Intelligent Voice and Data Solutions: Benefits of “Find Me” Call Routing

The world of technology continues to explode around us, providing new ways to find and send information. And while many businesses today are working to create intelligent voice and data solutions that consolidate data handling, voice communication remains a necessary and important part of the equation.

The Modern PBX

Today, VoIP-based PBX systems have the capability of additional services versus just delivering a call. Because their fundamental structure is a component of a network, their service potential is only limited by what the system can provide. That means there are possibilities for not just voice delivery and the expected voicemail storage, but also the capability of adding additional services, such as Find Me/Follow Me features.

Find Me Options

With older systems, when a person wasn’t at their desk, it required another person to route the call to where the recipient would be. Doing so requires planning, scheduling, multiple phone numbers and a person managing the connection. With Find Me/Follow Me features in the phone system, numbers on VoIP PBX systems become mobile, and the ability to connect goes to wherever the recipient happens to be. Rather than an urgent call transferred to voicemail, which the recipient has to reconnect physically with the network to retrieve, the call routes to a variety of locations both in the system and externally. If a recipient is on the go, the desk number can be easily connected to a cell phone. And if the recipient is still unable to answer, the message can …

10 Unexpected Benefits of VoIP Phone Systems

Most business managers align themselves to the idea of implementing a VoIP phone systembecause it has one primary attractive feature: cost savings when compared to traditional phone lines and data transfer. However, when folks get a chance to dig into the details of all that VoIP can offer, the strategic benefits begin to appear. Here are ten somewhat unexpected benefits that VoIP can provide once installed:

1. Fast Data Transfer – Because VoIP utilizes the Internet as the transfer conduit, the system is only as slow as the channel it uses to move through. So, a basic 100 Mbps channel may seem slow at first, but put the VoIP on a CAT 5 channel or faster, and its speed capability begins to shine in daily use.

2. User-Friendly Connection – The hardware involved doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to get desks connected. Once the system gets set up and operating on the office network, the handsets for voice use simply have to be plugged in by Ethernet cable to the same grid. Each node then has a designated number which can be moved as easy as the employee is moved around the office.

3. Quality Performance – With a VoIP system, it will test slightly lower than the best landline connection, but most homes and offices are slapped together with short deadlines and low-cost contractor material, which means physical tests for performance don’t always reflect the practical function. Performance is noticeably a bit less where data becomes congested …


What About Your Phone System?
Today’s business environment is fast-paced and competitive. Technology makes it possible for you to know your customers and your customers to know your business within moments. You’re harnessing the power of all your tech resources, but what about your phone system?

If you’re not already considering how to get full value from your phone system, you should be.

Therefore, savvy business owners and their IT staff know that a cloud phone system can multiply success by integrating mobility, applications and collaboration under one valuable umbrella.
Can your current system do these things?
We’ve created an easy 10-question test to evaluate if your current phone provider is delivering the full potential of a modern phone system. Any items you can’t check off suggest you may not be harnessing the full power of a world-class cloud phone system.

Do you have a clear, secure connection without any voice delays, lag, or call quality issues?
Does your system provide business intelligence based on call data? Also, elegant integration with other important business applications (CRM, ERP, applicant tracking systems, etc.)?
Do users have direct access to a live person who can answer their questions and quickly solve their problems — without engaging you?
Are you confident that your phone system is secure and completely protected against hackers?  Both via the handset and the cloud data center?
Do you have access to intuitive, easy-to-use tools for phone routing and find-me/follow-me rules?
Does your provider leverage redundancy and failover to prevent against catastrophic phone system failure …

Answering Your Questions About Small Business VoIP Solutions

Gone are the days when small businesses had no choice but to be tethered to the apron strings of the phone company. Today’s proliferation of small business VoIP solutions providers means owners like you have several options.

VoIP. What’s in it for you?

