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.
VoIP Expected to Gain Popularity in Europe: Here’s Why
January 8th, 2014
According to new statistics from Eurostat, 60% of people within the EU28 are online at least once each day, with 79% of households having access to the web in 2013 and 76% boasting their own broadband connection. Now that the majority of people throughout Europe use the Internet on a regular basis, VoIP is likely to become a huge investment for millions of people. Most businesses in Europe also rely on the Internet to complete operations in a variety of industries, meaning that the trend is sure to follow in the business world.
While Internet usage varies throughout the continent, with just 54% of households in Bulgaria being connected in comparison with 95 per cent in the Netherlands, it is clear that the majority of the population can access the Internet at any time. The lowest access rates were recorded in Bulgaria at 54%, Greece at 56%, and Romania at 58%. The nations with the highest access rates included Luxembourg at 94%, Denmark at 93%, and Sweden at 93%. When it came to broadband, Finland topped the charts with 88% of the population having the technology in place, followed by Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK, all 87%.
Where broadband is widely available and of good quality, it makes sense for any large or small businesses to implement a VoIP phone system. A VoIP phone system can be beneficial to virtually every type of company, no matter the size or industry. With the cost-saving potential, rich media service and features VoIP has to offer, such as online call monitoring and online phone system access, as well as phone portability, a VoIP phone system holds ideal features suited to fit a wide array of business needs. Traditional landlines are considered to be old-fashioned, particularly in businesses, and can be unreliable and expensive to maintain.
Once business owners understand the benefits of VoIP and as costs keep getting lower and service becomes more and more advanced, VoIP is likely to become just as popular in Europe as it is here in the United States.
Welcoming 2014 With a Virtual Phone System
January 2nd, 2014
2013 has whizzed on by and it’s time to start prepping for the New Year. Do yourself and your small business a favor by starting the year off right with a virtual phone system.
You might be wondering how switching to a virtual phone system could have such a positive impact on your business. This single change helps you reduce overhead and adopt more sustainable, affordable operating practices, giving you the potential to make 2014 the most profitable year yet.
Reduce Your Operating Costs
Making long-distance and international calls on a daily basis can certainly get expensive. Fortunately, there are many virtual phone system providers out there that offer affordable plans, including unlimited nationwide long-distance and even unlimited international calling. Plus, with a hosted system, the cost and responsibility of maintaining and repairing the equipment is shifted from you to the provider to help save you even more money. Forget about the set-up costs, maintenance visits and all the related hassle.
Lower Your Equipment Costs
Since the phone system is virtual and hosted off-site, it’s unnecessary to have a dedicated room in the office to house equipment. That frees up more office space for you and your employees.
Keep Your Telecommuters Happy
Telecommuting is a new reality in today’s modern workplace and offers countless benefits to both you and your employees. Telecommuters typically spend more time on the phone, and make more calls per day than office workers. Telecommuters are also happier, take less sick days and stay in their jobs longer. A virtual phone system is the perfect way to manage a remote workforce, while simultaneously increasing productivity and reducing overhead. It’s also a great sustainable and affordable business practice to attract and retain talent in a competitive marketplace,
So what are you waiting for? By investing in a virtual phone system, you can help save your business money in 2014 and beyond.
Beat the Winter Blues with Business VoIP
December 19th, 2013
With the first day of winter coming this Saturday, December 21st, you might be feeling a little blue. The advent of the winter season is an indicator of many things: flu season; cold, gloomy weather; frozen toes. It’s enough to make anyone want to hibernate under the covers and sleep till spring.
Here’s how business VoIP can help you combat that winter depression. We can’t promise you hibernation time. However, with communication tools like business VoIP that help you stay connected to your team and your customers, working from home is a seamless experience.
Softphone apps allow you to use your personal smartphone, laptop or tablet to make and receive calls, so long as there is an Internet connection. Plus, you’ll still be able to enjoy all of the excellent features that come along with a complete business phone system, including auto-attendant, TrueACDTM Queuing, virtual fax, custom greeting, virtual extensions and so much more.
So even if you’re working while lounging in your pajamas at home, you’ll still be able to maintain that sleek professional business image. And that’s as good a reason as any to invest in a business VoIP system.
You Can Take It with You – Using Business VoIP on Your Mobile Device
December 12th, 2013
It’s no secret that the world is going mobile, so it’s nice to know that business VoIP allows your work connections to be mobile too. Since, more than half of Internet traffic comes from mobile devices in many industries and geographic locations, it’s critical to have your office phone available wherever you are.
You’ve probably heard of the many benefits that business VoIP systems have to offer small- and medium-sized businesses. They increase productivity. They eliminate the need to hire IT staff since users can easily make the necessary changes on their own time and at their own convenience. Plus, there are lower startup and maintenance costs. Since your business will be utilizing a data network instead of regular phone lines, you’ll be able to combine all communications into a single network.
One of the greatest benefits of business VoIP, however, is unprecedented access. You have the ability to access VoIP anywhere you go, as long as you have a connection to the Internet. In other words, you can go mobile without sacrificing all the fantastic, advanced features that your business telephone system has to offer. So if you have employees who work abroad, get stuck in traffic or work from home, business VoIP could be the perfect fit for your business.
As you begin prepping for 2014, keep in mind the many ways that business VoIP could benefit your business. It’s an even greater return on your investment knowing that you have the option of bringing business VoIP with you while you’re on the go.