10 Benefits of Using a VoIP Business Phone Service

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Business phone service

What Can a VoIP Business Phone Service Do for Your Business? It’s a sad fact, but it’s true: only 7% of workers feel they have done anything productive at the end of their workday. There are several reasons for this: the lack of a meaningful job, apathy toward the career one has been in for a long time, or simply imposter syndrome. While these factors are out of your hands, there is something you as an employer can do: enable tools to improve communications and increase their productivity. One of the most effective ways to do this is by updating

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VoIP Phone Systems for Samll Business

What Is VoIP in Phone Systems for Small Businesses? There are now many more channels on which companies’ employees, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders can communicate. Emerging technologies such as chat, text and social media make it possible to connect everyone with the internet in a convenient way. Despite this, there is no doubt phone calls are as vital as ever, and many organizations are wondering if a VoIP phone system for small business is the best option for them. Most companies find it challenging to eliminate phone calls. Phone calls are an essential customer service tool that can easily

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Business phone service

What Is an IP Phone System? While technology has given us more innovative communication channels, most small businesses have yet to abandon the phone. Companies are rapidly replacing traditional phones with IP phones that offer greater benefits to both them and their customers.  The same holds true with regards to snail mail. Today, email, chat, and video takes its place, providing faster, more reliable communications. Whether via phone, email, chat, or video, we now can establish personal connections with customers without being face-to-face.  An IP phone may be new to you, but it’s simple to understand. PC Mag defines an

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VoIP Concept on a Mobile Phone

What is a VoIP Phone: Learning the Basics Recent technology has made it possible for many more channels of communication to be available. Despite chat, text, social media, and other communication channels, evidence shows phones are as crucial as ever. So, what is a VoIP phone, and why should you consider it?  It’s been hard for many companies to eliminate phone calls, especially for small businesses that need to maintain a close connection with customers. If you’re looking for options to modernize the way your company makes and receives calls, you’ve likely come across VoIP phones but don’t quite understand

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Do not disturb

Productivity Hack: What Is the “Do Not Disturb” Feature on Your Phone?   The pandemic impacted everyone’s productivity, but a significant number of people relied on technology to keep their key performance indicators high. As an example, special features to disable mobile and office phones’ distracting rings and notifications became useful. You’re in the right place if you’re asking the question, “What is the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature on my phone?”  In a nutshell, the “Do Not Disturb” mode sends business calls directly to voicemail. Top providers can set up sophisticated virtual IP phone systems that forward the calls to

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VoIP Pros and Cons

Why Is VoIP Used On Office Telephone Systems? Are you looking into office telephone systems? Then probably, the term “VoIP” appeared a lot on your search. Going through the basics of this technology, as well as its pros and cons, will help you determine if it is the right phone choice for your business. What is VoIP? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) explains, “Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line (…) VoIP services convert your voice into a digital

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Flower shop owner talking on mobile phone.

Why Finding The Best Virtual Phone System For a Small Business Is Essential   Finding the best virtual phone system for a small business may be challenging. At the same time, having a reliable infrastructure to receive and make calls is essential. Without it, customer service goes out the window, along with sales leads. According to HubSpot, a reputable CRM platform, “Even in today’s digital world, customers often prefer phone support when reaching out to customer service. The immediacy and familiarity of talking on the phone with a real human build trust between a customer and customer service agent.” There

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Remote worker on a mobile phone.

On-premise systems have dominated business communications for the longest time. In business, there are few unavoidable grudge buys. One of them is a telephone system. As a result, for smaller organizations, sophisticated call routing, and call control features have been out of scope. Not only were telephony systems complicated and expensive, but they were also constrained to the company premises. As soon as users ventured out of their workplace, they are disconnected from the system, and they have to use their cellular minutes to communicate. Thankfully, advances in technology and more acceptable pricing of virtual phone systems have introduced a new, cheaper

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2021 Small Business Resolutions

