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Archives: June 2012

Virtual PBX Complete is a Complete Success
June 7th, 2012

Nine Consecutive Awards and Huge Growth for VirtualPBX Complete

Called a “cream of the crop” service by its customers, the latest award wining service from Virtual PBX, Virtual PBX Complete, quickly worked its way to the upper echelon of VoIP solutions, delivering an unparalleled complete business phone service.

Unlike other hosted PBX services, VirtualPBX Complete supports the blending of analog and IP telephony while simultaneously incorporating open SIP peering. Eliminating the need for proprietary software and delivering the freedom and flexibility to carry business extensions anywhere around the world through a smartphone, Virtual PBX complete is becoming an essential element for running a successful business.

“The need for business VoIP solutions is high, and we’re excited to have been able to launch such a strong product,” said Greg Brashier, CMO of Virtual PBX.

Since its launch, VirtualPBX Complete has been recognized by several publications including Information Week, eWEEK and TMCnet receiving the following nine awards:

VirtualPBX announced continued strong growth in the 15 months since the launch of its award-winning VirtualPBX Complete business VoIP solution in February 2011, citing a 49.9 percent rise in traffic though the company’s hosted PBX system. With Virtual PBX’s expertise in technology and ability to create some of the most innovative products and services on the market, it is easy to see why they are so popular.

Virtual PBX Named Finalist in the 2012 Hot Companies and Best Products Awards by Network Products Guide
April 20th, 2012

Unstoppable! Virtual PBX Wins Yet Another Award for Virtual PBX Complete

Virtual PBX (www.virtualpbx.com), the inventor and leading supplier of hosted business phone services, is excited to announce that Network Products Guide, industry’s leading technology research and advisory guide, has named Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere a finalist for the 7th Annual 2012 Hot Companies and Best Products Awards in the Voice over IP and Unified Communications category. Winners will be honored in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 during the 7th annual dinner and presentations.

As the industry’s leading technology research and advisory guide, Network Products Guide plays a vital role in keeping decision makers and end-users informed of the choices they can make in all areas of information technology. The guide follows conscientious research methodologies developed and enhanced by industry experts.

Awards from Network Products Guide, such as the Hot Companies and Best Products Award, are the world’s premier information technology awards created to honor and generate industry wide recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and IT professionals worldwide in every area. In other words, Network Products Guide only gives these awards to those who honestly deserve them.

“This recognition as a Hot Company and Product finalist validates our position as a company successfully overcoming the communication issues faced by businesses today,” said Greg Brashier, CMO of Virtual PBX. “From the beginning our objective has been to keep communication costs and complexity low so that small- and mid-sized businesses can have the capacity and features to fuel growth and meet their business objectives.”

Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere is truly a product you can depend on. Not only has it won more awards than any other hosted PBX service, but it has also won the best awards.

Recommended Routers: Airport Extreme and Netgear
December 28th, 2011

At VirtualPBX, we do everything we can to ensure each customer’s system always runs as quickly and effectively as possible. From using fully redundant systems with backups to guaranteeing 99.999% uptime, we take every precaution to give you the most reliable virtual phone service in the market. However, there are also steps our customers may take to ensure their VirtualPBX is running as smoothly as possible at all times. Below, we discuss one such method to improve your VirtualPBX experience.

To ensure your network can support VoIP traffic and keep your network within recommended parameters for jitter, latency, and packet loss.  With that in mind it is important to have a good router. Reports from our customer base have revealed some routers work better than others with SIP traffic and VoIP calls with our VirtualPBX service.

Routers are specialized computers connected to two or more different networks that perform “traffic directing” functions. They run software that allows the device to move data between different networks, determining the most optimal path. Routers move information in “packages” called Packets and can be wireless, wired or a combination of both.  Another primary function of a router is to share one Internet connection with many devices on the network.

