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Archives: November 2012

Virtual PBX Offers New, Cutting-Edge VoIP Phones
November 6th, 2012

VirtualPBX is excited to introduce three new Panasonic models to our list of top-of-the-line VoIP Phone list. We have added the Panasonic UT 113 Desk Phone, the Panasonic UT 123 Desk Phone and the Panasonic TGP 550B Desk & Cordless Phone.

Panasonic, a global leader in business communications, has a long history of offering state-of-the-art advanced telephony products. Designed to complement your existing communication infrastructures, Panasonic phones are ideal for home office and business environments, providing outstanding voice quality and a wide range of productivity-boosting options all in feature-rich desk phone replacements. They provide functionality and flexibility for optimal business communications.

The UT 113 and UT 123 desk phones are great choices for almost any desktop, with large digital displays, high-quality speakerphones, hold and mute buttons, and more. The main difference between them is the added pass-through Ethernet port on the UT 123 that lets you “daisy-chain” to another Ethernet device. Ethernet connects a VoIP phone to the Internet, and some offices have only one Ethernet port. Using the UT 123, you can plug the phone into the Ethernet port on the wall and then plug your computer into the phone, so you don’t have to run another Ethernet line into your office.

Of special interest is the TGP 550B Desk & Cordless Phone. This set includes a desk phone that you can place where you work the most and a roaming, cordless handset that you can take with you as you move about your office. Both include the great features you expect, like speakerphones and backlit digital displays.

For more details, look at the VoIP Phone list on our website or call us at 888-825-0800, option 1. All of these phones are available for purchase now.

Panasonic SIP phones are a proven, cost-effective endpoint solution for any size business utilizing the latest in Hosted and Open Source PBX technology. Put your business on the cutting edge of communications, with a system that delivers value now… and flexibility for the future.

FREE iPhone and Android App from Virtual PBX
September 28th, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love free apps? If you have a smart phone, you love apps and there are a ton of them out there providing quick, easy and convenient ways to access nearly everything. And thanks to Virtual PBX, there is now a new free app for you to love.

Virtual PBX has released a helpful new application which breaks the mold in the Hosted PBX Market. Virtual PBX Extension Manager, the new free application for Apple iOS and android devices, makes it easy for Virtual PBX customers to have access to all of the most-used functions of their phone system, directly from their iPhones.

“We’re excited to introduce the first business extension management app with this advanced level of functionality for iPhone users,” said Paul Hammond, CEO of Virtual PBX. “As an iPhone user myself, I love to have the Virtual PBX features I use the most right at my fingertips, and I am certain our customers will appreciate it, too.”

Using a simple, intuitive interface users can manage extensions on multiple Virtual PBX accounts, mark their extensions as unavailable, and even redirect incoming business calls to any of up to four different phones. Virtual PBX’s free application also includes iPhone-based presence management, a feature exclusive to Virtual PBX.

The Virtual PBX Extension Manager App makes presence management available through the user’s phone, allowing them to log in and out of queues as needed. With the use of exclusive intelligent queue algorithms, Virtual PBX reduces caller hold times by not forcing calls to extensions where no one will answer. This means better efficiency for the customer and happier callers. And who doesn’t want happier callers? Have happier callers with the new free app from Virtual PBX.

Hosted VoIP PBX Gives You Competitive Enterprise Features
May 17th, 2012

In today’s business world, staying competitive is imperative to running a strong, successful business. To gain a competitive edge, it is important to continuously incorporate new technologies customized to meet customer or client needs while managing costs to stay in budget.

Many businesses today are turning to VoIP to stay competitive. According to recent studies, 50 percent of medium businesses (100-999 employees) claim VoIP will become critical to their business. In-Stat forecasts that active VoIP subscriber rates will triple in 2012, growing from 9 million in 2011 to 29 million. 

Virtual PBX offers a business VoIP system that will give you the competitive edge with enterprise features. Here are a few of the key features and advantages of switching to hosted VoIP that will keep your business on the cutting edge…

Enhanced Productivity – Many productivity-enhancing features previously available only through expensive add-ons to traditional PBXs come standard with VoIP from Virtual PBX. These features include advanced call routing, auto attendant, “find me/follow me”, day and night modes, ACD Queues, custom greetings, and caller ID.