The end of the year is traditionally the perfect time to make plans for the coming year. The most popular New Year’s resolutions are health and fitness related, such as working out more, quitting smoking, eating healthier meals, taking up meditation, etc. Then there are some who have a different approach to New Year’s resolutions, making them not only about improving themselves, but their families (“being a better father”), their communities (“volunteering once a month”), or their work (“being a better manager”). Deciding to improve your performance at work can actually help you with all your other resolutions because any

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Man sending a text

Choosing a phone number is a surprisingly important decision for any business. Your phone number is a crucial part of your brand identity and it will impact how you interact with clients. Fortunately, you have options available depending on your business goals. Local Phone Numbers There are several excellent reasons to consider choosing a local phone number. The first is that it is usually the lowest cost option. If you sign up for a modern virtual business phone service, it will probably include a local phone number in your monthly cost. Another reason to consider a local phone number is that

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Doctor with a mobile phone

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was created in 1996 to modernize the flow of healthcare information. It stipulates how all personal data maintained by the healthcare and healthcare insurance industries should be protected from fraud and theft. It also addresses limitations on healthcare insurance coverage. All healthcare and healthcare insurance industries are required to comply with HIPAA guidelines and can expect to be audited by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), an organization within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). HIPAA compliance should be taken very seriously, as violations can carry civil or even

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Juneteenth Independence Day

  Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Jubilee Day, is a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with the news that the war had ended and that those enslaved were now free.   The celebration of Juneteenth amid the events of 2020 reminds us that freedom for Black Americans was delayed and resisted. Although decades of progress followed, the fight for equality is far from over, and we are all called to join

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Lady Justice statue in law firm attorney office

For a law firm, clear and professional communication is paramount for success.  An office phone system that meets your needs must also be easy to use and affordable. All types of offices across the country are choosing to upgrade their old phone systems to a cloud-based VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) system.  Its an investment your law office should consider if you want to stay competitive in the decade to come.   Office Phone System 2.0   If you are still using a landline, its likely time to upgrade your system.  While landlines might seem more straightforward, cheaper, or at

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businessman talking on cell phone

The voice over internet protocol (VoIP) market is expected to reach $55 billion by 2025. More companies are making the switch to VoIP, allowing them to make calls using broadband internet instead of a conventional phone system.   VoIP works by converting sounds into digital communications. Then, the digital file is transferred through internet broadband. By using VoIP, companies can use the internet to make phone calls!   Why make the switch? Keep reading to find out. Here are the 10 benefits of switching to a virtual phone system!   1. Easy Installation And Integration   Many businesses hesitate to make major

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Small business phone system.

  Plenty of small business owners are looking for ways to save money. If you get creative, you can find a variety of ways to keep costs low while you’re still in your growing phase.   Phone systems are a great way for small business owners to save money. The small business phone system you use could be expensive, and finding a new way to communicate with customers and conduct business could be the best way to cut down on costs.   Many business owners are choosing to use a virtual phone system to conduct business. VoIP has taken the business world

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Woman makes a phone call

  We’ve all called into a business seeking help or guidance, being greeted with the same generic script and tone of voice at the other end of the line. “Can you hold for just a moment while I look into this please?”   It’s never just a moment, though. Often that one moment turns into a few minutes and then a few more after that.   Then you’re a little upset and ready to hang up the phone.   Did you know that businesses have lost $1.6 trillion in revenue after bad customer service?   Customers are the lifeline of a business, so

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Small business phone system.

Upgrading your business’s phone system may seem like an unnecessary expense. After all, the current system still works, you might argue. While it’s true, you might be able to make a few calls here and there, are you at par with your competition? Technology continually evolves, and moving with technology could give you that edge over your competition. To keep up with consumer and employee demands, getting a new small business phone system might be a wise move. In this article, we’ll look at a few telltale signs that your small business phone system needs an upgrade. Types of Small Business Phone

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Advice for Remote Work

Is Your Business Prepared for a Remote Workforce? Today’s workforce looks vastly different from that of just a decade ago. More companies are not only allowing employees to work from home, but they are encouraging it. In a recent report by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, remote work was found to have increased by 44 percent over the last five years and 91 percent in the past decade. Today, 4.7 million people, 3.4 percent of the U.S. population, now work from home. A FlexJob survey discovered that 74 percent of respondents believe flexible working has “become the new normal.”  