The Apple Airport Extreme is reportedly best for people who want complete ease of use and 100% compatibility out of the box; the Apple Airport Extreme offers super fast wireless network access throughout just about any home, office, or classroom. This router includes:

·           Both wired and wireless connectivity

·           Single Ethernet WAN port for connecting to a DSL or cable modem

·           3 Ethernet LAN ports for connecting network devices

More features and specs can be found on Apple’s website.

Please note the Apple Airport Extreme does not support Quality of Service (QoS). QoS is a feature that enables routers to prioritize traffic, allowing the most important traffic to pass first. This results in improved performance for critical network traffic like your VoIP phone call. QoS equipment is useful with VoIP phones on LANs with high volumes of traffic.

For customers that need the utility of QoS, Virtual PBX’s customers found significant value in the Netgear WNDR4500 router. This router is perfect if you need advanced functionality like QOS and stateful pack inspection. This router features:

·           Both wired and wireless connectivity

·           Single Ethernet WAN port for connecting to a DSL or cable modem

·           4 Ethernet LAN ports for connecting network devices

·           Supports QOS and stateful pack inspection.

A product overview and technical specs can be found at Netgear.

We recommend checking all network equipment on site before deploying our service in your office. A good first check of your network can be done using our VoIP Speed Test. If your router is not one of these we discussed here, you may contact our VirtualPBX Support department via email at support@virtualpbx.com or via phone at 888.825.0800 option 2 to with any questions you may have.

As a part of our award-winning open systems initiative, our phones will work with a wide variety of other routers. For more information, please visit our Recommended Routers page at http://www.virtualpbx.com/services/recommended-routers//.

You Can Rely on VoIP
November 2nd, 2011

As VoIP is such a new technology, you may wonder how reliable it is. Communication is key to any business, so it must be reliable.  Most companies rely on multiple forms of communication, including telephones, email, web services, and more.  Of all these communication types, phone calls demand the highest level of instant interaction, and any delay or trouble with a phone call is noticed more quickly.  So call quality and reliability of your phone service are critical.  A major interruption in service can greatly impact a company’s performance and have far-reaching consequences and even poor call quality reflects negatively on your business. Inconsistent or unreliable phone service is simply unacceptable. So, if you are considering switching from a traditional phone service to a VoIP phone service, you may wonder if VoIP is something you can rely on.

Simply put, today, VoIP can be extremely reliable. VoIP has been around long enough for all the big issues to be worked out. With a good VoIP provider and solid internet service, problems such as latency, jitter, static, and dropped calls have been eliminated. Interestingly, the reasons some people worry about using VoIP – sound quality, dropped calls, intermittent loss of service – are the same concerns that afflicted the original PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone system. PSTN quality has continued to improve over its many years of use, and old-style analog phone systems using copper wires for connection have become the standard for call quality.  VoIP is still undergoing important changes, but by selecting the right VoIP provider, you can already get quality and reliability that rivals analog connectivity.   VoIP communication services are progressing and evolving faster than ever and the issues associated with VoIP are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

In fact, now VoIP telephone service can be even more reliable than traditional telephone service and provide better features at a lower price. VoIP telephones will often work in situations when traditional telephone services won’t.  Suppose, for example, that you need to work from both home and office.  With VoIP, you can have service anywhere you have an internet connection. So even if you loose internet connection in your home or office, you can make and receive phone calls from any internet connection anywhere, whether you take calls on your desktop VoIP phone or a softphone on your computer or smart phone.  And the internet itself  is very reliable. It has built in redundancy, routing packets around any failing links.  The biggest reliability issue will be with your own Internet Service Provider (ISP), so you’ll want to select a provider that has a solid reputation for reliability.  To check your current service, you can run our VoIP Test and see the bandwidth, jitter, latency, and packet loss associated with your current connection..

In addition, the sound quality of a VoIP call can be as good if not better than a call made through traditional landline services.  This is because with VoIP, your voice breaks down to a digital form, which can be exactly reproduced at the other end of the call, unlike with landlines which can inject noise or lose strength over distance.

