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General Telephony

Independence Day Celebrations
July 2nd, 2015

Driveway Fireworks

If you’re anything like us, you’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a while now. Our team is scattered (or currently about to begin scattering) all over the world visiting friends and family to share in celebration of Independence Day. It sure is a good thing that we have a connection in the hosted telephone game, too, because that means everyone can stay connected when they are out of the office. You knew that was coming, didn’t you? That’s not entirely the focus this, though, because we feel it’s important to recognize what is sometimes overlooked this time of year; what exactly we are celebrating.

Independence had to be Won

Obviously the Fourth of July commemorates when the original colonies signed the Declaration of Independence from England, but the following acts of war are what ultimately granted the Great Experiment of her freedom. Our world looks much different today than it did in 1776, but what remains is that we have millions of men and women in five branches of the military that are willing to fight to protect and preserve our freedom. This is no small commitment on their part and the parts of their families, and we want to say thank you for their sacrifices.

Returning Home to New Missions

Organizations like the USO are making plans to bring a bit of the flavor of Fourth of July celebrations from home to servicemen and women all over the world, and for those fortunate enough to be back home, we want to make different concessions. VirtualPBX recognizes that being home with their families is amazing for folks who have been deployed, but transitioning into civilian life is something that poses a different set of challenges.

Veterans have world-class leadership and discipline and have proven time and again to become indispensable assets to the business community after their military careers have ended. To help see them launch their new professional lives in the civilian sector, we have created a special Military Discount Programs for exclusive access to all of our award-winning features and service.

Thanking is Just the Beginning

We are grateful for our freedom to enjoy this weekend and the significant contribution that the military continues to make in preserving it is not lost. Helping veterans with their businesses is a small token of our appreciation, and we carry our commitment to them into everything we do. Our Customer Support Team is located here in San Jose and is available around the clock to help with any concerns as they arise. Whether you are a veteran or not, we pride ourselves on bringing the same effort to building a feature-packed telephone system as we do to making sure you never need to worry about navigating it alone.

If you have any questions about the VirtualPBX Military Discount Program, your service in general, or anything else that we can help you with in achieving the time-saving, cost-cutting, industry-leading telephone system your business needs, please do not hesitate to contact us.

And from all of us at VirtualPBX, please enjoy a safe and happy Fourth of July Celebration and long, holiday weekend!

The Do’s And Don’ts of Adopting Hosted VoIP
June 30th, 2015

TypewriterBy: Reuben Yonatan –

VoIP systems are a great way to save your company money on phone service, but just like any other utility, they also can encounter a wide range of security issues, call quality concerns, and other pitfalls. Getting around these problems isn’t difficult, but you can’t approach your new phone system the same way you would a landline one. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to consider when switching to VoIP telephony:

Do: Consider Your Hosting Options

Cloud hosted and on-premise are the two most common options for VoIP services, and each has its advantages. Cloud based involves buying phone service from a VoIP provider. This option has almost no upfront costs; there’s no need to buy software or phone equipment, and you’ll only pay for the calls you make. On-premise solutions, on the other hand, involve installing voice servers and delivery lines in your office. Cloud based phone services are great for most small businesses with little money for upfront investments, whereas on-premise is better for big businesses, particularly those who handle confidential customer information.

Don’t: Take VoIP Prices At Face Value

Businesses that opt for VoIP usually do so because they believe it will lower their operational costs, and while this is generally true, it’s not the full story. As in any industry, you have to read the fine print and fully understand the terms and conditions. One common pitfall is to assume that a flat fee for toll free calls applies to all phone services. If you plan to send faxes, for example, make sure there isn’t an extra fee for that. Be sure to ask about any setup fees, number porting fees, and cancelation fees.

Do: Look Into Auto-Attendants

One of the downsides of integrating all of your office’s communication endpoints into a VoIP system is that wrong numbers and confused extensions affect everyone. To avoid wasting workers time, consider how you would configure an auto-attendant system along with your VoIP network. An advanced auto-attendant can handle many customer concerns on its own while directing other customers to the right numbers. This will decrease call times and volume and thus reduce pressure on your business’s bandwidth.