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Business man on a mobile phone.

  In today’s corporate world, small businesses are constantly looking for new avenues to gain a competitive edge. One of the best ways to go about doing that is by streamlining production wherever and whenever it’s possible. Communication is vitally important to keep all levels of your business on the same page. However, getting stuck in the old phone systems can waste valuable time in your company’s hours of operation. Implementing a cloud-based phone system, however, will give your small business several benefits it needs to advance. Here are some of the top perks to making the switch from your

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Business woman on a mobile phone.

As your business grows, the need for a virtual phone system increases. Phone systems are a huge leap above your cell phone communication, email, and messaging apps. As a business owner, you probably have dozens of business calls every day. Now consider the different departments of your business, you could be looking at hundreds of calls each day. From customer service calls, telemarketing to coordinating with team members, you’ll need office telephone systems to handle all this. When it comes to choosing a telephone system, you have many options. However, before rushing to get a telephone system, there are a

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Mobile phone concept

  Small businesses take a lot of calls each day. How many? They get approximately 400 million per day. Historically, growing small businesses turned to PBX or private branch exchange systems. In recent years, however, small businesses chose wireless business phone systems. So, what is a wireless phone system and how does it compare with traditional PBX systems? Traditional PBX A PBX system basically works like a switchboard. It allows internal users to call one another on local extensions. It also routes external calls through a set number of external lines or numbers. Some businesses inherit old PBX systems that prove entirely analog

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Cloud phone system.

There is no communication quite like a phone call. So much can be communicated through tone of voice that is missed in text and emails. If you’ve put off getting a phone system for your business because of the expense and installation hassles, you’re in luck. A new breed of phone service is available for businesses like yours and it’s affordable and easy. Really! What Is a Cloud-Based Phone System? A cloud-based system is a phone system that uses your internet connection instead of traditional phone wires or cellular services. How Is a Cloud Phone System Different From Traditional Phone

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Business man on a mobile phone.

Phone numbers, as we know them are changing. Traditionally, phone numbers were tied to a specific phone, device, or home. That is no longer the case, thanks to the emergence of virtual phone numbers. Virtual and normal phone numbers are slightly different from each other. Find out the difference between a virtual phone number and a normal phone number here. The Difference Between a Virtual Phone Number and a Physical One Virtual phone numbers can sound like a complicated or, quite possibly, an expensive option for a phone system. That simply is not the case. A straightforward and cost-effective option,

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Checklist graphic

Did you know that consumers prefer a personal relationship with small business owners? Well, recent reports indicate that 60% of customers communicate with small entrepreneurs over the phone. For entrepreneurs, knowing how your customers love to communicate with you is an insightful revelation. It helps you provide a communication system that offers them the best experience. Are you unable to decide on the best business phone system for your new establishment? You need to keep in mind the phone systems today are not merely tools for making and receiving calls. Customers will want a unified system that permits an array

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Florist using a mobile phone.

Your business clients expect the best from you; being able to reach you is essential. Your business phone system should fulfill the needs of your clients; when you’re in your office and when your not.  There are many options for phone systems in today’s market, but what are the features that make the best call handling solution for your business? We’ve all had the experience of dealing with automated systems that leave us shouting “operator” and being routed in a circle. That’s the last thing you want to happen to your clients, especially when your business is new. Losing clients

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Young woman looks at mobile phone.

There are several reasons why it is important to have a business phone number. After all, society today is very interconnected with online-oriented communication. And business telephone numbers are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury.  Having a business phone number is necessary if you want to maintain consistency within your business while never missing a beat. But there are plenty of other important reasons why your company needs a dedicated number. Here are our top 7 reasons why you should get a business phone number today. 1. Your Personal Cell Phone Number Remains Private Nothing is more annoying

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Young business woman with mobile phone.

  Are you a busy small business owner trying to streamline your business?  The Internet has changed business as we know it. Each day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data—Superman would certainly be impressed with this speed! The Internet does more than Google searches, social media, and news articles. You can get a virtual phone system with more features than any landline could ever provide. Let’s take a look at how to choose the right system for you and your business. What is a Virtual Phone System? A virtual phone system is a platform that runs over the Internet

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Young man working from home on a mobile phone.

