Posted on March 1, 2018 by Dan Quick
It’s that time of the year again! It’s the time that I generally like to take a trip to somewhere that would otherwise not be a bad place to visit, should it be during a wildly different time on the calendar. This time, I’ll be traveling to Iceland where you may know, there are massive glaciers that exist in the Summer months! What can I say? I’m a contrarian at heart, I guess. Or, perhaps more accurately, I just like the cost benefits of traveling out of the peak tourist season. That and I have a bunch of great cold weather adventuring gear I don’t often get to use in the routinely mild climate of Silicon Valley. All that aside, I’ve seen a lot of questions on Facebook, Twitter, and on our VirtualPBX Product Roadmap that all seem to be perfectly addressed with this off-schedule travel arraignment. Specifically, people often want to know how to prepare your business phone system for international travel. Wonder no more! Because this time around we’ll address the most important steps to take to prepare your business phone system for international travel.
How to Prepare Your Business Phone System For International Travel First Steps
Update Follow Me Calling
It should go without saying at this point that the best way to go about managing remote presences via a business phone system is to first be using a VoIP business phone system like Dash. I’m a little biased, of course, but the reality is that a cloud-based phone system like Dash is infinitely more adjustable and manageable than even the most advanced, on-site PBX systems can compare to. Anyway, provided you’re on Dash, the steps to prepare your business phone system for international travel are pretty simple. To get started, let’s begin with forwarding your calls using Follow Me Calling.
- Log into Dash and Select “Users” on the left hand menu.
- Next, look to the right and click on “User Features.”
- In the next view, select “Follow Me Calling.”
- Toggle the enabled/disabled slider to the “enabled” setting.
- Then, using the ensuing slider menu, you can elect to have as many different numbers ring sequentially or concurrently as you please. You can also choose how long the rings last and their sequence.
This above scenario is great for people who are traveling internationally but want to still be in contact with their operations. For folks who are on a vacation, however, and want to completely disconnect, they can follow the above steps but then select “Call Forwarding” once they reach step #3 and proceed from there.
Update Business Hours
Next, if you haven’t already established the hours of operation for your business, right before you leave the country is a great time to do so. This is especially important for smaller organizations with less contingent coverage when somebody is out of the office, and essential for entrepreneurs who are running their entire business by themselves. These are all reasons why the next important step to prepare your business phone system for international travel is to update your business hours in Dash.
- Log into Dash and Select “Hours” in the upper right hand of the dashboard page.
- Next, to edit your hours select “Custom Office Hours,” or else your phones will ring and route the same way during all 24 hours of the day.
- Then, it’s just as simple as selecting the days you are open, and assigning the times that you expect to be in the office.
- Clicking in the box at the bottom that asks if you’re closed for lunch will allow you to do the same thing for your lunch breaks, too. You don’t have to manage lunch hours unless you check this box.
- Then, you can return to the dashboard, select “Main Number” in the left-hand menu, and proceed to “Incoming Call Handling” if you have decided to manage the inbound calls differently during your lunch or after hours windows.
Again, it’s not required to input hours of operation into your Dash business telephone system. However, in the instances when you’re not going to be around or that you’ll be on the other side of the globe, it’s definitely a good idea to do so. This is especially true if you’re a smaller organization and definitely if you aren’t interested in taking the phone calls with you on your travels. Because, remember, without these office hours and incoming call handling protocols in place, you could be getting woken up halfway around the world while the person on the other end of the line simply thinks he’s trying to call you at a convenient time.
One Last Thing to Remember Before You Leave Town
I know the title of this blog is how to prepare your business phone system before traveling, but there’s one last element of the overall business communications spectrum that is critical to remember. Specifically, I’m talking about your email. Creating an out of office auto response is simple and only takes a second to complete. The frustration that can be avoided by doing this well in advance of leaving is another great reason to make sure to remember to do it, too. The steps are different across all of the various email client services but accomplishing it on any one of the major options is very easy. If you’re not sure where to begin, however, a quick search online will yield an easy tutorial, I’m sure. Also, if there’s anything else you’d need to get done before leaving for your next big trip or any other time for that matter, we’re always just a click or call away. Contact our Customer Support anytime, day or night, and we’d be happy to help you through all of your preparations be they for across the world, or just across town.