Do: Identify All Your Endpoints

Though many people associate VoIP with video conferencing, the technology is compatible with most communication forms and endpoints. If your business uses a fax machine, for example, you can convert the machine’s analog connection into a digital link and send faxes over a VoIP network. You also integrate traditional handset telephones, headsets, computers, smartphones, and most other communication devices into the system. Consider all of the endpoints your employees use or would like to use for company purposes, and adopt a VoIP system compatible with all of them.

Don’t: Ignore Outdated Infrastructure

If you haven’t already gone through your network infrastructure, updated obsolete software and hardware, and eliminated any other inefficiency, now is the time to do so. A VoIP system will increase your business’s bandwidth use by several orders of magnitude, especially if multiple employees will have to use the phone simultaneously on a regular basis. If your network can’t handle this increase in demand, you’ll suffer from dropped calls, poor call quality, and reduced productivity in all areas of your business.

Don’t: Ignore Simple Call Quality Solutions

Before you buy compression software and jitter buffers, look into simpler solutions to preserve call quality. You can eliminate many call quality problems simply by buying better ethernet cords and headsets, lowering speaker volume, and making calls when bandwidth use is low. Adopt these measures when you install your VoIP system, and then keep track of call quality for a month. If you’re satisfied with the quality, elaborate software may be unnecessary.

About the author:

Reuben is the founder and CEO of GetVoIP, the online resource to businesses trying to find the right cloud communication solution. With an extensive background in cloud communication technologies and building industry leading internet companies, Reuben’s writings blend commentary, research, and perspective on cloud computing, digital media, business/leadership strategies, and enterprise solutions. Follow Reuben on Twitter @reubenyonatan

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Updating to Auto-Attendants Only Half-Way to Effective Telephone Modernization
June 23rd, 2015

Vintage Receptionist

Although the world seems to believe that this whole internet fad might just be here to stay, the truth is that there is still an extremely high likelihood that you will have business coming to you from more traditional channels. No, letter-writing is a little more antiquated than I was shooting for here, but specifically the telephone is where nearly half of all consumers still prefer to conduct their business. With that high volume of potential business filtering through your phone lines, it is especially critical that it flow freely onto the desks of your employees. Yet, the real challenge here is that an alarmingly high number of consumers still feel frustrated with poorly designed telephone auto-attendants.

Give the People What They Want

This isn’t one of those Henry Fordisms about giving people a faster horse because they didn’t think of building a car, this is a far less abstract concept- people get impatient with terrible design. Not your company’s logo or your color scheme, but the design of the telephone architecture could be helping or hurting your business substantially. Simply stated- if someone wants to do business with you, make it as easy as possible.

According to the reliably thorough think-tank Software Advice, the expert software reviewers that revealed added benefits of both OTT Apps and SIP Trunking, we’ve been able to quantify and verify things we have suspected for a long time to be true. Specifically that if a caller doesn’t feel like staying on the line, they won’t.

Customer Reactions To Poor Auto-AttendantsBrevity is the Lifeblood of Engaging Callers

At the risk of violating this very simple rule, allow me to explain. Of the consumers surveyed in this most recent study from Software Advice, 42% of them said they would take their business to a competitor after a frustrating experience with a company’s auto-attendant. Nearly half of all callers to your business are ready to jump ship to your competition if your auto-attendant isn’t efficient. Even when you’re discussing succinct communication, that number is representative of enough business to warrant repeating.

