February 27 2017 Digital OfficeMoving to the cloud saves IT valuable time. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of IT projects, especially when you’re handling everything on-site. From server maintenance to end user troubleshooting to VoIP or PBX systems oversight, technology experts are long on tasks and short on time to get everything done. However, for many organizations, moving to the cloud changes the game. With more tedious tasks handled automatically or by trusted third parties, in-house IT leaders find themselves with an unexpected luxury: the ability to slow down for a minute and consider their next move. Given that it’s such an unfamiliar sensation, you’d be forgiven for coming up blank on ideas for new tasks or long-term goals. Thankfully, you can get started with these six tips to help you tap the time-saving benefit of cloud tech. 1. Get Strategic As noted by the Wall Street Journal, transitioning to cloud technology often shifts IT workers into business analyst and architect roles. While this comes with growing pains — IT experts are the best at what they do by virtue of specificity — it also offers big advantages. For example, moving to the cloud provides the ideal framework for implementing big data solutions to help manage and evaluate the huge volume of information generated by your organization every day. Less time spent on tedious tasks yields the ability to consider best-fit big data solutions. 2. More Time? Teach! How much do front-line staff and executives know about new cloud workflows? Are they struggling with large conceptual issues or specific app-based tasks? With a break from typical IT maintenance and break-fix issues, IT can consider initiating a cloud learning program that helps end users discover how to maximize performance by leveraging cloud services and how to avoid potential issues posed by anytime, anywhere access. 3. Change the Conversation What services has your business already moved to the cloud? What else is worth switching? For example, it’s often worthwhile to consider upgrading your existing VoIP or PBX system to a cloud-based alternative after you’ve established a foothold in the cloud. Not only does this dovetail with many cloud-first mandates, but hosted VoIP solutions also let you easily connect mobile, desktop, and remote devices, in turn making more time for IT to focus on other line-of-business (LoB) objectives. 4. Get Schooled Do you know everything there is to know about the cloud? Are you familiar with up-and-coming industry trends like software-defined networking (SDN), containerization, and hyperconvergence? With less chance of your internal IT environment crashing and burning at a moment’s notice, this might be the ideal time to consider going back to tech school and picking up some new skills. That time provided by moving to the cloud offers the chance for IT pros to ramp up both organizational and total career value with training. 5. Go Big According to Computerworld, the advent of reliable and ubiquitous cloud technologies has prompted a shake-up in many businesses. For example, The Weather Company — parent organization of The Weather Channel, Weather.com and Weather Underground — has tossed out the name “IT department” in favor of simply “technology.” IT experts are encouraged to think like a next-gen startup rather than a legacy division. Instead of simply “aligning” with business goals, the idea here is to think big and discover ways to empower new business objectives and devise long-term strategies. It’s part of the larger impact of moving to the cloud; the nature of IT is shifting away from a complete technology focus to include strategy and innovation. 6. Connect Everything Of course, more time also means a chance to streamline existing processes and adopt new solutions that make your company more agile, robust, and adaptable. Here, it’s worth considering business cloud services such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which provides the ability to use any application on any device at any time, or cloud backup services that ensure your critical data is never in danger, even in the event of a disaster. Another option? Take things all the way with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and leave the hardware management to someone else. Are you moving to the cloud? Consider streamlining your tech environment and implementing new upgrades. Your calendar just might thank you. Need a little help? Connect with a Vonage Business consultant today and make the most of your time. About Doug Bonderud Doug Bonderud is an award-winning freelance writer with a passion for technology and innovation. His ability to create compelling, thought-provoking and timely content helps empower the voice of corporate vision. From UCaaS to VoIP to cloud computing, Doug has experience covering all aspects of evolving digital environments and their effects on both people and policies. Linkedin | Twitter Since you’re reading this, you’re probably mulling over either (1) switching from an analog phone service to a PBX phone system, or (2) you have a hosted PBX system with another provider, and you’re seriously unhappy. Either way, you definitely want to save money while getting reliable cloud PBX service. While Vonage Business can’t help you with your power bill or your insurance premiums, we can help you lower your monthly phone bill while providing reliable service. Known as a PBX phone system, Vonage is the leader in phone service via the Internet. