General Telephony

Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag – Office Plan Redesign

James BrownWho doesn’t love some good old James Brown, right? The Godfather of Soul is an appropriate place to start with this blog today because VirtualPBX Office Plans are kind of like the Godfather of VoIP, too. And much like James Brown’s new bag, the VirtualPBX Office Plan redesign is something worth singing about, too.

Office Plan Redesign from the Bottom Up

All New vConsoleRight off the bat, you’ll see that the new look and feel of the updated vConsole seems familiar. It should because the award-winning interface of Dash, and Dash Unlimited were definitely part of the inspiration for this massive overhaul. What made the Office Plan redesign challenging was that, unlike Dash and Dash Unlimited which we created from scratch, Office Plans have already been built to suit the needs of our customers who are currently using them. This meant that we had to work carefully to include, and in many instances improve upon, all of the functionality of the platform that thousands of organizations rely on each day.

Change Isn’t Always Easy

Since working to shape the development of the Office Plan redesign, it has become immediately clear that usability and satisfaction spike way up shortly after users familiarize themselves with the new system. This has been a terrific and desired outcome, obviously. That said, some users will still prefer to stay with their tried-and-true vConsole interface. For them, we have the perfect solution! During this open beta testing period of the new Office Plan redesign, we built in a nifty toggle feature. Simply open up the vConsole as you normally would, and at the top of the screen you’ll see a banner welcoming you to try the new interface.

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

vConsole Toggle OptionWhile the option is totally all yours to stay on the vConsole or try the new Office Plan redesign, I enthusiastically encourage you to give it a shot. The praise and positive feedback that we’ve received should convince you that it’s worth at least a few minutes. Plus, seeing as how you’ll be able to toggle back and forth for a while, you aren’t immediately painted into one or the other just yet, either. Sure, we plan to eventually make a total update to Office Plans permanent, but this is just the beta period, and so you can actually have a decisive impact on the final look of the finshed product.

Be Part of the Team

Want to know what else is coming down the line from our dedicated and talented engineering team? Look no further than the updated, public-facing VirtualPBX product roadmap. From here you can see what all we have in the works, or at least most of it (wink-wink), and can comment and make suggestions right from there. Or if you like, you can always feel free to join the conversation by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook, because you never know when your idea will be the next big thing!

Infographic – Working from the Road When Life Happens

Working from the road can be a drag during long periods away from home. When life happens, though, working from the road might just be the best thing to do for your family life. VirtualPBX understands that better than most because not only do we make an array of VoIP products and features designed specifically to empower employees to be productive away from the office, but we also use those products to accomplish that ourselves.

The connection between work and life is more fluid today thanks to advances in hosted communication technology than it ever has been. This infographic showcases just a handful of the situations that used to create undue complications between employers and their employees but that, thanks to VirtualPBX products, have found mutually beneficial compromises.
Remote Working When Life Happens

Tech Tools – RefME Is Back to School Approved

RefME For Back To SchoolAs much as we’d try to be the go-to answer for every technological need that any business has, we can’t even be the answer to all of our own needs! That being the case, just like our customers, we need to look to third-party developers to see what helps. For the occasional standouts, we’ve created this series of blog posts to help you share in the benefits we’ve enjoyed from our favorite Tech Tools.

For this edition of Tech Tools, we’re looking at a new bit of software that is useful for people pursuing higher education. RefME is the single tool I wish I had in college. By integrating into all aspects of your research-paper-footprint, RefME makes source citations in the arduous and meticulous APA or MLA formats easy.

Bibliographies Are a Breeze

RefME takes the exhaustive, detailed, and often confusing world of literary citations and simplifies it with a few elegant solutions. First they have a Chrome extension that basically does all the work for you for digital sources, but more interesting is how they work with citing physical books. Because students today can’t be expected to bother with typing the book information themselves (gasp, the very notion indeed!), RefME has a slick camera integration that covers that. Simply by using the app to scan a book’s barcode and choosing the format you want the reference to be in, RefME searches the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) to produce the necessary citation.

With three degrees and two of them in journalism, I can think of a few, choice, two-word phrases to describe my reaction to this. Seeing as how this is a family company, however, I’m going to go with these, “Time Saver.”

