Firedrill Confirms Business Telephone Strength
October 10th, 2014
Today at our corporate headquarters in beautiful downtown San Jose our building underwent a routine fire drill. Okay, short of having to trudge down the 187 steps to the ground floor from our office, we were all really quite fine to get some beautiful Silicon Valley sunshine. That’s because our office calls followed us outside. Our neighbors weren’t all so lucky.
Coincidentally, some of our co-tenants have employed VirtualPBX Office for their business phone needs so our days all kept on rolling without missing a beat thanks to the follow-me calling feature. For both of us it was almost like our professor decided to hold class outside. Business as usual, but with a nicer view.
Once the drill was over and the building cleared for reentry, the scene resembled a crowded commuter train as our neighbors were loading themselves into elevators in a surprisingly frantic hurry to get back to their desks. Turns out, if you don’t have the latest VoIP technology keeping your company connected no matter where they are, you can miss a lot of important work. All kidding aside, it was admittedly pretty nice to be able to continue conducting business on our own schedule, and not on that of the local Fire Inspector.
Right now, new customers to VirtualPBX Office or current VirtualPBX Anywhere customers who upgrade to an Office Plan will get one month of service for free if they buy the NEW Desktop VirtualPBX Softphone. Don’t let life keep you from speaking to your clients. Stay connected with VirtualPBX Office and enjoy all of the flexibility of a customizable, feature-rich phone system without the hassles and costs of a traditional copper wire telephone provider. All of the details of how you can get your first month of VirtualPBX Office are right here.
Thanks, and good luck out there!
3 Tips for Setting Up a Home Office
October 7th, 2014
Today, 26.2 million Americans, nearly 20% of the workforce, telecommute. Since 2012, there has been a 20% increase of telecommuters within the U.S., and the number continues to rise as businesses begin to better understand the benefits and as new technology such as softphones emerge.
There are plenty of benefits of telecommuting. Telecommuters are able to save time and money on commuting, spend more time with family, and work within the comfort of their own home. Still, work needs to be done and making the transition to a home office as seamless as possible takes some consideration. Minimizing distractions, staying connected, and making use of the cloud are just a few things to keep in mind from home.
One of the most difficult parts about working from home is keeping distractions to a minimum. One way to do this is to set yourself up with a legitimate workspace. Stay off the couch, turn the television off, and retreat to a quiet, distraction-free space. While it is okay to take some time from work to take care of household chores, it’s important not to use any excuses to stray from completing your work.
In order to make the transition from office to home office seamless, it is vital to make sure that lines of communication are kept open and that people can reach you as if you were in the office itself. The best way to do this is to make use of a softphone. A softphone can turn your computer or mobile phone into a VoIP extension. VirtualPBX’s softphones offer all the features of a VoIP phone, plus business caller ID so you can use your cell phone for business without giving out your personal number.
Get access to your office files
It is important to be able to mimic your work atmosphere while you are still at home. One way to do this is to be able to access all the files you’ll need to do work while you are at home. One major benefit of the cloud is that it allows you to access all cloud-hosted files from your computer at any time while streamlining the sharing process.
Learn more by contacting VirtualPBX today at 1-888-825-0800.
The Top 3 Benefits of the VirtualPBX Softphone App
October 2nd, 2014
VirtualPBX’s softphone app for iOS and Android allows users to turn any computer, tablet, or cell phone into a full-featured VoIP extension. Softphone App users can make and receive calls over their mobile device’s wifi or data connections and can make outbound calls associated with their business caller ID rather than a personal number. With our VoIP Anywhere technology, you get all the same, great features of VirtualPBX business phone systems, from centralized voicemail to call recording and beyond. It’s easy; all you have to do is register your softphone as a VoIP device and open the softphone app to begin. Below are the top three benefits of VirtualPBX’s softphone app.
Save Money While Traveling
You can save on roaming charges by making calls through your VirtualPBX Softphone. With VoIP Anywhere, users can get a U.S. dial tone for free by simply using either a wifi connection or your plan’s minutes rather than paying expensive hotel rates or large international roaming expenses on your cell phone.