Posted on October 24, 2017 by Dan Quick
Network remediation is one of the largest service components for telecommunications services companies and it provides remedies for the challenges facing a business communications network. Because modern business communications systems are often totally or partially reliant on the cloud to power their operations, as the name suggests, these services often revolve around network connections in identifying, diagnosing, and ultimately resolving any underlying issues. Network remediation services can take several different forms, but they generally fit into one of three different categories that we outline below.
Establishing Healthy Network Connections
This first stage of network remediation is less of a correction and more of a prevention. By conducting thorough network assessments prior to installing complex communications systems, many problems that can result from capacity or threshold limitations can be avoided altogether. One way to ensure this is by leveraging Network Bandwidth Services that can broker network provisions on the behalf of businesses. This is a way to garner greater minimum bandwidth levels and often at process below what are typically advertised. Another way to help prevent network problems before remediation is required is to conduct periodic Network Health Checks as a business grows and evolves to ensure that the network it is on can handle any increases in activity. More than a simple VoIP speed test, Network Health Checks look at the holistic use of a business’ network to account for ebbs and flows of activity throughout the course of a typical workday and work week.
Maintaining Healthy Network Connections
Another category of the network remediation family tree is maintenance. Once you’ve got the assurance that your network is ideal for your business needs, you can just fire it up and never look back without a care, right? Not exactly. Because networks require an element of maintenance and observation to guarantee long-term health, an element of professional Network Monitoring is highly recommended. This service will keep firmware and software updates current and will constantly monitor the behavior and health of the entire array of network devices and portals. Another, more involved service that accounts for this and even addresses the composition of the communications services that the network supports is a full-fledged Concierge Service that is effectively like having a professional network engineer on your team. Either method, though, will ensure the ongoing and lasting health of a communications network.
The third and final category of network remediation services is the one where most businesses would hope to avoid at all costs. This is the point where problems like VoIP jitter, voice lag, packet loss, and any other of a variety of connections issues arise. But because relatively few companies will employ the above pair of preventative measures to avoid network limitations impacting their communications, this is not an uncommon problem for businesses to encounter at all. When true communications problems arise, Network Remediation and Troubleshooting is essential to get an office back up and running. The potential list of areas where an issue could exist is lengthy, so commercial network remediation techniques are rather expansive and can be time-consuming. That underscores the importance of taking preventative measures beforehand, but it also provides the peace of mind that no network problems go unnoticed or misdiagnosed at this vital stage. Also, there is one particular service for network remediation that is available to businesses anywhere, regardless of the size of their networks, the nature of their challenges, and even regardless of who their underlying service provider is. VoIP Clear Fix Service is truly the gold standard for network remediation and its award-winning success rate is the bar by which all other remediation services are measured. Plus, because it doesn’t matter where a business gets their network or their communications services, it really is an option for any business, anywhere.
No matter where in these three stages a business may find itself in its journey to securing a healthy, effective, and reliable telecommunications network, there are solutions available. Another point to mention is that, though all of these problems are frustrating, they are correctable. Nothing should stand in the way of a business securing the fastest and most reliable hosted communications network it wants, and the above battery of network remediation services is sometimes the fastest, or only, way to get there.
Posted on September 26, 2017 by Dan Quick
We’ve been at the grindstone for over 20 years now building, selling, and servicing some of the greatest business telephone systems available. Sometimes, when we look back on the things we’ve produced or take a peek down the VirtualPBX Product Roadmap, it can get pretty unbelievable to consider all of the changes that have occurred over that time. Plus, building things may be our wheelhouse, but servicing our customers is really our true passion. That’s why sometimes it can feel, just as the various armies of small, diligent workers that build some of our favorite cookies and snacks, like we’re operating our own oak tree factory sometimes, too. Now, with us unveiling a totally new 24/7, year-round, US-Based, and totally included with every plan, Customer Support policy for vConsole, that’s true now more than ever before.
