Phone.com University

Phone.com University – How to Transcribe Your Voicemails to Text

by Derrick Arteus

Tired of listening to each and every voicemail? Phone.com offers a voicemail transcription feature which will transcribe your voicemails to text. We offer two forms of voicemail transcription:

  • Human Assisted Transcription: The first minute of your voicemail message is transcribed by a human.
  • Automated Transcription: Voicemails are transcribed to text via our automated computer system.

Voicemail transcription is activated on an extension-by-extension basis. Let’s walk through how to enable this feature.

Activating Voicemail Transcription

  1. Mouse over Configure and select Manage Users & Extensions.
  2. Select Edit for the extension you want to activate transcription on.
  3. Scroll down to the Voicemail section.
  4. Select the checkbox for Voicemail Transcription.
  5. Select either Human Assisted Transcriptions or Automated Transcriptions.
  6. Select Save Changes.

transcription

After saving your changes, voicemail transcription will now be activated for your chosen extension. You can replicate this process for all the extensions on your account that you want voicemail transcription for. 

That’s it for today, see you next Monday for some more Phone.com knowledge!

net-neutrality

The Net Neutrality Debate, or Is It a Net Neutrality Debacle?

by Ari Rabban

I wrote about the FCC’s Net Neutrality proposal a few months ago and the debate is heating up again.

Perhaps comedian John Oliver explained it best back in June: At issue is the creation of a two-tier system, or rather an HOV lane for those services that can pay more — players like Netflix, who recently signed service agreements with the largest cable provider Comcast.

Some time back, the FCC asked the public to comment on Net Neutrality and now those comments are being published. A report summarizes more than a million of the comments received, the gist of the feedback indicating that less than one percent of those commenting oppose Net Neutrality.

Is this surprising? No—of course the average person favors Net Neutrality because it means equality, paying less and getting better service. The bottom line, though, is that we are still in a messy situation and, sadly, I can only anticipate that further lobbying will win the day for the big players. The term Net Neutrality can be confusing, even though there is nothing unclear or neutral about implementing a fast lane.

I agree that broadband providers building out multi-billion-dollar networks only to see large customers like Netflix or Google or Facebook reap the rewards at no cost is a problem. Just as big of an issue, though, would be those same providers—ATT, Verizon, Comcast and the other big cable companies who connect most US homes to the Internet—selling their own content to consumers in competition with smaller services that have to use their networks to reach our homes.

Treating Broadband as a Utility … Read On!

It is my opinion that broadband should be viewed as a utility and delivered as a utility. Consumers should be able to select and pay for the level of broadband they want, choosing the content and add-on services they want too, even if that content is provided by a smaller competitor of, say, Netflix that can’t afford the fast-lane rate. Content from a smaller provider should be available to consumers at the same speed as Netflix content, and not at a higher price either.

Furthermore, broadband providers should not have the ability to slow the delivery of another service, be it movie streaming or telephony, just because it competes with their own service. In our case, Phone.com may use broadband to deliver phone service, and having Comcast or AT&T block or slow our delivery because they too offer phone service should not be allowed.

Keeping It Commercial!

Google is trying to roll out its own broadband network so that it won’t need to rely on Verizon or AT&T. The Internet giant has started offering broadband in Austin, Texas, for example. Perhaps Microsoft has the power to do this too, but no one else comes close. Even Apple relies on either residential broadband or 3G/4G networks to support their devices.

Small service providers have no choice but to rely on large broadband providers, which is why I believe broadband should be delivered as a commercial utility, as opposed to a public one. I live in New Jersey, and after Hurricane Sandy I can tell you that no one here needs a reminder of the quality of public utilities. The Internet must evolve to meet the challenges of scale technology and scale that lie before us, so we need whoever provides broadband to be continually upgrading their networks.

To be fair, if a particular service (and again, Netflix is often the example given) appropriates much of the bandwidth and slows the delivery speed of other services on the network, is that a desired result of Net Neutrality? Is it fair to Verizon? Verizon’s Fiber Optic Service (FiOS) customers will complain that service is slow and Verizon’s billions will be going to benefit Netflix while others (including Verizon) will suffer.

Bringing It All Together

If providers were to offer broadband as a commercial utility in a just and equitable way, they would charge consumers the appropriate price for the level of broadband service they choose. They could also put measures in place to regulate general Internet traffic speed, based on need, without allowing larger players to sideline competitors. As regulated commercial broadband utility suppliers, they would also not favor their own content in the market at the expense of other content and service providers.

