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Use HD Meeting to save money interviewing

Hiring top talent is critical to the growth and success of every organization. Each company has its own process. Even after your human resources department, or recruiting agency narrows down hundreds of applicants for each job posting, the interview process with the most qualified candidate pool can still be a daunting and expensive task. Here’s where video conferencing technology can simplify the hiring process.

After candidate applications and resumes are carefully reviewed, your next step is most likely to set up an initial interview in-person or over the phone with several of the most qualified candidates. However, in-person interviews can be costly to bring all the candidates in, not to mention time-consuming. Sure, there are phone calls, but they are not as effective at showing you the whole picture, literally. Meeting face-to-face through video conferencing software, especially when it pertains to hiring employees can really tell you a lot and save you a ton of time in the process.

Narrow down candidates more efficiently
For one, you have the opportunity to screen candidates more thoroughly to see if their resume and application match up before moving them further along in the interview process. Speaking with candidates via a brief video conference gives you the opportunity to evaluate their verbal and non-verbal communication skills, without having to do lengthy in-person interviews. You can better evaluate if they would be a good fit for the role than you can with just a phone call. How professional do they come across in terms of their appearance, attire and posture? Do they communicate effectively and display confidence? Are they energetic and excited about the potential role? Visual cues are critically important. And, if your company will be using video conferencing in your daily business, it’s a great opportunity to see each candidate’s comfort level with this important business technology.

Include colleagues easily
Another great benefit is the ability to include other key decision makers in the interviews who may be working from another location or traveling. This is a common hiring issue, and instead of delaying the interview process and potentially losing qualified candidates, multiple parties can participate in the interview process from any device, anywhere. This is incredibly useful and not to mention, practical.

Simplify geographic challenges
For out-of-state and international candidates, you may even opt to just do a series of video interviews and skip the costly and complicated in-person interviews all together. This is becoming an increasingly more popular method for hiring top talent located elsewhere. This powerful tool can save both you and your candidates time and money.

In sum, video conferencing provides your business with a cost-effective, time-saving and efficient way to interview and hire new employees. There is a great deal that can be learned from video interviews and many ways it can help to expedite and simplify the hiring process altogether. This will most definitely become a more common hiring practice and one that can really benefit your business both now and in the future.

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Hosted VoIP

Moving To A Cloud Phone System Will Save Your Business Money

More businesses than ever are using the cloud for their business processes and the same goes for phone systems. One of the key benefits businesses are finding with cloud phone systems are cost savings. The following are just a few reasons why cloud phones can save your business money.

Greater Efficiency. Cloud phones offer the ability to integrate business process applications such as CRM, ERP and ATS. This enables employees to streamline communication both with their colleagues and with customers. For example, as the phone starts ringing, a complete customer record can appear on the phone screen. Not only does this save time, it also enables a richer conversation between the employee and the customer.

Increased Productivity. Cloud phones can shave minutes from everything an employee does. For example, knowing which co-workers are available at any given moment can save up to 20 minutes a day, according to a survey by market research firm Chadwick Martin and Bailey. That frees up to 86 hours a year for each employee – time that can be spent on initiatives to help the business grow.

Reduced Toll Calls. For businesses with offices in international markets, the savings on toll charges can be significant. When companies internationally implement cloud phones across all their global offices, for instance, they can reduce toll call charges by two-thirds.

Lower IT Costs. Cloud phones also enable businesses to shift responsibilities from their IT department to the vendor. By having others manage their IP telephony in the cloud, a company reduces its costs. Businesses no longer have to purchase, install and maintain applications or hardware, lessening the need for dedicated IT resources.

More Opportunities for Innovation. Because the vendor is focused on managing the cloud phone system’s software and hardware, businesses don’t need to incur the time, resources or costs associated with upgrades. What’s more, they can be confident they’re working with the most current package, which provides them with a competitive edge.

Faster Disaster Recovery. When trouble occurs, the vendor deploys its own IT experts to resolve the issue. Businesses don’t incur additional costs resulting from having their resources troubleshoot problems or risk losing business because phones are down.

Faster Collaboration. With cloud phones, employees can take advantage of functionality that enhances collaboration. Services such as instant messaging and video conferencing are built into the phones, allowing employees to connect, converse, and make decisions more quickly.

When evaluating the savings associated with cloud phones, it’s essential to look at the financial outcome at least five years out. This is the best way to determine the true cost of ownership, as employees become better trained and the kinks are worked out of the system.

If saving money is a driving factor behind moving to cloud phones, businesses have plenty of good reasons to make the switch

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Hosted VoIP

Common Obstacles of Communication Technology in Business

 

A business’ success and its employees’ ability to communicate are directly correlated. Communication amongst one another as well as with other businesses and clients is crucial. That’s why newer and more powerful technologies for communicating are popping up every day.

Of course, with new technology comes the potential for speed bumps, and smoothing them out is essential for maximizing the efficiency of using communication technology. Technology issues that entrepreneurs will face in business run the gamut, and mastering them is something to consider spending time on.

Researching Communication Technology
Often, it’s not the technology itself but rather finding the right communication product to use that is problematic. Before investing in a new email platform or phones for the office, it’s important to read reviews, compare prices, and have a consultation with representatives from the company. You want to know what their support availability is like, whether the product will be useful for a business the size of yours, and whether it can help you to accomplish your goals.

Maintaining a Website
Making a website for your company seems simple, right? Many people don’t realize that a website isn’t just a basic source of information. It also acts as a sort of business card and a way to engage potential customers. Therefore, you need to streamline the communication aspect of it and make sure you stay with the times. Having a knowledgeable development and design staff can help with that aspect of it, but sometimes it’s a good idea to consider implementing an instant chat client to immediately answer customer questions.

