If you want to improve your business phone system and cut costs, there’s no better way than by using cloud PBX. It might sound confusing (what’s a PBX? What does the “cloud” mean?), but it makes your phone system work smarter and faster for less, without loads of expensive on-site equipment. Sure, there are lots of other technical steps involved. However, Vonage Business takes of that for you so you can focus on your business.

How Cloud VoIP Phone Service Works

1) Making or Receiving a Call

“Cloud” just means a service that you get over the internet. And “PBX” stands for “private branch exchange.” Each time you make a call from your IP phone and every time your customers call you, your call is quickly handled by Vonage using our reliable hosted technology.

2) Vonage Routes Your Call

Cloud PBX from Vonage Business means that your call comes through to our data center, where we use our technology to reroute the call and direct it appropriately. It means that you get a total phone system that is available instantly, and eliminates the need for extensive on-site equipment. You may have also heard this referred to as a “virtual PBX” or even an “IP PBX.”

In the past, companies used to have to buy or lease lots of expensive on-site equipment to handle calls. But since we host, maintain, and upgrade our VoIP equipment ourselves, that’s one less thing for you to worry about.

3) Complete the Call Through the Internet

Vonage completes your call over the Internet. And because it relies on the Internet, you can use dozens of features like instant call recording, click-to-call, Outlook integration, call flip, call forward, and so much more. That’s it! That’s “the cloud.”

How Vonage’s Cloud PBX Makes Your Business Phone System Better:

  • No closet full of phone equipment. We host that for you off-site.
  • Get one low bill from one company.
  • Set up your IP phone system in minutes, and use your IP-enabled phones anywhere you get an Internet connection.
  • Enjoy all the features of a Fortune 500 phone system.
  • No annual contracts required. We’re so convinced you’ll love Vonage’s cloud PBX phone service, we never lock you into a contract.
  • Cost savings – because we own our own equipment instead of leasing it from another technology provider, we’re able to pass the savings along to you. Our customers save 36% on average*.

*Savings claim is based on the average monthly recurring charge for unlimited domestic business calling plans from the top three leading wireline service providers. Comparison excludes promotional pricing, fees, surcharges or taxes and assumes a customer already has broadband service. Check your phone bill to determine the savings that would apply to you.

Are you looking for an office communications system that makes sense? With our hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution, businesses get affordable phone service via the Internet. While this is an extremely affordable and efficient method of communicating with co-workers and customers alike, it’s likely you will feel overwhelmed in choosing the best hosted phone system for your business. And that’s where Vonage Business comes into play.

We’re here to serve as a fundamental division of your business; we’re here to be your professional communication presence. Vonage understands the importance of a reliable business phone system, and we’re continuously making advancements on our VoIP hosted phone system. We also understand that a phone conversation is often a person’s first impression of your business – how the call is answered, placed on hold, transferred over, picked up by voicemail, etc. We want that first impression to be a positive one.

Vonage hosts all the technology necessary in the cloud, and delivers all the professional features of a corporate phone system. Unlimited calling service and powerful business features like Voicemail to Email and Virtual Receptionist are included at no extra charge.

At Vonage, our customers enjoy the cost-efficiency of our hosted phone system. For a low flat rate, they don’t have to worry about minutes used or how many long distance calls are made. Our VoIP phones include the same features as a traditional phone system for a Fortune 500 company, but our price is unbeatable. Our customers also appreciate the convenience of our phone services – they can access their office phone almost anywhere around the world, as long as a broadband connection is available.

In essence, a hosted phone system by Vonage is the way of the future. Many small to mid-sized businesses are catching on to the many benefits of VoIP technology – and switching from their outdated landline systems. And in time, it’s likely all companies will make the easy switch. The bottom line is that business VoIP phone systems make sense as business owners are looking for practicality in communications.

Our goal is to power small to mid-sized businesses, and we’ll customize your phone system so it suits all your communication needs.

Block calls based on an area code, number or other options like 411 or international calls. Call Blocking is available for your entire account, or just a single extension.

Call_BlockingWhether you’re experiencing aggravating unsolicited calls or your employees are running up your costs by dialing 411 or international numbers, unwanted calls equal both expense and downtime for your business. That’s where Vonage’s Call Blocking feature comes into play. This handy feature allows you to block both inbound and outbound calls to your specifications, creating a rule for your entire account or just a single extension. With Call Blocking, you can quickly block:

  • Specific area codes
  • The first 6 numbers of a specific phone number
  • An entire phone number
  • International numbers
  • 411 / Information calls

How It Works:

Call Blocking can quickly be set up via your Admin Portal. Start by creating a rule for either your entire account, or for a specific user, then enter your parameters. You can create notes as to why you chose to block a number, and change rules as you go if you need to unblock. Additionally, Call Blocking can easily be used in conjunction with your Call Log, allowing you to select and block numbers according to your needs. Should users want to block calls on their own extensions, Call Blocking is also available through the User Portal.

