April 17 2014 ArchivesIt’s So Easy to Switch to the Vonage Business VoIP Phone System. There’s something authentic and believable about a word-of-mouth recommendation or referral, particularly when the referral involves a superior service at a better price. Participants in the Vonage Business Referral Program are proving this logic – delivering more business referrals than ever, and earning between $200 and $2,500 for every customer that activates an account. A Boost from a Ready Marketplace The growth of our Referral Program also reflects momentum in the marketplace, where companies continue to move their business systems to the cloud. And our cloud-hosted business VoIP phone system provides a reliable and feature-rich upgrade from traditional phone systems – with monthly savings of 30% or more.* Businesses are now more open to switching from their copper-wire phone systems, making referral opportunities even easier. Making Referrals: Easy as 1-2-3 We structured the Vonage Business Referral Program to be easy: Step 1: Identify a business you wish to refer to Vonage Business. Step 2: Complete the online Make a Referral form on our website. Step 3: Earn cash for the referrals who sign up. Once you submit a referral, our Vonage team takes it from there to complete the sales process and set up the business’ account. As an alternative to Steps 1 and 2 above: If prospective customers wish to identify you as their referral source, they need to share your name, company name, and contact information with their sales representative. That allows us to register the referral properly to ensure you receive the credit. You are eligible for a referral bonus payout once the business you refer becomes an active and paying account for three months. Note: Statistics show that over 75% of program referrals become customers and result in referral bonuses! Big Referral Bonuses: Up to $2,500 The best part of the program is the payouts that reward you for making successful referrals. Bonus amounts are based on the number of phone extensions a new customer requests: $200 (1-4 extensions), $500 (5-9 extensions), $1,000 (10-24 extensions) or $2,500 (25 or more). You select how the bonuses apply: as a credit on your Vonage Business account, as a personal payout to you, or as a check payable to your company. It’s up to you. Prior to applying your bonus, we ask that you email a W-9 tax form completed either on behalf of yourself or your company, whichever you’ve selected to receive the bonus. See the details, rules and restrictions on our website. Get Started Today With the marketplace rapidly moving to business VoIP phone systems, it’s a perfect time to get involved in our Business Referral Program. Think of it as a “win-win” – easy money for you, and a better and less-expensive phone system for the businesses you refer. Learn more about the program on our website or call: 1-855-236-0106. *30% savings claim is based on the average monthly recurring charge for unlimited nationwide business calling plans from leading wireline service providers. Comparison excludes promotional pricing, fees, surcharges or taxes and assumes a customer already has broadband internet service. Check your phone bill to determine the savings that would apply to you. About Autumn Calhoun February 10 2014 ArchivesIt wasn’t so long ago that cloud-based technology was regarded with extreme caution and a degree of skepticism. “The cloud” was an emerging concept and many businesses simply weren’t comfortable or familiar with its wide-reaching applications and potential – so adoption was understandably slow. And the thought of cloud-VoIP phone systems building market share over traditional carriers was, at the time, an afterthought. But now the cloud is regarded less as an emerging technology and more as a competitive standard. This shift is largely due to a more involved and educated business community – coupled with ongoing technical advances – that bring confidence in aspects of the cloud that were once considered risky. Now, it’s quite common for contemporary businesses to migrate all of their business systems to cloud-based platforms, including their business phone systems. Like any revolutionary technology or concept, the cloud deserves a periodic evaluation. Indeed, the “state of the cloud” has evolved. So why do modern business leaders now have such confidence in today’s cloud-based solutions, such as business VoIP? Let’s take a look: The Cloud is Secure: Because security concerns have historically been such an issue, cloud providers have made major investments and advancements to ensure that their offerings are well protected. While no solution is 100 percent secure, cloud-based business phone systems with the proper encryption and protocols can actually be more secure than traditional wire-based systems. For a real-world perspective on cloud security, consider that many of the world’s largest financial firms employ cloud solutions as a matter of course. The Cloud is Reliable: As chaotic and destructive as natural disasters can be, they have also taught business owners valuable lessons about communications. For example, research conducted after Hurricane Sandy revealed that 56 percent of SMBs (small to mid-sized businesses) hit by the storm lost phone and Internet connectivity. The research also found that 52 percent of SMBs businesses in the “Tri-State” and surrounding areas had experienced a sales or revenue loss because of the storm. In looking for ways to prevent downtime in the future, more and more business owners are discovering that best-in-class business VoIP phone systems can deliver unprecedented business continuity – even in the face of power outages, downed phone lines and loss of Internet. That means maintaining contact with clients and employees even when Mother Nature makes it difficult. The Cloud Can Help You Expand: With scalable cloud-based communications, a business’s phone system can seamlessly grow as the business grows – and only pay for the simple additions they need. For example, with a traditional legacy phone system, adding extensions or new offices can be a costly and time-consuming process that requires an on-site technician. But with a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business phone system, hosted in the cloud, extensions and features can be added immediately with the click of a mouse. This flexibility provides freedom for smaller businesses to start and grow their company from anywhere, and more quickly. Additionally, when employees have the ability to work from anywhere, businesses can widen their candidate pools and recruit the best talent from virtually any location. A Final Look at the Numbers To better understand the current state of the cloud, and projections for the future, we can simply look at the numbers. According to a report by ComputerSupport.com, the cloud services market will increase by a 36 percent compound annual growth rate over the next three years, reaching $19.5 billion by 2016. Additionally, the majority of entrepreneurs believe their spending on cloud computing will increase in 2014. In summary: The state of the cloud is strong and getting stronger. And the position of cloud-based business phone systems as the present and future standard in business telephony not only seems realistic, it