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Hosted VoIP Unified Communications

3 Things You Can’t Overlook When Scaling Your Business

Let’s face it, the companies that have successfully mastered rapid growth over the last several years have adopted a scalable business model.  Efficiency has proven to be essential to modern growth success, with the recipe for scalable growth featuring the perfect combination of simultaneous revenue growth with minimal cost increases.

So, how do businesses today manage to scale successfully?  What we can learn from the most successful and highly scalable businesses, is that initial investments in technologies which help to increase efficiency and fuel automation are also key in supporting sales growth in the future.

Often overlooked in the plan for scalability, but perhaps the most crucial is an organization’s communications infrastructure and here’s why.

Communications is the lifeline of every business, whether it’s communicating with customers or collaborating internally, no business can grow effectively without including communications technology in their plans for growth.

Here are 3 things you can’t overlook when planning to scale your business.

1. Supported Collaboration for Mobile and Distributed Workers

Businesses today are comprised of multiple locations, with employees traveling and working remotely. Therefore, seamless collaboration and unified communications organization-wide is a necessity for every modern business, but especially one with hopes for effective growth.  According to a recent report by Mitel, businesses lose an average of $11,000 per employee every year due to ineffective communications and collaboration solutions. Fortunately, cloud-based Unified Communications (UC) solutions bring together essential communication functions like company-wide chat, presence and video conferencing, in addition to traditional telephony features and services to allow for more seamless collaboration. UC solutions which are 100 percent cloud-based, provide even more capabilities as features, settings and services are stored exclusively in the cloud, making them accessible and manageable from any device, anywhere. This is not just important for efficiency, but is where the real cost-savings comes in. Not only can businesses save on rent, enabling more remote workers to operate securely in locations where limited employees are needed, these solutions drastically reduce downtime during disastrous circumstances. Having the ability to reroute calls, listen to and respond to voicemail messages, update greetings and collaborate via video conference or chat remotely, ensures business takes place regardless of physical location. With the average business losing an astonishing $5,000 per hour when they are down, this is quite the savings.

2.  The Flexibility to Scale

Whether your growth is rapid, planned or unexpected, having communication technology in place that offers the ability to fluctuate based on your business demand is critical to cost control. Functions, such as adding and removing services, employees, equipment, and even locations at anytime with ease allows you to scale efficiently. Not to mention, it ensures costs remain low. By having the flexibility to scale and pay only for what you need and use, you eliminate wasted fees for services and users that may no longer be needed.

3. Efficient Communications

Efficiency has been a key theme throughout this post because it is fundamental to scaling a business. With the right communication technology in place, the automation of key functions are enabled. Whether its utilizing auto attendants to help answer and field incoming calls to save employee time and resources, or it’s having a communications solution that enables administrators to make company-wide changes across any location or many other benefits for enterprise organizations where significant savings and increased efficiency can be achieved. An immense opportunity for efficiency lies in the integration of existing customer relationship management systems (CRMs), such as Salesforce, Google, Skype and others with your business communications. This provides the ability for an even greater return on both investments and the opportunity for optimal efficiency and time-savings.

Regardless of business size, achieving successful growth not only requires an increase in revenue, but having the right technology in place to support the most critical areas of your business’ growth. Communications technology and collaboration tools are not only essential to your daily operations, but vital to your long-term success. Ensuring you have the appropriate communications technology in place is a key step and one that should never be overlooked in your strategic plan.

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Hosted VoIP Unified Communications

We make VoIP Easy for Business

What is VoIP for Businesses

For those not familiar with VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol, it is an Internet telephone service that takes the place of your regular landline phone. It has become a very popular choice for business owners worldwide. VoIP is often the cheapest choice in telecom service, but the price does not compromise its quality.

Business VoIP systems work just like the landline phone systems that you are used to using: the end-user experience is no different. If you need to make a call, you just pick up the phone and dial. The real difference is behind the scenes. Internet calling is much cheaper than traditional landline calling, and many VoIP providers offer lots of special features for businesses to improve your user experience like voicemail boxes, hunt groups, etc.

