VirtualPBX Blog

KazooCon 2015 – The Final Day
Posted on October 7, 2015   by

The Whole 2600Hz Team

The hits don’t stop coming here at KazooCon 2015, and they saved the big guns for last. Okay, full disclosure, obviously I’m a bit biased, but from where I was sitting it was pretty clear who it was that everybody came to see, cough cough, Lon Baker, ahem, cough, cough. There were some other folks, too.

Keeping It Real

Staying true to the theme set forth by 2600Hz COO, Patrick Sullivan on the opening day of the KazooCon, each of the day’s presentations were connected by the common thread of 2600Hz’s focus on Enabling, Educating, and Empowering their customers. With double the content and a lot of it awfully technical in nature, that thread covered some serious ground today. Lets take a look at what all went down.

  • Darren Schreiber, 2600Hz CEO and Co-Founder set the stage for the day with exciting news about the growth that they’re currently experiencing along with introductions of new and updated products and services. In the mass of news, the one word you need to know is mobile. Previewing the 2600Hz Mobile Design Manager was stunning.
  • Lon Baker was delayed in making his way to the stage because we had to have security make a pathway through the throngs of people who showed-up to hear him speak. Once the dust cleared, though, the show went off without a hitch. All kidding aside, the room was abuzz during and following Lon’s guidance on applying brass-tacks business acumen to cloud-based telecom products and how to wire the two factors together. Keep an eye out for his presentation slides, which will be made public in the near future.
  • David Messenger is the founder of Mast Mobile and is a veteran in the game of delivering mobile service to millions across Europe. Messenger’s team has a lot of things working but the crown jewel in the Mast line-up is their business messaging platform. Also underscoring one of the big themes of the conference, this was all built around the mobile-first approach.
  • Telnexus’ Vernon Keenan nailed the clever phrase of the day when he outlined the Telnexus billing and invoicing platform architecture and how it helps accelerate payment to and from VoIP resellers. “Quote to Cash,” is helping Telnexus keep stoking their business’ furnace.
  • Mikhail Rodionov is, in a word, captivating. The SIPLABS CEO and undisputed reining champion of work project naming conventions was on hand to talk about deep mobile integration and all the intense development they have to do to ship product. Also, he took home the prize for the most prolific contributions to the 2600Hz community this year!
  • Karl Anderson is 2600Hz’s CTO and he kicked-off a series of 2600Hz product discussions and reveals, beginning with Kazoo 4.0. While the total spectrum of what this product offers is broad, one key feature that had been clamored for was the now-included historical transactions.
    • Next up was James Aimonetti who presented in great detail the intricacies of Rating, Routing, and Service from the perspectives of both the engineer who interacts with them, and the 2600Hz developer who manages the process.
    • Phone Phreaking is more than just an awesome phrase that only the folks in telecom are likely to use (score one for us!), it’s also an enormous problem. You can expect to see us include mention of this in a future security blog, but just know that in 2013 there was $46 billion in phone fraud, a vast majority of which was committed against small and medium sized businesses that can’t afford enterprise-grade security features. Until now. Stay tuned for more on this very important topic.
    • Aaron Gunn was the closer and, having a background in sales and operations, this is a familiar place for him, too. Wrapping up the conference by following the dollars was appropriate because, as he pointed out in the description of their streamlined and secure billing platform, the sooner providers can bill their customers, the sooner everyone can get paid. Seemed to make sense to me.

There were also plenty of contacts made, networks grown, and even a few knock-knock jokes ruined by yours truly, too many to recount, in fact. The lasting impressions that KazooCon 2015 left on those in attendance should be those of community, service, and constantly pushing the bar higher and higher. It’s because of this that we’re proud to have been the Platinum Sponsor of KazooCon and look forward to growing our relationship with both 2600Hz, and all of the great telecom leaders we met this week.

What’s that? You’re still curious about what shenanigans ensued during the much-hyped KazooCon15 After Party? I guess to clear that up I can only suggest that you not miss it next year to find out for yourself because, as you guessed- what happens at KazooCon, stays at KazooCon. You had to have seen that one coming. See you all at KazooCon again next year!

KazooCon Wrap Up Day One
Posted on October 5, 2015   by

VirtualPBX Platinum

From far and wide they came. From international organizations with 170,000 employees all the way down to the first pair of visionaries for the powerhouse players of tomorrow, KazooCon’s guest list looks like a veritable who’s-who of the telecom industry. To make sure that not a moment was wasted for the group, KazooCon organizer 2600Hz jumped right in with both feet in getting down to business. Here’s a little recap of what has gone down so far-

Enable, Educate, Empower – 2600Hz’s 3E Platform

2600Mz COO, Patrick Sullivan, was instrumental in setting the tone for the conference in his opening remarks. Sullivan opened by presenting a rundown of the content to follow in the coming days though the lens of the 3E approach to his business. Doing this underscores the fact that the open-source tools 2600Hz provides (and that most of the industry relies on) are successful greatly due to the sustainable business practices with which they bring them to market. If the morning’s first round of presenters are to be any indication, this holistic approach is the blueprint that companies are following to find success.