Understanding VoIP means digesting a few basics, starting with the term VoIP. The Vo stands for voice and the IP for internet protocol. This acronym often translates to saving money since you’ll be using the same broadband internet connection you already have in place so that you won’t be using the phone company’s lines, nor their phones. Not only will you save money on installation costs and hardware, but you’ll also be billed only for services you use. Depending on the provider you choose you’ll have access to telephony services previously affordable only by large corporations, including video conferencing, call forwarding, find me follow me, and voicemail transcription to email.

What will I pay upfront?

You may be attracted initially by the cost featured on a VoIP provider’s web page, but be sure to inquire about additional costs such as equipment or setup fees. Get the specifics regarding the length of contract and cancellation fees. Find out if the system is scalable so you can add phones as your business grows, and also if you change your plan, will you have to start your contract period all over again? Be aware that many VoIP providers tie their low startup price …

Breaking Down the Basics of a Hosted Phone Solution

When your business starts evaluating how to improve business and communications, you probably hear about making the transition to a hosted or cloud phone solution. But you might be wondering what exactly these solutions can offer? And can they truly improve your business operations?

To begin, it’s important to understand what a hosted phone system is. According to Techopedia, a hosted phone system is defined as:

“Hosted private branch exchange (hosted PBX) is a telephone exchange system built, delivered and managed by a third-party service provider. Hosted PBX is an IP-based telephony solution provisioned and accessed entirely through the Internet.”

How a Hosted Phone Solution Works

A hosted PBX provides the same services you would expect from a traditional phone system with analog lines, but uses the internet and the cloud to support your services. The service is delivered using a telecommunications provider and Internet or IP-based networks. The systems are housed and monitored at the provider’s location.

How Does the Cloud Play In?

The voice and data services and applications your business uses are also hosted on the servers the provider owns and provide the business with access to the cloud. Customers only pay for services and applications they are using, providing a cost-effective, secure, and reliable environment.

Hosted Solution Benefits

Cloud communications become attractive because the cloud becomes the central platform for voice, data, and video. Traditionally, hosted services were built around voice, and were referred to as hosted VoIP. Cloud communications serve as an enhanced platform …

Why Invest in VoIP and a Small Business PBX System?

When making a business case for switching to a small business PBX system that works with the power of VoIP and the cloud, you may need some supportive evidence to convince the leaders of the company that it’ll be worth their time and the investment. The good news is, that there’s no shortage of information to showcase the enhanced productivity and ROI that switching to a small business PBX can provide. Here are five compelling figures:
1. Small businesses switching to a VoIP solution reduce the cost of their local calling expenses by up to 40%, and international calling savings averages 90%
Without VoIP, companies are required to use plain old telephone service (POTS) lines, which come with a hefty price tag for every minute spent on the phone. Those minutes add up quickly and typically result in a steep monthly bill, especially in the case of international calls. With VoIP, calls are made using the company’s internet connection, which removes the need for those costly POTS lines.
2. VoIP can cut startup costs for new businesses by up to 90%
With no need for phone lines and expensive and bulky traditional phone systems and hardware that can rapidly increase startup expenses, the cost savings are immediate.
3. Businesses see an average savings of 50-75% after switching to VoIP
Although this can vary depending on the organization, changing to a small business PBX system with VoIP provides an average cost saving of 50-75% on traditional …

VoIP Comparison: Hybrid, Hosted, or On-Premise?

If you’re still trying to find a VoIP solution, the following VoIP comparison of the most popular options should help to put things into a clearer perspective.

VoIP Benefits

Productivity increases.
Increased efficiency/cost savings.
Unparalleled features that are not available with traditional phones.
Increased flexibility, convenience and mobility.
VoIP provides remote operation, voicemail, call waiting, call forwarding and toll-free numbers.
The convenience of seamless voicemail to email transcription so you can forget about taking notes.
VoIP provides the capacity to smoothly integrate an analog door phone and the convenience and security of two-way calls with visitors. In addition, this gives you and your staff the ability to use a phone to unlock the door and allow or decline visitor access. This feature is valuable under any circumstances, and especially in situations at night with limited staff.
Your company can select a customized Music On Hold feature.
The call routing feature can make you look like a major VIP. The system, named Find me/Follow me, gives you the convenience of creating your personal list of reach numbers at locations where you might be found before the call goes to voicemail. You make the location decisions for the system to try whether it’s your personal cell phone, home office, or other locations. You also select the number of rings for each different location. If the system is unsuccessful in finding you and the list is exhausted, the call is sent to voicemail.

