Hosted PBX vs. Standard PBX: Which Is Right for You?
August 12th, 2014
Choosing a hosted PBX service vs. a standard PBX service depends greatly on the needs of your business. But how do you know which is right for you? Sometimes the choice is easy – for example, a hosted PBX service would make the most sense for a company with employees who work outside the main office; a company where all employees are located at the same office location may find that a standard PBX system is more beneficial. Below are more details to help you decide which service is best for you and your business.
A standard PBX system makes sense when:
- All employees are located at the same office
- The company doesn’t mind high up-front costs in order to receive the lowest possible monthly costs
- The company wants the cheapest solution available and capabilities are unimportant
- The business is larger
- Customers won’t benefit from a toll-free service
- The company is not likely to change in size
A hosted PBX service is the best choice when:
- Not all employees are located at the same location – some telecommute, work away from the main location, or need to be available outside of regular hours
- There is not a brick-and-mortar location – the company is virtual
- The business wants low up-front costs
- Customers would benefit from a toll-free service
- The business is smaller
- The company is likely to increase in size
- The business experiences a high number of incoming calls
- System reliability and fault tolerance are important
- The business would like to avoid dedicating employees to outsourcing for PBX support
- The business would like a complete set of features
A PBX service helps save your business money, as well as offers additional features that simply can’t be had with a traditional phone system. Still not sure which is right for you? Call VirtualPBX today at 1-888-825-0800 for more information on our hosted PBX service. We can help you decide what’s most beneficial for your business.
Why is Having a VoIP Phone
April 30th, 2014
One of the main reasons people buy a phone system today is to make phone calls — they need to communicate proactively with their customers, vendors, and other employees. With the traditional “overlay” hosted phone service that acted as an inbound call router, this can definitely handle your inbound phone calls and give you the freedom to answer those inbound calls on any device you like — home phone, business phone, land line, or cell phone.
However, what about making phone calls? You would need to use your landline or cell phone to make that call. This can be convenient, but also has the inconvenience of not showing your business phone number as the caller ID to the recipient of the call. But that’s the whole point! Don’t you want them to see your business number and not our personal contact number?
Any Plan Support VoIP Phones
With VoIP phone support, any usage-based or flat-rate plan from Virtual PBX can support the VoIP phones. So you’re not forced to have to pick a plan just to get to use the phones, like so many other VoIP vendors force you to do. On the contrary, you get to choose whichever plan best fits your business model, then you get to choose if you want to have a VoIP phone on your desk or just choose to receive calls on your landline or cell phone.
But if you do choose to have a VoIP phone, then you DON’T need a land line. Let’s think about that a minute. With all inbound and outbound calls going through Virtual PBX, and you have the ability to just pick up the phone and dial out, showing your Virtual PBX phone number. So you receive calls on your VoIP phone and you make calls on your VoIP phone. Why would you need a land line anymore? Given that land lines can cost anywhere from $40-60/month, depending on the long distance package associated with it, you could end up saving a lot of money just getting rid of your land lines. An office full of landlines? Gone.
Multiple Caller IDs
Another cool thing? Choose WHICH phone number you want to show for your caller ID. Nice, eh? You can change this under your Config tab when you log into the vConsole. Scroll to the bottom of that page, click “Manage” next to your VoIP phone and you can now choose which Virtual PBX phone number you wish to show when you place an outbound call. Do you have a couple of different phone numbers so you can act like a couple of different companies with the same employees? Call out with one phone number showing, then edit your outbound caller ID and make calls to the clients for your other company. Just like that you can experience the freedom of having multiple caller IDs.
VirtualPBX offers the following devices as part of the VoIP Office product line. Devices may be mixed and matched to optimize your Voip Office. All devices come pre-configured and are fully supported by the VirtualPBX support team. Click here to compare phones.
Which VirtualPBX Plan
is Better for Me?