Mobile Call Interruption
With VirtualPBX Softphone, you don’t need to worry about missing a personal call while using your phone for business. If a personal call comes in while you’re on a business VoIP call, the VoIP call will be put on hold until you answer or decline the personal call.
Little to No Cost
Adding a softphone to an office plan offers users little to not cost, as it operates off of any existing VoIP line – there is no charge for minutes used. VirtualPBX Softphone only uses your VirtualPBX plan’s minutes.
Learn more about the benefits and features of VirtualPBX Softphone or contact us at VirtualPBX today for more information by using the “Chat now” window on this page or by giving us a call at 888-825-0800.
Benefits of Telecommuting
September 23rd, 2014
The modern workplace is changing, and in many ways, for the better. Today more Americans telecommute than ever before, saving millions of dollars, tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and untold amounts of stress by exercising this simple option for work. This is all made possible thanks to advances in telecommunications technology, notably the use of VoIP softphones like the Desktop VirtualPBX Softphone. By switching from traditional utility providers to a VirtualPBX service, you can take your office with you anywhere you need to work.
Do you already benefit from working from home? Could you? What about your employees? Take a look at this simple infographic, and feel free to compare your current phone system to any of the VirtualPBX options.
BYOD: Understanding the Benefits of “Bring Your Own Device” as the Market Grows
September 15th, 2014
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to the action of allowing employees to use their own personal mobile devices or computers for their work, with access to company information and applications. BYOD is expected to increase in popularity over the next few years – 82% of people expect smartphones to play a critical role in business productivity in two years, according to IBM. And globally, the BYOD market is expected to grow to $181.39 billion by 2017, according to Markets and Markets. BYOD offers a variety of benefits for both employers and employees, including improved employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and cost savings.
Employee satisfaction – Employees are typically happier using their own devices that they’ve chosen based on their personal preferences. Users can avoid carrying multiple devices around, such as a work cell phone and a personal cell phone by integrating the two.
Increased productivity – Oftentimes, it is cumbersome to make the transition back and forth from a personal computer to a work computer, as they’re usually two completely different setups. By allowing employees to bring their own devices, more time is spent working on the actual task rather than working on technological details. Personal devices also tend to be updated more frequently by the user and offer more cutting-edge features.
Cost savings – BYOD can help save businesses money by shifting costs to the user. Rather than the business using money to purchase company laptops and cell phones, employees pay for their own devices.
Before implementing BYOD, it’s important to keep in mind that BYOD must be managed safely in order to protect your business’ privacy and assets. As the telecommuting trend grows, BYOD is expected to grow as well, with softphone technology leading the way. Contact VirtualPBX to learn more about softphone technology and how you can integrate it into your BYOD plan today.
5 Advantages of Telecommuting for Employers and Employees
September 11th, 2014
Did you know that 40% of jobs in the U.S. can be done from home? While working from home isn’t feasible for every person or every type of job, there are a variety of benefits that both employers and employees should take advantage of when possible. Many of the barriers that have limited telecommuting in the past are waning, including the evolution of softphone technology, which makes it easier and more common for employees to work from home.
- Increased Productivity
Telecommuting results in a 10-20% increase in employee productivity. When working in an office, employees tend to drag out the length of time tasks take to finish, as finishing quickly likely results in additional assignments to fill time… as a result there is no incentive to maximize daily task performance. Oftentimes, the time spent at the office is filled with unproductive tasks – chatting with coworkers, surfing the web, smoke breaks, long lunches, etc.
- Increased Job Satisfaction
Employees who work from home are reportedly more satisfied with their jobs, as the stress that an office atmosphere creates is alleviated. In fact, 25% of telecommuters report having less stress than their counterparts. Increased job satisfaction leads to more productive, happier employees that want to stay with the company and see success.
- Reduced Costs
Businesses can cut office costs with few to no employees present in the office ranging from furniture to electricity used, while employees save money used on gas to get to and from the office.
