Posted on November 2, 2021 by Lon Baker
Robocalling has long been a problem in the telecom world. After years of attempting solutions like blocklists, do not call registries, or crowdsourced databases of unwanted or illegal caller ids, the FCC mandated the solution, named Stir/Shaken.
Stir/Shaken is a technical solution and database of carriers and businesses, that allows the receiving carrier to verify the quality of the caller or the likelihood they are a legitimate caller.
As a first attempt, it does reduce robocalls, spammers, and scammers — at least our early experience reflects that.
Update on Stir/Shaken: Early Effects to Look Out For
Anytime a complex system is altered there can be unexpected effects. One of these early effects of Stir/Shaken we’ve seen relates to the ubiquitous use of call forwarding.
With most voice platforms, forwarding inbound calls to a user phone, often a mobile phone, is common and the recipient wants to know who is calling. In this scenario, the Caller ID is passed through to the mobile phone.
However, this is where we see early effects of Stir/Shaken and the variety of carrier implementations tripping up their subscribers. When forwarding calls, especially from a mobile caller back out to another mobile device, the carrier’s implementation may block the calls completely.
Why does this happen?
The mobile carrier may see a Caller ID of one of their own subscribers, coming from an external carrier, like VirtualPBX. Their rules may be to assume that is impossible their customer has another profile and they block the call entirely.
Solutions for Those Using Call Forwarding
If you experience this issue, one workaround is to disable passing through the Caller ID so that the calls will complete. This will prevent mobile carriers from seeing multiple profiles. The calls will complete because all VirtualPBX hosted phone numbers are rated properly under Stir/Shaken, and have been since last December.
Of course, another solution is to revisit your options outside of call forwarding.
The most common reason we see for users who choose call forwarding is their desire to use existing mobile devices. While call forwarding does this simply and effectively, a more powerful solution exists in a VoIP softphone. Softphones, like the VirtualPBX Softphone, bring core features like voicemail, a company directory, SMS, and video conferencing.
Stir/Shaken has a lot of promise to kill off the spammers and scammers that have plagued the telecom world. It will take some time for carriers to refine their implementations and minimize the issues, such as Caller ID and Call Forwarding.
See Lon Discuss an Update on Stir/Shaken and More on the Data Standard Podcast!
Posted on October 29, 2021 by Charlie Galaviz
“Bring Your Own Telecom Provider” and “Call Center Software” are two of the main selling points of Microsoft Teams.
As a leader in Unified Communication Solutions, we’re excited to share exactly how our native integration will supercharge your Teams experience.
Improved call reliability, advanced call routing, and sophisticated call reports are just a few of benefits you can expect from our powerful integration.
Today’s blog will share how you can level up your Microsoft Teams call performance while maintaining user’s focus within Microsoft Teams.
1. Unlimited Calling
Unless all of your business contacts have Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams, you’re bound to outgrow the call limitations placed on Teams accounts. VirtualPBX offers the best of both worlds. From inside your Microsoft Teams portal, your employees can convienently receive inbound calls and make outbound calls to all 50 US states, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
2. Advanced Call Reports
When managing dispersed employees, call handling insights are vital to tracking the peformance and quality of your call operation. By leveraging our sophisticated call reports, you’ll be able to monitor employee performance or department-specific KPIs. Furthermore, our vast selection of time-based and performanced-based reports can be accessed by management on a schedule or on-demand.
3. Call Center Functionality
Enable your agents to be more effective when serving customers from anywhere. Empower your Microsoft Teams call center with robust features like ACQ Queues Pro and Multiple Auto Attendants. Plus, you get call center favorites like Whisper, Barge, Agent Performance, Activity Logs, and Dynamic Call Monitoring through VirtualPBX.
4. Call Routing Features
Our customers choose VirtualPBX to have precise control over their call routing. Features like Auto Attendant Menus, Department Routing, and ACD Queues Pro are designed with logic that keeps your caller experience frictionless and customer satisfaction high.
5. Phone Number Management
Our VirtualPBX dashboard makes it easy to manage your local, toll-free, and international numbers without bogging down your Teams account. Plus, you can utilize our Advanced Call Reports to track phone number activity for users, initiatives, and campaigns.
Give the Microsoft Teams Dialer a Boost
Your agents shouldn’t have to learn a new software to get superior call quality. With the VirtualPBX Microsoft Teams Integration, your employees will be able to access advanced telephony and call center features right from the Teams dialer.
If you would like to learn more, our experts are happy to offer a free demo of all that VirtualPBX has to offer your Microsoft Teams account.
Posted on October 26, 2021 by Megan Reninger
Last week, we announced a new integration with Microsoft Teams, a feature customers have requested to maintain focus, improve their productivity and meet the evolving business needs.
To evolve your business, products, or team’s work environment, you must be open to change and even breaking things.
When I say break things, I mean, open your mind to different ways of achieving the same goal or outcome, but in better and more optimal ways.