A VoIP business service uses your existing Internet connection to connect with a hosted PBX(private branch exchange). A hosted PBX is the system by which phone calls are routed into and out of your office. Hosted PBXs may be managed in off-site locations, or they may be virtual systems, which are hosted entirely online (via cloud technology). With a hosted PBX, you can help your business save valuable resources that could be better used in other ways.

How Can Business VoIP Help Your Company

Let’s consider how a VoIP business service can help save your company money and at the same time can give you a better business telephone system. A VoIP business service makes employee to employee communications easy and efficient. And a better telephone system will result in a better customer experience, which means a better chance of customer satisfaction.

Most VoIP services come with a list of standard features like, voicemail, caller ID and three-way calling. However, there are also some advanced features available with some business VoIP solutions that are specifically designed to improve employee productivity:

  • Remote extensions allow satellite offices to function seamlessly as part of the main branch.
  • A virtual receptionist routes calls automatically. This will allow you to eliminate the cost of a receptionist. It will also create the perception of a larger more professional business for customers.
  • Voicemail to email means you don’t need to have phone access to keep up on business matters. A voicemail to email feature will forward your voicemails to your inbox as attachments so you can listen to them from any place where you can get an Internet connection.
  • Virtual fax: Allows you to send or receive faxes through your email. Unlike some other features of VoIP business, virtual fax may come with varying monthly charges in addition to your monthly bill. However, these prices are very low, generally around $5 for 500 faxes.
  • You can get a virtual phone number in different local area codes to attract customers in targeted regions.
  • Simultaneous ring on multiple phones allow calls to get answered more quickly, allowing customers greater access to your services.

These features will increase the productivity of your employees, and enhance customer interface.

Getting Started with Business VoIP

As a small business, you should not be intimidated by the thought of installing a VoIP business system. With our VoIP services, you will have access to a very reliable customer support team that can help you with any problems when implementing your VoIP solution. Our on site installation and in person project management is what separates us from the other plug and pray providers that you may have heard about. Our goal is to make technology easy for you!

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Hosted VoIP Unified Communications

How to make your business attract Millenials

Millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. workforce in 2015. By 2025, they will account for more than 75 percent of the U.S. labor pool. The millennial workers bring immense value to a team, including self-motivation, creativity and enthusiasm. To ensure a stable, productive and engaged team tomorrow, organizations should create a culture with sophisticated technology where millennial employees can thrive and provide maximum benefit to the company today.

Recruiting and retaining millennials requires companies to cultivate a work environment with the flexibility, open dialogue and collaboration they value. Offering cloud-based communication technology that’s available anytime, anywhere and from any device, is vital to a happy and productive team. Below are additional tips businesses can use to allow millennial employees to thrive.

1. Enable Smooth and Secure Access
Some of the greatest benefits of cloud-based UC solutions are the mobile, flexible and economical access they provide. Seamless remote work and team collaboration requires businesses to fully embrace the cloud to ensure universal access for employees working off-site. This applies to everything from company data and current evolving projects to routine meetings. Housing data and servers in a truly 100 percent cloud-based solution also provides a much more secure, disaster-proof way to store business information.

2. Rethink the Phone
As businesses transition to next-generation technology across the board, they should be sure to upgrade their phones, the heartbeat of team collaboration in a workplace. Selecting a cloud-based phone system offers full access to tools that foster two-way dialogue and encourage collaboration. In addition, a streamlined online portal where employees can manage the technology themselves, molding it to fit their own workflows and processes instead of the other way around is vital. For example, if employees can configure their personal phone settings within the cloud, rather than on a physical device, switching from an office location to home will be effortless. It also allows businesses to leverage features that enhance mobility like softphones, which employees can use to make and receive calls on any internet-connected device using their business number.

3. Connect Co-Workers
Connecting employees with each other in a real-time manner improves individuals’ flexibility, ensures full-team collaboration and reduces money and time spent traveling. When vetting different video conferencing tools, businesses should select an online-based HD option that allows face-to-face meetings and makes screen share and collaborative editing simple. A more informal solution to consider, that has become a must-have tool for employees, is internal chat to help maintain strong working relationships and encourage real-time collaboration. Businesses should select a chat tool that integrates with all other communication channels and is available on desktop and various mobile devices to ensure the smoothest communication.

