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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

What Your Call History Can Tell You About Your Business

 

In business, your call history can really tell you a great deal. Having insight into your entire company’s communications can be beneficial to improving various areas of your operations.

As managers, reviewing call activity gives visibility into employee performance, customer needs and issues, as well as your sales and marketing efforts.

But, who has time to review call activity the old-fashioned way?

Thankfully, with modern UC technology and state-of-the-art online portals, the ability to view and analyze critical call data is simple.

Viewing call history as a whole doesn’t provide much insight. However, when inbound and outbound call data can be broken down and evaluated by departments, individual employees, phone numbers and even extensions, a great can deal can be learned.

Our Call History component is a good example of how built-in business intelligence tools can make the reporting of this critical data work for your business’ needs.

For instance, running reports for the longest and most frequent calls your customer service department makes and receives can provide perspective as to which customers require the most assistance and whether or not you may need to monitor or intervene in order to keep an important account. It also gives you a better idea of your personnel needs throughout the day and individual employee workloads, which can help to improve staffing efficiency.

For sales departments, outbound calling is critical to sales results. So, having the ability to view all the outbound calls by day, week, month, employee or region provides you with a valuable performance evaluation tool and a concrete way to improve productivity.

Inbound call reporting for specific phone numbers is a great way to track marketing campaign activity. When designating a specific phone number for a new campaign, you can instantly see the results based on the amount of call activity.

Customizable call reporting is also a crucial component; every organization has different needs, so having the ability to create customized reports will enable you to get to a more granular level in your analysis.

As you can see, diving deeper into your call analytics can really help to improve employee performance, sales, marketing and customer service throughout your organization. So, be sure to take advantage of the important call data that is already available to you. And, if you are not using a system that provides you with the advanced technology and reporting you need, check into our  award-winning unified communications solutions.

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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 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.

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Hosted VoIP

Why Switch from PBX to Hosted VoIP and Cloud Phone Systems

2015 Business Phone System Buyers’ Report: Why Switch from PBX to Hosted VoIP and Cloud Phone Systems

If you’re thinking about buying a new business phone system , here’s your guide! Sometimes knowing what factors prompt other businesses to switch can help in your decision. This report from Software Advice is a wealth of information on Most Wanted Features and Applications, Top Pain Points, Buyers by Industry and so much more. With all the different options available for business communications (i.e. on-premises Private Branch Exchange (PBX), on-premises IP PBX and Hosted VoIP and Cloud UC systems), it can get overwhelming. Let this navigate you through all the reasons to upgrade to a hosted VoIP or Cloud phone system.

If you get nothing else from this report, know this: the PHONE still reigns supreme over all other communications. Yes, people are increasingly using web-based channels like email, social media and online chat to connect with your customer support team, but at the end of the day their phone interactions with your business dominate their perceptions.

 In other words, if you don’t do a good job with your auto attendant – the automated menu that lets callers self-select where their call is routed – then you’re likely to lose their business.

Daniel Harris, Market Research Associate at Software Advice, a VoIP software reviews website, gives more insight:

Our survey asked a population of U.S. consumers about how they would respond to a bad experience with a local business’s auto attendant. These findings suggest that auto attendants are a vitally important customer-facing element of business phone systems, particularly for local businesses.

  • Strikingly, 42% of our sample says that they would take their business elsewhere.
  • Only 7% says that they would email the business.
  • Moreover, only 20% says that they’ll look for info on the company’s website if they can’t use the auto attendant, which is less than half of the percentage of respondents who would simply take their business elsewhere.

We asked consumers about their top pain points with using auto attendants in order to identify the key elements of good auto attendant design. The top pain points among the consumers in our sample are long introductions (cited by 29%) and too many menu options (cited by 28%). In order to arrive at guidelines concerning how to avoid these pain points, we analyzed a sample of 45 small business auto attendants to track metrics on average introduction length, menu length and number of menu options.

  • More than half (58%) of the introductions in our sample are under three seconds long.
  • Only 9% provide branding statements regarding their businesses in auto attendant introductions.
  • Additionally, overall menu length rarely exceeds 40 seconds (only 24% of the businesses in our sample had longer introductions).
  • We also found that very few small business auto attendants include more than 8 options – only 6% of the auto attendants in our sample extended beyond this number.
  • The lion’s share of auto attendants clustered between 4 and 5 options (42% of our sample).

I hope this guide helps you make a more informed decision about what type of communication system is right for your business. Remember, you typically only have one chance to make a good impression on your customers and prospects, so make sure that the phone system you choose gives your business a professional, polished image.