, mean and drive the bottom line of business.
The Not-So-Daily Grind
As a Community Specialist at VirtualPBX, my job requires constant connectivity to our online communities of hardworking small business owners. I split my time 60/40 between the office grind and the digital nomad lifestyle. One of the most challenging aspects of being an office-nomad hybrid is that I don’t solely rely on my ability to navigate the world of connectivity without an office.
When I replace my cozy office chair for a wooden stool at a Bulgarian cafe I have no need for the dozen communication apps on my phone. What I need is a tool that allows me to carry my desk with me wherever I am in the world. There is only one such communication tool that delivers features that are versatile enough for the on-the-go professional.
Softphone is the Only Phone
My VirtualPBX Softphone App is the only tool capable of carrying an entire load of my office with me wherever I go. With features such as Follow Me Calling, Caller ID, and Business Call Reports, I can stay connected to my team and stay on top of new opportunities to grow our community.
Not only is it a workhorse, but it is also incredibly affordable. When I recently traveled through Eastern Europe I didn’t have to purchase pay-as-you-go calling plans for each country nor did I have to overpay my mobile carrier back home for an international calling plan. It is seamless and it keeps operational expenses down.
When I need an app that I can count on I use my Softphone App because it is my most reliable business travel companion around. It’s not where I work, but where I can get the job done. In a world where results matter, my Softphone App always allows me to get the job done.
Posted on August 17, 2016 by Dan Quick
We get a lot of useful information from our customers about how, when, and where they use their VirtualPBX phone systems. Listening to stories about how mobility and reliability are indispensable for our business partners has what led us to develop product like Dash or features like Follow Me Calling in the first place. Furthermore, once we learned how people were using Dash after we launched it, it was clear that we should begin offering an unlimited minutes option, which we did with Dash Unlimited. The point is that wherever there’s a need for our customers, we want to fill it with a solution. And in a world where every bit of information is available to us in seemingly real time, what we did next seemed like a no-brainer.
Stay Up to Date With Your Activity
Starting today, all VirtualPBX Dash and Dash Unlimited customers will begin waking up to a real time update on their previous day’s account activity. Updated each morning at 7:00 AM PST, all of the previous day’s minutes used will be available for anyone on the account to view. Of course, no VirtualPBX feature roll-out would be complete without the ability to customize them to your exact specifications. That being the case, administrators on the account have the option of selecting which employees have access to the daily updates.
Never Slowing Down
If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know that we like to keep tinkering with our products and building new ones almost nonstop. This latest update is, of course, just another result of that tried and true approach to improvement. To keep you up to date on all of the latest information and product releases in real time, follow us on Twitter or Facebook or sign-up for our Product Newsletter here.
Posted on August 12, 2016 by Dan Quick
With over 10,000 athletes in Rio for the XXXI Olympiad this summer and only 28 different sports, there are bound to be some broken hearts and dreams out there. However, for the athletes who walk away from the closing ceremonies with some valuable hardware dangling from their necks, it doesn’t take a record-setting amount for their Olympic medal count to swell their hearts with pride. We’ve been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of some incredible recognition, and much like the countries that the athletes in Rio represent, which is something that fills our entire team with elation and encouragement.
Years of Training
For most Olympians, their trips to Rio represent the culmination of a lifetime of commitment, even if for some that only means a lifetime of fewer than two decades. We’re in the same boat. We are approaching an anniversary and we’re pushing the big 2-0. While young by most standards, our founding in the 1990’s represents effectively the origin of VoIP for business as it’s known today. And because we’ve dedicated everything we do to improve our products and the experiences our customers have while using them, we feel a similar sense of validation and achievement whenever we’re recognized for our hard work.
You Can’t Win ‘em All
Okay, it seems like Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky can, but for the most part winning and losing go hand in hand. That’s okay, too, because obviously learning how to do both with grace is an important part of sports. Plus, as difficult to believe it as it may be, we don’t win everything (pause for gasping reactions to roll through the audience). For those times when we come up short, there exists an opportunity to learn how to make the most of the situation and find the little victories. For one, we’re proud that our commitment to our customers’ success creates relationships that supersede any fancy plaque or award. Evidence of that is nowhere more apparent as it is in our customer testimonials or in the terrific rating we have on Consumer Affairs.
But That Won’t Stop Us From Trying
Ultimately, no matter how the chips fall on race day, it’s these endorsements from those we serve that will always mean the most to us. That being said, however, we’re always going to keep striving to boost our own Olympic medal count whenever we can. After all, a little healthy competition is what drives innovation, and we definitely want to stay in the running.
Posted on August 9, 2016 by Dan Quick
We practice what we preach. Helping people save time and money with a hosted PBX system is obviously important to us, but not as important as it is that we are 100% behind the products we provide. We use our entire suite of products in the same way that we encourage other businesses to use them, and that means that we find ourselves working on the road frequently. Anyone who is working on the road needs their hosted communications system to be something that they can rely on, no matter where they find themselves.
