Facebook Twitter Linkedin email
RSS FEED

Archives: November 2012

VirtualPBX 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.

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.

Panasonic Cordless Phones Deliver Business Quality
April 11th, 2012

Panasonic TGP500

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.

Are You Ready for 2012?
January 11th, 2012

5 ways to start the New Year right

With the end of 2011 at our heels, it is time to look ahead to 2012. Focus on setting your goals and putting plans is place to achieve them. Need some help? Here are five ways Virtual PBX can help you start the new year with a bang.

  1. Examine your History – One great way a business can plan ahead for the New Year is to look at data collected from the previous year. Use you Virtual PBX reports to analyze your call stats from 2011 to help you staff more appropriately. Run a Call arrival Pattern Report to see what times of day you took the most calls. This report will clearly show you peaks and valleys in call traffic. This way you know what hours and in which queues to staff more representative.
  2. Use Call Recording to Monitor Agent Effectiveness – Using free call recording, managers are able to ensure rules are being followed, representatives are giving the best possible customer service, and customers are given accurate information. You can also use the call recording feature to train new employees.
  3. Save Money by using VoIP Phones and Soft Phones – There is never a bad time to save money so why not start saving this year. With Virtual PBX Complete, most companies will save between 40% and 80% on monthly phone costs. Use our VoIP phone service with a VoIP phone or soft phone and stop paying for expensive analog phone lines.
  4. Improve your Greetings – The main greeting is the first thing a caller hears when calling your number. This greeting should welcome callers and direct them to your departments and information. With Virtual PBX, there are multiple ways to customize your main greeting and make your small business sound like a big company. For instance, you can create different daytime and nighttime greetings and use our Day/Night scheduler to switch between them automatically.
  5. Keep up with the Latest Virtual PBX News and Offers – Make sure to check out our Virtual PBX Facebook page to hear first about news, new products and special offers. In addition, read tips to help you grow your business and connect with other business owners.
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//.

Virtual PBX Receives 2011 Unified Communications Excellence Award
December 21st, 2011

Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere Recognized for Outstanding Innovation

 

Virtual PBX is no stranger to winning telecom awards. In the past two years alone, they have won 11 Product of the year awards, more than any other hosted PBX provider.

Now they have a new award to add to their quickly growing collection of achievements. TMC, a global, integrated marketing company, has named Virtual PBX Complete with VoIP Anywhere as a recipient of its 2011 Unified Communications Excellence Award. The Unified Communications Excellence Awards honor products that have unique features and have made significant contributions in advancing technology in unified communications.

Virtual PBX Comple

te is perfect for small and mid-sized businesses, allowing professionals the freedom to carry their business extensions all over the world.

“Our customers have embraced the idea of attaining freedom to access VoIP business features on any smart device, which reflects our dedication to delivering a quality and cost-efficient product,” explains Greg Brashier, CMO of Virtual PBX. “This recognition reflects our dedication to meet our customers’ need for products and services that deliver powerful value while reducing their operational costs.”

Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMC gave his “Congratulations to the entire team at Virtual PBX for their commitment to advancing UC technologies” and commented, “we look forward to future innovations.”

Unified Communications Excellence Award winners are published in the November 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine.

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

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!

What Exactly is a Softphone?
October 27th, 2011

I am sure you have heard the term softphone recently with the huge growth of everything VoIP, but do you really know what one is? Common sense will tell you that it is a phone but what kind of phone and how could it affect your business?

Basically, a softphone is a phone that lets you make calls over the internet from a computer or other smart device. As the name would imply, it is a piece of software that acts as a phone interface, allowing you to dial phone numbers and carry out other phone related functions via a screen (PDA or Computer) using your mouse, keypad or keyboard. Conversations usually take place through a headset or a microphone and computer speakers.

The softphone software or application can be downloaded from a variety of providers such as Counterpath or SNOM. These are sometimes also referred to as ‘clients’. Many of these applications are free although some have a modest cost. Softphone clients are available for Macintosh, Windows and Linux computers, and many smartphones, such Androids and iPhones.

In most cases you will find a softphone used in conjunction with VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. This form of computer telephony uses an internet connection to deliver voice information over the internet. For more information regarding VoIP, please check out this blog. VoIP calls can go over a standard internet connection on your local network, wireless networking (WIFI) or even a cellular data network, such as 3G or 4G.

So, we have a softphone client and an internet connection. There is one more component needed to use a softphone and that is a provider. Although anyone can download and use the free softphone software, a VoIP service provider must provide the underlying VoIP phone service over which the calls are carried.  A softphone is registered with the service provider, and often a phone number is assigned.  Calls to and from the softphone are routed over the service provider’s network. The features and functionality of each softphone will vary somewhat from one softphone provider to another.