Why You’ll Like It:

  • Save money and employee downtime by eliminating unnecessary calls, both inbound and outbound.
  • Create rules for your entire account, or just a specific extension.
  • Reference your Call Log to quickly identify and evaluate your call blocking requirements.
  • View or edit your rules at any time through the Admin Portal.
  • Individual users can create call blocking rules for their extension.

Get Started

Call Blocking is part of Vonage’s 40+ included features that come with every account. Just log into your Admin Portal and start setting up your rules. If you need further help, a Customer Service representative will always be happy to help you.

VoIP phone systems have been around for the past decade, ever since high speed broadband Internet connections became commonplace. As bandwidth and technology have improved, VoIP phone systems have become virtually indistinguishable from traditional phone systems, except in the vast improvements in pricing and features. Many businesses across the country are discovering the benefits of subscribing to a hosted VoIP phone system, and greatly reducing their communications costs.

Everything You Need to Know

Vonage’s primary focus has always been the small business. Vonage Business is devoted to helping business customers grow. For these companies that are in need of an affordable VoIP phone system, the Vonage team provides impeccable solutions. It is our mission to provide businesses with hassle-free VoIP phone systems.

We have experts on hand to solve any and every technical issue, and constantly come out with new features and upgrades. Our engineers know our system backwards and forward.

Vonage’s Business VoIP Phone Systems

Vonage offers unlimited domestic calling plans* for callers with normal usage who want all the features of a sophisticated business phone system, as well as metered extensions for phones that don’t get as much usage. With every Unlimited Extension phone line comes a suite of powerful business features, in addition to unlimited calling* for a low monthly flat rate.

Standard on every Vonage account is Voicemail to Email, Virtual Receptionist, Call Forwarding, Find-Me Follow-Me, Call Waiting, On Hold Music, Call Logs, and much more. VoIP Phone Systems deliver all these features as a standard part of service, and all features are delivered seamlessly over your broadband connection. There is no equipment to buy or maintain, we do all the work for you.

Why VoIP Phone Systems Are So Beneficial

Vonage’s service is delivered over the Internet, with no system equipment to buy other than the desk phones. All the features of your phone system are updated and maintained online, and there’s never any need for maintenance people or physical upgrades. The ability to work remotely has huge benefits for business with employees working from home, remote locations or on the road.

This means that not only will you get business grade phone service while in the office, but at home too, or across the country. All the extensions on your account will still be tied together on the same system, no matter what their physical location is. The ability to work from anywhere has huge benefits for businesses with employees working from home, remote locations, or on the road.

 

Not all business VoIP phone service providers are alike – Vonage is used by over 375,000 people for business calling. If you’ve been comparing VoIP companies and are confused about who’s the best for your business, these four major differences should give you more of an idea why Vonage is the best provider for small and mid-sized businesses.

Residential vs. Business

First of all, Vonage Business only provides service for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). We decided early on that we wanted to focus our business model on helping SMBs grow, which is why we target our offerings to business-class services. This doesn’t mean that if you work from a home office that we won’t work with you – we will! We partner with offices and organizations to make sure that we’re focused on delivering the best commercial services for retail, restaurants, offices, NPOs, warehouses, distribution centers, call centers … you name it.

Service

Vonage Business started from a small office in midtown Atlanta and grew rapidly – so much that in 2014 we made the move to our new headquarters. This puts us in the unique position to understand the issues facing SMB’s from a personal level. We pride ourselves on providing an in-depth knowledge base site so customers can immediately find answers to questions about setup or adding features. Our customer care team is well versed not only in our products, but also in VoIP technology and is available if customers need support.

Innovation

Part of the reason that Vonage consistently rolls out new included features and add-ons is because of our in-house engineering team and also because of our proprietary technology. We built the system that we use to provide your VoIP service – providers in our space mostly rely on open-source or leased technology which either limits or slows down their ability to create customized plugins and features.

No Annual Contracts

We don’t require our customers to sign a restrictive contract. We want them to stay with us based on their satisfaction with our service. Thousands of customers have been with us for years because of our ability to allow them to telecommute, use analytics and reporting tools to measure call data, customize their system with Virtual Receptionists and Call Queues and much more. We believe in being a resource to help grow your business – not hold you back.