Millions of Little Hands Hard at Work
I’ll admit it could be creepy to consider comparing ourselves to some of the more fringe depictions of laborers in fantasy. Nobody likes the idea of the forced subservience of Roald Dahl’s Oompa Loompas, after all. However, I believe the comparison stands because, according to the bedtime stories of families that celebrate Christmas, it’s the diligence of Santa’s Elves that make all the toys for all the children in the world each year. Plus, the Doozers from Fraggle Rock dutifully build their structures only to have them repeatedly setback time and time again. Not too unlike real construction sometimes, no? We can liken ourselves to those hard-working little Doozers or the Keebler Elves because our work is definitely a labor of love. Plus, it’s best that we are now available to literally every customer in over 100 countries all night long because, when you cover such a large area, it’s dangerous to assume that it’s not also the middle of the workday somewhere else.
Getting the Most From Your Service
Admittedly, this has been in the works for a while. Once we opened up our 24 hour service to Dash, users, we knew we couldn’t leave our other products and services behind for long. But there was also some great feedback we got on both the VirtualPBX Product Roadmap and through our social media channels that really reinforced the decision to unroll 24/7 Customer Support to vConsole users, as well. Which leads us to the next point being that if you ever want to see more or less of something with your service, let us know! We’re always around (ahem, 24/7…) and always eager to hear what you have to say. If contacting our Customer Support through the regular channels isn’t your preference, you can also always reach us on Twitter or Facebook, too. Either way, please enjoy the new 24/7 coverage and I apologize if now, all you can think of is cookies and Willy Wonka. Go grab a snack, you deserve one!
Posted on March 2, 2017 by Dan Quick
Recently a lawmaker in California proposed the idea of allowing bars and restaurants to extend final call from 2:00 AM to 4:00 AM. We don’t really view ourselves as experts on the merits of a longer window for alcohol sales, but we sure do know about late nights. We have customers all over the world and, as a result, we operate in a 24-hour business cycle. That’s why introducing our After Hours Answering Service has been a natural step in the progression of our products and services.
After Hours Answering Service Means NO Final Call!
When you have a 24-hour business day, you need to hedge your resources to keep coverage up around the clock. Sometimes, though, that isn’t a viable option in spite of what your requirements are. We have lots of customers who find themselves in this situation from time to time. Whether headcount changes create vacancies in your workday or if your business simply grows faster than you can accommodate it, customers in need are equally high priorities no matter where in the day or night they arise. With a VirtualPBX Professional Answering Services, you get access to as large of a team of trained, scalable, professional, and highly screened experienced receptionists as you need. Plus, this cost-effective method of keeping the lines open 24 hours a day is the fastest way to have a fully dedicated call center staff without any of the training or time commitments of starting your own. With us handling the overnight crowd on your behalf, you don’t have to worry about when to determine where “final call” comes around in your office ever again.
Professional Services For Your Whole Business
We have had such a good reception to our new After Hours Answering Service for a lot of reasons. Not the slightest of which is the caliber of our team of professional receptionists who meet both our customers’ and our own exacting standards. Another reason that we had such a smooth integration of After Hours Answering Services into our offerings was that managing communications services for our clients is such an enormous portion of what we do. Because the majority of the industry recognition that we get is for our own proprietary technology, our robust Professional Services often are spared the limelight. Truth be told, though, we invest as much time and attention into building out the systems that not only provide expert after hours answering services, but also brand agnostic VoIP remediation, network optimization, and emergency failover services.
So the next time you find yourself at the office late into the night and wonder if you can get home or to dinner with some coworkers before final call, remember that VirtualPBX has the solution. Never close your office, or simply improve productivity with an enhanced network all through VirtualPBX Professional Services and you’ll also never have to miss another final call again, either. No matter how late or early it happens to be!
