Monthly Archives: March 2019

5 Employment Perks You Can Offer After Integrating VOIP Phones – Part 1 of 2

Multitasking mom working from home with the employment perks of offering integrating VOIP phones

Having a VoIP solution for your business provides the capability of working from almost anywhere.

When most businesses start to consider making the switch to VOIP phones from their traditional TelCo plans, the first considerations are usually pretty technical. You assess your internal bandwidth and network capabilities, talk about cost and implementation logistics. But the true power of VOIP isn’t in how it works. It’s what the freedom of unified communication does for your employees. This is a realization that dawns on some companies slowly, while others are integrating VOIP precisely because they have realized just how valuable a go-anywhere work number can be for a modern mobile workforce.

Believe it or not, what VOIP has to offer opens up the doors not only to employees working on the road and more affordable phone lines. It also reveals the possibility of flexible benefits and employment perks that will give you an edge in today’s War for Talent. Whether you are a trendy startup with a dog-friendly office or an established corporation looking to offer more options to your employees, VOIP is exactly the tool you need to offer the flexible employment perks that modern professionals are looking for.

Here’s a quick look at five of the leading employment benefits that VOIP unlocks for any business that makes the transition.

Work From Home Days

One of the incredibly convenient features of VOIP is that your employees can ‘log into’ their work phone number from their home office. In the TelCo-ruled days, this was absolutely impossible. Clients and colleagues would have to try a second or even third alternate phone number to reach someone out of the office, making work from home days impractical for most desk-bound positions. But not anymore.

With numbers that can ‘follow’ employees, home, you can offer your most reliable team members the option to do their work from home for a few days out of every month. You might be surprised just how much your team members will appreciate even a small number of work from home days to add flexibility to their schedule. These could, for example, be used on days when employees can’t find childcare or need to supervise home repairs but are still able to remain at their home desk getting good work done. And if there are no emergencies at home, then it’s an opportunity to spend the occasional day in one’s pajamas while still officially at work. An incredible luxury for a hard-working office professional.

Flexible Sick Days

Along the same lines, VOIP number following also makes it possible to be more lenient with employees when they are under the weather. There are many types of illness where you would feel compelled to send an employee home if they came in sick, but technically they can still perform their work tasks with a cup of tea at their desk. Professionals often push themselves to come in sick in order to not fall behind on work or pay. And employers are often tempted to let them because a sick day would hurt the whole team’s productivity.

VOIP makes it possible to offer a much more flexible answer to sick days. Because employees can effectively work at “their desk” from home, you can encourage sick employees to stay home and allow them to clock in at least a few work hours. With flexible VOIP sick days, employees can more easily take a half-day and clock a half-day without making the commute or even work a whole shift without risking getting their colleagues sick. This saves sick days, team productivity, and the risk contagions in one tidy solution.

Join us next time for part two where we’ll continue talking about more employment benefits VOIP can unlock. For more great insights on VOIP or a consultation on the right VOIP solutions for your company, contact us today!

[Edit requests welcome!]

5 Types of Mobile Workforce That VOIP Supports

Project manager in a protective helmet using a phone with VOIP Support

If you have a mobile workforce, VoIP systems provide the flexibility to effectively communicate with customers and staff.

The mobile workforce is a truly incredible innovation for traditionally office-bound jobs. It used to be that computer work required employees to come in and use the office’s workstations on the office’s internal network. But now, with everything secured on the cloud, it’s possible to log in and get your work done from almost everywhere. But this still created the problem of having to switch between ‘in-office’ and out-of-office phone numbers. This confused clients and blurred the lines between work and personal life.

Until VOIP. If your office is embracing the mobile workforce mentality, then VOIP is the solution to all those little complications that we’ve been tackling in an effort to become truly mobile. If your office has been considering upgrading to VOIP for the mobile advantage, it may help to understand the many different types of mobile workforce that VOIP can support. Let’s take a closer look.

1) In and Out of the Office: Client Liaisons and Project Managers

Some professionals really need the freedom of a mobile workforce because their job constantly takes them in and out of the office. Circuit managers, client liaisons and some types of project manager are incredibly difficult to catch at their desk because they always have another task to deal with, a lunch meeting to make, or a metaphorical fire to put out. And this can make them hard to get ahold of for clients and employees alike.

But VOIP changes all that. With VOIP, your on-the-go employees can go back to putting exactly one number on their business cards, trusting that they will be able to catch important calls no matter where they are. In the office, out to lunch, or driving between destinations.

