Features

Be Home For The Holidays With Auto Attendant

home-for-the-holidaysMaybe you’ve already checked-out for the holidays because you still haven’t gotten over your tryptophan stupor, or maybe you’re the one holding down the fort at the office until New Years Eve. Either way, you can’t deny the fact that a lot of offices turn into ghost towns around this time of year. So what are you doing at work, then? Did you know that you can be home for the holidays without missing out on work? It’s true! Plus, with an advanced telephone system like Dash it’s a lot easier than trying to get an additional few days of PTO from HR, too.

Don’t Abandon Ship, Just Keep Her in Port

Okay, that might be slightly off as a metaphor, but only because you’re actually taking the ship home with you. Hosted PBX telephone systems, or most familiarly know as VoIP, are cloud-based equivalents of the traditional copper-wired lined PBX systems of yesteryear. That means that they are portable and travel with you just like all of the cloud-based applications you already have on your smart phone. For companies that rely on a virtual phone system like Dash, working from home, the in-laws’, or from the road is all just as effective as being in the office. Plus, these mobility benefits are just the tip of the iceberg of VoIP because there are unique features that make business, especially during the holidays, much easier to get done.

Auto Attendant

Of all of the great features that make a modern hosted telephone system superior to an on-site PBX, the most important one for people looking to have a flexible schedule during the holidays is Auto Attendant. Auto Attendant is basically like having someone at the office to field and forward calls for the rest of the team. Furthermore, because all of the features in Dash are fully customizable, Auto Attendant can be used for anything from a simple greeting and call forwarding all the way to delineating an array of extensions and options for your callers. No matter how Auto Attendant is used, however, the fact is that it doesn’t require you or your teammates to be in the office for it to work. This frees up the schedules of everyone who wants to celebrate the season with their loved ones.

The fact that VoIP makes this possible for every occasion from Thanksgiving to Boxing Day might be one of the reasons that 70% of businesses are expected to transition to a hosted telephone system in the next two years . For those businesses that may need more of a reason, though, they can compare the benefits of a hosted PBX over an on-site PBX. Once you’ve decided to switch, join in the conversation with other mobile-friendly businesses by following us on Twitter or Facebook. In the meanwhile, enjoy the holidays and thanks for checking out our blog!

How to Get Inbox Zero in 5 Easy Steps and Stay There

inbox-zeroWe hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving, and if you’re not over the tryptophan yet, may we suggest a coffee IV? That’s because, in case you haven’t noticed yet, business keeps marching along even during the holidays. The problem many people encounter during this time of year is balancing productivity with a seemingly ceaseless onslaught of scheduling conflicts, out of office notifications, and their own plans to get away. With all of this absenteeism and celebration, it’s no surprise that many companies in the B2B space experience troughs that stretch from November to January. The actual surprise is that in spite of the dip in business, it can still be just as hard to achieve Inbox Zero now as it is any other time of the year. Until you read these next steps, of course.

Inbox Zero is a State of Mind

To prevent a self-defeating cycle of disappointment, it’s important to remember one thing about Inbox Zero before you set out to achieve it. Specifically that the satisfaction of seeing a big zero in the new messages folder is fleeting because, as sure as the sun will rise, you will get another email. In fact, the man who coined the term Inbox Zero, Merlin Mann, wasn’t even referring to the actual number of emails you have, but how much attention you give to them when you need to be doing other tasks. That’s a good point to remember when setting out on the task of streamlining your messages so that you aren’t discouraged when you have to start at it again.

Achieving Inbox Zero

Now that we’ve gotten the existential platitudes out of the way, like many of you, I really just like to see an empty inbox. Inbox Zero means I don’t have a growing list of tasks that I haven’t yet addressed. To get to that mythical promised land, and more importantly to stay there, start by taking these steps-

  • Start by unsubscribing to anything you don’t need to read everyday. You know that vacation sweepstakes you signed up for? It probably came with signing up for several newsletters or marketing emails. And really, do you need to know about the latest in flip-flop developments every week?
  • Consider using multiple inboxes. This process is a way to make sure that emails are organized not by the time they arrive, but by the topics or responsibilities they cover. Setting-up multiple inboxes in Gmail is easy, and this guide will walk you through it.
  • Label everything. Even if you aren’t using multiple inboxes, a strong labeling system will help you quickly read, categorize, and archive for later anything.
  • Archive everything. While we’re talking in superlatives, there’s nothing you should need that you can’t keep in archive once it has passed. Emails aren’t your HR department or finance team, so don’t treat them like the place to store everything. If it’s something that is so important that you have to access it all the time, consider using Google Drive or just saving it on your device.
  • Try ”Yesterboxing.” This is the term that Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh gives to the process of deferring opening one new message until he has opened 10 of his older messages. This is a good way to make sure that whittling down or staying on top of the ever-growing list of emails.

Then Inbox Zero Everything Else

Voicemail is another area that can get backed up before you know it, so take the same approach with that inbox to avoid similar frustration. Do that by employing tools like Auto Attendant and a Virtual Receptionist to make sure that, if you’re unavailable, callers are directed to someone else in the organization who can help them. Or, even better, try employing an intelligent call forwarding system like Follow me Calling that can direct business calls to any other device you want.

By following these suggestions on how to achieve Inbox Zero on all of your devices, you can unclutter your workday, everyday. Plus, because you can access both your email and your business phone from any smartphone, now you can be connected to all of your business communications no matter where your travels take you during the holidays and beyond.