These consumers have already dialed your business, which indicates they clearly want to investigate working with you. In order to keep them on the line, according to the study, the best way is to focus on two key areas, namely length of introduction messaging and complexity of menu options.
Challenges of Using Auto-Attendants

  • Intro Message Length – Remember the Rule of Eight? This was the concept that messaging should be distilled to 8-second sound bites. Turns out, that’s too long. In fact, 69% businesses already have greetings less than 5-seconds long, yet consumers still prefer a 3-second greeting or less.
  • Menu Options – In addition to the length of time it takes typical auto-attendant programs to send callers to the menu, the actual amount of menu options themselves were cited as the second most aggravating characteristic of poorly designed auto-attendants. Keeping the number of menu items as close to five as possible is ideal, but never any more than eight, according to respondents.

Don’t Abandon the Auto-Attendant

Very few businesses will benefit from not having an auto-attendant. Simply having an around-the-clock resource for customers can yield huge dividends, but then there is the added advantage of not requiring a receptionist, too. However, it’s obvious that the wrong auto-attendant or one that is poorly designed can also be a crippling blow to a business that can’t afford to lose 42% of their potential inbound leads.

Partnering with a modern business telephone provider will be the easiest and quickest way to test, iterate, and improve your inbound caller experience. VirtualPBX’s sleek and simple Extension Manager is fully web-based so you can take it wherever you have an internet connection, and our Customer Support Team is located right here in San Jose and ready to help you get the most out of your phone system.

Protect Ya Neck – Patriot Act
June 18th, 2015

American Flag

In this series of blogs we will examine all topics under the information security umbrella. From corporate blunders to rogue state attacks to the occasional celebrity hack, we believe there is something for businesses and individuals to learn from any cyber security event. We also believe that, while experience is the best teacher, it’s even better to let other people make the mistakes for you.

Okay, politics and religion are the third rail of conversation, I get it. But every now and then there is something so relevant to anyone who has ever been on the internet or a telephone (read- “everyone”) that it begs our attention. So here it is, the political edition of Protect Ya Neck. Hip-hop references considerably diminished for this one.

What’s the Deal?

The Senate held late night talks on a Sunday at the end of May to discuss matters of both national security and personal privacy. Yeah, there’s a lot going on in that sentence, mostly surrounding the fact that the Senate was working late on a Sunday, but I digress. The topic that got the 100 distinguished gentlemen and women to have a senatorial slumber party had to do with the expiration of certain parts of the USA PATRIOT Act. To help understand how this has a huge impact on the personal information of all Americans, we’ve compiled this handy guide for you to know the facts.

Two key provisions of the Act that were slated to expire-

  1. NSA Metadata Collection – You’ve heard about this before, this was the big sweeping dragnet that allowed the National Security Agency to collect huge stores of data from America’s telephone service providers that was made part of public scrutiny by the now expatriated Edward Snowden. The data that was collected was permitted to be stored for five years, but this sweeping power is, for the time being, no longer permitted to continue.
  2. Roving Wiretaps – This provision allowed law enforcement officials to only include the individual(s) they intended to wiretap and not each specific device or phone number. The concept was based on the fact that terror suspects would often change pre-paid phones and so going through the standard procedures of getting a warrant for each new line was too cumbersome to provide any meaningful surveillance.
  3. Bonus Provision – There was a third component of the Act that dealt with appropriating “national security tools” against the “lone wolf” operative. I’m not going to go into too much detail on this one for three reasons-
    1. It doesn’t directly affect the world of telecommunications like the former two do so it isn’t particularly relevant here.
    2. According to the Department of Justice, this provision actually hasn’t been used since the Act was written into law.
    3. The term “national security tools” is pretty intense and I don’t want to venture guesses as to what all that entails.

Let’s Try it This Way

The USA Freedom Act made slight changes to the metadata collection and roving wiretap provisions but left the lone wolf provision intact. Therefore, moving forward, current changes to these provisions include-

  1. The NSA is no longer collecting the metadata, but rather they will present warrants to telephone companies for release and will only be able to collect info on individuals rather than wide swaths of millions of people. So that’s nice.
  2. Wiretapping practices that were permitted under the original Act will be allowed to continue so long as they were begun prior to the June 1, 2015 expiration date of the Act. Any such wiretaps moving forward will not be immediately allowed, but rather will be subject to approval from the super secretive FISA Court so, basically nobody will know if these are actually expired practices or not.