The real question in VoIP reliability may be in your choice of VoIP provider.  You’ll want to choose a company with a strong reputation for reliability, and know what they do to make sure your phone system stays up and running, all the time. VirtualPBX has taken all the precautions to ensure you will have the most reliable VoIP service available.  Our service runs in a secure, hardened data facility that is part of our national infrastructure.  It has many sources of power, carriers, and lines, including primaries and multiple backups in each area.  In addition, we’ve built the whole system with reliability in mind.  Every component has multiple backups and redundancy.  So if a component fails, your calls are not affected.  In most cases, over half of our equipment could fail and you’d still get your calls.  This is one of the reasons Virtual PBX is so well known for its reliability and quality.  For more information, check out the Quality and Reliability page of our website at http://www.virtualpbx.com/learn-more/quality-reliability/.

Virtual Pbx® Awarded Internet Telephony’s 2011 Tmc Labs Innovation Award
August 5th, 2011

Virtual PBX Complete Honored for Exceptional Innovation

Virtual PBX has always watched out for every one of their customers, from the smaller businesses to the larger corporations, making sure to deliver products and services everyone finds useful for their business.

Virtual PBX’s latest solution is no exception, supporting a complete blending of analog and IP telephony, while also incorporating open SIP peering.   In doing so, Virtual PBX Complete ultimately meets the needs of all Virtual PBX customers from traditional landline clients to VoIP telephony customers.  Setting new standards for flexibility, features, price, and ease of installation, Virtual PBX Complete forged ahead, establishing new technology and employing out-of-the-box thinking.

This is what innovation is all about.  And this is why Virtual PBX Complete was named the 2011 TMC Labs Innovation Award winner.  The award, presented by TMC’s publication, INTERNET TELEPHONY, honors products that display innovation, unique features, and significant contributions toward improving communications technology. The TMC Labs Innovation Awards are granted to those companies demonstrating groundbreaking contributions to the industry.

“The Innovation Award exemplifies the best and the most unique products and services that this industry has to offer. Virtual PBX has proven its commitment to quality and the further development of the IP communications industry through its Virtual PBX Complete solution,” stated Tom Keating, CTO and TMC Labs Founder.

“Congratulations to the entire team at Virtual PBX for earning this great honor. I look forward to seeing more innovative solutions from them as the company continues to contribute to the future of IP communications,” Keating added.

In order to be seen as valuable innovations, new products and services must be strong enough to progress into the marketplace.  In addition, fast changing technologies and lifestyles cause people to have greater expectations. Customers are used to products that constantly improve and make their life easier.

“This recognition demonstrates the significant impact Virtual PBX Complete innovation has had on our market,” said Greg Brashier, COO of Virtual PBX. “This award, coupled with the enthusiastic responses from our customers, is a testament to Virtual PBX’s hard work and commitment to provide services that meet the wide range of customer needs.”

“Virtual PBX has demonstrated to the staff of TMC Labs that Virtual PBX Complete is truly innovative in the IP Communications industry. Virtual PBX Complete has made contributions which have resulted in significant advancement to the industry,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “We’re proud to reward Virtual PBX’s hard work with a TMC Labs Innovation Award this year.”

The 2011 TMC Labs Innovation Award highlights will be published in the July and August 2011 issues of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine.

Virtual PBX Adds VoIP Phones and New Flat-Rate Plans!
February 25th, 2011

Polycom SoundPoint IP 335

Virtual PBX Adds Hardware VoIP Phone Support

The time has come — Virtual PBX, provider of the no-compromise business phone system, announced support for hardware VoIP Phones along with new flat-rate plans, fortifying their lineup of industry-leading plans and services. With this, Virtual PBX now controls the phone call from the inbound phone number ALL the way down to the phone on the desktop. You can now have a truly complete phone system integrating phone numbers, free long distance and IP phones into one cost-effective solution.