Thanksgiving with the In-Laws: Inbound Call Recording Beta on Dash

thanksgivingThere are about as many different ways to balance the holidays between two families as there are different families. Thanksgiving is one of the times of the year that tends to be a bit more contentious than others. Unlike religious holidays, it’s pretty common that most American families will have their own Thanksgiving traditions, regardless of their sect, beliefs, or denomination. That’s why Thanksgiving with the in-laws can be a bit more contentious than others. If you happen to be trading years between you and your partner’s extended families, I’d encourage you to keep an open mind, because you never know what great new custom you might be introduced to. This is also a lot like how beta programs work, too, in that you’re introduced to new products or features that you might not otherwise be familiar with. That’s why when we introduce the Inbound Call Recording Beta for Dash users this week, we’re hoping to treat you to something great, too.

Inbound Call Recording is like DVR for Work

Almost as reliable as turkey and mashed potatoes, you can be sure that millions of American households will include one of the televised NFL games as part of their Thanksgiving celebration. But for those times when you need to head outside for your own game of catch with the family or when you are being beckoned to help baste the turkey, sometimes you miss some of the action. No problem! Just like rewinding or pausing your DVR, Inbound Call Recording lets you call a timeout and head to the replay booth on your business calls. Plus, the best thing about the Inbound Call Recording Beta is that it’s unlimited access allows for you to add it to any user on your Dash system. This means no more missing out on something great because you already used your last challenge flag!

Help Us Build a Better System For Free

This is the Inbound Call Recording Beta, emphasis on Beta. That means that unlike your Aunt Rita’s pumpkin pie, this is not half-baked feature. However, also unlike Rita, we welcome your feedback and suggestions for how to make it better. Plus, because we’re letting you add this feature onto any of your users’ profiles for free through the end of the year, there’s no reason not to get going on trying it out! After we’ve received your thoughts and reactions to the new service, we’ll roll out it’s final iteration along with any relevant pricing changes for the first of the New Year. Until then, you’ve got free reign to head back for seconds of the all-new Inbound Call Recording Beta for Dash!

Already using Inbound Call Recording? Like what you’ve seen so far? Let us know on by reaching out to us through Customer Support because we’d love to hear what you think!

It’s a Real Time World

We get a lot of useful information from our customers about how, when, and where they use their VirtualPBX phone systems. Listening to stories about how mobility and reliability are indispensable for our business partners has what led us to develop product like Dash or features like Follow Me Calling in the first place. Furthermore, once we learned how people were using Dash after we launched it, it was clear that we should begin offering an unlimited minutes option, which we did with Dash Unlimited. The point is that wherever there’s a need for our customers, we want to fill it with a solution. And in a world where every bit of information is available to us in seemingly real time, what we did next seemed like a no-brainer.

Stay Up to Date With Your Activity

Starting today, all VirtualPBX Dash and Dash Unlimited customers will begin waking up to a real time update on their previous day’s account activity. Updated each morning at 7:00 AM PST, all of the previous day’s minutes used will be available for anyone on the account to view. Of course, no VirtualPBX feature roll-out would be complete without the ability to customize them to your exact specifications. That being the case, administrators on the account have the option of selecting which employees have access to the daily updates.

Real Time VoIP


Never Slowing Down

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know that we like to keep tinkering with our products and building new ones almost nonstop. This latest update is, of course, just another result of that tried and true approach to improvement. To keep you up to date on all of the latest information and product releases in real time, follow us on Twitter or Facebook or sign-up for our Product Newsletter here.

Feature Comparison: Follow Me Calling vs Hot Desking

Business TravelFor over 200,000 employees of businesses across the globe, the VirtualPBX suite of features is an irreplaceable tool for their day-to-day operations. For millions more, though, they may not even realize how a hosted telephone system can benefit them. For these folks, and for those who haven’t tried each and every one of our terrific features, we have this feature comparison on Follow Me Calling vs Hot Desking.

Forward and Receive Calls To Anywhere

In a nutshell, both Hot Desking and Follow Me Calling are emblematic of the true advantage of a virtual telephone system in that they are both ways to work from anywhere. Being tethered to an onsite PBX prevents employees from traveling with the flexibility that comes from a hosted communications solution, and both of these features free businesses from those types of restrictions. But there are a couple of distinct differences between the two features that make them appropriate for different types of situations.

Where are You Going to Be?

This is a question that some mobile employees or digital nomads can never answer with confidence, but it’s also the crux of determining which advanced call forwarding system is right for you. Follow Me Calling allows an employee to program a cascading series of numbers (up to 8 different locations or devices) to ring sequentially in order to find where they are at. This is great for employees who generally know all of the places they might be at, even if they aren’t sure when they’ll be there.

Conversely, Hot Desking allows employees to assign any phone in the world to be their current “desk phone” even if they had no intention of being there for the moment. The benefit of Hot Desking is that an employee can assign as many different numbers in a day as he or she wants and they can continue to bounce around to wherever their work takes them.

Tip of the Iceberg

Whether you’re a Follow Me Calling devotee or are more into the idea of Hot Desking, the results are the same- VirtualPBX gives you the power to work on your schedule, on your terms, and on your turf. Even if that turf happens to be the airport hotel in Atlanta because your flight got pushed back a day. The best thing is that these two unique features are just a pair of the dozens of ways that a VirtualPBX communications platform can help you do your best work, from wherever you need to be doing it.

For a complete list of all of VirtualPBX’s great features, visit our benefits section. And for more tips on how to work on the go, be sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for the latest useful information for business travel.

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