Awards and Promotions

3 Ways to Get All the Pie on Pi Day, Even if You’re Working

Pi DayWe at VirtualPBX love what we do, and when you enjoy your work, every day is a good day. Some days, however, receive an extra special amount of recognition, and this week has one such exception. In honor of possibly the most important and compelling figure in all of mathematics, Tuesday, March 14 (3/14), is internationally recognized as Pi Day. While the focus on tomorrow’s festivities happens to be mostly on celebrating math and STEM education, there are also businesses that leverage the day’s attention, as well. Specifically, dessert counters and pizza parlors are playfully offering deals on the homophonic nature of Pi Day by offering discounts on slices of their own “pies.” And while we’re 100% in support of emphasizing the importance of mathematics in education, let’s face it, a bunch of deals on pie is motivation enough to get out of the office for a bit. And with that in mind, we’ve offered these three steps to maximizing your productivity while you’re also maximizing your pie consumption.

3 Ways to Get All the Pie on Pi Day

When you tell me there’s a deal on pie all day long, I don’t need to be asked to join because I’m already half way out the door. For others, though, they might want to get some more details first. Before you begin your unofficial pie scavenger hunt, take to Twitter or your local Rotary Club and learn what businesses in the area are running a promotion. Once you have your itinerary outlined, it’s time to hit the streets and let the fun begin! But as a public service announcement, it’s important that this is a day founded on more than just a love of flaky pastry and pizza dough. Again, only because our engineering team was so diligent with their math homework back in the day are we able to use these tools to get out of the office. But that being said, they didn’t design these cool remote-working features to not be used, right? That’s what we thought, too. Anyway, once you’re ready to begin, this is how we suggest you proceed.

  1. Cover Your Absence – Whenever you need to step out of the office, be it for pie or a doctor’s appointment, it’s always important to make sure people know you’re gone. Ideally, you’ll even have someone covering you while you’re away, too. When that isn’t an option, we suggest you employ an Auto Attendant to automatically field and direct all of the calls you might miss while you’re away.
  2. Stay Connected to the Office While You’re Out – For when the above isn’t an option or also isn’t enough to absolve you of responsibility for when you are out stuffing your face, you may need to still be available. You can do that a few ways, but if you don’t want to share your personal mobile number with inbound callers on your voicemail, or if you need to actually still appear to be in the office, an advanced call forwarding system like Follow Me Calling will automatically forward all your calls to any mobile device (or hardline to your favorite bistro, even!) that you desire!
  3. Pick Your Battles – As unexciting as it is to admit, sometimes you just can’t justify leaving work, surprisingly, not even for pie! For those unfortunate situations, it’s good to remember that delivery services are often available that will bring Pi Day to you, or for those deals that are so good that they are all, “In Store Only,” just take comfort in knowing they’ll probably be available for dinner after your shift, too. However, if you are able to just disconnect for the day, first let me congratulate you! Second, you probably don’t want work to get in the way of enjoying a bevy of baked goodness. If that’s the case, go ahead and flip on your automatic Do Not Disturb feature and make sure that nothing stands in the way of you and Pi Day celebrations.
  4. BONUS FOURTH STEP – There is no way this one should be overlooked, but it’s less of a step on how to enjoy Pi Day and more of a bit of advice on how to enjoy it correctly. It should go without saying that, no matter the circumstances, if you happen to step out or call in for a little slice of goodness on this Pi Day, make sure to get extra for everyone. Because if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that Pi Day, like all holidays, is meant to be shared. Plus, if nothing else, it’ll make that 3-hour lunch break you took be forgotten a lot sooner if you return with a few pastry boxes to share.

More than One Way to Slice the Pi

There you have it, this is the (un)official VirtualPBX Pi Day Celebration Guide! But we also know that no two Pi Days are alike, so make sure to let us know how yours goes on Twitter or Facebook, and we’ll make sure to do the same. Until then, have a productive day and Happy Pi Day!

Putting the Saving into Daylight Saving Time!

Daylight Saving TimeAt 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 12, 2017, the majority of the United States of America will begin the 2017 Daylight Saving Time season until the following November. This, for many of us, is an annual occurrence that sometimes complicates things in regards to our disconnected devices (car dashboard clocks, clock radios, etc) but is otherwise a fairly automated affair. Surely, with many people relying on their smartphones for alarm clocks and even more businesses switching to business phone systems like Dash that all switch to and from Daylight Saving Time automatically, there’s very little impact on our daily lives. However, for some of our customers, namely those who rely on the robust ACD Queues and technology behind our VirtualPBX Office Plans, time changes have to be executed manually. Because this relatively forgettable maintenance step is, well, forgettable, we wanted to take a moment to remind Office Plan users to plan for the switch this week. And to help reinforce the reminder, we’ve decided to put some literal “saving” into the Daylight Saving with a promo code for 10% off all Dash and Dash Unlimited Plans!

Daylight Saving Time!