  • Christos Kolias, a Network Architect for Orange, channeled Dilbert to empathize with the plight of the developer. Specializing in virtualization and the fact that there are often disconnects between expectations of leaders and those who execute software solutions.
  • thinQ was keen to make it clear that working towards an optimal, cost-saving model for the future of telecommunications means that there is no “one-size fits all” for business. They used the concept of no one-carrier solution to highlight their innovative approach to fluid, real-time carrier access.
  • Daniel Constantin Mierla from Kamailio reminded developers that it’s about more than just creating a scalable, flexible open-source SIP server, but that it’s important to focus on protecting it, as well. Also, he was keen to remind us that he was Romanian, not Transylvanian, therefore this was good advice to follow from an engineer, and not bad advice to follow from a vampire. True story.
  • FreeSWITCH had some of the coolest presentations of the day as they unrolled their video conferencing platform – live. Introducing the product with the Empower concept in mind, FreeSWITCH Solutions was very interested in soliciting feedback from the audience to iterate on their already impressive platform.

The day broke from lunch and then the afternoon was spent demoing some of the powerful products and platforms that the 2600Hz family of services utilize. That wasn’t exactly in my wheelhouse, however, so I stuck to what I know and got friendly with the lady who makes cannolis. I mean, hey, this is Little Italy, after all.

There’ll be more to come tomorrow from the conference, of course, but make sure to follow us on Twitter as we keep up the live updates right from the show-room floor. Now, on to the After Party!

Batten The Hatches! Emergency Telephone Failover
Posted on October 2, 2015   by

Hurricane Destruction

For anyone on the Eastern Seaboard, this is nothing you should need a reminder on. However, because memories can be short, let me jog yours about what to expect as Hurricane Joaquin approaches the continental United States.

Sandy Left a Mark

If you were there in 2012, you know that almost 8 million homes and businesses were without power following Hurricane Sandy’s arrival, some going without electricity for over a week. Plus you needn’t look much further than that to get even more examples, from the Gulf Coast to New England, the Atlantic Hurricane Season (which runs from June through November) has traditionally wreaked havoc on the coastal states. The billions of dollars of damage that follow these events are exactly why local governments and emergency crews have been scrambling to prepare for Joaquin over the past few days. From New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declaring a state of emergency, to the cancellation of the Ironman triathlon in Maryland, to even the NFL announcing plans to potentially relocate or reschedule this weekend’s games, it’s clear that people everywhere are preparing for the worst. That said, what are you doing for your business?

Business Continuity for Profit Perpetuity

Words are fun, huh? Resonance aside, small and medium businesses don’t often have the luxury of alternate facilities in the country or emergency funds to gain access to during periods of heightened unpredictability. Therefore, a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is the best way an organization can protect itself during these and any other unforeseen development. Whether from Mother Nature, technical failures, or any other man-made event, losing access to your office can cost thousands of dollars a day and yet those losses can be avoided with a relatively small investment of time or money.

Among the many features in a traditional BCP are-

  • Alternate location plans in the event of an evacuation
  • Chain of command and contingent authority procedures
  • Communications strategy for both employees and customers

It’s the final point there that can cost the most if overlooked. When there is no access to an office building, but all of the employees are fine and physically safe, why then should there be a need to interrupt operations? There shouldn’t be! If you have a cloud-based VoIP platform for your company, you’re already covered should you lose access to your building. If you are still using a traditional, on-site phone system, you can have all of the protection of a hosted system with the PBX Parachute business failover system from VirtualPBX.

Be There, From Anywhere

By mirroring only the parts of your business that you decide, PBX Parachute can keep essential, customer-facing departments up and running by enabling employees to access their company phone from anywhere they can get internet access. Also, you can program automatic triggering events where the PBX Parachute is deployed that include emergency messaging specific to the audience. This means you can have pre-recorded information accessible only to your company and another message for your customers that you can even remotely update as new information becomes available.

Getting started with your BCP by using PBX Parachute is as easy as it is important. To see how to get started or to learn more about the technology, contact one of our Business Continuity Experts today. In the meanwhile, batten down the hatches, man the mizzen mast, and start working on protecting your company today. Also, you should go back to reread those first two things with the voice of a pirate. Stay safe out there, mateys!