We now offer two award winning plans from which you, the customer, can choose: the new flat-rate plans and the original usage-based plans. Even better, you don’t have to be on the flat-rate plans to use the VoIP phones – we’ve set up the system to support the phones on either plan. So feel free to pick the plan that works best for you and your business, and also decide how you would like the system to reach you. You can be contacted through the VoIP phone(s) and/or contact phone numbers via a landline or cell phone. The freedom to choose is in your hands.

We also offer you the freedom to save! With Virtual PBX you can simplify your life and your budget by cutting the ties with your landline carrier. There is really no need for a landline anymore seeing as how you can make and receive phone calls using a VoIP phone and your Virtual PBX service. So go on ahead and save that money each month with Virtual PBX Complete. With our phone service you can enjoy a savings of anywhere from 40-80% in traditional phone system and landline costs – that is a huge savings! Given that telecom costs are a major expense in everyday business, Virtual PBX provides business communication that is affordable, easy and accessible from wherever you need to be with a low monthly fee and no contracts or setup costs!

Please see the plan details below and save money with the plan suited for you:

Flat-Rate Plans:

These are your traditional “unlimited” plans that so many companies try to market. However, Virtual PBX does it right as there is a fair-use policy in place (much like every other VoIP phone service out there) that allows 5,000 minutes of inbound minutes per extension, aggregated at the account level. So a 5-user system would include upwards of 25,000 inbound local minutes. That’s amazing. Most companies won’t touch that. Yet, they can have this system for around $150 per month, and that already includes the e911 fees, Federal and FCC taxes. The flat-rate plans are as follows:

  • 1-User: $39.99/mo
  • 4-User: $23.99/mo/ext
  • 10-User: $21.99/mo/ext
  • 20-User: $19.99/mo/ext
  • 50-User: $19.99/mo/ext
  • Extra Extensions: $24.99/mo

Usage-Based Plans:

These plans are what Virtual PBX used to pioneer the hosted phone service market. On these original plans you only pay for the minutes used each month. As the plans go up, you receive a larger block of free minutes and the price for additional minutes becomes cheaper. These plans come with unlimited users and all the same features as the flat-rate plans. Virtual PBX has the following usage-based plans:

  • VPBX-5: $9.99/mo (300 minutes, extra minutes are 6.5 cents/min)
  • VPBX-10: $24.99/mo (600 minutes, extra minutes are 5.8 cents/min)
  • VPBX-20: $44.99/mo (1,000 minutes, extra minutes are 4.7 cents/min)
  • VPBX-50: $94.99/mo (2,500 minutes, extra minutes are 4.4 cents/min

VoIP Phones

Virtual PBX now supports hardware VoIP phones connected to the service. This is a superb addition as now you can make phone calls and show your Virtual PBX caller ID on every outbound call. And you don’t have to use a cellphone or landline to make that outbound call. All you need is an Internet connection. Virtual PBX sells the following phones that arrive pre-configured and ready for use:

  • Polycom SoundPoint IP 321: $99.99 (single ethernet port)
  • Polycom SoundPoint IP 335: $139.99 (ethernet pass-through port; backlit display)
  • Polycom SoundStation IP 5000: $599.99 (conference phone)

With Virtual PBX there is no need to get phones from one provider, calling plans from another, and features from somewhere else. Get it all in one place. If you are looking for a complete, no-compromise business VoIP solution for your business, Virtual PBX is the answer.

Why Saving Money with VoIP Peering is So Cool
December 2nd, 2010

In our last post we explained the basics of VoIP, how SIP became the default standard in the VoIP industry, and the fact that even though most VoIP providers have adopted the SIP protocol, they use a proprietary implementation to keep calls within their own network. In this post, we will expand our discussion on SIP, explain SIP URI, why Virtual PBX chose to adopt the open SIP URI standard for VoIP communication, and finally why this gives you the freedom to choose the VoIP solution that works best for you and your business.