See what we did there? When you enter the promo code “daylightsaving” you will receive 10% off of any Dash or Dash Unlimited plan. This includes any of the payment options, too, so you have the chance to really boost your savings if you use it for an annual plan. And what’s more, you don’t need to be currently on the Office Plan to benefit, so go ahead and share the promo code with colleagues and your network. You’ll receive a triple benefit when you do because you’ll let them in on a fool-proof way to save on their business communications, you’ll be providing them with a way to save even more with the promo code, and you’ll be reminding them of the fact that Daylight Saving Time hits this weekend. Triple dipper winner, right here.

Want to Make the Final Switch?

Because Dash and Dash Unlimited were made to be as user-friendly as possible, the DST changes are all automated by the system itself. For our customers who are on Office Plans and who also want to stop having to make the change manually, there is another way to benefit, too. Migrating your business communications from Office to Dash is an option that many of our customers have opted for and, we’re more than pleased to report, the results have been terrific. Of course, there are some situations where a business that relies heavily on some unique features is going to be best served with an Office Plan, regardless of how easily Dash handles the DST time change. That’s why we invite Office Plan customers to speak with one of our Plan Migrations Experts to discuss their specific needs and how Dash or Office will best meet them. But don’t worry, because in most cases the switch to Dash is also a boost to savings, but for those companies that might incur additional charges in a plan change, the “daylightsaving” savings still apply! So go ahead, remind your friends and colleagues about the time change, share the “daylightsaving” promo code with them, and be the business winner today. It is Monday, after all, so you might as well take the layup while you can.

We Have a Winner! #MobileYear Sweepstakes Winner, James Doyle

MobileYear Sweepstakes WinnerThe #MobileYear sweepstakes ended at the end of January and we’ve connected with our winner, mister James Doyle of the greater Tampa Bay area in Florida, for a brief chat about how he plans to use his winnings. As you recall, we proudly partnered with Remotive and Sneek, two awesome companies for remote professionals, to put together a prize package of distance working assets worth well over $1,000. Together with one free year of Dash Business VoIP Service, James is all set to tackle anything his business gets tossed his way. And as we found out, it turns out this is about the best possible timing imaginable for him, because he’s recently launched a new business.

Serendipity and Swoll

For those that may not be aware, “swoll,” is one of those new terms to describe what the youth in America refer to as being really bulked up from a lot of working out. And while James never actually used that term, it’s definitely related to his new business. James has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and, after honing his customer service skills through a successful career in the hospitality industry, he decided to combine his passion for fitness with his love for, well, dessert. Enter the newest sensation sweeping the fitness nation, FREEZINda! This is James’ patent-pending concept of an easy and enjoyable way for athletes to eat protein powder in a nice, frozen, ice cream-like form. The good timing of becoming the #MobileYear sweepstakes winner coinciding with the launch of a new business can’t possibly be overstated, especially with James’ bi-coastal lifestyle.

With You Wherever You Work(out)

James may call Tampa Bay home, but he has family in San Diego, enjoys vacationing in the summer all the way up in Anchorage, Alaska, and has business partners and franchises popping up all over the country so, clearly, he’s a man on the go. James recognizes the importance of establishing a good amount of momentum as soon as possible after launching a new company and counts the flexibility of his new remote working toolbox among his best assets to accomplishing that. Plus, considering he has employees, franchise opportunities, and supply partners scattered across the globe, he is going to be on the move a lot over the next year.

Stay Tuned for the Next Opportunity

We don’t make a habit of running sweepstakes that often, but we had a record-breaking amount of turnout for the #MobileYear sweepstakes, and really that can’t be ignored. While we can’t guarantee when the next such opportunity will come along, we can definitely tell you it has gotten us thinking about how we’re going to execute on the next one. The best way to keep in the loop for whenever that may be is to be like James and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Plus, you can always get some insight into what we have coming around the corner by taking a gander at our interactive VirtualPBX Product Roadmap on Trello. You can comment on what we’re doing, make suggestions, and you just might even get some inclination of what else we have brewing in the sweepstakes department, too.

Thanks to everyone who entered and helped to make this #MobileYear Sweepstakes such a huge success and please join me in congratulating James and wishing him luck with FREEZINda!

The Year of Excellence – Dash is Awarded VoIP Combo

VoIP ComboI know it seems unlikely, but the results are in and the past nearly 12 months have been a whirlwind for Dash, the business VoIP option that’s taking the industry by storm. And in keeping with the hit-the-ground-running-take-no-prisoners attitude that Dash had from the moment it landed, it’s ending its first year with a bang. In unprecedented fashion, Dash has just been awarded a pair of the most prestigious awards available for products in the hosted communications space. The VoIP combo to end all VoIP combos, Dash has just won the 2017 Internet Telephony Product of the Year and the 2016 Unified Communications Excellence Award!

VoIP Combo wins VoIP Combo?