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology is gaining in popularity, and soon it will surpass traditional phone systems. Why is Hosted PBX Phone Service so Much Better and Cheaper? So how come standard phones are losing the battle against VoIP? We can think of a few reasons. As already mentioned, a PBX phone system by Vonage is cost-effective. Thanks to VoIP, gone are the days of paying for long distance calls and additional features. For a low monthly rate, you’ll enjoy similar features that are typical of a Fortune 500 phone system. Another reason to switch to a PBX phone system is that they’re easy to use. Many offices utilize PBX phone systems that seem to require a degree in rocket science in order to figure them out. At Vonage, we strive to make communications as simple and painless as possible. Our VoIP interface is easy to learn and easy to navigate. The fact that Vonage’s PBX phone system is portable is another reason many businesses are making the switch from traditional phones. Travel is a necessary part of maintaining a business for many people, and a reliable form of communicating with colleagues and clients is critical. With a VoIP system, you can plug your phone into the computer virtually anywhere around the world. So it doesn’t matter if you’re not in the office – you can bring the office with you on your trip! At Vonage, we own our equipment, which means we can efficiently address any equipment issues that arise – no waiting around for a technician to arrive. What’s more, we host off site, so you don’t have to worry about heavy, bulky equipment. If you’d like to learn more about a PBX phone system by Vonage, call us at 1-844-324-0340. In just minutes, one of our VoIP specialists will customize a plan for you and get you connected. Worried about penalties from leaving your old provider? Just think about how much money you’ll save in your first month or two with Vonage. It might cost a little extra to get out of your restrictive contract, but then you’ll be able to enjoy month to month contracts and low, predictable monthly bills. Be smart – start saving money today! Small business PBX phone systems today are wildly more sophisticated compared to their humble roots back in the early 2000’s. And when you compare hosted VoIP services to a traditional service that you’ve probably grown used to, there’s really no comparison. Sure you’ll still get business-class features with both a VoIP and an analog, hard-wired system but you’ll also greatly reduce your ability to present a unified appearance, telework, customize your system and more. Here’s a quick comparison of a conventional PBX system and a unified communications system using a small business PBX with Hosted VoIP. Small Business PBX Traditionally, a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) was a physical telephone switching system that managed incoming and outgoing calls for a company’s internal users. The small business PBX was a physical piece of hardware stored at the business, and was connected to phone lines to automatically route incoming calls to specific extensions. It also shared and managed multiple lines. A typical in-house business PBX system included external and internal phone lines; a computer server or electronic console that managed call switching and routing; and a console for manual control. The PBX itself was not easily customizable, and any changes to extensions, additions, or feature upgrades required a maintenance person from the phone company to come to the business. Cloud Based Small Business PBX A hosted PBX can do everything a traditional small business PBX can do and more. It performs the switching and connecting of Voice over IP as well as landline calls. However there is no physical PBX equipment (except for the phones and perhaps a small router) to store at your location. All the features and functionality of your phone system are delivered over the Internet. Businesses can manage their own systems, without having to wait for a maintenance person to come to their location. Plus, you can use IP phones or softphones (which don’t require any phone hardware beyond a computer and a microphone headset). With a cloud PBX, you can connect employees all around the United States with the same phone system using the same extension setup and the same area code. You have an expanded ability to telework with work anywhere features and 24/7 online portals, and you also have the ability to fully customize your extension settings and add or remove features at any time. Moving Beyond the Basics Small businesses also require specialized features to support their particular workflows. With a traditional PBX, businesses had to pay for individual features, as well as for the minutes of phone usage, on top of buying the physical PBX itself. With a hosted PBX, you get unlimited calling for a flat monthly rate, all the features your business needs are included, and there’s no PBX equipment to buy. If your business does want to add an advanced feature like Call Monitoring, it’s as easy as simply calling Vonage Business Customer Support department. Instead of having to configure each employee’s phone like in the old days, advanced features automatically work (once configured) for each designated extension on a small business PBX account. Are you ready to learn about how Vonage for small business is a PBX option that can help your office expand or work from anywhere? Get a quote today! If you’re just starting to look into business phone