2) Always On the Road: Field Service Team Communication

On the complete opposite end of business, but still with a lot of driving, are field service teams. From roofers to in-home massage therapists, it’s important to keep your field service teams coordinated and in the communication loop at all times. VOIP actually allows you to separate phone numbers from exact team members. Instead, you can assign a number to a truck, a team, or a team lead so that your teams are always in-touch.

VOIP also makes it possible for your teams to check in even if their usual communication device is damaged or lost. All they need to do is log into the VOIP software on another device and the phone number will forward correctly.

3) All Over the Country: Coordinating a Remote Team

Another great innovation of the mobile workforce is teams made up of all-remote members. Companies no longer need to relocate hired talent because you can simply coordinate work between remote employees. While this was possible with a few professions before, VOIP makes it possible to put together remote teams even for tasks that used to require everyone to be in the office.

Help desk support, for example, no longer needs to take place in the same building as a phone PBX. Instead, VOIP can smartly assign support calls from a pool to your team no matter where each individual team member is located.

4) Jetsetting Professionals: Working While On Business Trips

VOIP has also been an invaluable tool for professionals who take business trips, whether those trips are once a year or twice a month. Staying in touch while traveling for business has always been challenging. But with VOIP, professionals don’t even have to switch to their personal cell number to keep working on the road.

VOIP makes it much easier to keep traveling employees in the loop and to get more work done while away on a business trip. VOIL also makes it possible to recover from seemingly fatal accidents like dropping one’s phone in the hotel pool. Because your traveling professionals can still answer their VOIP number from a laptop or even a borrowed hotel computer.

5) Work From Home Days: Clocking In on Sick Days or Home With Kids

Finally, VOIP allows workplaces to provide much more flexible scheduling without actually losing any productive work hours. In fact, it allows you to get more productive hours in situations where employees would normally have to go home. Not only can VOIP forward an employee’s work number and calls to their computer at home, allowing some relaxing work-from-home days, it also creates the possibility of productivity on sick days.

Let’s say an employee has a cold that is contagious. They can still get a reasonable amount of work done, but not without sneezing all over office coworkers. Instead of taking a whole day off, they call in a work-from-home day and forward their VOIP number to the home office. This is even more effective in situations where an employee’s child is sick, but the employee themselves is still at full mental function. They can stay home with the child AND get their work done with a unified VOIP number and access to documents from home.

Is VOIP the right mobile workforce solution for you? With its affordability, scalability, and work style flexibility… chances are that the answer is “Yes”. For more insights into how VOIP can benefit your business, contact us today!

4 VOIP Tricks Your Old TelCo Business Phones Can’t Do

Business people in an office using VOIP to have a confrence call meeting.

Is it time to review your phone options to improve productivity?

A traditional business phone system is made up of landlines and SIM cards. One number per phone, and a huge difference between internal and external calls. Doing anything fancy took a lot of training, but there are some pretty neat things an old business TelCo plan can do. Conference calling, call waiting and call center management. These are things that many businesses are afraid they’ll lose if they switch to VOIP. But their fears are entirely misplaced.

In fact, rather than losing features, VOIP actually adds significant capabilities to your business phone solutions. It can do everything a TelCo PBX system can do and much, much more. You may have heard about the call-following, one-number convenience, and the affordable scalability. But today, we’re here to talk about four different new VOIP features you may not have heard of, tricks that your old TelCo plan just can’t do.

Automated Call Transcription

Call transcription is one of the most widely useful features VOIP brings to the table. As a software solution with modern voice recognition capabilities, it has now become simple to quickly and easily transform a phone call or voice message into a transcript. This is ideal for anything from customer service to accommodating hearing-impaired employees.

VOIP transcription can send you your voicemails as emails, can transcribe customer service calls for the record, or even be used to dictate memos through the phone.

Video Conferencing

TelCo systems invented conference calls, but they also introduced the unbelievable headache causing hassle of conference calls. Trying to handle multiple lines, accidentally hanging up on clients, and the nightmares of speakerphone have all been thoroughly explored by modern business. But you haven’t conferenced until you’ve tried the silky smooth star-trek like experience of a VOIP video conference call.

With the right screens and microphones connected, you can practically place each remote meeting member in a chair in the room it’s so easy to connect and conference. In fact, you can have every single person in a different room on a different camera and VOIP will make your conference happen.