- Improved Life-Work Balance
80% of telecommuters say they are able to maintain a better life-work balance by telecommuting. The average commute to work is 45 minutes, so on average, telecommuting can offer workers an extra hour and a half to spend to themselves or with their family.
- Decreased Pollution for the Environment
If every employee who could work from home did so, 50 million people could save a grand total of 587 million barrels of oil – this is equal to 74% of United States gulf oil imports. Only one day of telecommuting could save a whopping 423,000 tons of greenhouse gas.
It’s important for businesses to take a look at the benefits of having their workers telecommute, whether it’s one day per week or five days per week. With new and improved technology, employees can work from virtually anywhere. The tools are there; it’s up to employers to take advantage of them.
Sources: Staples Advantage, Workopolis, The Telework Coalition, The Telework Research Network, The Oil Drum, Opportunity Now
Supporting Telecommuting Employees with a VoIP Phone System
May 31st, 2013
For small businesses, a VoIP phone system gives employees the ability to work productively from home. And according to a recent study from Stanford University, telecommuters are happier, more productive and take less time off.
A Chinese travel agency called CTrip tested the theory by recruiting 500 employees and asking half to work from home, while the rest reported to the office. In addition to a 13 percent performance increase, those working from home took fewer breaks and sick days, answered more calls per minute and reported improved work satisfaction.
So how do you make working from home a seamless process? A VoIP phone system allows telecommuters to harness all the capabilities of a corporate phone system from the comfort of their homes or even while on the road. You can dial from your office’s phone line, have calls transferred, access your voicemail, and conference call just as if it were a normal day in the office.
A hosted phone service product like Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere is an ideal tool for small businesses with a large number of telecommuters. This technology permits remote or mobile workers to use their personal smartphones and computers as VoIP handsets with full business phone system functionality. You can use any standard SIP softphone to make or receive high-quality calls from any location, just as long as you have access to WiFi. It’s the perfect solution for cutting down on roaming costs during long distance business trips.
Working away from the office doesn’t have to mean feeling disconnected from your team members or business clients. With a VoIP phone system, you can stay linked to your network without missing a beat – even if you’re thousands of miles away.
Summer Telecommuting with Hosted VoIP
April 30th, 2013
Balmy weather can make even the most dedicated employees and small business owners feel trapped in their workplace, while warm, beautiful days of summer wait just outside. Blue skies and sunshine can lead to distracted workers who find excuses to take lots of time off. Flexible workplaces that allow telecommuting often see higher returns on employee productivity and satisfaction by allowing their workers to maintain their connection to the office while enjoying everything that summer has to offer. One way to support telecommuting is to use hosted VoIP services to maintain network connectivity to the main office while working from a fixed remote location or while on the move.
By shifting to a hosted VoIP solution, businesses are able to provide an extra perk for employees who wish to work from home office locations or any other location that supports a broadband connection, instead of a traditional workplace. Businesses that offer telecommuting as an option can attract top talent to help them grow and expand.
Moving away from a traditional PSTN network also allows small businesses to easily and inexpensively scale their phone services as their size increases and new lines must be added to accommodate extra employees. An on-site PSTN infrastructure is notoriously expensive to maintain and expand. By replacing it with a hosted solution, both the upfront infrastructure costs and ongoing IT costs are marginalized and sometimes eliminated altogether. Hosted VoIP providers take on the expenses of scaling their customers’ phone networks since the databanks and supporting infrastructure are located at their facilities rather than by the end user.
Modern VoIP providers are able to provide telecommuting options through a range of services, most notably softphone applications, which allow smartphones or computers to function as natural VoIP extensions of business phone systems. Through the use of softphones, small businesses are able to provide telecommuting options to employees who wish to take advantage of working from home, as well as providing flexibility and across-the-board savings to their office phone networks. If these features are attractive to your small business, consider a hosted VoIP solution today.