systems, you might be a little confused by all the jargon surrounding VoIP. While it’s important to educate yourself about the technology you’re using, the good news is that these acronyms describe a fairly straightforward technology. So, stick with us and by the end of this post, you’ll be able to talk about VoIP like an expert. Voice over IP (VOIP): VoIP is the technology that is used to transmit voice over the Internet. The voice is first converted into digital data which is then organized into small packets. These packets are stamped with the destination IP address and routed over the Internet. At the receiving end the digital data is reconverted into voice and fed into the user’s phone. Vonage business phone systems are referred to as “VoIP” phone systems as they are powered entirely by the Internet. IP: IP, Internet Protocol, defines the way data packets, also called datagrams, should be moved between the destination and the source. More technically, it can be defined as the network layer protocol in the TCP/IP communications protocol suite. If you think of VoIP as a highway, IP is sort of like the exits that define where data gets on and off. Kbps: Kbps is the acronym for kilobits per second and is used to indicate the data transfer speed. If the modem speed, for instance, is 1 Kbps then it means that the modem can route data at the speed of one thousand bits per second. Kbps is the acronym for kilobits per second and is used to indicate the data transfer speed. If the modem speed, for instance, is 1 Kbps then it means that the modem can route data at the speed of one thousand bits per second. It’s important to know how many Kbps your router and modem have to make sure your office gets the clearest call quality possible. Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the volume of data that can be transmitted over a communication line in a fixed amount of time; expressed in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second for digital devices and in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz) for analog devices. When speaking with a specialist about business phone systems, they may ask about your Internet connection or bandwidth to make sure that your office is set up to handle VoIP. SIP: SIP, which is the acronym of Session Initiation Protocol, is an IP telephony signaling protocol. It is primarily used for voice over IP (VoIP) calls, though with some extensions it can also be used for instant messaging. SIP Phone: A SIP phone is a telephone that uses the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) standard to make a voice call over the Internet. Not all phones are SIP-enabled. When comparing business phone systems, ask your prospective providers if they support your phone or can make a recommendation of SIP phones. Softphone: This is a software application that is installed in the user’s PC. It uses the Voice over IP technology to route voice calls over the net. The audio is provided through a microphone and speakers plugged into the sound card. The only limitation of a Softphone is that the phone call has to be made through a PC. This type of phone is great for when you’re traveling and want to be able to make calls from your laptop with nothing more than the use of just a headset. PBX (private branch exchange): A telephone switching system that interconnects telephone extensions to each other in-house as well as to the outside telephone network. Hosted PBX: An Internet telephony solution that follows the Software as a Service (SAAS) model by hosting phone system equipment in remote datacenters so that it can be managed from a web interface rather than through the administration of physical on-premise equipment. Remember the old closet full of equipment that your office used to have years ago? That’s a “on-premise” PBX and most modern business phone systems for small business have moved beyond this technologically bulky model to hosted services. DID (Direct Inward Dialing): A service that provides a block of telephone numbers for calling into a company’s private branch exchange (PBX) system. Using DID, a company can offer its customers individual phone numbers for each person or workstation within the company without requiring a physical line into the PBX for each possible connection. For businesses, a PBX phone system is a solid tool to help your operation run smoothly at a lower cost. It is essential that your customers are not only able to easily contact you, but also that your employees can easily communicate with one another. At Vonage Business, our business PBX is one of the cheapest and most reliable methods of installing a phone system, especially for a small business. But why should you choose a hosted VoIP phone service over a traditional, analog phone system? What is a Business PBX Phone System? PBX is a telephone company term for a private branch exchange. In simple terms, a business PBX is simply a phone system that manages multiple phone lines and it is fairly standard within most companies. Traditionally, these business phone systems have required extensive equipment and have been very expensive to install and run. Vonage Business specializes in offering phone systems that offer similar features, but without the heavy equipment and high costs. These hosted phone systems are especially well suited for small businesses, although any size company can benefit from the technology. How a Cloud PBX Works for You The small business PBX systems offered by Vonage are considered “VoIP” (Voice over Internet Protocol) and they allow clients to place calls over the Internet rather than using a land line telephone. And because this type of system is hosted off site, this means that using hosted PBX over traditional, analog PBX means minimum equipment and a much lower cost. But if you’re worried about sacrificing quality, you can be assured that hosted PBX systems are just as reliable as on premise business PBX. Because of our proprietary technology and advancements in security and redundancy, Vonage’s systems are of a caliber akin to traditional PBX systems, provided a strong Internet connection is available. The Bottom Line About Business PBX Historically, small businesses have chosen analog business PBX phone systems because they felt that the investment was worth the brand name, or reliability. However, like driving a car off the lot, depreciation kicks in the minute that equipment hits the office. With advancements in VoIP technology, it’s now more cost effective than ever and just as safe to switch to a hosted PBX provider. You’ll definitely save money month over month, and you’ll even get more business-class phone features included in your monthly service fee. Vonage’s business PBX systems also has free software upgrades, free customer support in case any problems do arise, and an ever-expanding list of add-ons and plugins. Why Switch to a Hosted PBX Right Now? With traditional PBX phone lines, you had to purchase or lease lots of equipment that sat in a storage area in your office and required ongoing maintenance. And because the phone company knew that they had you pinned down because of your investment in technology, they locked you into a yearly contract with substantial cancellation fees. At Vonage Business, we never lock you into a contract because we’re convinced that you’ll be pleased with our service, features, and support. Getting out of your contract with an analog provider might cost a little extra money at first, but the month over month savings you’ll experience with hosted business PBX will be well worth it. In the past, phone systems required the purchase of equipment, wires, and possibly even a room by itself to hold everything. Standard office phone systems were complicated and costly… until now. Vonage Business’ hosted PBX service, ideal for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), is the next best thing in business communications. Many Fortune 500 companies have intricate, complex phones systems that cost a fortune every month. Long distance charges are expensive and with extra features service can certainly add up. Conversely, Vonage’s hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange) service is great for smaller businesses. Economical and flexible, Because our Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system is so economical and flexible, more and more SMBs are making the switch from traditional land lines every day. Hosted PBX Service Built for SMBs At Vonage, you don’t have to compete with larger corporations or homeowners for our attention. We strive to make your small to mid-sized business a success. Consider our knowledgeable team a division of your communications and IT departments. Offering live customer support 24/7, our consultants give you their undivided attention and lend their expertise to customers who have questions or need technical support. Vonage Business has made significant strides in the industry since being founded in 2006, and we’re proud to be the leader in hosted PBX service. Vonage is one of the only hosted PBX companies that owns its own technology. That means we’ve developed our award-winning system completely in-house, so our engineers and developers know the system backwards and forward. Many other hosted PBX systems are built on open source technology, meaning that the code was developed by third-party developers not affiliated with the company. Work Anywhere with Hosted Technology So what exactly does hosted PBX service include? At Vonage, we host all equipment off site in the cloud, so you don’t have to buy PBX hardware or find the space to accommodate it. Unlimited extension plans allow you to make unlimited calls nationwide for a low flat monthly rate. Included in every unlimited extension plan are all the features that a small business needs to communicate professionally. You also get the flexibility of being able to work from anywhere, allowing your employees to travel or to work from home. Vonage doesn’t charge installation fees, and doesn’t try to lock customers down with contracts, or proprietary phones that only work with our service. Our #1 goal is to help businesses grow, because when you succeed, so do we. At one time, safety features such as anti-lock brakes, air bags, traction and vehicle stability control were reserved for those who purchased the most expensive cars on the market. Now entry-level cars are equipped similarly to high-end vehicles, thanks to innovative automakers who understood the changing needs and desires of the average consumer. A similar revolution is taking place within the telecommunications industry. In the recent past, Fortune 500 companies were the only telecom customers that could afford feature-rich PBX phone systems. In fact, many telecommunications service providers paid little attention to small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). 