Aftermath- Are we less safe?

The yes we are camp says– Absolutely. Mostly backed by national security hawks, there are dissenting voices on both sides of the aisle. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that the inability of the Senate to act on extending these provisions would result in, “a serious lapse,” in America’s ability to protect herself from terror.

The no we’re not camp says– Well, not exactly. Retired General Michael Hayden was the head of the NSA from 1999 to 2005 and was recently quoted at a Wall Street Journal conference saying that, effectively; nothing has changed for the security organization. According to Hayden, by merely transferring the responsibility of storing metadata onto the telephone companies, the NSA can essentially continue operating as if the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act were still wholly unchanged. So, net-net, this former security official seems to think it’s business as usual.

Nifty Bonus Fact!

In case you were wondering why USA PATRIOT Act is written in all caps, it’s not because we yell things that are important. Actually, it is because unlike the acronym, SCUBA, this is a backronym (acronym that was constructed to fit an existing word, not a word from an acronym) that stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act. So, there’s that.

One more thing, all of this is still tenuous in that there will very likely be additional voting, extending, editing, revising, and deliberating of these and a bevy of other surveillance-related provisions. Stand by for more as it develops but in the meanwhile, always remember to stay safe out there and Protect ya Neck.

Ask an Engineer: DNS Servers
June 15th, 2015

Ask An Engineer

Earlier this month, a Comcast DNS Failure left millions of consumers without internet access in several huge tech markets. This was an inconvenience to millions and, even though Comcast recognizes the frustration enough to issue $5 credits to those affected, there were some folks who found a way around the DNS failure. To better understand what exactly happened and how some savvy consumers changed course to avoid the lapse in service, we’re turning to Len Cacioppo, VirtualPBX’s VP of Operations, for answers.

First of all, what is a DNS server?

It’s basically a phone book of the Internet. A DNS (Domain Name System) server has all of the locations or “phone numbers” of every website, email, what have you, and search engines like Bing or Google are the index.

If there are other DNS options out there, why does Comcast have their own that can potentially go down?

It’s all about the speed of service for the end users. There are a bunch of different DNS options available, but if you can use your internet service provider (ISP), that will mean that users have to wait less time for pages to load, media to stream, etc. This may be only the smallest fractions of a second for some things, but in the end it really helps improve performance.

What does it mean when the DNS goes down? How does that happen?

Typically, no service provider is going to be completely upfront about what causes a failure because it would be difficult to do so without yielding too many trade secrets. That said, these events are typically some sort of internal error where an application, network, or service has failed. These events can be a result of any one of numerous factors from a DDoS attack to a power outage without redundancy (backup points). It’s impossible to say what caused this recent one.

What are Google DNS and OpenDNS and how can they be free? How do people sign-up for them?

DNS isn’t something that is really commercialized at all, it’s almost like radio airwaves. DNS is administered through an international consortium of companies deciding to provide the service, and not all of them choose to sell it or, like Comcast and other ISPs, include it in their service for internet access. Free DNS servers don’t really require a sign-up, they just require that you include these other “phone books” in your computer’s list of references to check when you are online.

How can people fix this if it happens again or possibly even avoid it causing a disruption in the future?

DNS Back Ups

This is pretty simple. All you have to do is find some other DNS information (which is widely available for free on the internet) and put them into the Network Settings of your computer. Here you can see we’ve put the DNS information for Google, AT&T and a few others right into our settings. This way, should our ISP have complications on their end, we will simply perform “phone book” lookups through the next DNS server on the list and so on. If there were to be a failure that compromised all of these, or your problem with the internet is access as opposed to services, chances are there’s no internet access via your ISP, so none of this would help anyway.

