While email and web chat are increasingly becoming preferred communication channels, many of today’s customers insist on being able to pick up the phone and get in touch with a business – whether it’s to ask questions about a potential product or service, get support for a prior purchase, or for any other reason. But what happens in the event of a power outage caused by a disaster, or even a shorter – but certainly noticeable – brownout resulting from the country’s aging and over-burdened utility infrastructure? Well, if you have a conventional phone system that uses an on-site IP PBX, then instead of hearing “thank you for your call, how may I help you?”, your customers will hear “sorry, the number you have reached is out of service, please try your call again later.” Unfortunately, many customers won’t “try their call again later.” Instead, they’ll head to a competitor whose phone lines are working normally – and they’ll never look back. To avoid that unacceptable scenario, here are the key ways that our hosted VoIP solution keeps your business up and running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year:
Geographically-Dispersed Cloud Infrastructure
All communication that takes place via our hosted VoIP phone system – including file sharing, video conferencing, instant messaging, and so on – is supported by a geographically-dispersed cloud infrastructure. As such, during a local power outage your business does not have to worry about disappearing from the radar screen. Everyone on your team will be able to continue sending and receiving calls, and accessing all system features – even as other businesses nearby using conventional phone systems cannot even get a dial tone.
Our hosted VoIP phone systems utilizes a broadband internet connection to transfer both audio and video (for web and video conferencing). If your ISP suffers a power outage or your internet connection goes offline for any reason, an automatic failover response takes over and switches to a secondary connection. Then, when the primary connection comes back online, it automatically switches back. Your IT team doesn’t have to make any configuration changes or modify the system in any way.
Carrier-Grade Network Security
Our hosted VoIP phone system is NOT run on the public internet. Rather, it is managed on a private and highly secure data network, which is protected by end-to-end encryption mechanisms including Transport Layer Security/TLS and Secure RTP for transmitting media. In addition, our expert team installs and configures all security patches and updates to thwart zero-day threats. In addition, our hosted VoIP phone system features robust password protection for managed routers, as well as for web-based dashboard access. In addition, all system access and usage is tracked for compliance, quality assurance, and audit trail purposes.
Granular Security Controls
Your business will be empowered with granular security controls to ensure compliance and prevent unauthorized usage. For example, specific access and permissions can be granted to different users/groups, and restrictions can be imposed (e.g. maximum time per call, geographic calling restrictions, etc.).
Speaking of our expert team: we continuously monitor and test the system to ensure security and integrity. If there is any actual or potential threat or vulnerability, alarms are automatically triggered, and the issue is thoroughly investigated to resolution. We have also recently strengthened our enhanced and comprehensive telecommunications fraud management program, which covers the following:
- Monitoring all outbound traffic to detect anomalies at the automatic number identification (ANI) level.
- Automatically blocking suspicious calling that may be the result of subscription fraud, IP PBX hacking, abuse of service terms and conditions, internal fraud, employee theft, phishing, pharming, and payment fraud.
- Implementing customized system rules using conditional criteria, which are based on known fraud trends and tactics.
- Flagging calls to/from numbers linked to confirmed fraud cases noted in industry-wide “hot lists.”
- Creating and scoring profiles based on key risk indicators, such as volume, dialed destination, etc.
- Analyzing robocalls by researching and analyzing each telephone number, and accessing carrier and consumer reports.
- Automatically notifying you if fraudulent activity is suspected or detected.
The Bottom Line
It goes without saying that your business can’t afford to go off the grid for even a few minutes – let alone hours, or in the case of a severe event like a hurricane, tornado, ice storm, flood or fire, for several days. That’s where DigitalPhone.io’s Business Continuity infrastructure enters the picture and closes the gap!
To learn more, contact DigitalPhone.io today for a guided demo of our hosted VoIP phone system (336) 560-4400.
A few decades ago, fax machines roamed freely on the business landscape: and it was good. Actually, it was groundbreaking. The idea of transmitting an exact facsimile of a document to anyone in the world — and within a matter of seconds — was incredible. Indeed, if you build a time machine and head back to circa 1988, you’ll be greeted by an orchestra of screeching fax machines (don’t worry, it’s a screech of joy, not of pain).
Well, here we are about to enter the third decade of the 21st century, and traditional fax machines are few and far between. In fact, some millennial doctors have no idea what to do with this ancient technology. But does this mean faxing is dead? Not at all!
