Hello again from VirtualPBX! It’s that time of year again when we pause to look back and, like every year before, reflect on the great strides we’ve made over the past 12 months. This year has been significant in so many ways but there is one key consistent aspect of it that we are eternally grateful for, and that is our wonderful community of customers without whom none of this would have ben possible. This year, however, we were able to collaborate with our users in ways like we never have before and the result has been equally historic, as well.
Community Driven Success
Typically, we’ve worked on our newest projects by evolving and refining our internal processes, but this year marked the beginning of a new, more fruitful, path to product development. By introducing our VirtualPBX Product Roadmap, we were able to begin including the people most intimately involved with our products into the design process therefore. Our Product Roadmap does more than offer a glimpse into the future of our newest products and features. It’s also an avenue for our power users to offer feature requests, comments on our trajectory, and even gain valuable access to exclusive beta testing programs as all of these new technologies become available. Through this process, we’ve been able to boost our productivity, shorten development cycles, and improve the overall quality of our offerings in record time. The Awards and Recognition we’ve received from industry press and peer-review boards alike speak volumes about the results of this new process. Our truest success, however, can measured in the thousands of businesses that are getting more from their phone systems than ever before. To give just a few of those milestones another moment in the sun, we’ve outlined some of the highlights of our customer-centric product development process below.
Blacklisting Bad Actors
Spam callers are frustrating and can be a time-consuming irritation under the best of conditions. In more extreme cases, malicious callers and robo-dialers can even rake up costly call traffic and tie up your employees from doing their actual work. Our collaborative solution to that was the all new Blacklisting feature. This allows for businesses to collaboratively add, manage, and update all of the flagged spam numbers they encounter. Once uploaded, these numbers are blocked from ever reaching any extension or number across a business’ entire telephone system automatically and in perpetuity.
VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone and Salesforce CRM Integration
One of the biggest waves we made this year was the collaboration we had with one of the largest companies in the entire SaaS space, Salesforce. By delivering a VirtualPBX Desktop Softphone and Salesforce CRM integration, we brought to our customers a marriage of two of the most vital tools for the modern, sales-reliant organization. With the complete and complimentary integration of the mobile-first telephone system, Dash, along with powerful customer relationship management from Salesforce, sales teams everywhere are more capable, independent and profitable everywhere. Plus, for managers of sales teams, the integration also comes with entirely new data visualizations for all manner of relevant data points for contacts, conversions, and more.
Getting Caught by Webhooks
If you hadn’t heard of Webhooks before now, you’re not alone, because they were news to this author not too long ago as well. However, thanks to the work from our engineers and users alike, the need for more integrations and automations has become abundantly clear. Good thing, too, now that VirtualPBX supported Webhooks come with every Dash Basic, Pro, and Unlimited Plan. With hundreds of the most popular business application supported, the potential applications of Webhooks with VirtualPBX are limited by only the imagination of a company’s employees. Being able to have your business phone system communicate with the other critical applications for your business is great on its own, but considering that we also include the first Webhook for free on all of our plans, it doesn’t get any better than that!
The Second Act for SIP Trunking
SIP Trunking was another area that took an unexpected turn for the better this year thanks to the hard work of our UX/UI designers and engineering teams. For years, there have been companies that had locked themselves into long-term amortization and depreciation schedules by having invested heavily into on-site PBX hardware. Those companies still wanted to take advantage of the mobility and cost-saving benefits of a cloud-based PBX, however, but their options to do so were relatively antiquated compared to the intuitive and streamlined VoIP Plans available. Realizing this, we set out to deliver the solution and have been thrilled at the adoption of our entirely new SIP Trunking Solutions that combine the technological potency that is required to bridge on-site and hosted PBX systems along with the simplicity and performance that is desired by modern enterprises.
Bringing ACD Queues to Dash
No list of major 2017 milestones in telephony would be complete without the mention of one of our most anticipated releases, the entirely new ACD Queues that we rolled out into Dash Features earlier this year. The advancement of our call queue technology has been made possible by the fact that we’ve been offering call queues, hunt groups, and a variety of other creative departmental call routing solutions for nearly two decades. All of that experience, along with the invaluable insight gained from our beta testing period with our own customers, contributed to what is arguably the most capable and easy to use enterprise queuing system available in the cloud. Complete with all of the admin features of previous systems but with the added benefits of it being a hosted system makes the new ACD Queues on Dash a formidable service for organizations with high call volumes, tight budgets, and zero tolerance for mediocrity. Seriously, we’re really excited about how these are working for our customers, so if you are a growing business that needs more sophisticated routing and queuing, you should really check them out today.
Being Here for You Around the Clock
We wish we could give credit to our customer feedback loop for our industry-leading commitment to service, but this is something we’re proud to say has been with us from the start. From our earliest days, we understood that if we were going to compete in the emerging market of VoIP providers, we were going to have win the battle for providing unparalleled Customer Support. We’ve been fortunate to have a great and dedicated team that has routinely put us on the short list for leaders in support in our industry, but when we unveiled our 24/7, 365 days a year Support for free with every VoIP account, we believe we’ve pulled ahead of the pack. We host telephone numbers for over 140 countries in the world and our customers represent business interests from every corner of the globe, so a simple 9-5 just never would have cut it. Because we understand that our success is directly related to the success of our customers, and because they are out there mixing it up every hour of the day, we’re committed to being there for them no matter what happens and no matter when it happens. Of course, ideally you’ll never have to speaks to our friendly folks in Customer Support, but if you happen to need them, they’re just a phone call away any time of the day.
What’s Next for 2018
If you haven’t noticed yet, the theme of transparency should be coming through pretty, um, clearly. We have the major plans for 2018 all outlined on our VirtualPBX Product Roadmap right now and are constantly adding to and updating them as we go along. A few of the highpoints coming up include text messaging, further integrations with g-suite, Slack, and other top business tools, along with a few other surprises that we’re keeping close to the chest. No matter what the topic, feature, or product may be, however, we’re always eager to hear your perspective on how it will impact your business. In the interest of keeping our efforts focused on improving that impact and increasing your productivity by reducing the clutter in your communications operations, please consider joining in the conversation either there or with us over social media. The premium value of your participation is the only certainty in our industry, and we’re honored to include it into every business decision we make.
There you have it, folks! As you can see, it has been quite a year indeed. We want to invite you to join us for the next adventure that’s hiding on the other side of the calendar. We have even more plans to include our communities, both around our various worldwide offices and our global digital community, in more events, promotions, and releases than ever before. Plus, we promise to have a little bit of fun along the way. Whatever the case may be, just know that we will stay steadfast on our course, committed to excellence, and willing to always go the extra mile for you every step of the way. Please accept our gratitude for being an indispensible part of our 2017, as well as our invitation to the front row of what is to come in 2018!
From all of us at VirtualPBX, may you all have a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!