Advanced ACD Queues – Virtual PBX offers the most sophisticated ACD capability of any hosted system, through our TrueACD™ technology, an advanced technology that prioritizes, ranks, and manages both the incoming callers and the people waiting to take the calls. ACD queuing is a critical business function, especially for call centers, and needs to be as robust and feature-rich as possible to allow the maximum flexibility for your company.

Work from Anywhere – With a hosted VoIP PBX from Virtual PBX, you can easily work from any location using a VoIP phone, a cellular phone or even a home phone. And you can quickly and easily access the advanced features of your phone system from any location. Simply connect to the Internet and log into your VoIP phone to have access to all the information available in your office system 24/7.

Low total cost of ownership – Analysis show that Virtual PBX VoIP can reduce an organization’s monthly phone costs by 40-80%. Virtual PBX Plans start at just $9.99 per month, or you can get unlimited minutes for as little as $19.99 per user.

Virtual PBX works seamlessly with your existing business environment, helping employees use their phones as efficiently as possible. Virtual PBX’s VoIP Business system has proven beneficial again and again in boosting productivity, increasing customer service and cutting costs.

Panasonic Cordless Phones Deliver Business Quality
April 11th, 2012

Home and office phone systems have come a long way in the past few years. Numerous upgrades have made all types of phones more accessible, including cordless phones.

One of the more notable cordless phones available today is from Panasonic, one of the leading names in telecommunications. The Panasonic TGP500B is a feature rich desk phone replacement with outstanding voice quality and a range of productivity-boosting options.  Integrated with SIP based technology, this cordless phone uses Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology (DECT) to improve call quality and support multiple handsets. Users can add up to 6 DECT cordless handsets to one base.

The Panasonic TGP500B uses new frequencies and digital technology virtually eliminating interference to provide you crystal clear communications. DECT 6.0 ensures there is no interference with wireless networks. With the convenient cordless design, you can have static-free conversations away from the base. The large range is perfect for today’s busy lifestyle, allowing you to escape the confines of the base station and freely walk around you home or office or even outside.

Features of the Panasonic  include:

  • Expandable Cordless Phone System with
    Base Station and 1 cordless handset
  • DECT radio technology
  • 2.1 inch backlit LCD display on handset
  • Includes power supply
  • Wall-mountable base unit
  • Add 5 additional cordless handsets

Overall, the Panasonic TGP500B VoIP Phone is easy to use and deploy, convenient and expandable.  Virtual PBX is proud to announce the addition of this technology to its product line.  The TGP500B model includes both the base station and one handset.  Additional handsets can be ordered under the model number TPA50B.

Analog Telephone Adapter
November 17th, 2011

Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA’s) turn a standard analog phone device, such as a standard touch-tone phone or a fax machine, into a Voice over IP (VoIP) device.  An analog-to-digital converter, it takes the analog signal from your traditional phone and converts it into digital data which is transmitted over the internet. Conversely, the digital signals received from your internet translate into analog signals you will hear through a telephone headset. This allows you to make calls over the internet without an IP Phone.

The obvious advantage of using an ATA is that you can use the phone you have on hand, either wired or cordless, with any VoIP service. So, if you want to take advantage of VoIP and not lose your favorite phone, an ATA is a great way to go. The same is true for businesses using analog lines.

An ATA needs to have an underlying VoIP service, such as VoIP service from VirtualPBX to work.  Typically, you will get credentials from your VoIP provider that will include a username/URI and a password.  You then need to configure the ATA to use these credentials.  Once you have this done, assuming you’ve attached a phone and the ATA is connected to the internet, calls can be made over the internet to and from the analog phone.

It may be slightly cheaper to use an existing phone with an ATA than it is to buy a new VoIP phone.  However, you won’t have all of the same features that you would usually receive with a VoIP phone.  For example, system directories, call logs, and other features of a VoIP phone won’t be available in the same way on an analog phone.  So if you want the extra features and capabilities, your best bet is an IP Phone. However, if you would rather not invest in a VoIP phone at the moment, an ATA is the way to go for affordable VoIP service. You may lose some features but in some cases you will save money.  You can visit our VoIP Phone List page to compare prices and capabilities of our VoIP and ATA devices.