How We Built Momentum with Trello and AirTable
One of many examples from VirtualPBX, our team used Trello for years, and then a company-wide project came along that was challenging to manage in our existing system. We used this challenge as an opportunity to try something new, and in this case, it was Airtable – an extremely versatile and easy-to-use online collaboration tool. We designed the process to manage the project, leveraging our experience with Trello to ensure it was easy for team members to transition between tasks.
As we experienced the new process, we identified ways of improving older processes or breaking bad habits that had grown around using the previous tools.
Also, as our team experienced the improvements that came with our implementation and use of Airtable, different groups chose to migrate their processes into the new tool.
We encourage this type of transformation across the company. Team leaders, members, and customers provide the best insights into the effectiveness of our processes and tools.
The evolution of remote and hybrid work environments requires companies to adapt to deliver the best service and attract the best talent.
Encouraging this type of positive breakage prevents the stagnation of your business and your products and helps build momentum.
This principle is driving work on some of the most exciting changes in VirtualPBX’s history. All are coming from being willing to break things, often our habits and preconceptions.
Posted on October 21, 2021 by Rachel Anderson
This morning, Mobile Breakthrough Awards announced winners across a variety of categories that showcase excellence in mobile technology and service. The team over at VirtualPBX was honored to receive recognition as the Unified Communications Solution Provider of the Year. The competition this year was especially challenging – 2021 Mobile Breakthrough Awards having received over 2,600 nominations.
What Makes VirtualPBX a 2021 Mobile Breakthrough Award Winner?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – our aim is to meet customers where they are. And where are customers? On mobile devices! According to Tech Jury, in 2021, 67% of people are using their own devices at work. Of course, that fact comes with a lot of upsides – users are more familiar with their personal device than say, a hardware desk phone, they’re also better set up to work remotely, move around, and since most keep their phones nearby, they’re also more readily available on these devices than others. Of course, all that accessibility is a double-edged sword. How is the line drawn between work and personal? The same Tech Jury article states that, “87% of companies depend to some extent on their employee’s ability to access mobile business apps from their personal smartphones.” While ease of use is great, how do employers and employees draw the line?
That’s where VirtualPBX comes in. Using your personal mobile device at work should not have to mean sacrificing your privacy or your time off. Our own internal team at VirtualPBX, as well as our customers, have a preferred solution for handling this: the VirtualPBX Softphone App. The app is available for both iPhone and Android users, is free to download for VirtualPBX customers, and allows the following:
- Company Caller ID on incoming and outgoing calls
- Video Conferencing with pro controls like recording and automatically compiling meeting summaries
- SMS and internal team message groups
- Presence monitoring within your Company Directory so it is always clear who is on the clock, who is taking a lunch, and who is gone for the day
- DND (Do Not Disturb) mode when calls should be rejected and/or redirected
- And all the basics you’d expect on any phone, like Call History and Voicemail
Take Advantage This Month Only with 20% on Our Most Popular Plan
While we are honored to receive the Unified Communications Solution Provider of the Year accolade from Mobile Breakthrough Awards, we’re not letting our foot off the gas pedal any time soon. We’d love to show you what makes us a winner by helping your business where they are – in an office, in remote locations, or a mix of the two. Until the clock strikes midnight on October 31, 2021, we are offering 20% off on our most popular plan. Now is the perfect time to switch to VirtualPBX – just make sure to act fast! November is right around the corner!
Posted on October 19, 2021 by Rachel Anderson
Today, we shared that one of our most anticipated features has been released. Joining our list of integrations is Microsoft Teams. Our own team has been working hard to make sure this integration is smooth, continuing a core reason that businesses choose Microsoft Teams in the first place: to maintain focus, encourage productivity, and keep their teams on the same page and within the same interface.
Not Your Regular VoIP Device
Customers choose VirtualPBX for robust call routing features, Advanced Call Reports, Auto Attendant menus, and department options. With VirtualPBX, you present a professional appearance for your callers while also gaining critical data that informs your business decisions. But what about your employees’ experience? That’s where our new Microsoft Teams Integration comes into play.
The Microsoft Teams Integration functions like another device on a user. Your calls flow just as they did without the integration and your data continues to flow, too – your users just answer calls right inside of Microsoft Teams.
The Microsoft Teams interface is built for communication. Users chat, share files, and take advantage of the apps marketplace. Another core consideration is the ability to make calls, check your voicemail, and view call history. VirtualPBX integrates directly with these native features. Since the connection with VirtualPBX happens in the background, no user training is required and your employees maintain their standard processes.
Get More Out of Microsoft Teams Today
Supercharge your company’s use of Microsoft Teams when you integrate with VirtualPBX. Keep the focus and productivity you’ve built and layer on a better experience for callers and detailed analytics for your decision makers. Plus, not only is the experience easy – getting started is easy too. Learn more about our Microsoft Teams Integration and get in touch with our team today! We’d love to show you around and discover how we can improve your business communications and get more out of every call.