Posted on February 7, 2017 by Dan Quick
The ticker tape has been falling on the New England Patriots for what seems like an eternity. Or, at least for a diehard Steelers fan such as myself, it can certainly feel like it will never end, but that’s not the point. The point here is that, for those of you who watched the playing of Super Bowl LI in Houston this past Sunday, it was a very good lesson in the fact that it’s never over until it’s actually over. The stick-to-itiveness of the Patriots is the focus of an analogy for our VoIP Clear Fix Service in that even if all other options appear to have been exhausted, there is always a way to get the job done if you just keep trying.
This is no Motivational Poster
Look, I’m not going to sit here and try to convince you of the power of a positive mental attitude and give you a locker-room pep talk. What I am going to do is relate the countless stories we’ve heard over the past two decades from customers who have switched to VirtualPBX because they’ve had it with a seemingly uncorrectable quality issue on their VoIP service. To be completely honest, many of these businesses didn’t want to leave their VoIP provider because they had otherwise positive experiences but had simply reached the end of their ropes insofar as call quality, specifically relating to network issues, was concerned. The real risk here is that many of the companies with an experience like this could be forced to revert back to a costly on-site PBX with doubts that a hosted system will be able to meet their standards. This is where the analogy about hanging in there is relevant.
Exhaust Your Options, Not Yourself
Again, I hate that I have to mention the poise and focus of the Patriots, but the stats suggested that they really should have just phoned-in the last quarter of the game. Until this past Sunday, in NFL postseason history, teams trailing by 19 points or more through 3 quarters had a 0-93 record. That’s how many points the Patriots trailed by, and yet they still hung in there to force the first overtime in Super Bowl history and win on their opening drive therein. To continue the corollary into business VoIP, some businesses that have network bandwidth issues can have mediocre corrections presented to them. Typically, this involves throttling all other non-voice related traffic across their network. This is an unattractive option for many companies who (gasp) rely on the internet for far more than just their telephones. VoIP Clear Fix Solutions address this head-on by tunneling an alternate, protected, and reinforced channel exclusively for the travel of voice traffic to and from your network. This simultaneously leaves the bulk of other network activity to be unaffected, so Johnson in the cube next to you can stream the victory parade in Boston totally unaffected. Gag.
Another option that is widely unknown to VoIP subscribers across all providers is that when an issue arises in the actual ISP that connects their business to the internet, there are rarely any solutions to be had. VoIP Clear Fix Service is actually something that can help all businesses in diagnosing and correcting these types of challenges, regardless of who their provider is. Thanks to our engineers’ vast array of experience with VoIP remediation, they can accurately pinpoint where in a network any issues exists. Plus, if it happens to be in an ISP, they can even negotiate alternative connections for a company, often at huge monthly savings, too! The most incredible facet of the VoIP Clear Fix Service is that these examples and dozens of other possible solutions can all be conducted for any VoIP customer of any VoIP provider.
More Than One Way to Win
There’s one more bewildering, though undeniably impressive, statistic from the last game of the 2016 NFL season that is pertinent here. The Patriots led the football game for exactly zero seconds, and yet they still managed to win by scoring a touchdown in sudden death overtime. If nothing else, that proves that there are definitely more ways to win than we might initially think, and so too does VoIP Clear Fix prove that there are more options than may initially be made available. The above are just a sample of how VoIP Clear Fix Service has helped companies of all descriptions and sizes correct their call quality issues, regardless of who their VoIP provider is. And when a business is locked-in to a contract that would be too costly to break, especially just to return to an inadequate landline PBX, there can seem to be nowhere else to turn. That’s why, even if it comes with the dubious distinction of leveraging the historic win by the New England Patriots to do it, sharing the value of a VoIP Clear Fix Service solution from VirtualPBX is worth the effort.
In need of your own unbelievable win over poor voice quality? No problem. We have an opening just for your business to discuss your problems, explore your options, and deliver a game-winning solution right now. Contact our network-engineering experts today to get started. And remember, there’s always next year.