Tag Archives: business phone system

Cloud-based Unified Phone Systems On the Rise

by Joel Maloff

going_uprecent report from Infonetics Research shows that sales of unified communications, including cloud-based phone services like those offered by Phone.com, jumped 27 percent from the first quarter of 2013 to that of 2014. At the same time, worldwide sales of PBX systems and components fell by eight percent!

The message is very clear—hardware, premises-based systems are on the decline and cloud-based systems are on the rise.

Even though companies like Phone.com have been touting the benefits of cloud-based solutions for many years, what seems to be happening is that the unified communications industry has passed the point of critical mass, and is no longer being questioned on its applicability or viability for companies of all sizes. Cloud solutions simply make too much sense when it comes to capital outlay, flexibility to add and delete accounts, diminished management requirements, and the inevitable obsolescence of hardware systems.

Companies like Microsoft, Avaya, Cisco, NEC and Mitel will continue to offer physical phone systems, but their hardware is no longer on a growth path. They have now been overtaken by cloud-based communications. Larger organizations may retain premises-based systems for some time to come, but even these companies will add hosted solutions as a more economical alternative for smaller facilities.

Finally, I believe that as cloud communications become mainstream, we will see an escalation in the erosion of the communications systems of the past, and even greater growth rates for services like those offered by Phone.com.

Extending Great VoIP Service Through Our Channel Partners

by Adele Fredeluces

iStock_000009457868SmallAt Phone.com, we love our Channel Partner Program (CPP). It allows businesses that would benefit from bundling Phone.com with their own services to offer their clients superior VoIP phone service!

While Phone.com provides software tools, training and support for CPP Agents, the agents work one-on-one with their own clients to provide great customer support.

Matthew Demaree, CEO of HTDNET, a Virginia-based computer consulting and web-hosting company, signed on with the CPP Agent program in 2011 after using our phone service for a couple of years.

“We became authorized Phone.com agents, allowing us to take our knowledge and experience of Phone.com’s products and services directly to our customers—getting them the direct support they need and still getting awesome backup support from Phone.com when we have a special issue or request.”

Demaree is a big Phone.com fan. “We have NEVER had a customer-service failure. Phone.com always goes above and beyond to ensure everything is done right.” And even though Phone.com’s customer support is HTDNET’s favorite feature, he says that our easy-to-use control panel and our menu system are pretty close to the top of their list too.

HTDNET has also seen significant savings in pricing for their clients. “After their 30-day free trial, our latest new account will save $70 per month or $840 a year switching to Phone.com from their previous VoIP provider,” says Demaree.

Demaree says his agents agree that Phone.com is the Ritz-Carlton of VoIP services. “Top that with real human interactions, US-based call centers, and the drive to do more for customers every time. Awesome sauce!”

As for us at Phone.com, building and maintaining good relationships with our CPP Agents is a key part of our customer support!

Use DomainSkate To Protect Your Brand

by Phone.com

domainSkateDomainSkate.com has been a satisfied customer of Phone.com for a few years now, making it that much better to connect with them at NY Tech Day two weeks ago. In fact, our booth was right across from Phone.com’s, giving us the opportunity to chat with their team and get outfitted with some Phone.com swag!

We also had a chance to talk about the product we recently launched—our online brand protection for small- to medium-sized businesses. DomainSkate helps companies manage their brands and domains online, keeping cyber squatters and other domain abusers away.

For demo purposes, we entered “Phone.com” into our software dashboard, and predictably, there were many results for domain names that included the term “phone.” Most notable were instances where people were obviously trying to target Phone.com by registering domains like www.phonecom.com and www.phone-com.com. Also, there were those who’d registered the term “phone” in the new domain TLDs (Top Level Domains), who may later try to sell those domains to Phone.com competitors; for example, www.phone.computers, which showed up in our search results.

What’s key is that DomainSkate’s system showed that there are people out there looking to capitalize on the Phone.com brand name by using new domain extensions to scoop up domain names similar to “Phone.com.” What can Phone.com or any small- to medium-sized business do to protect themselves?  A lot actually, and much of it can be done without breaking the bank!

Online brand protection is not just for the Googles, Yahoos! and Citibanks of the world. Every business can police its name and brand by making sure no one is taking advantage of them online. Simply go to DomainSkate.com and sign up for FREE for the first 2 months (use code PHONE). The system will check your brand name, give you initial results and then do a deeper sweep a few hours later.