Some of our clients use ATAs to connect hardware fax machines to their virtual PBX service.  While most clients simply use our virtual fax functions for both inbound and outbound faxing, some people want to employ a standard hardware fax machine.  It gives them a paper printout of their fax and may fit better into existing processes.  Typically, this is done by setting up a VoIP-enabled extension for faxing and then using an ATA to connect the fax machine. Adding a fax phone number that rings directly to the fax extension allows the fax machine to work just like it would on a separate analog phone line, at a fraction of the cost.

VirtualPBX sells and supports the Cisco/Linksys SPA2102 ATA.  Other ATAs may work with our service, but we’ve found that some don’t handle faxing well.  For more information, give us a call at 888-825-0800.  We’re here to help!

Virtual PBX and PrintsMadeEasy Fight Confusion From Joplin Devastation With Volunteer Support Line
June 2nd, 2011

Volunteers Field Calls for Victims Using the Joplin Tornado Info Facebook Page

24 minutes is all the warning the residents of Joplin received to prepare for the F5 tornado that would completely flatten three miles of this small city in Missouri.   The devastating tornado has been declared the most deadly in years, leaving in its path at least 139 victims and over 100 missing people.

Surrounded by the mayhem left by the tornado, PrintsMadeEasy (http://www.printsmadeeasy.com) saw first hand that communicating reliable information was nearly impossible and quickly becoming a critical issue.   They were determined to help the people of Joplin stay connected by setting-up a support line for the victims and volunteers.  Susie Matthews, online operations director at PrintsMadeEasy, quickly contacted Virtual PBX (http://www.virtualpbx.com/), enlisting their support.

As a longtime customer of Virtual PBX, Susie knew the hosted phone service would be the perfect solution, allowing volunteers to answer questions about drop-off sites for donations, locations of volunteers and hospitals, and to take down missing-person updates.

Virtual PBX responded by providing PrintsMadeEasy with additional phone lines, a local number and automatic call distribution (ACD) queues to help manage the increase in inbound calls. This support line fields calls for the Joplin Tornado Info Facebook page created by PrintsMadeEasy to help the people of Joplin stay connected.

“Because we’re so close to the disaster in Joplin, we did not want to just sit back and watch, especially since most of us are familiar with the places that were hit,” says Matthews. “Virtual PBX has been great by donating its hosted phone system, which has worked well for us in the past, along with a local number for people to call.  We encourage anyone interested in joining us in our efforts to give us a call.”

As PrintsMadeEasy donates their free time to taking calls and updating the Joplin Tornado Info Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/joplintornadoinfo), they may soon need more volunteers.  With Virtual PBX, Matthews can quickly and easily create additional extensions for volunteers.  PrintsMadeEasy and other volunteers can even make and receive calls on-the-go, as Virtual PBX can allow calls to be directed to any phones anywhere. Volunteers currently working outside the affected area can now provide immediate response.

Such an influx of support and aid required organization, and Virtual PBX was glad to be able to offer some much needed assistance.

“When a longtime customer calls asking for practical help to provide a vital service like their support line, the only reasonable response is ‘yes,’” says Paul Hammond, CEO of Virtual PBX. “After viewing the devastation, it’s heartening to know that we can provide assistance that makes a difference, and we’re grateful to Susie and her team for their hard work. We’re glad we could help.”

To follow along on Facebook about any needs you may have regarding the Joplin disaster please visit http://www.facebook.com/joplintornadoinfo for more information.

Virtual PBX Receives Network Products Guide 2011 Hot Companies and Best Products Award
May 19th, 2011

Virtual PBX Complete Selected as a Winner in the Hot Technologies Category

Virtual PBX, once again proving their commitment and drive to constantly create award-winning services, wins Network Products Guide’s 6th Annual 2011 Hot Companies and Best Products Awards in the Hot Technologies category.

Network Products Guide, the industry’s leading technology research and advisory guide, honored winners from all over the world in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, during the 6th annual dinner and presentations.  The esteemed annual award is the world’s premier information technology award honoring achievements and recognitions in every facet of the IT industry.

