What’s New in Virtual PBX – Top 3 Updates You Should Know

A Virtual Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system is more than just a tool that businesses use to make, receive, and route calls. It is crucial to every business operation as it ensures smooth and reliable communications and collaboration while simultaneously avoiding the crippling costs. It’s no wonder many businesses have ditched their traditional PBX system in favor of virtual PBX, as switching over helps them accomplish a variety of goals (from cutting costs and enhancing customer service to further beating out the competition).

In order to help businesses get the most from a virtual PBX, various service providers make sure to take their virtual PBX solutions up a notch and introduce new updates to their service. Below are some of the latest updates on the leading virtual PBX services you should know about:

  • Fonality boosts its Heads Up Display (HUD) platform

Fonality subscribers can enjoy improved productivity and collaboration as Fonality announces a boost to its Heads Up Display (HUD) platform, a notification and communication tool that brings a number of collaboration tools into one display.  Integrated into Fonality’s Professional ($24.99 per user/per month) and Ultimate ($34.99 per user/per month) editions, the unique collaboration platform aims to empower users even more with the addition of six updated features.

These include: File Sharing (from desktop, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box or Dropbox); Inline Audio Controls (all voicemail and call recording controls are now inline); Recording Downloads (Voicemails and On-demand Recordings can now be easily saved or shared); Warm Transfer (users transferring a call can now inform the recipient know who’s calling and why); and Notification Count (for each missed chat, call or voicemail). Tapping into these features can surely help businesses work faster and smarter.

  • Mitel breathes new life into IP desk phones

While businesses no longer have to invest in space-consuming PBX hardware (thanks to the popularity of softphones and virtual PBX apps), IP desk phones remain a staple piece of hardware in most workplaces. Driven to revolutionize the desk phone experience, Mitel has announced its new series of enterprise-class phones that help businesses seamlessly stay connected at all times.

The 6900 Series comes equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth integration, automatic handoff from smartphone to desk phone, the ability to sync contacts across both devices, and the ability to charge mobile devices directly from the desk phone itself. Mitel’s new line also boasts high-resolution color screens to give users an interactive and executive experience – a far cry from the massive pixels and horrible screen resolutions of phones from yesteryear.

  • RingCentral unveils new mobile team messaging app

One of the leaders in hosted PBX, RingCentral understands that efficient team communication is vital to the success of every organization. There are certain cases, however, when a traditional phone call may not be suitable. Thus, RingCentral has integrated a new solution to their virtual PBX offering: RingCentral Glip.

Glip is RingCentral’s new team messaging, collaboration, and productivity tool. Seamlessly integrated with RingCentral Office (but can also be accessed as a freemium service), Glip offers teams a more efficient way of managing tasks and projects, sharing files, and sending and organizing messages. RingCentral Glip apps are now available for  both iOS and Android devices.

With these updates, businesses can certainly look forward to exciting times ahead for virtual PBX.

 

The Best Virtual PBX Apps for Businesses

 

When people talk about Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems, the first thing that comes to mind are images of bulky and complex premise-based phone systems. Businesses traditionally relied on these systems to handle their internal and external communications. But today, on-site systems have become antiquated and are no longer able to meet the needs of today’s modern businesses – especially when it comes to supporting worker mobility, streamlining processes, and accelerating growth.

Fortunately, with the help of a virtual PBX, businesses now have a better option that is even more powerful and practical than an old-school PBX. And the great thing about a virtual PBX is that aside from the feature-rich, scalable, and affordable perks, it also allows companies to communicate regardless of location (as most providers offer a mobile app along with their service).

Are you looking for the best mobile virtual PBX apps for businesses? Then take a look at our list below:

  • RingCentral

RingCentral aims to help businesses advance their communications with their hosted PBX solution. Their RingCentral mobile app lets users call, fax, text, and organize conference calls and online meetings straight from their smartphones or tablets. Managers or administrators can also add or remove employees with ease through the app without having to purchase new hardware or devices.  By understanding the importance of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs in businesses, RingCentral ensures users will not be restricted to only specific types of devices. Thus, their app is compatible with Android, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch devices. RingCentral subscribers can download the app for free from Google Play and iTunes App Store.

