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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.

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.

New Video: Virtual PBX and VoIP
March 9th, 2012

Today we would like to share with you a video that discusses the main differences between a Virtual PBX VoIP phone system and a traditional analog phone system. Check out the video here to see why a business VoIP plan with Virtual PBX might be the solution you have been looking for.

Virtual PBX, inventor and leading supplier of hosted PBX services, started the first virtual phone system over 15 years ago.  Our service can work with any kind of telephone – analog, digital, cellular and even satellite phones, and can rack up big savings vs. traditional phone services.  But using Virtual PBX with our VoIP service can save even more.  This video shows you how.

Since its release, Virtual PBX Complete has generated tremendous demand. But that is not surprising considering this new addition gives customers expanded business communication capabilities at a fraction of the cost. In fact, with Virtual PBX Complete, you could significantly reduce your overhead, saving 40-80% on monthly phone bills!

 

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 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.

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.