Top Tips to Streamline Internal Communications

Quick and effective communications between a company and its employees is one of the keys to achieving success in your business. But the benefits go beyond pure profit. When information is easily accessible, managers can direct and lead more effectively, and employees can become more engaged, which helps to build stronger teams.

So how do you make it happen? In fact, it takes more than just sending employees a flood of emails or passing around buzzword-filled documents. To develop a thriving corporate culture where information flows freely, follow these helpful tips below:

  • Allow hot desking

Hot desking, or the practice of giving employees the flexibility to work from any space or desk depending on the task at hand, is embraced by many organizations today. By allowing employees to move around in and share spaces, they are more likely to interact with fellow workers. This encourages the spread of ideas, thoughts, and feedback which may not be otherwise heard or shared when one is resigned to a single cubicle the entire day.

In order to reap the benefits of hot desking, you will need the proper tools. A good internet connection is a must. Then consider laptops, tablets and mobile devices. Of course, you can’t go wrong with an IP PBX solution, either. Unlike traditional PBX systems, an IP PBX lets users take their phone to their desk without having to re-patch their extensions.

  • Store and share files in one place

It also helps if your employees can store, share, and easily access their files in one place. In an age where office filing cabinets are nearly extinct, the “cloud” is the one place you can count on.  You can choose from services such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Google Drive, among others, for your cloud storage needs.

The great thing about these cloud services is that they give employees access to documents from any device and location securely. Plus, most PBX systems offer seamless integration with these cloud services, so you can automatically backup your voicemails, faxes, and recorded calls with ease.

  • Talk instead of email

While it’s easy to discuss work matters via email, constant back-and-forth can waste your time and energy. A better way to communicate would be in person or via a phone call or video conference. Talking in person or over the phone is better for building relationships because voice, tone, and personality shine through. It’s also easier to explain complex ideas in person or through calls than an impersonal email.

  • Use the right tools

A company’s values play a crucial role in ensuring effective communications, but so do the tools they use. For example, to avoid miscommunication about customer accounts, customer support platforms and CRM plugins like Zendesk or Salesforce will help. Or to streamline team collaboration, apps like Trello and Slack are also good choices for office communication.

Good internal communications do not happen by chance — it’s something that can be improved and achieved by implementing a solid strategy. So make sure to follow the tips above and see as your company reaps its benefits.

Virtual PBX Offers a Free Trial for its Award-Winning Dash Phone System

Planning to switch to a cloud-based PBX system but are not sure which one to choose because of the myriad options available? VirtualPBX offers the perfect solution for you.

A communications service pioneer provider, VirtualPBX offers innovative and cost-effective hosted VoIP PBX services for small and mid-sized businesses. Its latest offering, the Dash business phone solution, has won the 2016 TMC Unified Communications Product of the Year Award because of its revolutionary and user-friendly interface. And the best part is, you can now take it on a test drive!

See How Well Dash Works

Those who are still testing the waters of cloud PBX can take Dash out for a test drive for up two weeks or 300 calling minutes, whichever comes first, at no cost or commitment.

Businesses can explore this award-winning platform with their entire team as there is no limit to the number of users they can add to take advantage of the free trial. This lets everyone in the company experience the phone solution for themselves and provide feedback once the trial period is over. And unlike other providers that only offer a sneak peek of their phone features on the demo, VirtualPBX doesn’t skimp on the details. They offer users complete access to the entire suite of Dash features during the free trial.

Dash is packed with a host of modern features businesses need and want, including:

  • Custom Greetings
  • Auto Attendant
  • Automated Directory
  • Email-to-Fax
  • Audio Conferencing
  • Follow-Me Calling
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Call Blasting
  • Ring Groups
  • Music/Info on hold, and more.

Its professional, clean and fast interface allows enterprises to navigate the platform with ease – even non-techies will have no trouble working with it.

Bring Your Business Communications Game to the Next Level

Businesses can choose between Dash and Dash Unlimited plans. Dash plans include all the great PBX features SMBs need, but minus the crippling costs and system requirements of traditional phone systems. Whether you’re getting the service for only one person, or for up to 100 or more employees, you will find a plan that suits you. Plus, you can even choose to pay the plan monthly, annually, and monthly but with annual contract.

Dash Unlimited plans, on the other hand, offer the full suite of Dash features plus unlimited minutes to Continental U.S./Canada for users. These are perfect for companies with high volume calls. Like Dash plans, the Unlimited plans can also be paid monthly, annually, and monthly with an annual contract for single users or up to 100 or more users.

Get Started Now

If you want to find the best virtual PBX solution for your business, then why not give Dash a try. With a free, full and no-strings-attached access to Dash’s great set of features, there’s no reason why you should pass up on this free demo. Make the most of your 2 weeks by visiting VirtualPBX today.

Telltale Signs it’s Time to Upgrade Your PBX System

To upgrade or not to upgrade? That is the question business owners ask when it comes to their office phones.

Despite the popularity and cost savings of advanced phone solutions such as IP PBXs, some organizations continue to stick to their traditional phone systems, thinking that there’s no need to get a new one if their phone system still functions. However, subscribing to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy could seriously impair a business’ ability from competing in a fast evolving marketplace. Refusing to improve your communications not only hinders your growth, but also leaves you trailing the competition.

So when it comes to your business phone, when is the best time to get an upgrade? Take note of these telltale signs:

  • Your current phone is technically outdated

If you’ve had your PBX system for five years or more, it might be time for a replacement. Older PBX systems can become more of a liability than an asset to businesses because older phones can be more difficult to repair and maintain. The system may no longer be supported by the manufacturer, and parts may not be readily available.