  Every business has a different set of needs based on its structure and customer geographics. Although some businesses remain local, business is becoming more global requiring changes in every aspect of your business. Whether it is infrastructure, networking, communications or staffing models, things are changing and at a fast pace. Is a virtual phone system right for your company? Reviewing the cost and benefits will help you find out if a virtual phone system is right for you. What is a Virtual Phone System?  A virtual phone system works using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It was developed in

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Lawyers using call recording VOIP

There are many reasons for wanting to record a call. Whether you’re a lawyer, therapist, realtor, notary, call center, utility company, bank, etc.—there are many types of businesses that rely on call recording to keep a record of conversations for legal or monitoring purposes. If you don’t currently record calls or are weighing whether you should, here are a few benefits call recording can provide.   Business Advantages to Call Recording:   Improve your products and service Capturing customer complaints or product shortcomings is an excellent way to improve your overall product strategy. Call recording is an easy method to

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customer dialing custom vanity number

How many times have you needed customer support and couldn’t for the life of you find a company number? Or are you just frustrated and exhausted by the constant ping of a chatbot that can’t really solve your problem? You’re not alone. There is still a big contingent of consumers who want to talk to a real human. And if you’re a small business that offers a service, you need to be available to help if the going gets tough. For some customers, solving problems online or through messenger apps simply isn’t enough. So if you’re a new startup, an

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Small business/startup meeting in progress

There was a time when if you heard the word “meeting” you pictured a bunch of people sitting around listening while one or two people talked. Though some meetings had more back-and-forth feedback than others, by and large meetings were often handled the same. And in some companies, they still are. That doesn’t mean that meetings (and the workplace in general) aren’t changing, however. Modern technology has changed the way that we have meetings, and it’s even augmented the way that we look at the workplace in terms of efficiency, the potential of communications and more. If you’re curious as

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HIPAA compliant laptop

Here at Phone.com we’re not only proud to deliver top notch business class phone service to a diverse group of small businesses, we’re also able to legally protect the sensitive information handled by medical professionals with our HIPAA compliant coverage in our standard features. If you’re unfamiliar with that acronym or new to the VoIP industry, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was signed into law in 1996 with the chief aim at providing accountability for health insurance companies and patients’ information. With the VoIP revolution, small, medium and large medical companies are able to cut costs by not having to

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Coffee mug and calendar

Everyone wants to be successful, even if we all have different definitions of success. Some view success as amassing wealth and power, others view it as seeing a dream come true or becoming their own boss. Regardless of how you define success, you’re unlikely to find it by simply waiting around for it to show up. If you want to be successful, you’ve got to work for it. While the specific work depends on lots of variables, there are some things you can do to help it along. If you want to achieve maximum success and reach your goals, a

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Man with coat and tie

A CEO has a lot of power of his or her company, but with that power comes an immense amount of responsibility. Not everyone is cut out for this sort of responsibility, and new CEOs can sometimes be overwhelmed by everything that’s required for their jobs. That’s why some CEOs seem to flounder once they’re in position while others thrive and take their companies to new heights. To be truly successful, new CEOs typically require certain traits. These traits are often the same sort of traits that one has to have to become a CEO in the first place, but

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Small business owner using call screening feature for VOIP

                            When you think of call screening, you likely imagine a feature that’s used be people at home trying to avoid calls from telemarketers or other folks they want to avoid. With the advent of caller ID, call screening is a feature that many people don’t even use. What many don’t realize is that there are still some great uses of call screening even in a world where you can see at a glance where a call is coming from. Not only that, but call screening can

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Mobile phone user

A new report by marketing and research firm Criteo reveals that mobile apps grabbed the lion’s share of e-commerce transactions in 4Q’17 for retailers that have shopping apps. This is a big deal, as more and more retailers are seeing the advantage of having a dedicated mobile app to make things easier on shoppers. Some are even making a major push to make their apps commonplace, with retail giants like Wal-Mart pitching the app in stores and even adding scan-and-pay functionality that lets shoppers scan items as they pick them up to skip most of the hassle of checkout. Why