In 2009, Virtual PBX broke the mold by expanding our feature set to allow calls to go through the Virtual PBX virtual phone service, but rather than dial out to find the extension owner at a phone number, they could instead have the Virtual PBX service send the call via SIP to their VoIP service of choice that accepts inbound calls via SIP URI.

In our last blog we described SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) as the default protocol on which the VoIP industry has standardized. A SIP URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) is basically an internet “address” for a VoIP service allowing one VoIP user to call another VoIP user by using the SIP URI. A SIP URI resembles an e-mail address and follows the format of user@domain.com or user@Ipaddress (e.g. User@192.168.1.7). The “user” portion of the URI could be a user name or resemble a 10- or 11-digit phone number. The “domain” portion is the domain of the VoIP provider and can be a name or an IP address. For instance, CallCentric uses the following format: 17775551212@in.callcentric.com.

There are many VoIP services available which fit this mold and are very cost-effective, including CallCentric, Ekiga, Truphone, and Gizmo5, although after being purchased by Google in 2009, Gizmo5 does not accept any new sign ups. With most of these VoIP services, you download a softphone to your computer, which is a software application that has a dialpad and is used to make and receive phone calls, typically using a USB headset or USB phone. However, some of the above services go a step further and allow the user to purchase a hardware VoIP phone and register it to the service, thus allowing the user to have a phone on their desk. This configuration could allow the user to replace their land line if so desired. With most of these services, users can call each other for free. But users can also get a phone number, or DID, and attach it to their VoIP service allowing users outside their VoIP network to call them as well. This feature will usually add a monthly or per minute cost to the service.

Now that we’ve explained SIP URI and some of the VoIP services that have implemented it, let’s circle back around to why Virtual PBX chose to support it. Through our VoIP Peering feature, for which we have won the Internet Telephony Excellence Award 2 years in a row, users can choose to have the Virtual PBX service reach them on not only their cell phones and land lines, but also send calls via SIP URI directly to the VoIP service of their choice. You can find information on how to do this in our training video.

So why is this so cool? Let’s put the parts together. Not only can a VoIP phone service save you a lot of money over a traditional land line with long distance, but if it’s truly an open SIP solution, then it can work with other VoIP services on the market. All this allows users to choose best of breed VoIP services that truly meet their telecom needs and the needs of their business rather than being tied down by proprietary VoIP solutions. With Open VoIP Peering, Virtual PBX is now the lowest-priced and most flexible hosted PBX solution on the market, allowing users to mix and match their Virtual PBX virtual phone system with the SIP-based VoIP softphone (and/or hardware phone) service of their choice, or with one they were already using. This creates amazing opportunities for businesses to best meet all of their feature, cost and reliability needs. And that’s what happens when vendors like Virtual PBX put the customer first.

Virtual PBX Receives 2010 INTERNET TELEPHONY Excellence Award from TMC for Open VoIP Peering
November 24th, 2010

Virtual PBX proudly announced on November 16, 2010 that Technology Marketing Corporation’s (TMC) INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine (http://www.itmag.com/) has named Virtual PBX as a recipient of the 2010 INTERNET TELEPHONY Excellence Award for its Open VoIP Peering.

This is the second time Virtual PBX has had the honor of receiving this award. But why is this so cool and what does it mean to you? We will take the next two blog posts to discuss the genesis of VoIP, how it has evolved, and what this means for you and your business.

Communication has come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell invented the first practical telephone in 1875. Communication technologies are now clearer, faster and cheaper than ever, in large part thanks to a revolutionary service known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). But what exactly is VoIP? VoIP is the routing of Voice conversations through the internet or other such IP-based networks.

Although VoIP was first used commercially in 1995, it was not mass-marketed until much later, using existing broadband Internet access. Today, even telecom carriers use IP technology to send calls to one another. It is through the use of VoIP that subscribers are able to place and receive telephone calls through the internet in much the same way as they would via their regular telephone line or PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).