On the contrary, faxing is alive and well. But like many other technologies, it has elevated to the cloud where it is enjoying a dynamic new lease on life. Here are 5 reasons why organizations are embracing cloud faxing — and why yours might want to join them:
1. Enhanced Security
Doctors, pharmacists, lawyers and many other professionals are using cloud faxing because it’s more secure. This is because unlike scanning and attaching a document to an email, faxing converts a document into base64 binary at its source, sends it through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), and then reassembles it at the other end. In addition, faxed documents are stored in a secure off-site data center.
2. Save Space
Office space is expensive — especially in premium locations. A conventional fax machine requires sufficient space to ensure safe and proper usage (and keep supplies nearby, like paper, ink, etc.). This is a non-issue with cloud faxing. It’s 100% virtual, and doesn’t take up any space.
3. Enhanced Convenience
Cloud faxing is available to employees whenever they want, and from where they’re working. They don’t have to wait to get back to the office, and they don’t have to wait in line or hike across the building. They can simply launch any internet-connected computer, laptop, desktop or smartphone, and send/receive faxes. They can also schedule faxes to be sent at a future date/time, and email faxes to colleagues or any other part (the receiving party doesn’t need to have cloud faxing — they will simply get an email with a PDF attachment).
4. Cost Saving
Conventional fax machines are pricey to buy and maintain, and organizations need a dedicated line or switch — which adds to the cost. On the other hand, cloud faxing is extremely cost effective. There are no usage or long distance fees, nor is there a need to purchase new phone lines or upgrading existing ones.
What’s more, organizations with remote workers who need to send/receive faxes don’t have to equip them with fax machines. They simply provide them with cloud faxing, and save hundreds or thousands of dollars per year.
5. Detailed Reports
Readers of a certain vintage may recall that generating reports with conventional fax machines was — and remains — manually intensive and quite tedious. Cloud faxing completely changes this for the better. At any time and from anywhere, authorized users (e.g. managers) can simply login to review fax history, usage details, and other data.
Are you ready to switch to cloud faxing — and reap all of the rewards above? Then call DigitalPhone.io today at (336) 560-4400. Your consultation with us is free.
We all know that all businesses these days need to 4 Reasons to Choose a Local VoIP Vendor
We all know that all businesses these days need to “think global and act local.” But when it comes to selecting the right VoIP vendor, this wisdom needs an adjustment: “think global and choose local.”
Let’s start with the first part of this advice: think global.
What this means is that small and mid-sized businesses should ensure that they get the same enterprise-grade telecommunications features enjoyed by large multinational firms, such as: auto attendant, live call forwarding, call transfer, automatic call distribution, online message access, call queuing, call announce, company directory, hold music, voice and fax email messages, message notification, and call analysis, and reporting. And of course, the system must be quick to learn and easy-to-use.
Now for the next part of this advice: choose local.
Choosing a local VoIP vendor – and in this context, local can also be defined as regional (e.g. Midwest, Southeast, etc.) – is vital for 5 key reasons:
1. Pre-Sales Consulting
A local/regional VoIP provider will visit your business on-site – possibly multiple times – to assess your needs, consult with your different user groups (e.g. executive, technical, infosec, operations, etc.), analyze your infrastructure, and provide you with a solution that is custom crafted to fit your needs and align with your budget.
National vendors put the bulk of their resources into sales – not into pre-sales. And so while you may get some videos to watch or brochures to read, you shouldn’t expect someone to physically come on-site. And even in the few instances where this is the case, the person or team that arrives will have their “contract signing” pen at-the-ready, and will do everything they can to seal the deal – not objectively assess your needs.
2. Expert Installation and Configuration
Many businesses that choose “mass market” nationwide VoIP vendors quickly recall the old adage: you get what you pay for. Or in this case, you don’t get what you don’t pay for – because installation and configuration is a tedious, time consuming and complex process that can last for weeks. Quite often, many businesses that head down this path end up paying a consultant to clean up the mess, or they pay their VoIP vendor exorbitant “professional services” fees, which more than offset any cost-savings they hoped to realize.
Thankfully, the above isn’t a risk when choosing a credible local/regional VoIP vendor. That’s because their in-house experts – who understand the technology inside and out – will handle all installation and configuration details. And since they’ll have carefully assessed your needs (per the pre-sales consulting described above), you can look forward to a smooth, streamlined and stress-free experience.
