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VirtualPBX Blog

The VirtualPBX Blog showcases topics that matter most to your business. Whether we discuss a trending Top 5 or dig deep into telephony, these features offer something for every business.

VirtualPBX Adds Puerto Rico to Local Traffic List

Puerto RicoOur customers asked and we listened – Puerto Rico has officially been added as a location for VirtualPBX local traffic! With a population over three million and its status as a United States territory, there has been no shortage of call traffic to and from Puerto Rico and the Continental US. In fact, at VirtualPBX, we’ve seen this number grow and with it, the demand to make those calls easier. Now, by categorizing this traffic as local, VirtualPBX customers can save even more.

What Else is Considered Local Traffic?

All VirtualPBX Plans allow for either a set number of local minutes each month (Spark Plans) or an unlimited number of local minutes per month (Flex, Essentials, and Advanced Plans). The following locations are all included in this group:

  • 50 United States (including Alaska and Hawaii)
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico

Start Making Calls to Puerto Rico

Not a customer yet? No problem! Browse our Business Phone Plans to find the feature set and included minutes that work best for you and your team. Each plan includes free training sessions – simply ask your VirtualPBX representative to help set you up to make calls to and/or from Puerto Rico. Of course, if you prefer to work directly with a sales team member to help steer you in the right direction, we have representatives standing by right here in our online chat!

Already a VirtualPBX customer? Reach out to us by phone, chat, or email [email protected] to enable this on your account. Once this has been enabled, you may define which devices on your account should and should not be able to make calls to and from Puerto Rico.

Tech Talks with COO Lon Baker: The Future of Work is Remote

Tech Talks with COO Lon Baker: The Future of Work is RemoteHaving been around for over twenty years we have seen business change in so many ways. From the adoption of what became known as hosted phone services to distributed mobile collaboration applications.

In today’s environment, after over a year of disruptions to the workplace, a growing number of people have had to adapt and develop new work habits; adopting collaboration tools, working from home, and embracing the challenges and benefits. A growing number of employees view going back to the the old ways as a step in the wrong direction.

VirtualPBX Remote Team Management E-Book Cover

The Future of Work is Remote

These employees are now looking for innovative and agile companies that have embraced this new work world and is an opportunity to recruit the best of the best from anywhere in the world.

99% of the best employees do not live anywhere near your company’s geographic offices. Embracing collaboration tools that include voice, video, sms and automation tools, will allow them to seamlessly form distributed teams that will propel their business.

Collaboration Tools Power Remote Teams

At VirtualPBX we use our own tools to manage teams spread out across the United States and overseas. The backbone being our voice platform and Desktop and Mobile Softphone that displays real-time presence information for employees. This allows each of us to see when someone is available, busy, away, on a call or in a meeting.

Our Collaboration tools powers our video conferencing and screen sharing for scheduled or quick on the fly meetings.

Additionally, our platform includes a rich API and integrations with Zapier that helps teams improve our process, automate repetitive tasks, collect business data, or implement email, SMS and Slack notifications for key internal and external events.

All of these tools allow us to have a more connected and effective team than when we had as a geographically based team 5 years ago.

Today we are recruiting remote team members for our Sales, Marketing and Billing teams. Just one of our recent job posting generated 10 time the number of applicants by focusing on recruiting for remote-only positions.

If your company wants to thrive in the new remote work first world, embrace platforms that connect your teams and empower them to build processes to help them work better.

5 Types of Business Phone Numbers and Why You Should Use Them

Business Phone Numbers

Business phone numbers offer a reliable and professional way for callers to contact your business. Aside from presenting a credible public appearance, business numbers can help you reach local, national, and international customers.

Additionally, the various business numbers offer different advantages, such as aiding branding, improving accessibility, and tracking campaign performance.

Today’s blog will share five types of business phone numbers to help you decide which type is right for your business.

5 types of business phone numbers

Local Numbers

Local numbers serve businesses from startups and entrepreneurs to national companies with regional locations. They appear more trustworthy and credible when appearing in local directories and search engines. Thus, they receive higher answer rates and incoming call volume. Finding a Local Number is easy. Using a Local Number lookup tool, you’ll be able to browse numbers in your area that are available.

International Numbers

Are you trying to expand your overseas business inside the United States? International Phone Numbers allow you to grow your business across the pond and beyond. Further, US-based companies can offer international customers inexpensive calling options by selecting from thousands of available numbers priced at $4.99 each per month.

Toll-Free Numbers

Toll-Free numbers convey size and importance. They also provide a cost-free way for long-distance callers to contact your business. The most popular toll-free number prefix is 800, but 888, 877, 866, and 855 are also common. If you’re trying to improve accessibility to your business and don’t mind footing the bill, toll-free numbers are the way to go. You can browse Toll-Free Numbers starting at $1.99 each per month using our lookup tool.

Vanity Numbers

Vanity Numbers like 1-800 Flowers leave a great first impression, they’re memorable, and they generate more business. At VirtualPBX, We believe Vanity Numbers are worth their weight in gold. Check out our guide on how to create an intelligent Vanity Number for your business.

DID Numbers

DID Numbers (Direct-Inward-Dialing) eliminate the middleman when important callers are trying to reach a specific person or department at your business. They can even be routed directly to a particular ring group, device, or voicemail box. For example, DID numbers could be used to bypass a receptionist to provide a direct line to your sales team.