Are you interested in getting a free quote or speaking to a Vonage Business rep about how we can help power your business? Fill out the form to the left, or explore our site to see how easy signing up can be.

Successful small businesses don’t stay small forever, and when expansion opportunities come to light, they’re difficult to ignore. Office space, technology and even phone systems need to be reevaluated to accommodate new employees and growing demand for products and services.

Thinking “Outside the Office”

business phone solution: Teleworking topsFrom a rapidly expanding sales force to new satellite offices or even offering employees the much-valued perk of being able to work from home, using a cloud-hosted business phone system allows for full office functionality from any location. By utilizing the Work from Anywhere feature, employees can simply plug in their IP phone at their location, or easily go mobile with the Vonage Business Mobile Apps. Managers and business owners can use features to view individual call times or monitor sales and customer service calls for any user, no matter where the location.

Keeping an Eye on the Bottom Line

Maintaining revenue streams and overall budget is one of the biggest priorities for small business. Fortunately, Vonage Business are specialists in providing the best business phone options to small and mid-sized businesses, including:

  • No annual contracts. Vonage Business customers choose to stay because of the excellent, reliable service and affordability.
  • Low-cost price plans. A range of plans and options are on offer to fit small business parameters.
  • Top-of-the-line support. The system is easily self-managed through the Admin Portal, and our live customer and technical support pros are there when you need them.

Preparing for Easy Future Expansion

One of the downsides of selecting a traditional, copper wire telephone service is that adding new lines, moving offices or accessing important calls from outside the office is often difficult, time consuming and expensive. Technicians need to be called in for wiring and maintenance, causing downtime and lost revenue. With the Vonage business phone system, handling events such as adding a new line are easily addressed directly through the Admin Portal.

To find out more about how Vonage Business can support small business, fill out the form for a no-hassle quote or call 1-877-862-2562 to speak to a friendly representative.

Though the economy continues to improve day by day, comparing affordable phone systems is still a business owner’s concern as he or she also needs to weigh the cost of other core business services to keep the doors open. Year over year, Vonage Business continues to provide small and mid-size businesses a cost-effective way to address their critical communication needs.

Save at Least 30% on Your Phone Bill*

Unlike the costly traditional phone services which many companies still rely upon to conduct business, Vonage’s Internet phone solution (hosted VoIP solution) instantly allows these entities to slice their monthly phone bill by at least 30 percent.* And while seeking ways to operate more efficiently often means having to do more with less, this is anything but the case for companies that turn to Vonage.

Small businesses who seek out affordable business phone systems choose Vonage because they find that they get everything and more than what they previously had with an analog provider. These features include an auto-attendant, Voicemail to E-mail, Follow Me settings, Music on Hold, Simultaneous Ring and the ability to work anywhere. Vonage’s fixed rate service also means there are never any surprises when the phone bill arrives or as phone usage fluctuates through times of increased or seasonal call volume.

Low Cost, Low Overhead

Businesses that turn to Vonage for their affordable business phone systems don’t have to worry about installing expensive or complex equipment often associated with such a sophisticated offering. Companies only need to purchase full-feature Internet phones – for around $150 – which are literally ready to use once they are plugged in and connected to the Internet. The initial investment for comparable systems may cost three times as much and require businesses to install complex equipment which is often expensive to maintain.

Internet phone service also allows business to cut costs in other ways in the face of today’s challenging economy. Through Vonage’s service, companies can easily address rising operating costs by allowing employees to work from home. There’s no longer a need, for instance, to lease expensive office space to house a call center to give a company a distinctive corporate office. Instead, employees with an Internet connection may easily work from their residence while the company still appears to function from a single location and phone number through a unified communication system which provides a professional image and makes it easy for customers to reach their desired parties.

The traditional office and the conventional phone system are things of the past, particularly in today’s economic climate where financial wiggle room is shrinking dramatically. With an affordable business phone system solution from Vonage, it is possible for small businesses to easily cut the cost of a critical component – a voice communication system. At the same time, these companies can also improve employee satisfaction as workers no longer have to contend with ever-rising commuting expenses.

Why not get a free quote and see how much you can be saving with an affordable, hosted business phone system?

More and more offices are choosing virtual phone systems to enable workers to stay connected no matter where they are. Vonage Business customers like 123 EDI and Reef and Rainforest chose a hosted phone service precisely so their talented employees can work remotely without ever feeling like they’re separated from the main company. A virtual phone set-up like the one provided by Vonage can not only unify your offices, it can also give you the presence of a much larger business while affording you a small business budget.

