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VirtualPBX Blog

You’re Not Seeing Double – Excellence Award
Posted on September 2, 2015   by

IT-Excellence_15

No, this isn’t a mistake- we are thrilled to announce that we’ve won another INTERNET TELEPHONY Excellence Award! To be recognized by industry experts who have been around as long as TMC & INTERNET TELEPHONY have is an incredible honor, to have it happen twice is unbelievable. But yes, believe it, lightning is striking again!

Distinction of Service

Of course, all awards are nice to receive, but just like we were extra thrilled to be recognized in the past for our commitment to service, the story behind this award is extra special, too. That’s because this award represents just one of the thousands of stories we are proud to be a part of. INKIRK is a client of ours who was, like many small businesses, under fairly tight budgetary constraints and was tired of getting sub-par service for their money. We don’t think that a smaller business is ever a reason to give anything less than our best, and neither did INKIRK.

After talking with them for just a short while, our sales team was able to put together a comprehensive telecommunications plan that was on par with services they previously thought was well out of their price range, and all for a fee that was well within their budget. We are only able to keep driving our innovation to new heights because of INKIRK and companies like them. You can rest assured that as long as we are given the opportunity to serve you, we’re going to do everything in our power to exceed what you previously thought was possible. And with our variety of flexible ways to pay for your service, it’s almost impossible to not find the right plan for you.

However, we’re here all the time and would love to show you what we can do, so give us a call whenever you are ready to experience the same, award-winning service for yourself.



Not Even an Earthquake Can Stop PBX Parachute
Posted on August 26, 2015   by

Earthquake

Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the 6.0 magnitude Napa Earthquake in Northern California. This was the largest and most destructive tremor in the United States since the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake reached 6.9 on the Richter Scale in 1989, famously recorded during the broadcast of the World Series just minutes before the opening pitch of game three. There exists a constant tension between inhabitants all across the Western Seaboard and the unpredictability of the continent’s tectonic plates. Though these seismic concerns are generally contained just in the western half of the United States, they symbolize the same natural volatility that exists in every corner of the globe.

Prepare for Predictability

Predicting an earthquake is virtually impossible and even the most advanced early-warning systems currently in development at UC Berkeley provide only seconds of advance warning. This is critically helpful in shutting down gas lines, mass transit, and other factors that help reduce damage in the event of a quake, but it does little to help businesses prepare for the worst. The only certainty, the only thing that can be truly predicted, is that eventually there will be a tremor, or a storm, or simply a truck that hits a power line, and even the most diligent of businesses will be forced to shutter its doors for a period.

Depending on the size of the company, a business can risk the loss of tens of thousands of dollars a day in revenue by simply not being open for business. Furthermore, those lost dollars have a doubly damaging impact because not only do they not find the way into your bottom line, but they also are bolstering the business of your competitors. This is where simple business insurance falls short. Getting reimbursed for the costs of rebuilding after a catastrophe doesn’t make much of a difference if your business is crippled during the downtime.

Every Employee Can Have a Headquarters

By including a telephone failover system like PBX Parachute into your company’s Business Continuity Plan, you can ensure that all critical operations can continue under any circumstances and from anywhere in the world. PBX Parachute mirrors the parts of your business you want to keep up and running and allows your key employees to virtually log-into their office lines from anywhere they have an internet connection. It deploys automatically with 99.99% reliability when your phone lines are down or not functioning for any reason, or you can activate it manually if you can anticipate your office becoming inaccessible. This way, should your office become inaccessible for any reason or amount of time, your employees can both stay in the safety of their homes with their families and your business can keep humming along without missing a beat.

You don’t let market factors or competitors dictate your success, why should you let a few bumps in the road do the same? Granted that a 6.0 earthquake is a little bit more than a simple bump, but you get the picture.

Business Continuity Experts today to see how we can help augment your emergency preparations with PBX Parachute. You can rest assure that no matter what is happening under the Earth’s crust, we’ll be here to help you stay in business!



IM & MBA – Instant Messaging for Work
Posted on August 24, 2015   by

Business Messaging

Maybe you’ve heard, one of the most blocked for business websites, Facebook, looks to be getting into the business messaging game. This seems to be the norm now with instant messaging (IM) transitioning from the personal communications world and becoming a viable business tool. Communications for companies across all sectors are moving more and more into the cloud. Now that these changes have become more prevalent, though, what are some lessons we can learn from how well they are being received?

Software Advice has the Answers

Once again, the experts in comparative software analysis and recommendation have shifted their focus on researching the impacts of IM as used for business communication. Research based on topics that are familiar to us (let’s face it, texting and IM are pretty ubiquitous activities these days) often reveals surprises as frequently as it provides data that serves to reinforce and validate existing assumptions, and this most recent report is no exception.

Efficiency is Key

IM Productivity Benefits

Like anything in the accelerating rate of business in the modern world, process improvement is essential for profitability, if not for survival. Adding new business tools and project management interfaces may initially seem like an appealing way to boost efficiency, but without a meaningful improvement to workflow or with too long of a learning curve that threatens adoption, they can actually have the opposite effect. Fortunately for businesses that adopt an IM platform for their company, the results seem to be categorically positive.