April 30th, 2014
With VirtualPBX, you’re not forced into a payment plan that doesn’t match your business. Most companies will find our flat rate plans will provide the most savings, and give the peace of mind that comes from knowing how much your bill will be each month, regardless of usage. Other businesses, usually those that don’t use the phone a lot, will benefit more from our usage based plans – why pay for unlimited use when your needs are low?
This is what most companies market as “unlimited”. There is never any such thing as “unlimited” in the telecom industry. Let’s just get this straight right up front. Carriers charge each other on a price per minute basis when they hand calls off to one another, so at some point in time that cost makes it down to the consumer. However, VirtualPBX doesn’t really push the “unlimited” as much as they push flat-rate. It’s a flat rate under normal business usage. Here’s what the flat-rate plan comes with:
- Anywhere from $39.99/mo down to $19.99/mo per user, depending on how many extensions are needed
- Unlimited free minutes for typical business use
- No charge for long distance any where in the continental US or Canada
- 1,000 minutes of toll-free included in every plan
- Most companies with typical phone use
- Employees who work in offices or home offices with broadband internet
Usage-based plans basically means you pay for only the minutes you use. This can be extremely useful if you don’t have that many inbound calls or make many outbound calls. You don’t need to pay a higher flat rate per extension because your overall usage is low compared to the average office.
- Prices start at just $9.99 per month
- Pay only for minutes used
- Unlimited users
- Same system features as the flat-rate plans because it’s the same system
- Toll-free is built into the plan minutes
- Companies with low phone use
- Employees on cell phones or land lines
Still not sure which plan is best for you? Not a problem. To help make it a little easier, we’ve put together a little calculator where you input the number of users that need an extension and the rough amount of minutes that they use each month for inbound and outbound calls.
Please click to learn more about the plan calculator.
So, bottom line is that VirtualPBX has the right plan for you. And even better is no matter which plan you choose, you can use the hardware VoIP phones with them, allowing you to cut all ties with your land line and traditional carriers. This could save you a lot of money. And that’s why VirtualPBX is doing what they’re doing.
Even More VirtualPBX Voice and Faxmail Features You Can Rely On
April 29th, 2014
Here at VirtualPBX, we understand how frustrating it can be to miss that important call you’ve been waiting for… so we’ve gone ahead and created the best features in the industry to ensure you never have to miss another phone call again. With our unique voice and fax messages options, receiving communications is more convenient than ever. You can get a voicemail or be alerted of a fax message awaiting your reply via email, pager, web, and even text message.
Aside from never-full mailboxes, centralized messaging, voicemail interrupt, and fax viewing options, below are even more benefits you receive when you choose a VirtualPBX business phone system.
- Personal greeting
Give your callers a distinctive greeting and allow your personality shine through. With a customized voicemail greeting, callers can hear your voice rather than a traditional recording.
- Phone, email, and web notifications
Depending on the nature of your business, it can be crucial to know when you have a new voicemail or fax message awaiting your reply. With the VirtualPBX system, you can be alerted via email notification, pager, web, or even through text messages sent directly to your cell phone.
- Phone, email, and web message delivery
Now you can retrieve your messages from almost anywhere. Get them via any touchtone telephone, routed to your email as .wav files, or from any computer with Internet access and speakers.
- Automatic callback
How many times have you wanted to return a call only to realize that the caller didn’t leave a phone number? With VirtualPBX, you can return a call to the number from which the message was left with one button – no manual phone number entry is necessary.
Call VirtualPBX at 1 (888) 825-0800 to learn more about our voice and faxmail options today. We look forward to hearing from you!
Choosing the VoIP Phone That’s Right For Your Business
April 23rd, 2014
Buying a VoIP phone doesn’t have to be confusing. A basic understanding of the technology will help shoppers know what they need, which will help them find the best VoIP phones. The first step in shopping for a VoIP phone is to determine which type of phone would best meet the needs of your business and consulting with the VoIP service provider about technical specifications will yield the best results. To get a better idea, create a list the most important features the phone should have and those that would be nice to have. Once the selection has been narrowed down, research each model to benchmark performance and call quality before making a final decision.