Creating a collaborative, flexible environment requires deliberate action and consideration of leadership to ensure all team members have universal access to key documents and are supported with sophisticated communications channels like cloud-based phone systems and video meetings. Whether team members are in another office, working at home or onsite with clients, business leaders staying ahead of the curve by attracting and maintaining millennial employees must put a technology plan in place to empower team communication and collaboration.

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Hosted VoIP Unified Communications

6 Reasons Business Communications are Evolving from Legacy Voice to Hosted VoIP and Cloud UC

Businesses are turning to cloud-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and unified communications (UC) solutions for myriad reasons: to control and reduce costs, manage complexity, increase productivity, and enable easier collaboration. But for many organizations, VoIP and UC implementations can be challenging to manage. Luckily, communications service providers (CSPs) can remove the complexity and alleviate the need for internal IT staff to manage and maintain the solution. According to recent IDC survey data, hosted and cloud solutions will continue to gain significant traction and significantly outpace on-site solutions.

Organizations surveyed in 2014 that had deployed VoIP:

  • 33% said they had a hosted VoIP solution.
  • An additional 29.6% indicated they planned to implement hosted VoIP in the future.

Organizations surveyed in 2014 that planned to implement UC:

  • 41.7% of current UC users said their organization had deployed a premises-based UC solution.
  • 61% planned to implement a hosted/cloud UC or UCaaS compared with 30% who planned to implement an on-site UC solution.

Here are 6 reasons why business communications are evolving naturally from legacy on-site voice systems to hosted VoIP and cloud-based UC solutions. To read the full IDC report, click here.

 

1. Shift in How Businesses Communicate

When it comes to how professionals communicate, it will always come down to voice. Voice communications will always be an essential aspect of conducting business in today’s fast-paced environment. But the way in which organizations communicate is shifting from siloed, legacy voice platforms to integrated cloud solutions.

2. BYOD Explosion

Business professionals are redefining how and where they work. The proliferation of mobile devices, fueled by BYOD and the consumerization of IT, combined with the increasingly distributed and virtual nature of workforces are key drivers of this shift.

3. Growing Comfort Level with the Cloud

The accelerating adoption of managed, hosted, and cloud-based communications solutions is being driven by organizations’ growing comfort level with cloud delivery models. Although businesses will continue to invest in on-site solutions, their growing comfort level coupled with increasing numbers of hosted and cloud-based services in the market has led to faster-than-expected adoption. As a result, the available UC delivery and deployment options now include managed, hosted, cloud-based and hybrid offerings, far beyond the traditional, premises-based offerings that dominated the market a few years ago.

4. Businesses want Cloud Benefits, Now and in the Future

Business communications are naturally evolving from legacy voice systems to cloud VoIP and UC solutions as organizations reevaluate their existing solutions and consider the benefits of moving to a cloud-based model:

  • Control and reduce costs
  • Simplify the delivery and management of communications
  • Boost productivity and efficiency
  • Facilitate migration to a converged network
  • Encourage collaboration internally and externally with customers, suppliers and partners.

In fact, some organizations are deploying cloud-based UC or unified communications as a service (UCaaS) not only because they believe their users will leverage the advanced features immediately, but also because the additional functionality will be there whenever it’s needed.

5. Demand for Mobile, Video & Social

The popularity of mobility, video and social business applications is also contributing to rising demand for cloud solutions that seamlessly integrate UC capabilities with advanced voice capabilities, mobility and collaborative apps. Businesses are considering how UC can enable new applications, help solve business process challenges, and enable users to communicate and collaborate whenever and wherever they want using any device. However, these applications and services must be easy to deploy and manage as well as intuitive and simple to use. That’s where online customer portals that centralize management of all UC services comes into play.

6. Centralized Management

Over the past few years, CSPs have paved the way for providing UCaaS by integrating unified messaging (email, voice, and fax messaging), IM, conferencing (Web, audio, and video), presence, and mobility with the underlying telephony and call management capabilities already resident on hosted VoIP platforms. An example of one such centralized portal is Broadview Networks’ innovative MyOfficeSuite®. The  MyOfficeSuite® portal enables customers to control everything within the OfficeSuite Phone® UC solution – phone, voicemail, email, HD Video and web conferencing, Android® and iPhone® apps for mobile access, online fax service, Instant Messaging and more.