1) Now Available: A Market Smart System Customer Quick Clips Why I Selected Voice over IP Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has helped drive down the cost of monthly service and offers an attractive alternative communication solution with all of the bells and whistles of more expensive traditional options. However, the cost and complexity associated with installing on-premise VoIP PBX systems may still be beyond the reach of many small businesses. Intricate implementations and on-site maintenance issues often remain a barrier for SMBs that would otherwise adopt this technology. Consequently, players that offer on-premise VoIP PBX equipment and service have continued to focus their energies on larger companies with greater resources and more money to spend. A 2006 industry report from Frost & Sullivan notes that micro-enterprises constitute 89 percent of the total number of business establishments in North America, but are for the most part under-served by the majority of today’s telecom solution providers. The demand for IP telephony and site-to-site or interoffice VoIP services is clearly on the minds of small- to medium-size businesses. A 2006 survey by Forrester Research found these companies were up to three times more interested than larger enterprises in such services. However, Vonage Business is addressing the needs of the SMB market with hosted PBX solutions that offer feature-rich, flexible options at a considerably lower cost than previously available choices. Hosted business VoIP PBX systems offer SMBs a means to operate more efficiently and gain the same features and functionality that large companies consider critical to their success. 2) A Tailor Made Solution for SMB’s With a hosted VoIP PBX, micro enterprises can project the appearance of being larger and more effective without having to bring in IT professionals to address their network needs. Hosted service providers such as Vonage Business, for instance, make it easy for these small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to take advantage of a VoIP network by offering customized service packages that are priced on a per-month basis, thereby enabling better management of operational expenditures. With a hosted PBX offering, there are no expensive upfront equipment costs. However, an SMB gains all of the advantages of a carrier-grade communications system that is fully redundant and includes back-up and fail over capabilities. By only having to invest in IP phones, there is no concern of having to update or replace obsolete hardware. SMBs that implement a business VoIP system are highly satisfied with the results and are also likely to recommend it to peers. A 2006 study conducted by Savatar, a North America-based telecom consulting firm, noted that once they have deployed VoIP, 69 percent of respondents indicated they would highly recommend the technology. Throughout the study, respondents demonstrated why VoIP is advantageous to their business. They cited lower total cost of ownership (TCO), lower monthly recurring costs (MRC), and better system management as primary concerns driving their VoIP purchasing. 3) The Perfect Pairing for Road Warriors There’s no denying that reliable phone systems are critical for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that need to stay in touch with their suppliers, customers and partners regardless of geography. Continuous service in today’s 24/7 environment plays an important role in businesses of any size. The cost of missing a phone call, voice mail or e-mail while on the road can be particularly high for the business owner who is trying to win new business or maintain existing customers. Staying connected while on the road is a chief concern for SMB owners and their sales teams. Checking voice mail from the road can often be time-consuming and consequently, many remote workers give out their personal cell phone number as a more expedient means of staying connected. With a hosted PBX, road warriors can increase their productivity through a myriad of options including a “Follow Me” feature that enables call forwarding from a desktop phone to a mobile phone or home phone. This feature can be set up two ways – when a call comes in, it can be directed to ring on a mobile phone for 15 seconds, then on a home phone for 15 seconds, and on to an alternate number or voice mail. Alternatively, a simultaneous ring can be set up for incoming calls to ring on a desk phone and mobile phone at the same time ensuring that regardless of location, they’re sure to receive the call. Another important feature for the road warrior is the ability to receive voicemail through e-mail as a .wav file or call into a mailbox remotely and check messages. In essence, the mobile phone or PDA becomes an office extension and there is no longer a need to have a desk phone to be part of the PBX. 4) No-Hassle Plug & Play Service When small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) deploy PBX solutions that are maintained on-site, a service technician must initially install the system and then move or re-install phones every time there is a staff change. To say that this investment of time, resources and working capital is a strain on a business owner’s patience and wallet is an understatement. In contrast, hosted PBX solutions have been estimated to save business owners thousands of dollars each year. The ability to quickly set up a hosted VoIP PBX system through an easy plug-and-play approach means a SMB can have a solution that is up and running in minutes, not hours or days. This time and money saving technique also has long-term benefits. With a hosted PBX solution, even the most non-technical employees can set up or make changes to an extension simply by going online and clicking on an “update” icon. Making such updates doesn’t require a specially trained IT professional as is often the case with an on-site system. If the employee can navigate the Internet, then he or she can easily make any changes or modifications to the features and functionality of the business’s hosted PBX system. There’s no more waiting for a technician to show up and move phones or having to “do without” an extension for any period of time. 5) Multiple Locations? No Problem! Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) aren’t necessarily defined as the “mom and pop” operation down the street – in fact, they often have multiple locations around the country. A hosted business VoIP PBX allows micro enterprises to unite their dispersed locations and employees under a single communication system with a “Work from Anywhere” approach. This approach leads to increased efficiencies through the elimination of long distance charges between offices, multiple phone systems and the associated headaches that go hand-in-hand with managing these different systems. A unified solution also provides a professional image and makes it easier for customers to reach the desired party they are initially calling. 6) Highly Reliable and Disaster-Proof SMBs that continue to use traditional PBX systems are actually putting their operations at risk for downtime as well as high upfront and maintenance costs. The reality is that many business owners who are using antiquated phone systems don’t realize their equipment is dying until it is too late. In the worst case, this could cost a business thousands of dollars and have a dramatic impact on their profitability. During a natural or other unforeseeable disaster, a small business could also lose its traditional phone system in an instant. Conversely, with a hosted PBX system, phones will never “die” and Call Continuity features can ensure business stays on track at all times. Since information comes into a central, hosted system, voicemail is stored and never lost and extensions can be re-activated by simply plugging the IP phone into a new broadband connection. The customer never receives a busy signal or an out of service message. Put into perspective, this feature alone could not only save a business from losing profitability – it could literally keep the business from having to close its doors for good. The cost of business VoIP service has always been a compelling reason for businesses to switch from using their old, analog system to a hosted phone system. Not only are monthly bills typically lowered by a minimum of 30%*, but being able to administer the entire system by yourself means eliminating costly maintenance fees. Finally, with so many affordable VoIP phones to choose from, making and receiving calls on an IP phone or mobile phone allows you to stay connected almost anywhere – without breaking the bank. The Upfront Cost of Business VoIP Service Let’s say that you’re a brand new business with nothing in the office but some empty desks and file cabinets. First, you’ll need to invest in a quality Internet connection which typically means a cable or T1 line – at least. You’ll need a quality router to deliver Internet to your different employees and you’ll also need IP phones that are compatible with VoIP technology. And honestly, that’s about it as far as an upfront cost. You don’t need a special in-house PBX to manage your phone system and you don’t need to hire a maintenance professional to set up or regulate the system. If you’re an established business with most of that equipment, you may only need IP phones, which begin as low as $50 for a business-class, entry-level phone. As long as you have an acceptable Internet connection and a way to have all of your employees connected, you’re good to go! The only additional cost from your business VoIP service is if you decide to add on additional features like Company Call Recording, Voicemail Transcription or maybe a Virtual Mailbox. Monthly Add Ons One way to boost your productivity with your business VoIP service is to select some add-on features that suit your office. Insurance agents, medical offices and legal specialists who may need to – or may be required to – record all calls can do so with a premium add-on feature like Company Call Recording or On-Demand Call Recording. With a no annual contract VoIP service, you can choose to cancel this feature at any time. So if you’re running tight on cash one month and you want to reduce the amount of features in your VoIP phone system, it’s as easy as calling the Customer Care department and temporarily cancelling those features. Cost-benefit of Off-Site Maintenance When thinking about the cost of business VoIP service, consider the savings that you’ll accrue month after month when you don’t have to continually hire a tech to come out and refresh the system, install new features, plug in someone’s phone or configure settings. Vonage Business hosted model means that we push features directly to provisioned phones. When we roll out a new service offering, you and your employees will automatically be able to use it – no maintenance or waiting necessary. Canceling an Old Contract Many prospective customers don’t think they can afford VoIP because breaking their current contract would cost them hundreds of dollars. Because everybody is different, why not contact