Many private customers wouldn’t have had this type of redundancy in place to protect them from the Comcast DNS outage, but steps like these are simple to take. Businesses, especially, should consider taking a few minutes to train employees to input back-up DNS options into their work computers so that work can keep humming along, no matter what happens.

To learn more about DNS servers, ISP, or any other internet issues that could help or hurt your business, get in touch with our hosted telecommunications experts today.

Dress Your Phone System for Success: 3 Auto-Attendant Best Practices Every Business Should Embrace
June 9th, 2015

Best PracticesWhen it comes to business, we’ve all been taught that first impressions matter. Whether it means walking into a client meeting dressed professionally or having a website that compels prospects to take the next step, how you present your business can literally make or break a sale. As Will Rogers once said, “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Among the most impactful ways to create a positive first impression is to tailor your phone system’s auto-attendant’s message, features and functionality to your callers. This touch point is often the first experience a potential customer has with your business. If your auto-attendant is professional and user-friendly, you’ll be that much closer to converting a prospect into a customer. On the flipside, if it’s confusing, overly verbose, or amateur-sounding, you’ll give callers a reason to take their business elsewhere.

Not sure how to make the most of your phone system’s auto-attendant? The following are three best practices which can help you create a professional first impression while enabling you to route your calls efficiently.

Prioritize Information Callers Want

Callers are dialing your business for a specific reason, and you probably have a good idea what these reasons are. Your auto-attendant message is not the place to promote your new product line or to provide a lengthy monologue about how your business started.

In general, auto-attendant messages only need to provide a few important details such as your business name and URL. From there, the goal is to direct the caller to the right extension by providing options. For after-hours and holiday auto-attendant messages, you may want to include your operating hours and address.

Most business communication experts will tell you that a phone system greeting shouldn’t exceed 75 words. Efficiency is key. For example, the prompt to “Press one for the sales department,” can be more concisely said “press one for sales.” As you write your auto-attendant message, focus on finding the most efficient way to state the most relevant information. Both first-time callers and repeat customers will appreciate this!

Keep Routing Options Limited and Logical

Of course, you want callers to be able to reach the person they are dialing. Yet, from their perspective, it can be downright irritating having to listen to a long list of options. For most businesses, there is no need to have a complex web of options and extensions. A single level with a few extensions is a smart phone system strategy.

Your menu of options also needs to be logical. The most requested options should come first, e.g. “press 1 for customer service, press 2 for sales, press 3 for billing. Every effort should be made to limit the number of options. Nine options is excessive and will cause some callers to repeat the message or even hang up. As well, you should always provide an option for callers to connect with a live person.

Align Your Phone System to Your Brand

The voice on your phone system will be most effective when it’s aligned with your business’s image. For example, callers dialing a law firm will respond positively to an auto-attendant message that communicates professionalism and confidence. Whereas, a dental office’s message should sound more friendly and nurturing to give potential patients a sense of comfort.

Interestingly, many businesses simply rely on someone in-house to record the auto-attendant greeting. Even if they have a golden voice that is perfect for your business, what will happen if and when they leave? This problem affects countless businesses, and it becomes very apparent to callers when they hear a patchwork of different voices on system recordings. A much safer bet is to choose a professional voice that you can return to time and time again to build consistency throughout your system. Virtual PBX has partnered with Snap Recordings specifically to streamline the process of managing, uploading, recording, and ordering professional messages.

Your auto-attendant is a valuable, image-promoting tool that will support your callers’ needs if it is optimized effectively. With a few best practices, your automated message and menu will speak volumes about your professionalism and desire to provide great service.

About the Author

Saul Ives is the VP of Business Development at Snap Recordings. As a leader in professional, studio-quality voice recordings for business phone systems, Snap Recordings offers more than 80 voice talents and multiple language options, along with a user-friendly, online ordering system. Learn more about Snap Recordings at http://www.snaprecordings.com/virtualpbx/

Save on Professional Recordings
June 3rd, 2015

We all know how important it is for a business to make a good impression. That impression is created by a multitude of micro-moments that ultimately define the customer experience. But can we ever be totally sure that each of those moments is exactly how we would like it to be? We all tell horror stories about that one time a company had us on hold for hours, or that social media post gone wrong, or even the exact individual who gave us terrible customer service. For each of those bad experiences, it takes several good experiences to turn that customer’s perception back to positive. So what can you do?