seems inevitable. About Chris RabbuChris Rabbu is the Vice President of Marketing, Lead Generation at Vonage Business Solutions, the fastest growing provider of cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems for business. He resides in Atlanta, GA and is working on his tennis serve when not dreaming up ridiculously effective marketing campaigns. January 29 2014 Archives Photo by: Jules Photography The snow and icy conditions of the last two days has immobilized Atlanta, with local businesses scrambling to keep their staff connected and productive. The city is in a state of emergency, so the lion’s share of workers are at home. As a result, for so many businesses, today will be considered a “lost workday” – a particularly dire consequence when they’re in the business of delivering customer service. This is not the case for our large team at Vonage Business, with offices on Peachtree Street in the heart of Midtown Atlanta. Today, through the flexibility and reliability of business VoIP, it’s business as usual as we actively serve our base of more than 23,000 customers. How are we able to do this? We use our own business VoIP phone system for all our employees, including our Customer Care and Sales professionals. And just like our business customers, we’re able to rely on the Vonage business phone platform to power through tough emergencies and challenges like this. Take Your Phone Anywher As the snow began falling midday Tuesday – and employees were dismissed and asked to work from home the rest of the day – many employees took their VoIP desk phones with them. Since they can simply plug it in anywhere with a broadband Internet connection, their phone works just as it did at their desk. They’re connected to the office and to customers anywhere around the world. Mobile App for Full Phone Functionality Other employees are using their mobile apps to transition seamlessly to an unexpected work-from-home day (or two). With the mobile application, they get all the business phone functionality they experienced yesterday in the office. And no one they speak to today will be aware that they’re working remotely. They’re just following the lead of our many customers who use our mobile VoIP capabilities to empower their remote workforce. Days like today remind us of how quickly an emergency can disrupt the course of business – and how important it is to have the systems in place to maintain continuous service. This week, our chief concern remains the safety and well-being of our employees. When conditions require our teams to work from home, we’re confident in their ability to succeed. After all, they’re using the best business VoIP phone system available. Call ContinuityUninterrupted business phone service through any emergency. LEARN MORE About Chris RabbuChris Rabbu is the Vice President of Marketing, Lead Generation at Vonage Business Solutions, the fastest growing provider of cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems for business. He resides in Atlanta, GA and is working on his tennis serve when not dreaming up ridiculously effective marketing campaigns. January 23 2014 ArchivesWith 2014 in full swing and the holidays now a memory, businesses continue seeking ways to maximize their business systems and, wherever possible, cut costs. For this reason, 2014 will be the year that numerous businesses make the easy move from their traditional phone system to a business VoIP phone system. Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology – the conversion of voice signals to digital data – has been so thoroughly proven and enhanced in recent years that it’s no wonder more businesses are opting for VoIP phone systems. In fact, Infonetics projects global business VoIP revenue to increase at a continued rate of seven percent from 2012-2017. VoIP phone service is now used across most industry sectors, with leading providers offering features that are simply not available or feasible with legacy phone systems. As we watch the VoIP boom continue throughout the year, here are a few top trends to keep an eye on: Mobile VoIP Gathers Momentum These days, if your business doesn’t have mobile capability, it’s likely at a disadvantage. Between supporting the work at home movement and enabling employees on the road, without mobile capability you risk a less-than-content workforce and missed business opportunities. Mobile VoIP allows employees to enjoy all the features they need on a phone at a lower cost than a traditional provider can offer. And with the seamless nature of quality mobile applications, no one should be able to distinguish between an employee working from home and one in the office. The leading VoIP providers have also bundled services together to increase access to mobile features and deliver further savings. Hosted VoIP: Not Just for SMBs Anymore Hosted VoIP business solutions remain ideal for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) that lack the resources to manage an on-premise VoIP system. And because of the efficiencies – such as no requirements for hardware or ongoing staff IT involvement – even some larger organizations are choosing “the hosted model” as their preferred solution for business VoIP. As a result, they’re reducing up-front expenses and eliminating the hassle and cost of maintenance and upgrades. With a hosted solution, for instance, businesses no longer have to deal with paying bills to multiple vendors for multiple systems – one vendor does everything. Unlike traditional phone systems, VoIP systems are scalable, allowing companies to pay for only the services they are using; as the business grows it can add features as needed. As more companies weigh the advantages, hosted business VoIP will live up to projections and continue to grow, even among some larger companies. Seamless Integration with Best-in-class Business Tools Increasingly, businesses are fully committing to technology that provides their employees new competitive advantages. With the advent of powerful desktop applications, for example, VoIP business phone systems are now providing features such as desktop plugins that help companies leverage in new ways the business-class tools they already use (think Salesforce.com, LinkedIn and Outlook). With these desktop plugins, workers can review relevant customer information and communication history; instantly access business contacts; and evaluate important data right from their own desks during a call. This advanced business phone integration helps streamline customer relationship management, billing operations and more – while increasing overall productivity. These are just a few of the many exciting developments in the world of VoIP. Whether your business is looking to do a full rip and replace of a legacy system or simply increase the value of your existing VoIP system, staying abreast of the new opportunities available could make a big difference to your bottom line this year. About Aaron CharlesworthAaron oversees all marketing and product management activities for the company and is an accomplished executive with deep technology marketing experience. He has a proven track record in lead generation, planning and product management, qualitative and quantitative research, search engine optimization, and creative collateral development.