Vonage’s Sales department for a no-hassle quote? Then, compare those monthly costs to what you’re currently paying. Chances are, even if your current provider charges you a few hundred dollars to cancel, you’ll still be saving money by switching to Vonage. So why not get a quote right now? A helpful VoIP rep can give you a quote that’s customized for your needs and it’ll help you get started in figuring out the cost of your business VoIP service. Many business owners aren’t sure whether or not switching to a hosted PBX from their traditional, on-premise solution is a good move. After all, they’ve invested for years in infrastructure that they trust, and they’re hearing a lot about “the cloud” but not really sure how it can save them money. Business VoIP is designed to deliver competitive, business-class quality at a lower cost precisely because of lower maintenance costs, cloud infrastructure and off-site administration. Business VoIP and Hosted PBX Can Reduce Monthly Bills In a nutshell, a business VoIP/hosted PBX is an all-in-one phone system that delivers big-business features to businesses of all sizes at affordable prices. IP phone systems can lower costs while actually increasing productivity. At Vonage Business, our research with customers across all industries has revealed that our VoIP customers save up to 36% on average over traditional carriers.* And because there’s no need for an on-site technician, making changes is as easy as logging into a 24/7 online portal and customizing your system. More Powerful, Less Expensive than Analog Our business VoIP customers have told us time and time again that with their analog phone system, not only were they paying much more for the service, the phone service just wasn’t delivering nearly as much as they needed. Every feature cost extra and what they were really paying for was – essentially – a bare-bones service. Vonage is dedicated to making VoIP better and more advanced for businesses of any size. That’s one of the reasons that our competitively-priced phone systems come with dozens of included features while reliably delivering the basics. Our included features not only save you money from your monthly bill, they also help to increase productivity by saving time, streamlining workflow, capturing essential voice data, and making your operation more efficient. Business VoIP features like the Virtual Receptionist, Voicemail to Email and the ability to work while on the go increase productivity. So you’re saving more than just a significant percentage on your monthly bill – you’re saving valuable time and resources that can lead to increased sales. Looking to cut costs within your business, but unsure of where to start? Vonage will help you figure out the best plan for your phone system, and you’ll be well on your way to savings. Complete the form or give us a call today at 1-844-324-0340 to learn how you can start saving! Are you using your business phone system for more than just making and receiving phone calls? Did you know that the reporting and analytics tools you get with VoIP service can actually help you measure call volumes, report on call times and even gauge the efficiency of marketing programs? Here are some examples of how Vonage Business customers use the features in the Admin Portal to track ROI with their VoIP phone system. View Individual Call Times With the User Summary in the Admin Portal, authorized account holders can actually look into an individual extension’s talk time from a customizable time period. You can view the amount of total calls, inbound calls, outbound calls and intra-PBX calls between departments. By exporting this data to a spreadsheet, your business phone system can actually help you research the amount of time spent on a call. This feature is great for measuring employee improvements or making assessments about training impacts. Track Marketing Calls Within the Admin Portal, you can view call statistics for Call Groups and Call Queues. Let’s say that you’re an e-commerce company who uses a geo-targeted number for your new market in Phoenix, Arizona. You want to measure the results of the marketing campaign by looking into the number of inbound calls that came into your Sales call queue via this number. By exporting your data for your Sales queue, you can open a spreadsheet and filter to search for the full number or extension of your custom marketing phone number. If only thirteen calls came in over a full month, this data might help you decide to discontinue a local campaign, or it might influence your decision to move resources to another geographic market. Company Summary Let’s say that you decided to move to a VoIP business phone system to integrate with CRM plugins to cut down on call time. Your service departments have been flooded with installation requests, and you’re hoping that your new phone system has made an improvement to the customer experience. By using the Company Summary function in the Admin Portal, you can export all data or just the “Average Talk Time” column to a speadsheet to measure month over month trends. It’s a great way to measure the results of training programs and it also gives you insights into how your team is performing to either reward your team or reinvest in policies and procedures. Interested in finding out how a Vonage VoIP business phone system can help improve your performance? Get a free quote today and ask one of our helpful VoIP reps about other ways you can use the reporting tools to measure success.