Hosted, On-Premise, or Hybrid?
When evaluating …

International Business & Michigan VOIP: How it Works

Taking a Michigan-based business global is a big undertaking. From organizing the operational elements to staffing and time zone challenges, there’s a list of things to evaluate and coordinate. One of the items to consider should obviously be to determine and organize how you can effectively communicate despite the increased distance limitations. Thankfully, Michigan VoIP services partnered with a Unified Communications (UC) phone system can provide the collaboration tools you need to be successful globally.

Some of the features that make this international success possible include:

Video Tools

Face-to-face meetings and events are simplified with solutions that offer video conferencing features, making team collaboration more effective. It also improves the hiring process, as top applicants can interview from anywhere – without the travel costs of getting them to you.

Remote Flexibility

VoIP provides the ability to access call records and receive calls despite distance limitations, allowing employees to be productive from anywhere. One of the other major benefits of VoIP technology on a global scale is the ability to create virtual phone numbers for specific countries, giving the appearance of the local or global organization to your customers.

Improved Customer Experience

Even with increased mobile opportunities for employees, businesses still want to have a professional appearance to their customers. With a UC solution, global companies are able to configure VoIP solutions so the calls are routed to specific locations and even translated into a different language to meet the needs of the customer.

Money Savings

Gone are the …

Is a Hosted VoIP Solution Right For You?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the new standard for voice communications. It offers not just more convenience than analog systems but provides enhanced features like call management, reporting, monitoring, conferencing, messaging and enhanced security features.

What is Hosted VoIP?

Hosted VoIP solutions are structured so the service provider manages and owns the equipment and infrastructure within a private data center. To do so requires the set up of an Integrated Access Device (IAD) like a QoS router as well as any IP phones and all necessary switches. Hosted solutions provide the features and capabilities of an analog system as well as many more. All services are available anywhere with just an internet connection.

What are the Benefits of a Hosted Solution?

Quick and Cost-Effective: Easy to implement, the service also has reduced investment risks. Monthly charges are subscription-based and part of the operating budget. Subscriptions are based on the amount of users or call paths needed.

Monitoring: 24/7 monitoring is standard, so performance remains consistently high.

Advanced Features: With a VoIP solution, small businesses have new access to enterprise-level options and capabilities. New features and functionality are available almost immediately as upgrades are available without upgrade costs and the need to involve any in-house IT resources. It is also easily implemented with unified communications.

Eliminates Hassle: Hosted solutions take you out of the telecom management business. Hassles, costs and headaches of upgrading an on-premise solution are eliminated. This allows IT resources to be allocated to other activities.

Scalable: …

VOIP: A Smarter Choice

You’ve been hearing for awhile now that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is something every business today should evaluate. You know it’s been said to increase productivity and reduce costs for businesses. But what exactly makes the service able to provide all these voice solutions so easily?

The process of how it works is quite simple, the service allows users to make calls using the Internet instead of using a conventional phone system or analog phone lines. It converts the sound into a digital voice communication and then transfers it through the Internet connection. This is done by breaking down the voice stream into packets, those packets are then compressed and sent over the Internet to the destination. After the packets are uncompressed and put back together, the other party receives the message. This may sound like a long process, but it is rapid and seemless with the proper bandwidth connection.

Here’s number of reasons why it’s simply a smarter choice for businesses today:

1. Cost Savings

VoIP is much less expensive than implementing comparable services over analog connections. The first and most noticable cost savings comes with the lack of additional costs to add or install new phone lines. The equipment will hook directly into the broadband network, making changing and adding lines convenient and easy. The change virtually eliminates phone line costs, long distance fees and lowers the amount of IT services needed to add or install new services. The phone …