Because messaging applications are simple and most people are familiar with using them in their personal life, their rate of adoption in the course of business is tremendously high. Furthermore, that familiarity also contributes to a relatively seamless learning curve. With quick adoption and easy use, IM for work is allowed to execute on its primary goal, which is to reduce cluttered communications and streamline day-to-day employee interaction. According to the results of the Software Advice report, an overwhelming 98% of respondents were able to identify at least one area where messaging has provided a meaningful benefit to their workday. Though there is no actual data to support this claim, I would assert that the remaining 2% haven’t actually begun using the app yet. Just like how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.

Innovation Driving Technology

Rich Presence

Most messaging systems are fairly straightforward; you send a message, receive one back and so on, but slowly there have been small improvements that provide a substantial benefit. Most notably is the advent of chat presence additions to contact menus. Just like they sound, chat presence shows the status of the people in your list of contacts. Most messaging apps native in smart phones don’t have these though it’s rather common in many third-party apps. Building off of standard presence information, the inclusion of more than simply the binary availability/unavailability of a contact is known as Rich Presence, and it is with this that employees are getting even more out of their business IM systems.

Just like IM is designed to reduce unnecessary communication and boost efficiency, Rich Presence integrates even more information directly into the application. From just a quick glance of a contact list, any number of statuses can be immediately visible. Again, this added layer of information prevents unnecessary and unhelpful messaging like pinging a colleague who is in a meeting or on vacation if you need an immediate response.

Operation: Integration

The story of how messaging applications have been able to enhance the workplace and overall business communications is headline worthy on its own, but it is also simply a function of a much greater movement. Adding messaging to the battery of business communications tools is indicative of the transition to a truly unified communications approach to business. Incorporating all of a company’s communications needs; everything from conferencing to email and telephones, is exactly the direction that VirtualPBX technologies is taking businesses everyday and why we’ve been awarded multiple Unified Communications Awards.

business’ network connection to the amount of time it takes to manage it, VirtualPBX drives system improvement everyday. To learn more about how your company can benefit from a unified communications system from VirtualPBX, contact our Communications Experts who are standing by to help right now.



We Think We Understand Drought
Posted on August 19, 2015   by

The Africa Trust Well

But the reality is, we don’t. Here in California (plus much of the western half of the United States) we’re in the middle of a four-year drought cycle that is decimating local agriculture, turning America’s Salad Bowl into dust bowls, and even threatening to kill the mighty Giant Sequoia. But we still all have working faucets, and not everyone is that fortunate.

Life & Death

I know, that’s pretty heavy-handed but access to clean water is very much a life and death issue. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are as many as 780 million people without access to an improved water source. When nearly one billion people are without clean water, the results can be staggering.

Specifically-

  • Over 800,000 children under the age of 5 perish each year due to diarrheal diseases attributed to unclean water
  • 20% of young girls are not going to school in these areas during puberty as a result of no clean access hygienic sanitation (versus 15% of boys in the same areas/ages)
  • The worst affected place in the world for unclean water is sub-Saharan Africa with 69% of inhabitants without access to clean water

But there is hope, and by carefully choosing our business partners, we’re doing our part.

AquaAid to the Rescue

Everybody needs water, our bodies are no exception. After reviewing our options, and through the lens of local and global water supply challenges, we’ve decided to invest in water dispensers from AquaAid. By purchasing our AquaAid Water Cooler for our office in San Jose, an automatic donation has been made to The Africa Trust. The Africa Trust is dedicated to building sustainable, accessible clean water pumps based off of traditional rope-pulley systems. By building these simple, clean, and effective wells all over the African continent, The Africa Trust is ensuring that Africans will always have a clean and manageable access to life-bringing water. So far, AquaAid has donated over $15 million to charity and have helped to build over 5,000 of these critical wells.

Leave the Right Marks on the World

We’ve been notified that a well is being built right now with funds from our partnership with AquaAid and that, when completed, the VirtualPBX name will be displayed on a dedication panel. Obviously, Clear Channel doesn’t sell a lot of advertising space in the area. We don’t even care if anyone outside of the villagers who use it ever see our name on that well. What is important to us, though, is that we make every effort that we can to give back to our communities; locally, commercially, and globally.

here. Of course, we’re always available to go over any of your business needs, as well, even if they are more about your office’s faucet than your office phone.



Infographic: VirtualPBX Concierge
Posted on August 17, 2015   by

They say that good things come to those that wait. We say that you’ve got a lot going on, we wouldn’t want to make you wait for anything. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also have good things, either. Introducing VirtualPBX Concierge, your dedicated unified communications expert. When you are busy doing what you need to keep your company moving, your concierge expert is hard at work keeping your lines open and your information flowing. Also, instead of waiting to encounter challenges before changes are made, concierge service includes a constant analysis of your network to course-correct for obstacles well before they arise. Take a peek at this infographic and see how VirtualPBX Concierge is like putting a new member on the team without with the flip of a switch.Infographic: VirtualPBX Concierge