January 16 2017 Digital OfficeAdding improved social media tools to your holiday wish list will improve customer engagement. So, maybe Santa didn’t squeeze down your office chimney to drop off productivity software and new gadgets that will help your company take charge in 2017. But who says that’s the only way to get your dream office technology? Why not make this the year you act on bringing better efficiency to your digital office? Of course, this may not seem so easy. With so much to choose from in a cloud-based, software-driven world, what makes the cut and what’s left out in the cold? Here’s a look at top tech to consider as a new year’s gift to your business: 1. The Cloud If you’re making a wish list — presumably checked twice — you might as well put the big one up top and ask for the cloud. And since you’re the proverbial Santa in this scenario, good behavior isn’t the determining factor you have to consider — budget and your current tech landscape make all the difference. Why You Want It: As noted by Netwise Resources, SMBs are shifting to the cloud not only for improved access, flexibility and automatic backups, but also to address issues such as compliance. And this isn’t like the toy every kid asked for but only with the right brand name — a host of big tech companies and niche providers now occupy the market, giving you more options that ever before. Watch Out For: This isn’t the kind of gift your employees will put down after a day or so of use and just forget it exists. Instead, you may face the opposite problem — crowd sprawl — as your staff members use this new tech for everything but forget to turn off compute instances. Keep a close eye on this popular present to prevent overspending. 2. Converged Communications Next up on any office technology wish list should be converged communications. To put it more simply, you can just write, “New cloud-hosted phone system.” Why? Traditional phone systems and onsite PBX have a hard time competing with hosted solutions that offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections, integrated mobility, and cloud integrations that tie the phone system to business applications employees use every day such as Salesforce, Office 365, and more. Why You Want It: If you don’t keep up, you’ll be left behind. SMBs must now compete on a global scale and stay on pace with enterprise offerings, which means they’re increasingly using cloud-based communications tools that function in real time. Watch Out For: Overspending. Sure, you could ask for all the Hot Wheels cars, every track, and every add-on pack, but you’d never use them all at once — most items will just end up collecting dust. The same goes for a small-business phone system. Buy what you need up front and add on later. Your post-holiday budget will thank you. 3. Social Solutions Do you want to get more customers? Do you want to keep them? If so, put better social media tools on your wish list. Consumers aren’t satisfied with daylong response times or form-letter emails. If they have questions, they expect answers immediately, and their first stop is often social media. This means you need better social media engagement apps that can track sentiment, analyze trending data, and provide actionable insights. Why You Want It: It gets you out of the reactive social media rut where you’re only using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms for damage control. Watch Out For: Metrics that don’t make sense. Either invest in local staff training or get on board with a reputable third-party provider that can help identify key metrics and map out the most direct route between social statistics and long-term ROI. The holidays have wrapped up, and your company was good all year — you deserve something nice in 2017. And since you’re buying, wrapping, and opening this gift yourself, you can be sure you’ll get the office technology you want. Give Vonage Business a shout if a new phone system is the first present on your list. 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 August 14 2013 ArchivesWhen you started your small business, you had high hopes for its growth. As success moved from business strategy to reality, it became clear that you would need to expand. Expanding can be a hard, grueling process – unless you’re growing within a cloud PBX phone system. With plain old telephone service, adding extensions or new offices can be an arduous process that requires an on-site technician and lots of your valuable time. Because Vonage Business Solutions’ (formerly Vocalocity) voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) business phone system is hosted within the cloud, small- to mid-sized business (SMB) owners can add extensions or whole office locations to their phone system with a click. Additionally, users can order extra phones online within Vonage’s Admin Portal. But, what if you are expanding your service to a market in another state? Not a problem. Our cloud business phone system has a portfolio of features specifically designed for teleworking. With our VoIP technology, employees can plug in their phones from any place they have Internet, so SMB owners can have on-location staff in any market they serve. Not only does our business phone system help SMBs grow efficiently, it provides a foundation conducive for growth. Our cloud business phone system includes features that help SMB owners run the administrative arm of their office, e.g. Unified Inbox, which helps users manage their voice, fax and email messages from a single inbox in their email client. Also, we have uniquely designed our system with customer relationship management plug-ins, so your customers always receive the best service possible. As a VoIP service provider, we’re more than just a phone service; we’re your business partner – helping you grow and growing with you. For more information on how Vonage is helping to power SMB businesses, go to Small Business VoIP – Fit for the Fortune 500, read our many Customer Success Stories, or ring us at 1-844-324-0340. 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. August 7 2013 ArchivesAs a small or home office (SOHO) owner, you’re on the lookout for services that help give your business a boost. One frequently overlooked service is the technology for your business phone system. As a SOHO owner, you may think you’re too small to take advantage of “big-company” communications features. But, the cloud has leveled the playing field by making the most advanced telecommunications services that big companies use within reach for small businesses owners. What is cloud computing (the cloud)? Aside from being a buzzword, cloud computing consists of services and computing systems accessed over the Internet, which frees you from maintaining computer servers and hardware at your place of business. Owners of SOHO offices require phone technology that caters to their budget, addresses their needs and grows with them. Our cloud phone service does all of that and more! Here are four reasons why you should move your SOHO’s phone system to a cloud pbx now. Small Business, Big Presence Vocalocity is loaded with big-company features that specifically cater to those who are shouldering the responsibility of running a business by themselves. For example, our Follow Me feature allows users to have calls forwarded to multiple numbers that will ring in a designated sequence so you never miss a call from current or potential customers. Perhaps you’re not at a stage where you can hire a receptionist, but you still need one. Vocalocity’s virtual receptionist feature is available to give your business a professional, front-office presence – and it will never call in sick. Never Lose Service Plain old telephone service is vulnerable to natural disasters, meaning you can lose telephone service for hours, days or even months in the wake of a major storm. Having your business phone system hosted in the cloud means the conduit to your customers is never interrupted because of power outages or natural disasters. With the cloud, your phone system is protected from nature’s elements. You Want to Grow – Efficiency is Key As you watch your business grow, you will need to add staff and offices to accommodate the success. Having your business phone system hosted in the cloud means you can grow as easy as one, two, click. You can easily add extensions with the click of a mouse, avoiding the hassle of having a telephone servicer come out to your office. And, you won’t have to experience any downtime because the extensions are made available immediately. You Have Enough to Think About You are trying to grow a business, and we understand how much energy that takes. Vocalocity’s customer service team is here to support your business phone system so you can focus on other parts of your business. Additionally, we have a dedicated customer support landing page on our site to offer answers to your questions or help you with your system 24/7. Moving your business phone system to the cloud gives you the tools you need to help your company succeed and grow. Are you ready to make the switch? 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.