Mastering the First Impression

Just like the homepage of a website sets the tone and defines the next steps for your brand online, so too does your phone system greeting. Unlike the homepage of a website, your callers give you their utmost attention when their call is answered. They are not browsing like they would online, they’re ready with a question or concern. Does your current greeting point them in the right direction? Does it make them feel taken care of?

Auto Attendant Greetings

One feature our customers take particular advantage of is the Auto Attendant. Small and large companies alike appreciate the value in professional appearance and seamless call routing that ensures their customers are directed to the department or individual that can answer their questions quickly. The auto attendant begins with a greeting that welcomes callers to the company, gives them any pertinent information, and promotes their brand. The next step depends entirely on your business structure. Common executions include directing callers to particular departments, for example, “For customer service, please press 2. For billing questions, please press 3.” Smaller companies may simply say, “If you know your party’s extension, please enter it now. To listen to the company directory, please stay on the line.”

Options, Options, Options

Every business is different. Our goal is to work with our customer’s unique brands to reach their ideal setup. This rings true for greetings as well. For many, uploading a custom greeting is ideal and lets customers hear a familiar voice from the get-go. For those who need a quick solution, synthesized greetings allow them to type out a script and immediately receive their recording. For those who want a real voice on the line for a low fee, we offer standard recordings that feature either a male or female voice from our in-house voice talent. Finally, for those who are looking for a particular impression in the highest possible quality, we offer professional greetings.

Professional Greetings from Snap Recordings

Earlier today, we announced via press release our new partnership with Snap Recordings. We’re very excited to be partnering with them and even more excited to offer our customers access to their library of over 80 professional voice actors in multiple languages and accents to best match their brand. What’s even better is that there is no mystery! At any time, customers can preview the voices of each available voice actor, and even hear some examples of recordings based on profession. Have a law firm? Listen to a sample greeting, on-hold message, voice prompt, or voicemail message for a law firm. In real estate? Listen to samples in real estate. Snap Recordings even offers special packages should you want to refresh your entire phone system user experience. Click here to take a look for yourself.

Save 15% in June!

Ready to rule your customer experience? For the month of June, we’re offering 15% off ALL VirtualPBX orders through Snap Recordings. Simply use the promo code “June2015” at checkout.

Just the Facts – VoIP Phone Q&A
May 28th, 2015

Yealink VoIP Phone

In the interests of showcasing some of the features of the all-new Yealink SIP-T21P VoIP phone and learning more about VoIP phones in general, we’re taking a minute to sit down with Kevin Peyton, VP of Sales at VirtualPBX. Kevin has been integral in researching all of the leading VoIP office phones and desk phones in the market so that we can offer only the best values to our customers.

What would a company that just got their first hosted phone service look for in a new desktop phone?

The most important thing is that you’re not able to notice the difference between a VoIP phone and one that operates over traditional copper wire technology. Familiarity is important for new technology to be adopted successfully, which also dovetails nicely with another important topic, ease of use. If there are a bunch of hurdles to jump over with configuring your new VoIP phone, it’s going to hurt the chances of your staff leveraging its benefits. That’s why we preconfigure all of our phones for each individual customer’s network before we send them out. Then, of course, you will want to make sure that the sound quality is top notch. The Yealink SIP-T21P packages a respected technology foundation with a familiar platform into an easy to use and crystal clear desk phone.

Would a user notice any differences between VoIP phones and traditional phones?