“Work from Anywhere”

Virtual phone systems are hosted “in the cloud” which means that you can access your technology wherever and whenever, as long as you have an Internet connection. If you’re the type of person who needs to travel frequently for conferences or tradeshows, you can easily connect to your business phone system via a softphone.

You can even unplug your desk phone and take it with you, perfect for maintaining a business presence even when you need some quiet time at your mountain cabin or beach house. And if you have the type of business where your employees need to be on a call – but you don’t want to have to purchase an entirely new cell phone for them – our Vonage Business Mobile apps for iPhone® and Android™ work directly through the cell phone while giving the appearance that you’re calling from your desk.

Big Business Presence

Project Partners uses Vonage’s virtual phone system to connect its employees across the United States while giving the appearance that they’re all located in the same office. By setting up their phone system with the same area code, sales professionals can close deals while presenting a professional appearance.

Transferring calls is easy, as employees can dial an extension just like they would if they were all sitting in the same office building. So if the Director of Operations in California needs to reach the Vice President of Sales in Boston, she can just dial his extension to forward a call, without having to ask the caller to hang up and dial an outside number.

Bottom Line

By choosing virtual phone systems, businesses are giving themselves a competitive advantage to be able to work anywhere, be more productive, and spend less money on monthly bills and maintenance.

Isn’t it time you got a quote to see how using Vonage’s virtual VoIP solution can help power your business? Fill out the form on the left or get a quote to get started with our no-contract service.

florist200pxWe’re always impressed with how innovative and resourceful our customer-businesses are in promoting themselves – often with little or no budget. Savvy business owners know that prospective customers are constantly searching online, and the key to generating more inquiries, visits or sales can come down to your business’s digital presence. This simply means when customers search online, your business comes up as frequently as possible.

Establishing a successful digital presence, however, doesn’t happen by accident. Businesses take proactive steps to ensure they’re not overlooked or missing from customer searches or social media interactions. The good news is that there are a wealth of free and inexpensive online tools and services designed to help businesses “be there” when customers seek the products or services you provide.

Get Acquainted with the Tools

This guide provides an introduction to some of the top tools to help you build an online presence. You’re probably already familiar with many of them: Google My Business, Yelp, Foursquare. Click on any of the tools below to learn more and for direct access to websites where you can get started.

Google My Business
Bing Places
Yahoo Localworks
Yelp for Business Owners
Yellow Pages
Yext PowerListings
Express Update
Foursquare for Business
List Yourself (411 Listings)

Develop a Game Plan and Go!

Once you size up the tools, think about a plan of action that you can reasonably accomplish. To that end, consider the following:

  • Required Effort: Determine who, besides you, will be involved in your online-presence-building initiative. Also determine how much time you’re willing to devote to initial setup and ongoing monitoring.
  • Which Tools: While you may not have the time to engage all the tools listed above, decide which ones are most important to you and pursue those first.
  • Get Intelligence: Do some informal research. Conduct searches for your business or your business category and see what comes up. See what your competition is doing online. Ask your customer how they search and which tools they use.
  • Create a Deadline: Often a target date for your effort will ensure you accomplish what you plan. Consider using multiple deadline dates (e.g., building your Google My Business and Yellow Pages presence by your first deadline, and two more by your next deadline).
  • Factor in Monitoring: If you’re going to the effort, be sure to keep an eye on what’s working and what’s not – and grade each by the customer engagements they generate. And always ask customers how they found you or learned about you.
  • Don’t Forget Your Website: Search tools and social media posts will often benefit from a direct link to your website for information, special offers, free information, etc. Your website can be your hub for customer engagement, so keep it updated and optimized with industry-relevant keywords if possible. And add efficiencies that will help visitors, such as embedding the free the Click-to-Call Me feature that provides a quick and easy way to contact you.
  • Have Fun with It: Building a digital presence for your business is exciting, particularly when it begins driving traffic and customer engagements. Share your efforts with your peers and learn what they’re doing. Learn and improve as you go, and most of all – “be there” online when prospective customers search. It’s a business advantage that’s worth mastering.

Tools to Build Your Digital Presence

Explore the tools below and link to their respective web pages for more information. Also, should you need a new Toll-Free Number to support your efforts, you can easily add one by contacting a Vonage Business representative. Ready to enhance your business’s digital footprint? Read on!

Google My Business

Google-Logo-sqareConsidering that Google is probably one of your site’s top traffic generators, it’s important to get the local element right. Google My Business is an easy way to ensure you’re found by potential customers on elements like Google Maps, Google Search and Google+. Get started by signing up at Google My Business. They also have an excellent FAQ section to help guide you.