Some may prefer basic VoIP phones, like our Yealink T20, which is free with annual plans when using VirtualPBX. Or you can choose from our other myriad of phones, which range from entry level for smaller business to fully-featured conference phones for larger companies. Check out our VoIP phone comparison here. Our phones can be mixed and matched to best fit your needs and all are certified and optimized to work efficiently with the VirtualPBX system. VirtualPBX sends out the VoIP phones to the customer pre-configured for a plug-and-play experience.
Additional features to keep in mind when shopping include:
||An LCD display allows users to access features like caller identity. More advanced phones feature color displays to allow users to make video calls or surf the web.
|Built-In Headset Jack
||Enables the ability to attach a headset to the phone for hands free use.
|Personalized Ringing Tones
||Identify the caller purely by the set personalized ringtones telephone ringtone.
|Programmable Feature Keys
||Multiple programmable feature keys give users a way to work with basic and advanced phone features without needing a computer connection.
|Multiple Language Support
||Multiple language support allows users to access their phones and phone features in their supported native languages.
|Ports for Network and/or Computer Connections
||An RJ-11 port allows ADSL line connections and an RJ-45 port allows LAN connections. Multiple RJ-45 ports has the added benefit of enabling phones to be used as a switch that can connect other network devices or phones to the network.
||Data encryption reduces threats of security breaches to the data on the network.
Not sure which VoIP phone is best for you? Feel free to contact us today to learn more about the various types of VoIP phones and features available by calling VirtualPBX at 1 (888) 825-0800.
Get Online Faxing Without the Expense of a Traditional Machine
April 1st, 2014
Faxing a necessity in many workplaces today; however, it doesn’t have to be done with an outdated fax machine. Online fax technology is becoming more and more popular among businesses that are looking for a more efficient and cost-effective way to share documents.
While the benefits and extra features of a VoIP phone system are typically well-known, many people are unaware of one of the best features that VoIP can offer: faxing without a fax machine. A great VoIP provider offers a built-in online fax service, also known as Internet fax service, which works for both inbound and outbound faxing. This means that you can have all the benefits of faxing without having to purchase a fax machine, and no additional fax line or phone number is required. Below are the two major benefits of using online faxing:
- Save Money
While many Internet fax products cost you a fee every month, a reliable VoIP provider will offer an Internet fax service for free with normal business usage, up to a certain number of pages. For example, a great deal might include 100 fax pages every month at no charge, and then 5.9 cents per page after that. This can save your company a large amount of money on a monthly basis, as well as on the initial purchase or rental — often unnecessary expenses for companies who don’t use fax all that often.
- Receive Better Features
For inbound faxes, callers can simply dial your number and press the send button on their fax machine. The system automatically detects the fax, receive it electronically, and post it to your account. A good system will then allow you to view it online or have it forwarded to your e-mail address – it’s as simple as that.
For outbound faxes, you would be able to upload your documents to your online fax library and send as needed. A great provider will likely offer you a library to store your documents in so that you can send them again without the hassle of finding and re-uploading the files. This is ideal for businesses that find themselves faxing the same form to customers or clients on a regular basis.
With an Internet fax capability, you save money while receiving better features than a traditional fax service. If you’re looking for a more efficient and cost-effective way to share documents, e-faxing is your answer.
VirtualPBX’s Mission Statement and Values
March 25th, 2014
VirtualPBX is the Communications Service Provider pioneer, headquartered in San Jose, California. VirtualPBX strives to help give your customers a great first impression, from the minute they contact your business. By giving small to large businesses a professional, fully automated call answering and routing solution, along with disaster recovery, we ensure that any potential customer’s first impression of your business is a positive one. Just a few of our core values include trust, care, and encouragement, formed internally with employees, as well as built externally with our customers. It’s our goal to create and maintain effective, reliable, and personalized solutions for our customers.
Why Choose VirtualPBX?