Next, if your company has a registered trademark, DomainSkate can help you get into the Trademark Clearinghouse, which delivers two key benefits. First, it ensures that you have the first right to obtain your brand name in a new domain, such as “YourStore.Web” or “YourB&B.Hotel.” You’ll also be notified, for a period of time, if people try to take your name on a TLD.

Finally, if you’ve found that someone has your domain name and is cybersquatting, typosquatting or just trying to fool your customers or hurt your business, DomainSkate has resources to help get your name back.

Time for a quick shout out: Phone.com is the perfect complement to what we do at DomainSkate. From their easy-to-use control panel, we can point our toll-free number anywhere. This means that if we move to larger offices or want to route calls to our mobile phones while we’re out of the office, we have that freedom. This is critical to the success of our business!

If you run your business online, take your phone system online too with Phone.com—and remember that there are Internet criminals out there who want to capitalize on your success.

face-david1David K. Mitnick is the Founder and President of DomainSkate, LLC, an Internet company that focuses on online brand protection. Mitnick created DomainSkate when he saw the potential in the expansion of the global Top Level Domain space. He also shares his expertise in the area of Internet Domain Law, having written for, or been quoted in, CircleID, Mashable, VentureBeat, Inc. and Digiday. Find him on Twitter @DomainSkate.

GreenFire Energy Makes the Switch to Phone.com

by Adele Fredeluces

greenfire_energyGreenFire Energy is a small but growing renewable energy firm located in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and the San Francisco bay area. Founded in 2010, GreenFire has worked to develop breakthrough CO2-based geothermal energy systems that produce clean, sustainable energy.

They recently made the switch to Phone.com and co-founder Randy Balik has already seen a positive impact on his small business. “Phone.com has simplified the way our small business manages its entire phone system,” he says, adding, “Your service has given us a much more professional business presence than we had before.”

Features like customizable menus and professional greetings easily set small businesses apart from their competitors, and are included in Phone.com’s basic plan. Balik says that GreenFire is saving about $70 per month over their previous VoIP system, and is getting a much broader service.

And while Randy Balik uses our control panel to tweak settings, he’s happy to have a great customer support team on his side whenever questions arise. “What I honestly love is the ability to call and talk to a live person who can help in situations when the solution is not intuitively obvious in the web portal.” He says Phone.com’s customer service really sets us apart from others. “I’ve always been able to reach a live person quickly when I’ve had questions or needed assistance.”

We consider it a privilege to enable small businesses like GreenFire Energy to succeed as they work to protect our environment.

Phone.com University

Phone.com University – How to Order a Phone/Adapter

by Derrick Arteus

In addition to virtual number services, Phone.com also offers several IP phones and ATA adapters that allow you to place and receive VoIP calls with an internet connection. There are several benefits to ordering a device directly from us, including:

  • 30-day warranty on all devices.
  • Pre-configured devices for instant setup and use.
  • 24/7 support from Phone.com on all devices.

There are two device categories to choose from:

  • ATA Adapters (Grandstream HT702/Cisco SPA122) – These are used to hook up a regular analog phone to your VoIP service.
  • IP Phones  (all other listed models) – These phones hook up directly to an internet connection and do not require an adapter.

How to Order Your Device

Ordering a device is easy. Once you are logged into your account, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over Configure at the top of your page, and select Add a User/Extension.
  2. Select IP Phone or Adapter as the type.
  3. Click the Add & Select Device orange box. You are now on the Select Your New Device page, where you can choose from a number of devices that we offer. Select a device to order and then scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  4. Enter a shipping address in the Select a Shipping Address section or choose a pre-existing address that we have on file for your account (1).
  5. Click the Add Selected orange button at the bottom of your page (2).
  6. Click the Confirm Order button to complete your purchase.

device2

Your device is now ordered and will ship within 7-10 business days.

How to Modify or Cancel Your Order

If your device has not shipped, it is easy to change the shipping address or cancel the order within your account. Follow these steps to do so:

        1. Hover over My Account at the top of your page and select Account Home.
        2. Select View order status in the New Devices box.
        3. To update your shipping address, click the Update Shipping Address orange box.
        4. To cancel your order, click the Cancel Order box.

device3

That’s all it takes to order a device! See you next Monday for some more Phone.com knowledge.