Claim Your New Business Number Today

Ready to claim your business number? VirtualPBX offers one of the largest databases of local, toll-free, vanity, and international numbers. And that’s just the beginning; VirtualPBX offers award-winning business phone plans for businesses of all types and stages. Once more, every plan offering includes at least three local or toll-free numbers for free.

If you would like to learn more, our experts are happy to offer a free demo of all that VirtualPBX has to offer your business.

VirtualPBX Softphone Updates August 2021

The latest and greatest is now available on the VirtualPBX Softphone for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac users. Already the VirtualPBX employee favorite device, we’ve made a series of improvements to improve user experience. For those with automatic updates enabled, the below changes are already available to you. Need to download the newest version manually? No problem. Our apps page contains download links and instructions for each platform.

So, What’s New in the VirtualPBX Softphone?

Desktop (Windows and Mac) 6.4.2

  • You can now join someone’s conference from the dialer. Type the host’s name and you’ll see multiple options appear – choose their Meeting Room and you’ll enter their conference.
  • Changes in the conference (collaboration) toolbar:
    • Assign Yourself the Floor
    • Mute the Meeting
    • Conference Resolution
  • Ability to provision an additional certificate name for a SIP server.
  • When auto-upgrading to a newer version, if only one account is found on your device, the account will automatically be selected and only asks your password. This improvement aims to streamline the auto upgrade process for end users.
  • Previously a built-in microphone on some Windows laptops appeared in the drop down list, but did not recognize sound. This issue has been resolved for several devices including the HP EliteBook 840 G6, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga, Lenovo X1 Carbon, and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen8.
  • Ability to assign (and un-assign) the floor to another person in the Participants tab.

iOS 6.5.2

There have been improvements to the overall stability and performance, such as:

  • A fix for a broken link in file transfer.
  • A fix for the chatroom error “Room not available” after the XMPP account reconnected.

Android 6.5.2

  • In Preferences, the “Use Native Dialer” option has been removed under Telecom Framework native integration. SIP calls will be made using the VirtualPBX Softphone rather than native dialer.
  • A fix for an issue where contact suggestions are not visible on the dialpad while typing. This issue is observed when moving back to the dialer tab from other tabs on version 6.5.1.
  • A fix for the voicemail count icon disappearing after declining an incoming call.
  • Adjusted the size of the green call button on the dialpad.

What is the Difference Between DNIS and ANI?

DNIS and ANI Track Phone Numbers in a VoIP System - Use DNIS to Monitor Your Own Business TrafficThe two concepts of Domain Number Identification Service (DNIS) and Automatic Number Identification (ANI) are often lumped together, and often confused. Today we’ll outline the similarities and differences between DNIS and ANI so you can better understand each of them.

Both DNIS and ANI are built into the makeup of telephony and VoIP systems. You can learn about the underpinnings of your phone service by reading our What is VoIP? guide. For now, today’s blog will make a good introduction to the aforementioned concepts and can help you understand more about how your calls work.

What is DNIS?

VirtualPBX Advanced Call Reports Filter for DNISDNIS lets businesses see the phone number that was dialed to reach their offices. This can be useful because of the range of ways that businesses offer callers to reach the same locations.

For example, consider a business that uses several local phone numbers and toll-free numbers which all reach a single office location. It presents these numbers across multiple web-based advertisements, billboards, and flyers. One local number is used for flyers, but several toll-free numbers are used in the ads and billboards, so how does the business know which number the caller has dialed? How can the company examine its marketing efforts to see what has been effective?

DNIS shows the phone number this business’s customer has dialed. Therefore, although all of its phone numbers can point to the same Auto Attendant, and each caller may think they have reached a unique part of the business, analysis of the inbound calls can reveal which part of its marketing efforts have led callers to its central office.

The importance of DNIS cannot be understated because it clears up any confusion about a customer’s intention to dial a specific number associated with a business.

We have a services page on the VirtualPBX website that can help you learn more about using DNIS to track and monitor your inbound calls. And you can read more about our customer, MESA Supplies uses our Advanced Call Reports tool to filter for DNIS values to track its own marketing campaigns.

Map of How DNIS Is Used at a Business

What is ANI?

VirtualPBX Advanced Call Reports Filter for ANIAlthough DNIS and ANI may seem similar – because they both focus on phone number identification – they actually don’t have more than that basic property in common.

ANI identifies the phone number associated with the caller. While DNIS may be useful for your business and its marketing efforts, ANI is more useful for billing purposes and is often used by carriers to determine who made a call, when it was made, and for how long.

  • DNIS shows the number that was dialed
  • ANI shows the number of the dialer

ANI tends to exist in the background. It’s not something that would ordinarily be useful to your business in any way beyond your phone bill. However, there are several layers to billing, including the amount you as a customer are charged and the amount your VoIP provider (like VirtualPBX) owes to its carriers (like Bandwidth). Costs are passed along the chain, so to keep track of it all, systems like ANI are used.

If you want to dig further into your call data, you can simulate what an ANI report would show by creating an Advanced Call Reports filter based on the Outside Number of your caller. The screenshot above provides an example of what that would look like for your own business.

Keep in Mind DNIS and ANI

We get the question “What is DNIS and ANI?” all the time from customers. We hope that this short primer helps you get a better understanding of these concepts.

If you want assistance working with DNIS at your own business, we’re happy to help. Start a chat with us today.