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Charts on a tablet

Regardless of the size of your business, proper marketing is essential if you want to be successful. Different generations have different wants and needs, however, so a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing usually isn’t the best way to reach your largest possible audience. If you want to make the biggest impact, you need to target your marketing efforts differently to different generations. This is the core concept behind generational marketing. By researching trends in different generations, your marketing team can more effectively develop strategies to promote your business and products. This differentiation improves the likelihood of your message getting out there

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mobile phone user

You’ve probably never considered how the way that you use your phone could influence the success of your business. After all, the two things seem so disconnected that there’s no reason to think that one might affect the other. As it turns out, though, there is actually a direct connection between how you use your phone and how successful your business is. Knowing how to identify and use this connection can mean the difference between a business that does better than you ever expected and one that just barely gets by. Before we get too far into how you can

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Animated office scene

This was the caption to a panel of the popular tech webcomic found at XKCD.com. Also, these are words that terrify everyone in the telecom business. It’s no secret that millennials are far more comfortable texting rather than calling. Even Gen X and Y often avoid calls in favor of the less intrusive SMS. So how did we get to this point, and what can we do to fix it? Or, does it even need to be fixed? If, like the character in the hat, you have five phone numbers and you’re not sure what they all do, rest assured

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User network

Networking is an important part of the business world. If you want to get things done and keep everything under budget, it’s essential that you have access to the people, tools and materials that you need to get the job done. If you don’t focus on business networking, you’re going to be quickly outpaced by those who do. That said, business networking is evolving. No longer is it about collecting business cards and keeping your rolodex up to date in case you need to reach a specific contact. Now it’s much more nuanced and offers many more opportunities to the

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answer phones

A lot of effort goes in to creating the professional image of a business. Some businesses prefer to be seen as casual and fun, while others are the epitome of businesslike and professional. These differences in approach are reflected in the company’s marketing efforts, logo designs and even the look of the office or storefront (or website). There’s one other aspect of a company’s professional image that many businesses forget about, though: How you answer the phone. It might seem like a small thing, but the way that you answer the phone at work can have a big impact on

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puppy on a sidewalk

As the holiday season approaches, many businesses are looking at ways to translate holiday shopping trends into sales. You’ve no doubt already seen the start of holiday advertising pushes, and may be planning your own push for your business. Everyone from huge corporations to little mom-and-pop shops tend to rake it in from Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so there’s good reason to get excited for your business when the holidays roll around. That said, there’s more to improving your business through holiday celebrations than just targeting Christmas and the other end-of-year holidays. Even small businesses can score some

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Passion Led Us Here written on a sidewalk

Chances are, you had a specific goal or business vision in mind when you first set about starting your business. Over time, though, those initial goals have a way of getting lost in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of keeping a business running. They may grow outdated, or the company may simply outgrow them. Regardless, you can end up with a company that is focused on running (and possibly running well) but not really going anywhere because it lacks a central vision to drive it forward. With the dawning of a new year, it’s the perfect time to establish a

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Letting employees work remotely is a great option for many businesses since it lets them hire the best people for the job regardless of physical location. Unfortunately, these virtual teams sometimes have trouble working cohesively because of differences in time zones, lack of direct contact and other iss ues that arise when people aren’t physically working together. This is part of the reason that some major corporations, including IBM and Yahoo!, have started phasing out virtual teams completely. Just because problems can arise doesn’t mean that they have to, though. If your business makes use of virtual teams, there are

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Puzzle pieces

As your business grows, you may be surprised at how much you are able to accomplish. This is especially true once your business has grown to the point that you’re starting to consider larger projects and initiatives that would have once seemed beyond your scope. Unfortunately, you might sometimes find that these new projects are still a little beyond what you can easily do alone. Sometimes the problem that you face with larger projects is a cost issue, or having enough workers to pull it off without hindering your day-to-day operations in the process. Regardless of your limitation, though, the