  • VirtualPBX

Award-winning hosted PBX provider VirtualPBX also lets their users enjoy more freedom and flexibility thanks to the VirtualPBX Softphone app. All of the great features available in their hosted PBX systems are accessible through the app, helping users turn their smartphones or tablets into fully-featured hosted PBX phones. Some of the features users can take advantage of include caller ID, call recording, centralized voicemail, real-time call reports and logs, customized company greetings, and more. The app is suitable for iOS and Android and is available for free.

  • Grasshopper

If you’d like to turn the world into your office, then Grasshopper’s mobile apps for iPhone and Android make for a great solution. Aimed at small businesses, Grasshopper’s virtual PBX service helps startups and emerging businesses appear professional and stay connected without hefty costs. With the app, users can separate their personal and business calls, listen to voicemail, read faxes, view call history, and more. The app is also available on Google Play and iTunes for free.

  • Vonage

Businesses that want to tap into the flexibility and mobility of a hosted PBX can not go wrong with Vonage’s MobileConnect app for Android and iPhone. Ideal for business owners who are constantly on the go or companies that have remote workers, Vonage’s app covers all the basic PBX functions and more. It lets users make and receive calls, text, and convey a professional business presence wherever they go.

Today’s modern businesses and employees are increasingly mobile and located across multiple locations. Reliable and flexible virtual PBX solutions are now critical more than ever. And thanks to these mobile apps, businesses now have a better, reliable, and more cost-effective way to communicate, collaborate, and stay connected no matter where they are.

3 Ways Your Virtual PBX System Helps You Beat the Competition

Competition is prevalent in every industry. Whether you have pioneered a unique business concept or have developed a groundbreaking product or service in your industry, the time will come when your business or service will be challenged by competition.

But competition shouldn’t be feared. To borrow the words of the Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, “If you want to be successful in business, you need to welcome your competitions with open arms – just don’t let them walk all over you.”

So what do you need to make your business stand out from the competition? Aside from having superior quality products or services, it takes hard work, good relationships with customers, clients, and colleagues, and (believe it or not) a reliable and feature-rich communication system. Specifically, a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system.

Here are three ways investing in a hosted PBX solution can help your business leave your competitors in the dust:

  • Control costs

Hosted PBX systems are clearly more affordable than legacy PBX systems. There are no large, clunky, physical devices to purchase or maintain, calling rates are lower, and users can easily scale their service up or down as needed. This promises businesses big savings, which can then be reinvested to further the growth of the company.

  • Serve customers better

Every phone conversation with customers is an opportunity for businesses to impress them with a respectful attitude and skillful assistance in addressing their specific issue or concern. It is not an easy task; but fortunately, your business phone can assist you.

Today’s hosted PBX systems come with a wealth of features that go beyond voicemail, call waiting, and caller ID. Most PBX systems include an array of features that help businesses provide better customer service. These include auto attendant, find me/follow me, simultaneous ringing, call recording, and information or music on hold. Reporting tools such as call history and call analytics also provide businesses the insights and information they need to measure (and thus improve) their employees’ performance.

  • Connect team members

Teamwork and collaboration are two vital ingredients that contribute to the success of any business. With a hosted PBX, it becomes easier for teams to connect and collaborate better regardless of location. Some of the most useful features that help foster collaboration and teamwork include integration with business applications, internet fax, company phone directory, mobile apps, presence indicator, free on-network calls, and more.

Competition can be intimidating, as it can either build you up or tear you down. A reliable hosted PBX system can be just the tool you need to make sure your business stamps out the competition and achieves success.

The 3 Essential Tools Every Telecommuter Needs

With the ubiquity of laptops, smartphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi, it is easier than ever for workers to skip the commute to the office and simply work from home or a remote location. Most companies now offer their employees flexible working arrangements (specifically telecommuting), which give employees the freedom to work from any location. In fact, according to Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll, telecommuting is on the rise, and climbed to 37% in 2015.

But while telecommuting offers awesome benefits to businesses and its employees (low overhead costs, no commute, and low to no technology costs), it also presents unique challenges, the most common of which is creating a virtual working space conducive to productivity.

So if you’re struggling to remain productive and efficient while working from home or anywhere, consider these three essential tools all telecommuters should have:

A good internet connection

A reliable and near-perfect internet connection is a must for your telecommuting lifestyle. It’s impossible to work remotely without it, which is why it’s essential that you do yourself a favor and get the best internet service plan in your area. Compare plans and providers and check out customer reviews in order to get the right service that matches your internet needs and activities.