3. 24/7 Responsive Support
The importance of 24/7 responsive support cannot be underestimated – not because you should expect something to go wrong with your VoIP system, but simply because your business isn’t static and fixed: it’s dynamic and evolving.
For example, at some point in the future – and it could be sooner than later – you may need to equip employees with an IP phone that they can use from their home office. Or, you may want to provide your sales reps with mobile apps so they can stay connected while on the road. Or, you may want to launch a remote call center to handle a surge in customer inquiries.
Whatever the scenario, you can be assured that a local/regional VoIP vendor is ready, willing and able to respond. This simply isn’t the case with most large vendors. When you need assistance, they’ll either refer you to a FAQ or some other (useless and confusing) resources, or they’ll sell you a very pricey maintenance package.
4. You’ll pay less than you think.
Many businesses that expected to save big by choosing a nationwide vendor discover that the opposite is true: they’re paying more and getting less than if they went with a local/regional vendor.
This is why nationwide VoIP vendors are popular acquisition targets these days: they’re cash cows. Customers think that they’re saving money and getting a better deal, when this simply isn’t the case. The numbers don’t add up.
The Bottom Line
Thinking globally and acting locally is a critical business paradigm. But when it comes to choosing the right VoIP vendor – which is one that will provide you with the shortest path to value – then it’s all about thinking globally and choosing locally!
To learn more, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. Your consultation with us is free. Your consultation with us is free. Call (336) 544-4000.
Recently, we highlighted the main reasons why a VoIP phone systems helps organizations dramatically reduce their telecommunications costs.
However, while saving money is always a winning strategy, there are several other reasons why more and more businesses, government agencies and educational institutions are choosing a VoIP phone system — and one of the most compelling that it measurably increases employee efficiency.
Here are 3 key ways that a VoIP phone system helps organizations get more out of their workforce:
- VoIP Phone Systems Gets New Hires On-the-Grid Right Away
With a conventional landline phone system, it can take weeks for new hires to get their own phone number. Until then, they either have to share a number with a colleague, or all of their calls are automatically routed to a voicemail box that they must check throughout the day (and perhaps the evening as well). Neither of these are efficient, and they certainly don’t enhance customer experience.
On the other end of the spectrum, with a VoIP phone system organizations can immediately give new hires — regardless of whether they work in-house or remotely — their very own number or extension. This enables them to get on-the-grid rapidly, and be efficient and productive from day one.
- VoIP Phone Systems Streamline Communication
In just a few years, we’ve gone from email being the best thing to happen to workplace communication in, well, forever, to being overwhelmed by an epidemic of email overload. Indeed, according to statistics published in Harvard Business Review, email takes up a whopping 23% of the average employee’s workday, and the average employee sends and receives a staggering 112 emails per day.
A VoIP phone system streamlines communication by connecting all employees on a centralized, single platform where they can check each other’s status in real-time (e.g. available, on the phone, busy, away, etc.), send/receive instant messages, and jump on an audio or video call with a single click — which isn’t just faster and easier, but it eliminates tedious dialing errors.
Now, does this eliminate email from the work landscape? No — since that’s not possible (or even desirable!). But it certainly does shrink the virtual email mountain, so that employees can be more efficient and less distracted.
- VoIP Phone Systems Track and Optimize Performance
Increasing efficiency — but without compromising quality assurance and other standards — can be done at the employee level; and the two examples above illustrate how a VoIP phone system makes this happen. For example, literally within minutes of joining the team, a new hire can get his or her own phone number, and send/receive an instant message (instead of yet another email!) to any colleague, regardless of where they’re located.
However, to boost efficiency organizations also need to look at performance management, and once again a VoIP phone system helps make this happen. For example, executives can:
- Analyze whether a recently-launched customer knowledge portal is reducing the volume and duration of support calls.
- Optimize staffing levels based on call volumes, and if necessary, launch a recruitment campaign to maintain customer experience standards.
- Monitor call durations, and identify whether employees need coaching or training to satisfy more customers in less time.
These are just some of the ways that a VoIP phone system generates valuable data-driven intelligence to optimize performance management, and improve employee efficiency at the team and individual levels.
To learn more about how a VoIP phone system will make your employees more efficient — and your organization leaner, stronger and more competitive — contact the DigitalPhone.io team today at (336) 560-4400. Your consultation with us is free.