If they are really looking closely they will notice that the phone is connected through an ethernet cable, not a traditional phone line, but the big thing that users will ultimately recognize is the added functionality of modern VoIP phones. Not only do they have a host of customizable network functions that are typically more in the back-end than a person at a desk will realize, VoIP phones can now link with multiple devices to establish truly unified communications for employees.

What about the Yealink SIP-T21P makes it such a compelling option?

Right off the bat – when you consider this phone you’ll see it’s just such a great value. Yealink in general has been so rapidly and widely adopted in the marketplace over the past 10-15 years because they recognize the core functional features that businesses need, include the best variations of them, and trim out the excess. What you end up with in a phone like the SIP-T21P is high quality construction and sound, customizable technology, future compatibility, and all at a very competitive price point. But personally my favorite part about the phone is the big HD screen on it. You can customize it with any information or company logo as you’d like and it’s similar to how I expect to interact with my other devices, which is nice.

For someone who is still considering a cloud-based phone system for their business, what are some of the pitfalls they would like to avoid?

From an infrastructure standpoint, having wired ethernet at each location is critical, but the other obstacles might not be so obvious. You will want to make sure that the network you are operating your business on will be able to accommodate the addition of the hosted phone system on top of that. That includes if there is enough bandwidth to handle your daily internet use plus the added data travel of VoIP and if your network supports QoS. We can help with all of that in a flash, too, of course by either conducting an easy VoIP Speed Test or doing a comprehensive Network Health Check that includes a complete battery of diagnostics.

Anyone at VirtualPBX can help you get started with a Speed Test, Health Check, or just to field any other questions you have that we didn’t cover here about VoIP phones. Talk to one of our award-winning Customer Support members and see how VoIP can help your business grow, today!

 

Earth Day
April 22nd, 2015

Earth Day

Have you been outside lately? That place is awesome. Literally from sea to shining sea, and well beyond, we have a marvelous place to call home. That’s right, Earth. She’s a beaut, isn’t she? I don’t know about you, but I’d like to make sure we can enjoy her for as long as possible. Good thing, too, because a bunch of other people agree.

Earth Day

From it’s impressive beginnings in 1970 when 20 million Americans unified to launch the modern environmental movement, the Earth Day Network has been leading the way for promoting stewardship of the world around us for future generations to enjoy. Now with over 1 billion people participating in annual Earth Day events, the organization is more powerful than ever, which is important in light of the ever-growing hazards of our increasing infusion of technology into our daily lives.

Our appetite for increasingly powerful and sleek gadgets, fueled by Moore’s Law of accelerating advancements in technology, is generating more electronic devices each year than the one before it. The complex assembly of electronics and the precious metals and compounds critical for their manufacture poses a new and growing challenge for landfills. That, plus the fact that the more these metals are simply discarded, the more expensive it will become to produce modern electronics going forward.

Call Me Captain Planet

Okay, super powers and spandex notwithstanding, we’re still a long shot away from being Captain Planet, or even his Planeteers. What we are, however, is pretty excited about our new online resource for help in reducing the overall impact on the environment of our industry’s contributions to e-waste. Whether it’s finding a new home for your outdated gear or finding a place to safely and properly dispose of it when it is beyond repair, we’ve got a little bit of everything to help you keep our landfills free of harmful chemicals, and our industry operating efficiently.

To see about either upgrading your telephone equipment if you are sending some old gear out to pasture, you can look at our limited supply of telephone deals while they last. Also, you can get in touch with one of our expert support staff for any other needs or ideas on how to keep you company going greener today and each and every Earth Day.

Infographic: VoIP Phones, the Tools of the Trade
April 20th, 2015

They say that it’s not the tools, but the craftsman who makes a quality product. That’s true, but having the right tools can make a whole lot of difference, too. Have you ever tried to chop down a tree with a spoon? Sure you could do it eventually, I bet, but a chainsaw would be way faster. We’ve got several capable, brawny tools at your disposal that we wanted to help you get to know a little bit better. So go ahead and leave that spoon in the silverware drawer.Infographic Tools Of The Trade