So who can benefit from using a softphone? Telecommuters and anyone who travels frequently for starters. For users on the go, especially those who travel overseas, softphone service allows them to conveniently make calls from their smartphones and laptops, saving them the hassle and expense of using a hotel phone or roaming on a cell phone. Also, softphones are well suited for small and medium size businesses that save money by cutting their ties with expensive traditional phone companies. Furthermore, softphones do not require expensive hardware which needs to be maintained. Softphones are inexpensive and easy to upgrade.

Thinking about trying out a softphone yet? If so, Virtual PBX would be happy to help you set up you softphone to best fit your needs. Every Virtual PBX system includes VoIP Anywhere technology, which can turn your cellular phone or computer into a Virtual PBX VoIP phone. With VoIP Anywhere and our award-winning open-systems approach, you can use any standard SIP softphone, from almost any vendor, to make and receive calls over your data connection. We’ve reduced the bandwidth requirement so that high quality calls can be made over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connections. You simply register your softphone as a VoIP device in our service, and open the softphone application to make calls.

Benefits of a Virtual PBX Softphone

Tons of Included Features

All standard Virtual PBX features that are available to a VoIP extension are available to all calls to and from a softphone, like call recording, or choosing your caller ID. And softphone calls are included in your Virtual PBX business reports so you’ll always have records of every call. You can make outbound calls from your cellular phone without giving up your personal phone number. And call-backs go to your company number, not to your personal phone. You protect yourself while looking more professional.

Little to No Cost

Our flat-rate plans include the ability to add softphones at no charge. And any extension in a usage-based plan can be enabled to use VoIP, for both VoIP phones and softphones, for just $5 per month per extension. Minutes used on a soft phone are part of your plan. Flat-rate plans have no per-minute fees for calls to a softphone or to a destination in the continental U.S. or Canada (within our fair-use policy), and calls through usage-based plans simply use plan minutes.

Getting Started

To put a softphone on your Virtual PBX account, you should first download a softphone from a good provider. Then, you add the softphone to your account starting from the VoIP Phones page of our vConsole web portal. For more information visit our VoIP support pages.

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.

sauna works transitions to voip with virtual pbx
July 15th, 2011

Company Heats Up and Increases Outbound Calls with Virtual PBX Complete

Great customer service is the lifeline of every business. It is an essential part of maintaining your existing customers as well as winning new ones. The foundation of great customer service is forming a relationship with customers.  But how do you go about forming such a relationship?  One of the best ways is to make sure you are always available and in touch with your customers.

Customer satisfaction is the No. 1 priority for the employees of Sauna Works, a company specializing in infrared saunas. Sauna Works has been in the business of manufacturing and selling infrared saunas for over 14 years and have learned quite a bit about customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction.   Their motivation and dedication to provide excellent customer service drove the company’s move to VirtualPBX five years ago to allow employees to stay in constant touch with customers through landline, mobile, and VoIP phones.

In 2006, the company was managing a showroom in San Francisco and many of their employees were working remotely.  Vice President Andy Kaps knew using a feature-rich PBX solution was the only way to monitor and keep on top of sales and service calls.  When providing great customer service, it is so important to be able to communicate with customers from any location.  You need to be reachable no matter where you are.

Kaps explains, “As a former executive at a company within in the telecommunications field, I knew we needed a solution that would provide us with ACD queuing features which allowed us to stay connected with users no matter where we are. I was initially attracted to Virtual PBX because of its deep feature set and the web-based flexibility the company provides.”

In addition to keeping people connected around the world, Virtual PBX’s TrueACD™ Queues allows callers to contact anyone in the company without having to know their direct extension.  Furthermore, managers need not waste time entering or changing phone numbers as employee shifts change since TrueACD queues include presence management and employees log themselves in and out as needed.  Best of all, customer service is improved by reducing customer wait times and increasing customer satisfaction.

Sauna Works was able to increase customer satisfaction even further by switching to VoIP.  70 percent of Sauna Works’ employees using Virtual PBX made the transition to VoIP after the release of Virtual PBX’s new VoIP system, Virtual PBX Complete.  Since the transition, employees have not only significantly reduced overall phone costs, but also doubled the number of outbound calls made to clients.

Blending traditional analog telephony with VoIP technology, Virtual PBX’s Virtual PBX Complete solution allows clients to mix and match as needed as well as work from any location. Virtual PBX Complete also embraces open standards, which spares customers from being locked into proprietary technologies.

“A majority of our customers are looking for a flexible solution,” said Greg Brashier, COO of Virtual PBX. “With our commitment to both VoIP and analog technologies, we give customers like Sauna Works the ability to have low upfront costs, eliminate expensive analog phones lines when VoIP is appropriate, and improve service to their clients.”