Build Your Toolbox

This isn’t the first Tech Tool that we’ve introduced you to, and it won’t be the last. To make sure you don’t miss any of the killer tips and tricks we’ve found to help smooth your day through technology, make sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to always stay in the know.

Olympic Medal Count – VirtualPBX Awards

Olympic Medal CountWith over 10,000 athletes in Rio for the XXXI Olympiad this summer and only 28 different sports, there are bound to be some broken hearts and dreams out there. However, for the athletes who walk away from the closing ceremonies with some valuable hardware dangling from their necks, it doesn’t take a record-setting amount for their Olympic medal count to swell their hearts with pride. We’ve been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of some incredible recognition, and much like the countries that the athletes in Rio represent, which is something that fills our entire team with elation and encouragement.

Years of Training

For most Olympians, their trips to Rio represent the culmination of a lifetime of commitment, even if for some that only means a lifetime of fewer than two decades. We’re in the same boat. We are approaching an anniversary and we’re pushing the big 2-0. While young by most standards, our founding in the 1990’s represents effectively the origin of VoIP for business as it’s known today. And because we’ve dedicated everything we do to improve our products and the experiences our customers have while using them, we feel a similar sense of validation and achievement whenever we’re recognized for our hard work.

You Can’t Win ‘em All

Okay, it seems like Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky can, but for the most part winning and losing go hand in hand. That’s okay, too, because obviously learning how to do both with grace is an important part of sports. Plus, as difficult to believe it as it may be, we don’t win everything (pause for gasping reactions to roll through the audience). For those times when we come up short, there exists an opportunity to learn how to make the most of the situation and find the little victories. For one, we’re proud that our commitment to our customers’ success creates relationships that supersede any fancy plaque or award. Evidence of that is nowhere more apparent as it is in our customer testimonials or in the terrific rating we have on Consumer Affairs.

But That Won’t Stop Us From Trying

Ultimately, no matter how the chips fall on race day, it’s these endorsements from those we serve that will always mean the most to us. That being said, however, we’re always going to keep striving to boost our own Olympic medal count whenever we can. After all, a little healthy competition is what drives innovation, and we definitely want to stay in the running.

PBX Parachute Awarded 2016 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year AwardVirtualPBX Awarded 2015 INTERNET TELEPHONY Excellence AwardCIO Review 20 Most Promising Telecom Solution Providers 2015VirtualPBX Softphone App Wins 2015 Innovation Award

Working On The Road at VirtualPBX

Working on the RoadWe practice what we preach. Helping people save time and money with a hosted PBX system is obviously important to us, but not as important as it is that we are 100% behind the products we provide. We use our entire suite of products in the same way that we encourage other businesses to use them, and that means that we find ourselves working on the road frequently. Anyone who is working on the road needs their hosted communications system to be something that they can rely on, no matter where they find themselves.

Far And Wide

We have vital contributions coming into our headquarters from team members who live in Florida, Nevada, and even overseas as far as Lima, Peru. All of these team members interact with us in California using our own VirtualPBX technology and that’s how we know it’ll work for any businessperson who is working on the road. In fact, we’ve already taken VirtualPBX technology along for the ride to Industry Conferences, Frankfurt, and it will even be touring Europe (stay tuned!) through the Balkan states, too. What all of this means is that we need to have the confidence that key features that make working on the road possible can be counted on.

But Never That Far Away…

Businesspeople benefit from many aspects of modern technology, but the most applicable for telecommunications is that distance begins to have less of an impact on doing business. With employee presence available 24/7 and the ability to make literally any telephone your desk for the day with Hot Desking, no matter where you’re headed, you can make time for the work you need to get done. Additionally, with the limitless possibilities of universal device compatibility, employees can use their favorite devices while working on the road, even if they have to replace them unexpectedly!

Progress Waits for No One

The march of time stops for nothing, and neither do the lives of your employees. Supporting the needs and eventualities of their lives and never missing an opportunity at work don’t need to be mutually exclusive when you have an advanced hosted VoIP telephone network. And now that Dash comes with up to two weeks free as part of a no-commitment free trial, there’s nothing standing between you and the industry’s most heralded business VoIP platform of 2016. So go ahead and try Dash for yourself. It’s how we manage to keep the engines purring when we’re working on the road, it’s what the pundits can’t seem to stop showering with praise, and it’s probably your best bet to saving hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on your business telephone system.