Follow Me Calling with Virtual PBX
June 11th, 2010
Desk phone. Home phone. SIP phone. Personal cell phone. Company cell phone. In today’s world, we have a lot of options on how and where we take our calls — and when running a business, phone calls are money. If you can’t get the call, no matter where you are, you lose business, which means you lose money! Therefore, it was a BIG surprise to learn that one of the major players in the virtual phone system market no longer offers “Follow Me Calling”. Isn’t “Follow Me Calling” one of the main reasons people choose a virtual phone system?
Not only is “Follow Me Calling” extremely important to your business, it’s extremely easy to setup and manage with Virtual PBX. With “Follow Me Calling”, your virtual phone system will find you at whatever phone numbers you have selected. It’s like “telestalking”, but different. For example, you can configure your extension to try your desk phone for 20 seconds, then if no answer, try your cell phone for 20 seconds. This appears seamless to your callers. All they need to do is dial your extension — let Virtual PBX handle the rest. Don’t worry, we’ll find you.
With Virtual PBX, there are no complex “call rules”. Setting up “Follow Me Calling” is as easy as 1-2-3. Just login to your system and click on the Call Routing tab:
1. Enter your contact numbers in the Contact Phone Numbers section.
2. Click the checkbox next to Use Follow-Me Calling in the lower right section.
3. Click the UPDATE button to save your changes.
That’s all there is to it. However, we don’t stop there — we also allow you to set the Ring Duration for each contact phone number, so you can control just how long your Virtual PBX will try each number. This setting is found on the Advanced Configuration page of the CALL ROUTING tab.
If you don’t see what is shown in the graphic above, please talk to your Virtual PBX System Administrator and have them allow extension owners to override the system Ring Duration setting.
So the lesson here is that not only is “Follow Me Calling” extremely important to your business, but with Virtual PBX its as easy as 1-2-3 to setup and manage. With Virtual PBX handling your calls properly, you get to spend more time on what matters — your business!
*NOTE: Approximately 98% of this post, including images, was written on an Apple iPad using the WordPress and Photogene apps.
Talk Up a Storm
May 11th, 2010
It’s time to start connecting. Conference calls let you hold meetings, make presentations, perform training, coordinate staff, handle investors, and more. And since conferencing is so useful to businesses as they grow in size or need a more personal touch, Virtual PBX is stepping up to the plate. We’re not just cutting costs, but swinging included conferencing into every account we provide.
If you’re new to conferencing, now’s the time to start finding ways to use it. You can have your people call in, join the conference, and hold whatever kind of seminar you need. If you’re already using our conferencing, expect a nice reduction off your bills from now on. That’s it. Nothing to sign up for, no need to change plans, just lower costs.
So, brainstorm freely. Talk it up. The conference bridge is already enabled and configured on your system by default. But just in case you’re not sure where to get started, here’s everything that you need from top to bottom. Most people only need the first item here.
To enter a conference if conferencing is already set up as an option in your auto-attendant menu (default key is ‘9’):
1. Call into your Virtual PBX number.
2. Press ’9′ during the auto-attendant to access the conferencing options.
3. Enter ‘#’ followed by your extension.
4. Enter your phone password followed by ‘#’.
1. Call into your Virtual PBX number.
2. Press ‘9’ to access conferencing.
3. Enter the extension number of the conference.
If you don’t have conferencing set up in your system, or aren’t sure, here’s how to make it all work:
To setup conferencing on your system:
• Login to vConsole
• Go to the “Admin” tab
• Click “Conferencing” in the left-hand navigation box
• Select “Yes” for Conference Bridge Enabled
• Select the menu number you’d like to use (9 by default)
• Click on “Update” to save your changes
• To enable conferencing for individual extensions, click on “Edit” next to “Set Extensions Conference Privileges, enable as needed, and click “Update”
If conferencing is not enabled on your system or you have more questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-825-0800, option 2 for Support, and we’ll help you get your conference bridge configured. Happy conferencing!
The Unsung Hero – Your Phone System
June 30th, 2009
Your phone system. It’s something that you probably don’t think about very much. In fact it’s probably something that you take for granted. A lot. As an entrepreneur, small business owner, or a corporate fugitive just starting out, you’re (almost always) more preoccupied with issues that you’ve deemed more important. You’re accustomed to using your cell phone as your primary business line; and while you’ve put in a dedicated phone line or two in your home office it’s not exactly one of those things that you put that much thought into. Moreover, if you’ve always worked for someone else that phone (and all the related hardware behind it) has been an item that has “always been there”.
Until it’s not.
After a while, having just a cell phone is no longer the most convenient aspect of your business because being at the instant beck and call of all of your customers isn’t especially conducive to your sanity. That second phone line you put in is now intermittently picked up by your kids, which doesn’t send the greatest image of professionalism. And the idea of rushing to a phone every time it rings simply causes too many interruptions. If you’ve experienced any or all of the above, perhaps even in one day, you might arrive at the conclusion that you really do need to be responsible for your own phone system. Unfortunately, the task of implementing the right solution is just plain daunting and, at best, supremely frustrating.
And why is that? Because telephony is filled with a plethora of acronyms and terminology that can be confounding – even the choice of what kind of phone to purchase is migraine-inducing. POTS, SIP or VoIP? Single-line, multi-line, wireless, or soft phone? Hosted PBX, virtual pbx, or IP PBX? Integrated conferencing or a conferencing service? DID? Queues? Hunt groups? Huh? “… I need a virtual receptionist? Really? I don’t even have a budget for one of those!?!…” “Wait…I thought an asterisk was a punctuation mark?…”
So what if you could allay all of those issues? What if that “industrial strength” phone system that’s a part of almost every major enterprise could be a part of every small business? What if the phone system that you decided to implement for your little empire could actually be a useful part of your business? Oh…and what if it was also relatively inexpensive to implement? That’s not a half-bad idea is it?
Well, it can. It’s called a hosted pbx. And it’s what our next blog entry will hope to set straight, once and for all.
We hope you’ll join us for that little talk. (more…)