Far And Wide
We have vital contributions coming into our headquarters from team members who live in Florida, Nevada, and even overseas as far as Lima, Peru. All of these team members interact with us in California using our own VirtualPBX technology and that’s how we know it’ll work for any businessperson who is working on the road. In fact, we’ve already taken VirtualPBX technology along for the ride to Industry Conferences, Frankfurt, and it will even be touring Europe (stay tuned!) through the Balkan states, too. What all of this means is that we need to have the confidence that key features that make working on the road possible can be counted on.
But Never That Far Away…
Businesspeople benefit from many aspects of modern technology, but the most applicable for telecommunications is that distance begins to have less of an impact on doing business. With employee presence available 24/7 and the ability to make literally any telephone your desk for the day with Hot Desking, no matter where you’re headed, you can make time for the work you need to get done. Additionally, with the limitless possibilities of universal device compatibility, employees can use their favorite devices while working on the road, even if they have to replace them unexpectedly!
Progress Waits for No One
The march of time stops for nothing, and neither do the lives of your employees. Supporting the needs and eventualities of their lives and never missing an opportunity at work don’t need to be mutually exclusive when you have an advanced hosted VoIP telephone network. And now that Dash comes with up to two weeks free as part of a no-commitment free trial, there’s nothing standing between you and the industry’s most heralded business VoIP platform of 2016. So go ahead and try Dash for yourself. It’s how we manage to keep the engines purring when we’re working on the road, it’s what the pundits can’t seem to stop showering with praise, and it’s probably your best bet to saving hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on your business telephone system.
Posted on August 4, 2016 by Dan Quick
As much as we’d try to be the go-to answer for every technological need that any business has, we can’t even be the answer to all of our own needs! That being the case, just like our customers, we need to look to third-party developers to see what helps. For the occasional standouts, we’ve created this series of blog posts to help you share in the benefits we’ve enjoyed from our favorite Tech Tools.
Grammarly Ain’t no Mavis Beacon
In spite of my obvious use of poor grammar in this subheader, we have the highest regard for the quality of the communications that come into and go out from your office. That’s why we have made developing and delivering some of the finest hosted communications solutions available. It is a reality, however, that even the finest systems are still only just conduits for the people behind the business. That’s true for us, too, and this is also why we take improving our communications seriously. It was the pursuit of that growth that lead us to today’s Tech Tool, Grammarly.
Grammar is Boring, But Grammarly is Kinda Cool
And with Grammarly, grammar is a lot easier to get right, too. In a nutshell, Grammarly is like your spell checker on steroids with a little bit of Big Brother thrown into the mix. By this I mean that through the app, browser extension, and desktop application, you can rely on Grammarly to monitor all of your content creation regardless of if the place you’re writing has a native spell check system or not. The best thing about this for many marketers out there is that through the browser extension, now everything that you put into content management systems like WordPress (where this blog was just entered itself) also benefit from the watchful eye of the Grammarly app. With the ability to help you with your capitals and capitols, whose and who’s, and all the other common mistakes that tend to pass through even the most well-trained eyes, Grammarly is far more than your standard autocorrect.
Become a Better Writer
When the app detects what it sees as an error, instead of a forced correction that can result in some hilarious autocorrect typos, a green bar underscores the suspect area indicating an issue. After you interact with the part of the text that has been highlighted, you are given a relatively large amount of info ranging from an actual description of the error and affected parts of speech a variety of possible edit suggestions. This approach takes on a more inclusive, teaching approach that is the basis of claims that Grammarly is a fast and easy way to legitimately improve your writing.
Closing the Loop
What helps to reinforce the educational aspect of Grammarly is the weekly report card of sorts that summarizes and ranks your performance. As a marketer who loves the engagement cycle, I love this, as a competitive grammar dork, I really love this. Topics range from the variety of your vocabulary to the most common types of grammar mistakes you commit and then it quantifies them into where you stack against other users. This is great because not only does the gamification aspect of aiming for higher scores come into play, but there are also tips and tools that can be called upon on their premium service to help you eliminate bad tendencies.
So that about does it for my review of Grammarly, but there’s one more thing that I have to point out that is especially pertinent to those of you who are similarly competitive about improving your scores. In a most ironic twist, unless you update the Grammarly dictionary for your profile, words like VirtualPBX and Grammarly will persistently come up as errors. Plus, there are dozens of common HTML commands that are required to post blogs into WordPress that do the same. All of that single, relatively insignificant drawback aside, I’m looking forward to hearing about how you’ve added Grammarly alongside your Dash plan to complete your business communications system. Tell us all about it on Twitter or Facebook and keep an eye out for the next Tech Tools!