If you work on the road frequently (whether from a hotel room or an airport lounge) it’s a good idea to get a mobile hotspot. This device allows you to connect your devices to a mobile internet connection that is portable. This is a great life-saver in case your destination has a spotty internet connection or a weak wireless network.

Reliable cloud storage

Storing important files and documents in folders, envelopes, and/or filing cabinets is clearly not for telecommuters, as these storage options come with a high risk of loss and theft, especially when you’re on the road. A good remedy is to use a cloud storage service. With cloud storage, you can access your files from any device and any location where there’s an internet connection. You won’t have to worry about losing critical data in case you lose your entire hard drive or paper documents.

You can choose from today’s most popular cloud storage services, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and Onedrive. All these options offer secure cloud storage options, although they also come with slightly different applications and features. Compare and contrast to find the storage option that best suits your business needs.

Business Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone

Skype, Slack, and Google Hangouts are popular with most telecommuters because they’re user-friendly, free, and convenient. However, they are only helpful if you need basic calling and messaging features. They are not the most suitable system to use if you need a business-focused communications solution that is all-inclusive, flexible, and scalable. This is where a virtual PBX softphone or mobile app comes in handy.

Today’s PBX systems do not require users to be in one physical location to stay connected. With the help of a softphone or a mobile app, it’s possible to tap into all of the useful business phone features a PBX offers from anywhere. Most virtual PBX providers today now offer a softphone or app to go with their service for free or for a minimal cost. Vonage, for instance, offers MobileConnect with every Vonage Business Essentials phone plan. RingCentral also has RingCentral Mobile for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Additionally, VirtualPBX offers a softphone that costs $4.99 per month/per line.

Final Thoughts

The freedom to work from virtually any location is a dream for many because of its many benefits. But like any work arrangement, telecommuting will only be an effective option if you are armed with the right tools. So make sure to keep these three tools with you to remain productive and efficient, whether you’re working from home or any other location!

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.

5 Best Practices to Keep Your Virtual PBX System Secure

The telecommunication requirements for startups and large enterprises vary due to size, features, equipment, etc. But there’s one thing both types of business share in common: the need for a reliable and secure communication system. With the popularity of virtual PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems, businesses now more than ever need to take measures to ensure their system is safe to avoid being vulnerable to various security threats inherent to web-based technologies.

Virtual PBX security threats are diverse and varied, but one of the most common include PBX hacking. This is where criminals penetrate your PBX system to make unauthorized calls. This can result in substantial call charges being incurred on your account.

So how can you protect yourself from PBX hacking and other more damaging security threats? Take note of the following security measures to keep you and your business safe:

  1. Use strong passwords

One of the easiest yet often overlooked security measures is setting strong passwords. Using weak passwords (such as birthdays, names, and default passwords) is like opening the door for hackers since it requires almost no effort to hack into the system.

To make sure you’re not making it easy for cyber-criminals, use strong passwords in your PBX phones and accounts for both users and administrators. This means using a password that contains a minimum of 16 characters that include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Also remember to change default admin passwords regularly, especially if you’re using modern IP PBX servers that can be configured through a web portal.

  1. Use a VPN for remote workers

If your PBX system supports a large number of mobile devices (especially if you have remote employees or staff who are constantly on-the-go), then encrypting traffic through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a wise move. With a VPN, users can access a private network securely and send and receive data remotely across shared or public networks.

  1. Monitor usage

In order to avoid fraud and to detect network-based attacks on your IP PBX system, it’s important that you monitor usage and actively track call logs and history.  Attacks on a PBX system are usually known to create an unusually large amount of network traffic, so blocking international call access to countries you don’t usually dial is a good idea.

  1. Keep your software up to date

Another way to safeguard your PBX system and your business is by keeping your PBX software updated. Typically, the most recent version of a software is often the most secure (bugs and other potential exploits are found and fixed).

When updating your PBX, remember to do a complete backup of your system (although performing regular backups of your entire system is also recommended). Also notify end users of the update, in case it will lead to some downtime.

  1. Talk to your service provider

Finally, talk to your PBX service provider. Be sure to ask about security issues such as how data is stored and transmitted, and the measures they have established in case of a network attack. This is something you would want to do even before you choose a provider.

Final Thoughts

Virtual PBX systems offer a host of benefits to startups and growing businesses, but when not managed properly, cyber-criminals can use your phone system as an opportunity to commit fraud and gain access to your confidential company data. That is why security should always remain a priority for organizations.