VoIP is implemented in numerous ways using both proprietary and open protocols and standards. A popular VoIP service using proprietary protocols is Skype. The issue with proprietary standards is subscribers are unable to reach people using a different network. Proprietary VoIP Service only works if everyone is on the exact same network, using the same software, which is owned and operated by one company.

SIP or Session Initiation Protocol, is the default open protocol that the VoIP industry has standardized on, and has become a strong force influencing today’s telecom industry. What’s so great about SIP is it allows a number of different telephone services and systems to communicate with each other. Subscribers no longer need to be tied to one network.

However, even with the acceptance of SIP by the telecom industry, there was still the issue of people being forced to use one network. Even though they use SIP internally, many VoIP services do not allow communication to or from an outside service. They do this to protect and control their investment and their customer base.

Virtual PBX wanted to push the open standard as we believe customers should not be held hostage to a proprietary platform and should have the freedom to choose the VoIP services that best suits their needs. Hence, we created a service with the ability to send calls from our own network out to any SIP-compliant service that uses a SIP URI.

We’ll discuss exactly what this means, how cool this is and how it can be used with your Virtual PBX service on our next blog entry.

Show Your Company Phone Number from Any Phone!
August 18th, 2010

If you’ve called a customer using your home phone or cell phone, then you’ve probably had them call you back on that same phone number — they just redial the caller ID left on their phone.  Suddenly your personal phone is your new “business” number.  It’s like having people visit your home when they should be going to your office or store.  What a pain.  But all is not lost.  By using Virtual PBX, you have a way to show your company phone number on outbound calls without having to reveal the number from which you’re calling.  Convenience and privacy all in the same call!

This feature is called “Virtual Calling Card”.  It’s perfect for calling from a cell phone, a friend’s house, a hotel, or even a pay phone…if you can still find one that works!  And you don’t need to keep track of special code numbers and dialing strings – you just dial yourself.  This feature is accessed by logging into the phone system over the phone.  Some of our customers are unfamiliar with this feature or think it’s harder to use than it really is. Truthfully, it does take a few steps — call into your Virtual PBX phone number, press #, enter your extension number followed by #, then enter your phone password follow by #.  Realistically, all of that can be accomplished via a speed dial on your phone.  There is an alternate way to log into your phone system by pressing the CallBack button on the Call Routing tab.

Once you are logged into the system over the phone, you press 3 to make an outbound call.  The system will ask you to enter the phone number you wish to dial.  That’s all there is to it.  Once you enter the phone number, the system will dial, showing your Virtual PBX phone number as the caller ID to your call recipient. So not only is this convenient, but it’s also secure as you’re not showing your personal phone number when you call your customers, vendors, or contacts.

You do need to make sure that your system is set to show your Virtual PBX phone number on outbound calls.  This is the default setting, so unless you changed it, it should be fine.  That setting is edited under the Advanced Configuration settings of the Auto-Attendant.

Also, if you have multiple Virtual PBX phone numbers, you can show any one of those on your outbound calls.  A beautiful thing!  Just make sure to dial into the system using the number that you want to show on your caller ID.  So this feature is not just convenient and secure, but also flexible!

So now you and your personnel use your Virtual PBX to make a bunch of outbound calls.  How do you know who called whom?  You can track all of your outbound calls using the Extension Outbound Call Report.  This report shows the date, time, extension numbers, extension owner caller ID, duration of the call, and the phone number of the party dialed.  This is a great report if extension owners use the Virtual Calling Card feature to make customer call backs to customers or vendors.  It’s great detail, but it’s also great for accountability.

With the Virtual Calling Card feature from Virtual PBX, not only can you show whichever Virtual PBX company phone number you wish in the caller ID when you make your outbound calls, but you also get the satisfaction of NOT having your personal contact phone number show up on caller ID displays of your customers, vendors, and business contacts.  It’s convenience, flexibility, and personal protection at the same time.

Video TechTip: Enhanced SIP Addressing
June 2nd, 2010

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