I don’t see Verizon (and AT&T and Comcast) offering services like phone service, TV and their own Internet services, while at the same time controlling the broadband that other competitive content providers need in order to reach the consumer. That for me is the Bell System breakup of the 21st Century. Before the Bell breakup, we had one big AT&T controlling all phone services nationwide and also, through Bell Labs and its product arm, controlling all the switches and other phone network infrastructure that was needed to provide service. This monopoly broke up in several phases over 20 years and it began when competitive phone companies started popping up.

So to summarize, the US needs a different kind of broadband-provider model—one that offers multiple, competing sources (fiber optic, coax and wireless broadband, for example), provided by companies prepared to focus on developing infrastructure NOT on providing content over those networks. And the markets are sure to figure out the right pricing model that, with the help of positive regulation, will prevent incumbents’ advantage and foster innovation.

home-phone

Why You Should Use VoIP for Your Home Office Phone

by Derrick Arteus

If you are running your business from your home office on a land line, now is a great time to consider switching to a VoIP solution. VoIP offers many excellent benefits for a business owner that a land line simply can’t compete with, including:

  • Exceptional call quality. Enjoy crystal clear, high-definition audio quality with a VoIP phone. A land line will never be able to match the clarity that a VoIP phone can offer.
  • More features. Does your land line include menus, dynamic call forwarding, schedules, and the handful of other features that VoIP offers? These features are necessary to run a successful business these days.
  • Less Expensive. Phone.com offers competitive pricing as compared to a land line, with flexible minute options scalable for all businesses. Compared with all the features you get with a VoIP service, the price vs. benefits far exceeds that of a land line service.

If your interest is piqued, come learn how to set up a home office phone with Phone.com.

How Can I Learn More?

Join us for a free 30 minute webinar on how to set up a home office phone with Phone.com.

We’ll teach you how to order one of our telephone adapters, connect it to your network, and start making some calls!

When

Thursday, September 11 10:30am – 11:00am.

How

Register Now

Phone.com University

Phone.com University – Setting Schedule Exceptions for Holidays and Meetings

by Derrick Arteus

Schedule exceptions are an easy and efficient way to account for holidays, meetings, or other engagements that are outside of your normal business schedule hours. 

We recently updated schedule exceptions to make them even easier to manage! You can now choose a specific holiday from a list and immediately add it as an exception. 

Let’s walk through how to set schedule exceptions on your account for holidays and custom date ranges. 

Note: This guide assumes that you have already created a schedule on your account. If you haven’t yet, see our guide for creating a schedule.

Setting a Holiday Exception

  1. Mouse over Configure and select Manage Schedules.
  2. Select Edit for your chosen schedule.
  3. Select Yes in the Holidays and Date Ranges section.
  4. Select the Add a Holiday tab.
  5. Select your holiday in the Holiday drop-down box.
  6. Select Add.
  7. Select Save Changes.

holiday

Setting a Custom Date Range Exception

  1. Mouse over Configure and select Manage Schedules.
  2. Select Edit for your chosen schedule.
  3. Select Yes in the Holidays and Date Ranges section.
  4. Select Add a Date Range.
  5. Specify the Start Date and End Date for your exception.
  6. Select Add.
  7. In the Date Range/Holiday List, slide the two gray blocks between the hours you want your schedule exception applied for.
  8. Select Save Changes.

dateexception

The example above will set an exception to our schedule between 12pm and 3pm on September 9th, 2014.

Now that your schedule exceptions are added, they will automatically activate once the date arrives. 

That’s it for today, see you next Monday for some more Phone.com knowledge!

conference-calls

3 Tips For Hosting an Awesome Conference Call

by Derrick Arteus

Your next conference call doesn’t need to end up like this:

With a little planning and preparation, you can ensure that your next conference call is awesome, informative, and runs smoothly. Here’s 3 tips to make your next meeting the best one yet:

  • Practice beforehand. If this is your first time using your conferencing software, then spend some time before the actual meeting learning how everything works. Each service has unique methods for muting/un-muting callers, or ending the call.
  • Have a backup plan. Technology has its moments of random oddities. Ensure that everyone on the call has a copy of the presentation slides, agenda, and an alternate call in number.
  • Have attendees mute themselves. Nothing ruins a presentation more than the background noise of someone listening in on your call in what sounds like an airport. Let everyone know how they can mute and un-mute themselves when they want to talk.

Now that you have some great tips to get you started, why not use Phone.com for all of your conferencing needs? Every Phone.com account provides a free conferencing bridge with unlimited monthly minutes.

How Can I Learn More?

Join us for a free 30 minute webinar where we’ll teach you how to start hosting conference calls with your Phone.com account. 

What

  • Learn how to access your free Conference Bridge Number and PIN.
  • Learn how to record your conference call with a dedicated Phone.com number.
  • Learn how to set up an international or toll-free number to make your conference calls local for callers.

When

Thursday September 4 10:30AM – 11:00AM PST.

How

Register Now