It’s a bit of a mouthful, but these two big wins for Dash are similar to the one-two punch combo of beauty and brawn that has made Dash so successful thus far. In almost exactly one year, Dash has proven that the industry that was previously dominated by engineering-heavy and clunky, cumbersome VoIP products is ready, and eager, for something new. Dash has the backing of the full feature set of an enterprise-grade telephone network but with the sleek styling and intuitive interface of the latest consumer applications. This VoIP combo makes Dash ideal for addressing the complex unified communications needs of a modern business without requiring businesses to source highly specialized technical talent to do it. Anyone on any tea can log into the Dash user portal and begin using it. Or, and likely another reason why Dash has caught on so quickly, because of Dash’s nearly universal device compatibility, new users can often just access Dash for the first time right off of their smartphones.

2016 Excellence AwardInternet Telephony Product of the Year Award

It’s Tough to Start on a High Note

This is a fine problem to have, but winning these two awards so early in the 2017 calendar year makes it a bit daunting to consider where we’ll go from here. The fact is, though, that as proud as we are about how well our customers and peers have received Dash over the past twelve months, we haven’t really had the time to stop and enjoy it. That’s because we’ve been hard at work building out our VirtualPBX Product Roadmap and filling it with the projects of today, tomorrow, and beyond in the interest of never getting comfortable and taking successes like Dash for granted. We understand that with every new accolade that Dash receives, there is more motivation for our very talented and capable peers in the VoIP industry to eventually build something that will knock is down a few pegs. Until that time, however, we’ll be hard at, too. Because our customers depend on us to keep them connected while growing into their own great recognitions, we’ll never get tired of innovating new ways to help take them there.

No matter when the next milestone for us is released, you can make a point to see what all of the fuss has been about and check out Dash for yourself. You can even get a full two weeks of free Dash demo time on the platform for you and your team by signing up here. Either way please make sure to let us know on Twitter and Facebookwhat you think and how we can help your business telephone problems a thing of the past.

Sneek is Bringing Human Connection to Remote Teams

As a distributed team, we are always looking for new ways to maintain the highest standard of internal communications. When we came up with the concept of #MobileYear Sweepstakes, we set the bar high for the type of sponsor that best represents disruption of the traditional onsite workplace. When we found out how Sneek was revolutionizing the remote working culture, we realized we struck gold. With distributed teams and remote work growing in popularity, companies have been searching for a way to bring office culture to the digital space.

Say hello to Sneek.

Sneek is Bringing Human Connection to Remote Teams

From “Santa Goes Remote”

Q1. What is Sneek and how does it work?

In its simplest form, Sneek brings human contact back to the remote teams. The Sneek window is a wall of faces. You can see your whole team on one screen as Sneek takes your photo at a regular interval, 1 minute, 5 minutes or manual mode, all of which you control. You can add a personal status message to your chat head to show off your personality a bit and let your team know how you’re feeling that day. To start a video chat with someone just click on their face and instantly you will be connected for a one on one conversation, or click on multiple faces for a group chat. Sneek features screen sharing, so when explaining something to a teammate you can show them exactly what it is you’re explaining.

Sneek Team

Q2. Why did your remote team build Sneek?

Sneek was the brainchild of Analog Republic, a distributed team of developers from San Diego, Portland, Mexico, London, Brighton, Derry, and Orkney. As their team started expanding they wanted to find a way to feel more like a team rather than isolated workers.  In a real office you can just walk up to a co-workers desk and start a conversation and none of the tools they tried could even come close in terms of providing that kind of intimacy. They started experimenting with some of the already existing tools for team presence. Eventually, they decided that none of them quite made the cut for creating the virtual office experience they needed. They put their experience in building highly scalable infrastructures to use and everyone on the team pitched in their ideas and expertise. After lots of experimenting and refining, Sneek was born.

Q3. When did the Sneek team realize they were on to something big?

About a year had passed and Analog Republic were still using Sneek daily to communicate and stay connected as a team. They realized that it was exactly what they couldn’t find in the market and they decided that they should share it with the world. So on September 27th of 2016 Sneek went live to the public and was met with features on Product Hunt, ComputerWorld and more. They now have users in 569 cities worldwide, including high profile organizations such as British Gas and Lego.

Sneek Slack integrationQ4. What is your favorite Sneek feature?

Slack integration – you can start video chats or send “sneeksnaps” directly from Slack. You can type “/sneeksnap @username” to send an instant photo to your teammates. We also attach a hashtag to sneeksnaps and resurface those hilarious moments over and over again. Whether a teammate is yawning awkwardly, sneezing right as their picture is taken, or sticking headphones up their nose, sharing these micro-moments brings human connection to distributed teams. After all, a team that has fun together is a team that grows together.

Thanks Sneek!

If you are interested in bringing this innovative tool to your remote team you can sign up for a 14-day free trial. You can also follow their journey via blog, Twitter, and Instagram!

It’s not too late to sign up for the #MobileYear Sweepstakes. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to win a free year of Sneek for up to 5 team members + a free year of Dash + lifetime Remotive Slack membership! Sign up before January 31st by noon PST for a chance to win!

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