KazooCon 2015
Posted on September 29, 2015   by


Silicon Valley is no stranger to a wild business get-together. With Genetech renting AT&T Park (yes, the whole thing) each year and Apple regularly picking a new city block to occupy for a few weeks prior to each new product introduction, there’s more than one claim to the title of “Tech Event of the Year.” Like all great Bay Area interests, however, the biggest or most well-promoted options are rarely the ones most coveted and revered by the people who live here. This is an area that values the journey over the destination and recognizes that what you find off or the main road might just be the best thing you never knew about. Yeah, thanks, hipsters.

KazooCon 2015

This year’s sleeper hit is likely to be the brainchild of telecommunications service and technology provider that provides much of the technology and firepower behind the world’s leading telecom brands. 2600Hz powers communications for companies in so many different capacities that their network stretches far and wide. Casting that wide of shadow means that, when everyone they touch congregates in San Francisco in October for KazooCon 2015, the concentration of telecom intelligence will be off the charts.

If an event claims to bring the industry’s best and brightest to the table, however, although the people who actually call the shots around here are too modest to say it, let me go on record that no such list would be complete without representation from VirtualPBX. That said, our very own COO, Lon Baker, is also one of the key presenters this year at the event! Clearly, it seems that these folks mean business.

After the Party is the After-Party

The knowledge-sharing and innovative discussions at KazooCon are likely where the future of communications will be designed, but of course, not all conferences are for education and networking alone. Not one to be missed, this year’s KazooCon After-Party details are intriguingly being held closely to the chest of the event’s organizers. In spite of all of my best efforts, I’m still in the dark as to the specifics, but I know that the best way to find out is to be there for yourself!

To register for the event you can still visit the event website and, while it is in no way a replacement for being there, stay connected to our Facebook and Twitter feeds to learn more about it all when it goes down. Just don’t expect to get a door prize through your tweetdeck.

See you in San Francisco October 5-6!

Looking Out For Each Other – Ecom & Online Reviews
Posted on September 25, 2015   by

We’ve been privy to some predictive, informative, and sometimes even entertaining insights from the analysis of Software Advice’s research department. However, a study from the folks at the internet’s most-trusted software review platform takes a look into the topic of online reviews, and the results are possibly the most revealing to date.

E-Commerce and Online ReviewsMore Educated Buyers

Consumers have access to a more immediate and comprehensive library of reviews of product and services today than ever before. Now, with Amazon becoming the largest retailer in the world, the popularity of online shopping has conditioned buyers to even expect reviews to be included in the actual purchasing experience. This should mean that when Software Advice’s research shows that 3 out of 4 purchasers consulted online reviews prior to making a decision, no one should be surprised. What wasn’t immediately clear, though, was how the mix of positive and negative reviews impacted the buying process.

If it Seems Too Good to be True…

There isn’t any company or product that is perfect for all people and under all circumstances. As much as we might want to pretend otherwise, there’s something that seems a little fishy about 100% of reviews being 5 stars. The net result, it turns out, is that having a realistic mix of positive and negative reviews actually improves the authenticity of a company. Sure, positive reviews are what people want more than anything else to steer their decision (43%), but there was a minimal decrease in weight for those with a mix of positive and negative reviews (34%). This underscores the fact that the most important thing in a product review is believability, and that’s something that only comes with a believable distribution of positive and negative reviews.

Negative Outlier Reviews & Their ImpactTrolls Need Not Apply

Speaking of a believable mix of review positivity, the e-thuggery of a disgruntled employee or soured business contact has actually less impact on the online review footprint of a company that you may expect. When polled about the impact of negative reviews that were part of a trend versus an isolated rant, respondents were 4-5 times less likely to let the isolated negative review affect their decision. What this means is that statistically significant outliers are less impactful because they don’t fit into the overall narrative that the entirety of reviews are telling.

It Takes A VillageMotivation For Writing Reviews

The most revealing outcome from this most recent research, however, came from an analysis of the motivations most people had for writing reviews in the first place. To set the scene for that, first it’s useful to note that an overwhelming 98% of respondents reported that online reviews were at least moderately valuable or above, and zero respondents cited them as being not helpful at all. With this in mind, it was reassuring to learn that the majority of respondents (59%) wrote a review with the specific intention of helping others facing the same purchasing choices they had. This reciprocal relationship between consumers in the middle of a purchasing decision and those who have recently exited a similar choice suggests that online reviews will only continue to grow in use and, therefore, also in value.

So, How Are We Doing?

It seems only logical to add that we’re pretty active in the review game, ourselves. You can read our reviews on our site, the reviews that are made directly on, or you can find us listed on Yelp. We’re proud to make service the cornerstone of our business and, I for one feel pretty confident that our customers agree.