The Network Products Guide Award marks the second prestigious honor Virtual PBX has received in less than six months. Virtual PBX Complete — Virtual PBX’s turnkey service for small and mid-size businesses — also recently received Internet Telephony Magazine’s 13th-annual Product of the Year Award.

Receiving the coveted industry award from Network Products Guide further validates Virtual PBX’s position as a company well positioned to ensure their customers have an easy-to-use yet extremely powerful phone system to help present a professional image over the phone to their customers, prospects and employees.

An annual achievements and recognition awards program with active participation from a broad spectrum of industry voices, the coveted annual Hot Companies and Best Products recognition program encompasses the world’s best in organizational performance, products and services, executives and management teams, successful deployments, product management and engineering, support and customer satisfaction, and public relations in every area of information technology.

“This esteemed industry and peer award recognition of Virtual PBX Complete by Network Products Guide is truly an honor,” said Greg Brashier, COO of Virtual PBX. “The recognition in the ‘Hot Technologies’ category demonstrates that Virtual PBX is continuing to meet the needs of our customers by providing solutions that are best-in-class.”

The Results Are In!
March 14th, 2011

Survey says: owners of small and medium-sized businesses see cost savings, improved productivity by adopting virtual office approach.

You may have noticed that the number of people choosing to work from the comfort of  their own homes is increasing as this lifestyle becomes more attractive to workers and employees.  This phenomenon comes as no surprise given that today’s technology and business services make working from home easier than ever.

“Small-and medium-sized business leaders are on the forefront of embracing virtual offices to boost business efficiency, cut costs and provide more flexibility to their workforces,” said Greg Brashier, COO of Virtual PBX. “At Virtual PBX, we’re responding to the needs of this growing population with technology designed to make it easy for them to stay in touch with colleagues and clients. In particular, we’ve seen strong interest in our Virtual PBX Complete solution, which allows our users to leverage the industry’s deepest feature set and the flexibility to use any phone, all at 40-80 percent savings over traditional phone services.”

Virtual PBX, inventor and leading supplier of hosted PBX services, recently learned the effect virtual offices have on businesses, surveying over 600 Small-and-medium business representatives – including CEOs, owners, partners, directors and sales managers.   The survey incorporated a wide range of topics including frequency of virtual office use, perceived effectiveness in a virtual setting, virtual office costs and use of technology that supports virtual offices.  The results were very interesting, to say the least.

Lets start with the top reasons SMBs adopt virtual offices.  According to the survey, the number one reason to work from home, chosen by 61 percent of respondents, was flexibility, followed closely by cost savings (54 percent), geographic distance of staff (42 percent) and the desire to reduce commute time, cost, and pollution (41 percent).

So just how many people work virtually, from home offices, coffee shops and other not-traditional locales?  A whopping 60.9 percent of respondents work from a virtual office almost all the time and 27 percent will work outside the office 2-10 days a month.  In addition 57 percent of survey-takers indicate that half or more of their workforce works outside the office during a typical month.

The below results may be part of the reason working from home is so popular among SMBs:

•   The majority of respondents – 59 percent – feel they are more  effective working from a virtual location than in a traditional office.

•   On the cost-savings front, 43 percent of the SMB leaders reported they save $1,000 or more each month on items such as rent, IT equipment,     phone service and supplies by using a virtual office. (Eight  percent of this group saves more than $10,000/month.)

Cell phones are extremely popular among virtual workers, with 87 percent of respondents using them as a business communications device.  However, landlines are still quite popular, coming in as the second choice at 49 percent.  VoIP phone lines and computer-based VoIP soft phone are used by 25 percent and 20 percent of the survey-takers, respectively.

According to the representatives, having both a local and a toll free number is extremely important in a virtual office, allowing them to appeal to both local customers and those outside their region.  Two-thirds of respondents have a local number for callers to reach them on while the same number also indicated they have a toll-free number.

Disliking “on hold” music, our survey takers much preferred their phone system features include “custom music or messages while on hold”.  This feature was even more popular than built-in conferencing, call forwarding to any phone, and caller preview.

On a racier note, some participants were all too honest when asked what they wear when working virtually. 3 percent of respondents admitted to working from home in their birthday suits!  Of the remaining survey takers, 50 percent prefer the comfort of working in shorts, T-shirt, and flip-flops; 37 percent dress up in business casual attire;  4 percent just stay in their pajamas and 2 percent dress to the nines in formal business attire.