Deciding on Communications Media
Technology has changed the way businesses reach out to their clients and work internally. While phones used to be the only necessary technology, you now have to decide if you want cell phones, a cloud phone system, conference call capabilities, video chat services, et cetera. On top of that, you need to select data plans, put together a customer service team, choose a reliable e-mail platform, and more. Gather a list of practical options and consider whether or not they will be useful within your industry and for your company in particular. Don’t underestimate the need for a customer service team that can respond to emails – as your company grows, you’ll find you can’t do this yourself in a timely manner. You don’t want inefficient communication, or an unnecessary overuse of budget, to become an issue down the road.

Social Media
Many companies don’t even consider social media to be a communications technology, but that’s a very dated way of thinking. Though it’s a recent phenomenon, it’s an important one. Do you have someone manning your social media profile, ensuring that the tone is consistent, customers are being responded to, and branding opportunities are being maximized upon? It’s worth considering having a consultation with Social Media Marketing experts if you’re not seasoned in this area yourself.

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Hosted VoIP

7 Things Every Customer Portal Should Offer

When it comes to your business’s communications, the interface that you use to manage it can make all of the difference.

Not all customer web portals are created equal. We’ve identified the criteria you should look for in order to achieve the highest level of productivity and the most enjoyable experience.

1. Integrated Technology

Businesses have a plethora of communication services beyond their phone system, like hosted email, online fax, video conferencing software and toll-free services. Gone are the days where you need multiple systems and logins to access and manage them all. Look for a system that is supported by one platform that will centralize all of your services and offer you a single-point of access to everything you need.

2. Intuitive Design

Time is of the essence, so having a customer portal that offers a modern, user-friendly design that is easy to manage for both managers and employees and does not require any IT support will save you time, money and hours of aggravation.

3. Adaptability

Today’s workforce is mobilized. No one can afford to be tied to their desk phones or computers, so the platform to manage your critical business communications needs to match your work style. Your web-based customer portal should be accessible and work the same on each of your devices: smartphones, laptops, tablets, IPads® and desktops.

4. Permission-based Controls

When it comes to your business’s communications, different employees and departments have different functions and levels of authority. Having a customer portal that offers customizable user profiles based on user personas allows administrators to grant employees access to only the features that are applicable to their role.

5.User-Centric Functionality

Simple and fast is what we are all looking for when we manage anything related to our business. Your customer portal should offer user-centric technology like drag and drop capabilities, click-to-dial phone numbers, the ability to upload, listen to and record greetings, pay bills, view call history, listen to voicemail and import contacts, all from one central website.

6. Support

With multiple site locations and communication services, it can be challenging to manage issues and contact support for each of your services. With a modern customer portal, you should have one-click access to contact support, chat live, open and view support tickets, access their online community and view how-to videos and support collateral for each of your services.

7. Collaboration

Many companies have multiple locations and employees that travel, so finding a platform that supports your communication services and can increase your connectivity across sites is a win-win. Features like real-time presence that showcases the availability of each of your coworkers before you contact them and the ability to initiate or join a video conference with just one click, allows your team to collaborate easily no matter where they are.

 

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Three Invaluable Tips for Cloud Safety

One of the arguments most frequently made for switching to the cloud is the fact that it is secure. And, while this is true, nothing is perfect. You’d always rather be safe than sorry. Especially for retailers and financial institutions, security is paramount – although not every institution makes it their top priority. Companies should always be operating as though they are at risk for a data breach, because in essence, it’s always a possibility.

Something that not many people realize is that the vast majority of news-making data breaches have occurred on out-of-date network systems with similarly out-of-date security measures. Embracing the cloud means embracing the latest technology, whether that’s in organization, integration, or, yes, security.

What we’re trying to say is that yes, it’s time you upgraded to the cloud and no, you shouldn’t be afraid that the cloud will put you at risk for security breaches – they’re much safer than the legacy servers you’re probably using. But, once you do move to the cloud, it’s important to employ best practices to keep your business safe.

Here are three tips to achieving cloud safety.

Keep your Staff in the Know; Monitor BYOD
It’s becoming increasingly common for companies to have their employees bring their own devices, better known as BYOD, to work. Some employees even prefer this over having separate computers, phones, etc. While this may be efficient for your company’s needs, it’s important that everyone understands how to keep their devices safe. Hold frequent meetings to let staff members know what could happen if their devices fall into the wrong hands, what applications are secure and which aren’t, and how to protect themselves. A lot of companies have made it mandatory for employees to lock/password protect their computers whenever they are away from their desks, which is never a bad idea.

Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt
Chances are, the cloud platform you’re using will encrypt your data automatically. That said, platforms do not always encrypt the data that is synced to mobile devices. It might be a good idea to look into file-level encryption to play it safe if you have employees who work remotely to any degree. Having this extra level security is entirely worth it – if only for your peace of mind.

Always Stay on Top of Security
Security should be your priority. It may seem obvious, but surprisingly, only 40 percent of financial businesses think a data breach is a risk they face, even though small data breaches are incredibly common. Revisit your security often to see what new things you can do to stay safe, and have frequent trainings to ensure everyone understands the consequences of not doing so. You can never be too safe.

Like we said before – it’s time to embrace the cloud and enjoy the integration it offers. You can now have your e-mail, applications, and phone systems all hosted in the cloud. That said, safety should always be #1 in your business, and it applies to the cloud as well.