Did you know that 90% of our customers are completely satisfied with VirtualPBX and over 85% would recommend VirtualPBX to others? VirtualPBX boasts a variety of industry awards, with the most recent being 2014 Internet Telephony Product of the Year Award. We have also received the 2013 Unified Communications Excellence Award with VoIP Anywhere. We also offer top features, including VoIP, ACD queues, call routing and recording, follow-me call routing, voicemail notifications, call recording, disaster recovery, and much more. Benefits of using VirtualPBX include 99.999% reliability, no hardware to maintain, and transparent status. With lower costs, experienced local support, and great customer reviews, it’s no surprise VirtualPBX remains a top VoIP provider in the country.
Our Mission Statement
“We were the first hosted PBX provider and through persistent innovation, we continue to be the best. We thrive internally and externally on the mentality of support. Internally, we work to preserve an environment of trust, care, and encouragement; recognizing and motivating the individual and team efforts that push the needle forward. Externally, our primary focus is always on our customers; they are our reason for being. We understand the demands of ever-changing business needs and work daily to create and maintain effective, reliable, and personalized telephony solutions to keep our wide range of customers on the cutting edge of connectivity at an affordable cost.”
If you’re looking to save money with your phone system, VirtualPBX is your answer. Learn more about our business phone systems today, along with our unique PBX features. Contact us directly at (888) 825-0800 with any questions you may have – we’re happy to help determine the perfect plan for your business.
Choosing the Right VoIP Plan for Your Business: Here’s How
March 12th, 2014
A VoIP phone system offers a variety of benefits for virtually every type of company, regardless of the business size or industry, with the most attractive feature being the cost-saving advantage. Consumers also enjoy other unique features VoIP has to offer which cannot be replicated with a traditional phone system, such as online call monitoring and online phone system access, as well as phone portability. With such a wide variety of benefits, a VoIP phone system holds ideal features suited to fit a large array of business needs. A great virtual phone system provider will offer two types of plans, which include flat-rate and usage-based. Most companies find that flat-rate plans will produce the most savings for their needs and like the advantage of knowing exactly how much they can expect to pay every month. Businesses that make or receive limited call may find that a usage-based plan might better suit their needs.
Before choosing which plan is ideal for your needs, you must first determine the suitability of your network by running a VoIP speed test. By taking advantage of a VoIP test, you can gauge whether or not your Internet connection is suitable to run a hosted PBX system using VoIP technology. This test measures your network’s bandwidth, latency, and jitter, as well its port status. If this test deems your network unsuitable, a good provider will offer you other recommended routers and network options. Once you determine that your network is suitable for VoIP, you may then choose which type of plan best-suited to your needs:
Flat-Rate Plans (Office Plans)
While flat-rate plans vary from one provider to another, it is typically the best option for companies who use the phone on a regular basis. It is also most beneficial for employees who work in offices or home offices with broadband internet. These flat-rate plans are usually extremely affordable and save your business money in the long run, particularly for companies who are in regular contact with long distance numbers. A typical flat-rate plan will have unlimited free minutes for typical business use, including inbound and outbound calls. With this plan, you can take calls on VoIP phones or auto-forward to any other phones.
Usage-Based Plans (Anywhere Plans)
Anywhere plans are ideal for companies with low phone use… why pay for unlimited use when your needs are little? Usage-based plans usually have a low starting rate per month with a minimal number of minutes included. After you use your allotted minutes, the price then increases based on your phone use, so you then pay only for minutes used. This offers businesses the lowest cost when phone traffic is light and is great for those that want to route calls to existing cell phones and landlines.
Consider your business’ needs and speak to a VoIP provider to find the best plan for you. Regardless of the plan you choose, you should receive the same great added features and lower startup and monthly costs to save your business money.