Softphones: What They are and Why Small Businesses Need Them
April 11th, 2013
Investing in technology is invaluable for small businesses that wish to cut costs. Whether streamlining paperwork or optimizing your workday, entrepreneurs and companies of all shapes and sizes look for ways to make their businesses leaner and meaner. With the popularization of Voice over Internet Protocol, (VoIP) business technology, softphone systems have become widespread.
Most small business entrepreneurs probably use or have used softphones at some point – and just didn’t know it.
A softphone is a program (or app) that allows its’ user to make telephone calls over the internet. Some softphone systems have special headsets, but generally, the service requires a regular computer and audio system – speakers and a microphone, to function. Modern softphone applications also exist for smartphones and other mobile devices. Put simply, it makes the whole phone system virtual, without any wires or handsets to worry about.
There are also several other features that make softphones a great choice for small businesses, which include:
– Flexibility: By not relying on any hardware, softphones can work in conjunction with an already existing VoIP PBX system. Integration with the pre-existing network allows smooth service and minimal downtime for business owners who need to shift offices or continue working from home.
– Cost-efficiency: With a softphone, customers are no longer reliant on traditional phone service providers and are thusly spared the expenses of running a separate business Private Branch Exchange (PBX) network. By relying on VoIP technology, all they need is a stable internet connection to maintain contact with their customers.
– Portability: A business VoIP softphone allows entrepreneurs who often commute to use their desk phone outside the office. It is designed to allow full access to all the features of their work phone from their laptop or smartphone. Since there’s no physical device, their office space is less cluttered as well.
Regardless of whether you’re aligning it with your business VoIP PBX solution, using it in place of your regular phone or as a supplement to your smartphone, a softphone is a smart idea for small businesses looking to cut down on their bills, unclutter their workplace, or have their employees telecommute . If your small business can benefit from these changes, consider a softphone solution today.
Three More Ways to Use Virtual PBX
February 8th, 2012
Create Podcasts – Podcasts are basically audio recordings that can be posted online and downloaded by anyone. Today, more and more businesses and individuals are choosing to communicate via podcasts as an alternative to radio and blogs. Unlike radio and T.V., podcasts are free to subscribe to and create. Interested in creating your own podcast?
Lucky for you, Virtual PBX makes it easy for you to record your own podcast right from your phone. Simply use Virtual PBX’s call recording feature to record an interview, discussion or anything else you want to share with the world. Every Virtual PBX system includes call recording at no added cost. In addition, the call recording feature is greatly customizable and easy to use. Every user with a Virtual PBX extension can record all calls automatically or select calls to record manually by simply pushing #9 during a call.
Have an alternate number – While having a single incoming business number gives your business a unified presence, it can often be very useful to have multiple incoming business numbers. In fact, every Virtual PBX plan can have an unlimited amount of phone numbers as part of the system.
Anyone can benefit from having multiple phone numbers. Let’s say, for example, you want to use one group of employees to answer phone calls for several different business identities. Virtual PBX can answer calls with different greetings on each incoming line and then route the calls to those employees. A preview announcement indicates which business identity was called, so the employee can answer correctly.
Another popular use for multiple numbers is to track response to marketing campaigns. Each advertisement or other marketing activity can include a different telephone number for prospects to get more information. Tracking the incoming activity on each phone number gives a real-time indication of which marketing activity is generating the most calls.
Get a soft phone – Every Virtual PBX system includes VoIP Anywhere technology, which can turn your cellular phone or computer into a full-featured Virtual PBX VoIP phone. Using VoIP phones with your Virtual PBX system adds great new features like direct extension to extension dialing.
Do you want to keep your personal cell phone number private? When you dial out using a softphone registered to VPBX, the caller ID you send is your Virtual PBX number, not your personal cell phone number.
In addition, by making calls through your Virtual PBX system, you can avoid roaming charges. With VoIP Anywhere, you can make calls from around the world through your softphone and Wi-Fi connection, getting U.S. dial tone for free. Don’t waste your money on costly international roaming fees. Call Virtual PBX today and save yourself some hard earned cash.