Posted on June 2, 2011 by Paul Hammond
Volunteers Field Calls for Victims Using the Joplin Tornado Info Facebook Page thanks to VirtualPBX and PrintsMadeEasy
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 VirtualPBX, enlisting their support.
As a longtime customer of VirtualPBX, 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.
VirtualPBX 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. “VirtualPBX 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 VirtualPBX, 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 VirtualPBX 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 VirtualPBX. “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.
Posted on May 19, 2011 by Paul Hammond
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.”
Posted on March 14, 2011 by Paul Hammond
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 the virtual office 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!
Posted on February 25, 2011 by Paul Hammond
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 hardware VoIP 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:
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
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
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 hardware VoIP 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.
Posted on August 18, 2010 by Paul Hammond
If you’ve ever called a customer using your home phone or cell phone, thanks to caller ID, then you’ve also given away your personal number. And if you’ve ever had a client or business partner who is, shall we say, enthusiastic about staying in contact, this can be an issue. Even in this day and age of distancing ourselves from the traditional 9-5 and international remote working options that blur the lines between work time and free time, nobody wants to have their personal lines going off when it’s time to be left alone. That’s why it’s so important to keep your private numbers private and your work numbers for just that, work. But because that’s increasingly difficult with the nearly 24-hour business cycle that some segments operate in, it’s just as helpful to show your company phone number from any phone you’re working from.
Show Your Company Phone Number from Any Phone
There, not that you’ve said what you want to do, it’s just a matter of making it happen, right? More or less. In fact, with the right technology at your disposal, you can eventually make it so that any phone is a work phone. If that sounds like magic then let us be the wizards and witches of your business telephone dreams! With an advanced business telephone system powered by VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), you and your employees can have the final say over what numbers get shown over the caller ID of the people you dial-out to. That means that for businesses operating on one of the Dash Business Phone Plans from VirtualPBX, switching and assigning the caller ID is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. Thanks to Dash’s simple and intuitive interface, there are a couple of different ways to show your company phone number from any phone.
How to Show Your Company Phone Number from Any Phone
Initially and by default, Caller ID on Dash is set at the account level which means that every device on the account will show the name and number of the business as you’d like it to appear. That would automatically cover every device that is connected to your company’s pooled number of minutes from mobile devices, web phones, desktop phones, and even softphones, too. As long as the device is in your company’s business telephone ecosystem, you can show the same number on caller ID from it. There’s also the ability for this to be controlled at the individual user level, too. That means that admins can set controls for their agents to include permissions that allow them to edit their outgoing caller ID information individually. This can happen in such a way that the individual employee can pick and choose the when to show your company phone number from any phone. Specifically, to set Caller ID within Dash, all an employee would have to do is log on and toggle through available devices to find the one he or she wanted to use. This allows for the user to make changes that then override the defaults of the company for that particular employee. No matter how you choose to design your outbound caller ID information, you can leverage the VirtualPBX Customer Support team and their online guides on how to use Caller ID to show your company phone number from any phone. And when you’ve done that, you can be confident that your personal numbers will always stay personal, no matter what!