CRM Integration

Another major benefit of using software phones instead of physical landlines is the fact that it can integrate with other software. VOIP has the capability to connect with many varieties of business software solutions, but by far the most popular is to simply connect to your CRM. The CRM is already a modern rolodex, the place where you store all your client and vendor contact information.

With an integrated connection to your VOIP phone system, it becomes a breeze to both call clients directly from the CRM interface and to quickly pull up a customer’s CRM file when they call in. Integrating with your CRM even makes it easy to create CRM records of the transcriptions of every call held with a customer. Finally, you can track phone customer service records as well as email and chat histories to create a more continuous customer experience for your clientele.

Remote Call Routing

Last, but certainly not least, is the ability to route calls out to remote team members. Even in situations where you would normally need everyone in the office sitting next to each other on the same phone extension. The customer support industry, in particular, is experiencing a remote-work revolution as VOIP makes it possible to route support calls to employee computers no matter where the employee is located.

No longer do you need an entire floor of phone techs, because VOIP handles all the usual call routing hassle internally. If a person is scheduled to take customer service calls, they can be reached on any active device connected to their VOIP account. In or out of the office.

VOIP is one of the best things that has ever happened to modern businesses. No matter what kind of business you run or how much you rely on business phone plan features, VOIP can do all that and more. For further information on VOIP or advice on the right VOIP integration for your business, contact us today!

Microsoft Product Releases: What’s Going On With Windows 10?

Microsoft Product Releases

If you’re on our Managed Service Platform your already covered on how and when this rolls out in your environment

Windows 10 was released over three years ago, and the latest reports show that it’s now used on approximately 45.5 percent of all PCs that run Windows. This makes it the operating system with the most widespread usage around the world.

Since its release, it has also regularly undergone updates that have introduced new features and fixed various bugs. What’s the status of the latest update, and what can we expect in the near future?

Version 1809 Getting Rolled Out

Version 1809, the latest of the Windows 10 updates, was initially released in October of last year. Unfortunately, some users experienced problems with it, including file deletion and incompatibility with various applications.

Over the last couple of months, Microsoft has tackled these problems, and in the middle of January it began to roll out the Version 1809 update automatically. However, you may not have yet received the automatic update on your devices. The roll-out is phased, and the first devices to receive this latest version of Windows 10 are the ones that Microsoft has deemed most likely to run it without major issues.

If you don’t want to wait for the automatic update, you could try installing Version 1809 on your own. However, this may not be advisable, because it may not be a good fit with your device at this point; there’s a possibility you’ll experience frustrating performance issues. With a phased roll-out, Microsoft can carefully monitor the effects of the update and keep fixing it as needed. By the time it gets to you, you’ll receive the benefits of the improvements.

Exciting New Features for Windows 10

Along with monitoring the automatic updates of Version 1809, consider the upcoming features of Windows 10 explored in previews.

What are some of the highlights?

Intelligent Active Hours. Speaking of automatic updates, it can be terribly frustrating – and sometimes quite costly – when your computer starts an update when you’re in the middle of work. Windows 10 already lets you set Active Hours, telling your computer when not to initiate an update. Let’s say you’ve made your hours 9 am to 7 pm. What happens on days when you need to work later (or earlier) than usual? It’s unlikely you’ll remember to manually change your Active Hour settings. That’s when Intelligent Active Hours come into effect. Windows, on its own, will sense whether you’re still using your device outside of the Active Hours you personally set. This smart feature makes it less likely that an untimely update and restart will interrupt your work.

Windows Sandbox. This feature allows you to open an untested application on your computer without fear that it will destroy your device through malware or by other means. As you figure out what the application does, it will remain within the sandbox until you choose to dispose of it.

Windows Defender Antivirus Tamper Protection. Given the ever-present threat of viruses and malware, it’s critical to not only have Windows Defender Antivirus but to also limit who’s controlling its settings on your devices. Tamper Protection is a new feature that restricts the changes you can make to Windows Defender outside of the Windows Security app.

Cortana and Search Split. Cortana, the voice-activated digital assistant unique to Windows, has so far been integrated with Search in Windows 10, but Microsoft now plans to have them separated in the taskbar. What are the advantages to a separation? As discussed in an article at, the rationale is that Microsoft can continue to develop the capabilities of both without having them interfere with each other.

There’s little wonder that Windows 10 is a popular operating system. Microsoft keeps coming out with improvements and is quick to tackle the bugs that crop up along the way. If you have any questions or concerns about Windows 10 installations, updates, and features, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll ensure that Windows 10 runs smoothly on your devices and that you make the most of what it can offer.