So what did we learn?  Working virtually can help you to be more productive, help you save time and money, and apparently even save some people the hassle of dressing for work in the morning!  Let’s just make sure those particular employees attend the audio-only conference call!

Virtual PBX Honored to Receive its Seventh Award for Open VoIP Peering
January 14th, 2011

Virtual PBX, the pioneers and market leader of the virtual phone system, was honored to received their seventh award from Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) for their innovative Open VoIP Peering service. This particular award was presented by TMC’s NGN Magazine, the leading resource for communications service providers.

The NGN Leadership Award recognizes the growth and evolution of applications and services designed for next-generation networks and the enabling technologies that make them possible. Virtual PBX was recognized in the Services category.

“This recognition of Virtual PBX’s Open VoIP Peering service is a testament to the company’s continued commitment to providing customers with innovative solutions that meet their demanding business needs,” said Paul Hammond, CEO of Virtual PBX. “Being selected as an NGN Leadership Award winner is truly a mark of distinction and further validates Virtual PBX’s leadership in the VoIP market.”

So far Virtual PBX has received 3 product of the year awards, 2 leadership awards, 1 Product Innovation award and 1 telephony excellence award for the Open VoIP Peering solution they released in November of 2008. No stranger to winning awards, Virtual PBX’s 7th win comes on the heels of their impressive ‘2010 Best Telecommunications Services in San Jose’ award.

The many accolades that Open VoIP Peering has received truly are a testament not only to the company’s strength and dedication in bringing to market the most innovative product conceivable, but also the products immense popularity with Virtual PBX Customers everywhere.

The Open VoIP Peering Solution stands out from the masses, being the only VoIP solution to allow users to choose which option they like on a call-by-call basis to meet their individual needs. In addition, unlike competitors who charge extra for proprietary digital-enabled phone extensions, with Virtual PBX there is no additional cost for accessing soft phones.

“Virtual PBX was recognized for its exceptional work in advancing NGN services and technologies. Open VoIP Peering has proven exceptional and its innovation has contributed to the transformation of the industry,” stated Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “Congratulations to the entire team at Virtual PBX, and I look forward to more innovations in the coming year.”

The 2010 NGN Leadership Award winners can be found in the May/June 2010 issue of NGN Magazine.

For more information, please visit www.tmcnet.com.

Virtual PBX Adds Call Recording – For Free!
September 24th, 2010

We are excited to announce every VirtualPBX system now includes call recording in all standard plans at no added cost for customers.

“This is the latest in a series of enhancements that VirtualPBX has rolled out this year,” said Greg Brashier, COO of Virtual PBX. “We’ve had requests for call recording from our client base and felt it was something a majority of our SMB clients could use. Since we innovated the entire hosted PBX space, we feel it is necessary to lead by example and continue to enhance the service.”

With the newest Virtual PBX call recording feature, any or all calls can be recorded, saved, and played back later. There are infinite ways companies of all sizes can utilize this tool to enhance their business such as capturing calls for later review, assisting in employee training, monitoring customer service agents, as well as meeting legal requirements.  Greg adds, “we’ve found that many call centers love this feature since it’s a free and effective tool that allows them to improve company performance.”

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.  Furthermore, the built-in selective recording architecture allows calls to be recorded for pre-selected extensions and/or departments.

The recordings can be sorted by date/time, length, caller ID, user name, or extension number so they are easy to locate when needed. Recordings can be played back or deleted at the convenience of the extension owner, or downloaded them to a computer for future playback.

Administrators can also decide to control call recording for all users or give each user the ability to manage his or her recordings.

“With the addition of call recording, VirtualPBX extends our leadership in providing clients with the most diverse set of features at the lowest cost,” continues Brashier.  “This announcement gives users the ability to improve their own customer satisfaction and ensure that high priority calls are properly managed.”

This announcement adds to a long list of service enhancements that have been provided by Virtual PBX during 2010. Previous upgrades have included unlimited extensions and more free usage, open VoIP peering, free conferencing, and international numbers. The company promises more to come.