#1 Secret to Keeping Your Business Up and Running During Inclement Weather
March 5th, 2014
Whether it’s a snowstorm, hurricane, or other natural disaster, businesses often suffer due to the amount of downtime that is associated with inclement weather. Whether it’s a day or an entire week that your business is without power, your bottom line can be affected significantly when you don’t have access to clients, customers, employees, or vendors. The key to keeping your business up and running during a bout of inclement weather is a disaster recovery service.
2014 experienced one of the worst winters in history. According to a recent article by International Business Times, Chicago has been hit with 67.9 inches of snow thus far, earning the city the 5th snowiest winter since 1884. Boston has seen 53.5 inches of snow so far this winter, well above their usual average. As prepared as these cities were, businesses still experienced a large amount of power outages. The South was significantly less prepared for such large amounts of snow, along with icy conditions and the “Polar Vortex” broke various records. South Carolina’s mayor compared the recent ice storm devastation to that of a hurricane. The storm left a whopping 350,000 people without power at its peak, according to an article by TheState.com.
What is PBX Parachute?
PBX Parachute is a remote backup phone system that acts as a standby PBX to include instant, automatic failover. It can mirror your primary phone system settings and take over if your VoIP business phone fails in the event of a disaster. Incoming calls can be automatically redirected to the PBX Parachute service and then sent to pre-determined alternate locations. You get to choose the location, whether it’s a softphone, a branch office, or a home phone. Callers will never know there was a problem with your usual phone system, as calls remain unaffected and business can resume as usual.
Just as a parachute would, PBX Parachute waits until it’s called upon. And when you need it, you don’t have to worry about moving data, running software, or booting hardware – it’s that easy.
Such disasters, whether it’s a snow storm or hurricane, can have large consequences for businesses and gravely affect bottom lines. Keep your business up and running with a disaster recovery service.
Multiple Airlines Ban In-Flight VoIP… Will Cellular Coverage Follow the Same Fate?
January 14th, 2014
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently considering a proposal to allow cellular coverage on planes, a service that might include making phone calls over the Internet, but it would be up to each specific airline to determine whether flyers can make calls in the air. While the FCC has not made a final decision as to whether it will allow cellphone use during flights using cellular coverage, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will make the final decision. If the DOT agrees to in-flight cellular coverage, then airlines still would have the right to enforce their own rules, as previously mentioned. Just last month, the FCC lifted its ban on use of personal electronic devices like Kindles, iPads, and Laptops under 10,000 feet, due to the fact that they do not interfere with cockpit instruments.
However, there have already been a few airlines, including, Delta and JetBlue have made the decision to ban in-flight VoIP, which is a common way to communicate in business settings with PBX phone systems. Just last week, Delta’s CEO has sent a company-wide memo to all employees saying Delta would not be allowing cellular or VoIP calls on any flights. However, Richard Anderson, Delta’s CEO, said that the airline is working to allow customers to use text, email, and other silent data transmission services from “gate to gate,” once the ban on cell phones is officially lifted by the FCC.
JetBlue provides a new in-flight Wi-Fi service, known as Sky-Fi, allowing users to access the Internet on flights. Last week, JetBlue opened up a small window where flyers could make calls via VoIP from a commercial airliner and while they discouraged these phone calls, they would not enforce rules against it and would handle situations on a case-by-case basis. However, after an outcry from disturbed passengers, JetBlue officially retracted the use of VoIP on their flights. JetBlue recently stated, “We’ve heard from many customers and the majority have shared that they do not want voice or video calls allowed onboard. We currently do not allow customers to use VoIP onboard. Our inflight team will enforce this as they would enforce any other onboard policy.”
These airlines believe that voice calls in the cabins would be a disruption for the travel experience for flyers. In a Delta Survey in 2012, the majority of customers, as well as employees, said that the ability to make voice calls onboard would detract from their flying experience. Due to the disturbance that voice calls might provide other passengers, it’s unlikely that many flights will allow VoIP or cellular coverage on their flights. But as JetBlue demonstrated, there might be a glimpse of hope to find a happy medium where a small window of time is allowed for phone calls, particularly on business flights.