Google My Business Top Tips:

  • Double check to ensure you don’t already have a listing set up. Duplicate content can ruin your chances for coming in on top of the search results.
  • Verify your listing immediately. You can do this from your Google My Business Dashboard, and Google will send you either a postcard or confirm you by phone.
  • Check and double check your address. Ideally it should match what the U.S. Post Office has for you. Read Google’s guidelines here.

Bing Places

binglogosquareWhile it’s easy to focus most of your attention on Google, it’s important to ensure you’re also making your presence known on other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. Bing Places for Business is extremely easy to set up and will walk you through the process when you sign up. From there you will also be able to set up a store front, which can make connecting with customers even easier.

Bing Places for Business Top Tips:

  • Like Google, you will need to verify your listing. This can be done via mail, phone or email and will require you providing a valid address.
  • Check your map location. This will make it easier for your customers to find you.

Yahoo Localworks

yahoo-logosquareYahoo Localworks acts a bit differently to the local offerings from both Bing and Google in that they help to spread your listing across over 50 different sites. Websites such as Yelp, WhitePages and MapQuest will get your information after you’ve signed up and verified your information. There is also performance tracking available, which can help a lot in your SEO planning.

Yahoo Localworks Top Tips:

  • Though search engines like Bing and Google offer their local programs for free, Yahoo Localworks has a monthly cost associated with it. This can fluctuate, so be sure to look for deals or coupons before you sign up.
  • Be sure to check all of your listings. Even though Yahoo is offering a service to list you on multiple websites, it’s important that you regularly check them all to ensure they’re correct. Mistakes do happen.
  • Look for ways to enhance your listing so you get the maximum visibility. Listings with offers and extra photos attract more eyes.

Yelp for Business Owners

yelp-ios-app-300x300Yelp is a powerful tool in your online offerings, particularly as it allows your users and customers to interact with your business through ratings and reviews. Though many people associate Yelp with restaurants, there are a wide variety of businesses taking advantage of their rating system. Setting up your page is free, though some of the paid tool offerings might be worthwhile for your business in the long run.

Yelp Top Tips:

  • Check your reviews regularly. One way businesses fail with Yelp is by not responding to negative reviews. You have the right to reply to your reviews, and doing so shows other customers that you care about their experience.
  • Check listings before you set up your page. Again, duplicate pages will only confuse your users, split your reviews and look unprofessional.
  • Think about advertising. Deals and gift certificates can get traffic through your door.

Some Other Places to List

Though you’ll be taking care of much of your online presence with the listing tools above, there are still a few more that you can utilize to help your customers to find you.

Express Update

Express Update will send your information to the top search engines, leading car navigation systems, and local online directories. Plus, it’s FREE!

Yext PowerListings

Your business info will be updated on Whitepages and other Yext partners such as Yelp, Citysearch, Yahoo!, MapQuest, and Superpages.

Yellow Pages

The former champion of local for small business is now online and well worth a sign up.

Foursquare for Business

With over 50 million users, Foursquare is one of Yelp’s chief rivals in helping spread the word about their favorite spots.

List Yourself

Don’t forget about the basics like directory assistance, or 411 Listings with List Yourself. For millions of people, picking up a phone and calling directory assistance remains their preferred way to find and connect with local businesses.

SOHO-MobileSplashMost customers choose Vonage’s business phone service for a combination of low prices, business-class features and anywhere access with 24/7 customer support. But many customers don’t know about all of the different tools that are available to them – for free – with every account.

Below are some of the great features and functions of Vonage’s

  • How Technology Companies Use Their Hosted Phone System

    Are you looking for an office communications system that makes sense? With our hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution, businesses get affordable phone service via the Internet. While this is an extremely affordable and efficient method of communicating with co-workers and customers alike, it’s likely you will feel overwhelmed in choosing the best hosted […]

  • Vonage Business Helps Small Companies with Affordable Phone Systems

    Though the economy continues to improve day by day, comparing affordable phone systems is still a business owner’s concern as he or she also needs to weigh the cost of other core business services to keep the doors open. Year over year, Vonage Business continues to provide small and mid-size businesses a cost-effective way to […]

  • Small Business 101: How VoIP Boosts the Bottom Line

    From maintaining your bottom line to easily growing when you need to, VoIP phone service simply makes sense for a small business.

  • Work from Anywhere with Virtual Phone Systems

    More and more offices are choosing virtual phone systems to enable workers to stay connected no matter where they are. Vonage Business customers like 123 EDI and Reef and Rainforest chose a hosted phone service precisely so their talented employees can work remotely without ever feeling like they’re separated from the main company. A virtual […]