Plus, if your PBX system can only make and receive calls, then it’s clearly become a typewriter in a world of computers–meaning, it’s headed towards technical obscurity. Today’s business PBX solutions facilitate more than just phone calls, with capabilities like video and voice conferencing, CRM integration, instant messaging, and visual voicemail, among many others.

  • Your current phone system is costing you more than ever

Do you need to pay every time you add an extension? Do you have separate bills for landline and mobile use? Do you avoid making long distance or international calls for fear of excessively high call charges?

If your traditional PBX system is busting your budget, then it’s time that you tap the cost-saving benefits of network-based PBX solutions.  Aside from lower installation costs and reduced call rates, IP PBX services are offered in a range of plans and pricing options so you can choose one that matches your needs and budget.

  • Your business is rapidly growing

As your business expands, you can expect an increase in the volume of incoming and outgoing calls as well as employees within your phone system. The question is: can your current phone handle this growth?

The problem with traditional PBX systems is that they usually have an absolute maximum number of phone numbers and users they can support. While you can increase the number of ports and phone lines, it will be costly to do so. And in a few years or so, you’ll  end up with overpriced and outdated equipment that offers limited features and is difficult to maintain. This is why it makes more sense to upgrade to a VoIP solution than to expand your current system. With VoIP, you can add more users in just a few clicks. No need to call your provider, wait for weeks to set up new lines, or purchase expensive hardware. You can see all of your changes in real-time. VoIP scales with ease, which means it grows as you grow.

  • Your team members don’t have real-time access to calls and other information when on the road or out of the office

Does your phone system allow your remote and traveling employees access to phone calls even when they step out of the office? Or do they miss important calls when they are on the road?

These days, it’s necessary for workers to be reachable regardless of location. For example, if your staff isn’t available when customers call, this can result in missed sales opportunities. If your executive can’t be reached while on a business trip, important deals may not push through.

If your business phone doesn’t keep all your team members connected from wherever they are in the world, then it’s wise to consider another system that offers such capability. A VoIP phone solution that offers call rerouting features (which turn your mobile phone into a business phone by forwarding calls when you are out of the office) gives you a competitive advantage as it ensures you never miss a call (and the opportunities that come along with it). Features like mobile apps, call forwarding, find me/follow me, and others are all important in bringing mobility to your team members.

So Is it Time for a Change?

If any of the above applies to you, then it’s wise to consider an upgrade to an IP PBX. The additional features and benefits offered by newer and more advanced IP PBX systems can certainly help businesses keep up with the times and remain competitive while still saving money.

 

Advantages of IP PBX over Traditional PBX

For decades, many enterprises relied on a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system to manage and control their business communications. Companies that use a PBX system share a certain number of outside lines to make external calls. Sharing a line instead of using numerous dedicated phone lines allows companies one main number, and then extensions for each employee. This, in turn, saves on monthly phone bills for the company.

Today, however, most businesses have started making the transition from traditional PBX systems towards better and more improved network-based IP PBX solutions. An IP PBX is a PBX phone system that uses Internet Protocol (IP) data networks instead of the conventional analog technology to deliver telephone services. Deploying IP PBX solutions in place of a traditional PBX delivers numerous benefits to companies.

The following are some of the top advantages of using an IP PBX over a traditional PBX system.

  1. Cheaper and easier to install and to configure

Because IP PBX systems run as software and don’t require expensive PBX equipment, enterprises can save on installation costs. Typically, the only thing businesses need to invest in upfront is the phones themselves, but even this can be eliminated with the use of softphones. For reference, a softphone is a software program that enables users to make VoIP telephone calls (or calls made through the internet) using a computer or smartphone.

  1. Lower communication costs

Perhaps the biggest advantage offered by IP PBX solutions is the reduction of communication costs. Calls made through IP-based systems (both local and international) are far cheaper than those made through a traditional business phone system.

Most IP PBX service providers offer free unlimited local and long-distance calls within the United States and Canada. International calls with an IP PBX can cost between $0.01 to $0.10/minute; whereas international calls through traditional PBX carriers can often cost as much as $3.00/per minute. The significant cost savings from IP PBX solutions are especially beneficial for companies with multiple branch offices or companies that have employees working remotely.

  1. Easier management

Unlike traditional PBX systems that require the assistance of skilled phone technicians to maintain the system, IP PBX solutions are relatively simple to manage. Most IP-based phone systems come with an easy to use web-based configuration interface that makes it easy for users to manage, configure, or fine tune the phone system. An IP PBX can also be accessed remotely, which means authorized users can easily monitor and make changes from anywhere.

  1. It’s scalable

Traditional PBX systems are not suitable for growing businesses because adding phone lines or extensions often means purchasing additional hardware or upgrading to an entirely new phone system, which is definitely not cheap. IP PBX solutions, on the other hand, are designed with scalability in mind. It allows enterprises to easily add or remove any number of users or extensions at little to no cost.

Jive, for example, allows companies to utilize an unlimited number of extensions at no extra cost. Setting up company extensions is also easy with RingCentral, where administrators can simply log in to the Admin Panel to add or delete extensions with ease.

  1. More advanced features

In addition to standard PBX features, companies using an IP PBX system can take advantage of an array of advanced features such as Find Me/Follow Me, Auto Attendant, Unified Messaging, Video and Audio Conferences, Instant Messaging, Contact Center functionalities, Mobile Accessibility, and so much more. These sophisticated features support the needs of an increasingly mobile and collaborative business environment and help to promote efficiency and productivity in the workplace.

Make the switch today!

From cost savings in installation and calling rates, scalability, to easier phone management, IP PBX systems offer plenty of advantages to businesses. So if you haven’t switched to an IP PBX yet, then it’s time to consider making the move.