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One of the most important things that a business can do is contribute to the community around it. This spirit of giving not only builds up the very community that supports the business, but also provides the business with some well-deserved public recognition. Businesses shouldn’t contribute to their communities just for the recognition, of course; it’s merely a positive side effect that comes from business leaders trying to do the right thing. Even though communities can use help any time of the year, the amount of help needed often grows significantly as the holidays creep closer. If you’re wondering how

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Outdoor meeting

The Phone.com Channel Partner Program (CPP) started in October 2010. The impetus was quite simple: Phone.com customers saw a reliable, cost effective, and forward-thinking solution for their voice communications needs and wanted to sell it to their clients and customers! Fast forward to today and the CPP has 360 members! These organizations represent Phone.com to their customers or clients and earn a commission for the revenues generated for as long as the customer is active with Phone.com. This results in a recurring revenue stream for our partners! In the initial stages of the program, it was expected that our successful

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Mobile phone user

Millennials are often seen as being innovative and tech-savvy, so many in the business world expect them to be part of the next big wave of entrepreneurs. It makes sense, after all; millennials are already taking over for the baby boomers when it comes to things like property ownership, so it’s natural for them to take over for baby boomers in entrepreneurship as well. Surprisingly, though, that doesn’t seem to be happening. From the looks of things, however, it’s only a matter of time. Millennials and Entrepreneurship Millennials are 20-somethings and 30-somethings at the moment, and that portion of the

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Communication is essential in business. This is especially true when you’re in a line of work where you take on individual clients. Regardless of the type of work that you do, your clients will have certain expectations that you need to meet. If you’re not able to effectively communicate with them, you might miss the mark entirely and either have to redo your work or lose the client completely. The big question is, what’s the best way to keep in touch with your clients? Some purists believe that the tried-and-true telephone is still by far the best option, while others

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Time management is essential to being productive during the workday. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get distracted by the people and events surrounding you. That’s not even getting into the various distractions you’ll find online… have you ever fallen down a Wikipedia hole at work while trying to look something up? Even if you’re usually pretty productive, there are still likely a few ways that you can better manage your time while you’re on the clock. Sometimes, improving your time management skills is just a matter of becoming more aware of how you spend your time during the workday. In other

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Once you’ve got it set up, you might not give much thought to your company’s phone system. After all, this is the age of the Internet… your phones may not even be the primary way that your customers connect with your business. That doesn’t mean that your phone system isn’t important, however; even with Facebook and email taking a role of prominence in business communications, people are still going to call when they need to get in touch with someone quickly. With that in mind, take a moment and think about what the user experience is when someone calls your

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This is part 1 of a 2 part blog. You can read part 2 here. IP phones are becoming increasingly common these days. Not only are they popular for residential use, but they’re showing up more and more at businesses as well. VoIP services offer a lot of options that businesses can use, allowing business owners to take advantage of more features for less money. Of course, if you really want to get the most out of your VoIP service then you’ll want to pair it with an IP phone. What’s an IP Phone? Glad you asked! An IP phone

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Work can be stressful even on a good day. It’s even worse on busy or hectic days, when you barely have enough time to do everything that you need to do. It’s days like that when you want nothing more than to get out of there and find a way to unleash all of that stress. Unfortunately, it seems like more often than not we end up bringing workday stress home with us and let it affect our home lives as well. When you’re finally off the clock after a busy workday, you need to get rid of some of

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Phones for professional services

Once upon a time, being an entrepreneur meant that you had an office space to work from which you might occasionally pack up and move to another building as businesses grew and evolved. This became less common over time, with entrepreneurs gravitating more toward coworking spaces where they shared office areas with other entrepreneurs. It offered a bit more freedom, and even allowed for networking with people you might not have met otherwise. In time, though, even the coworking spaces became too crowded and confining for modern entrepreneurs. A new breed of mobile entrepreneurs has left the office behind and

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Phone in a restaurant booth

As far as trends and use go, Voice over IP, better known as VoIP, is big. You may not realize just how big of a business it is, though. According to the latest statistics, it’s expected that there will be one billion people using VoIP services by the end of 2017. Given that there are only 7.5 billion people in the world, that means that approximately one in every eight people uses VoIP at home, at work or at some other point during the day. What Is VoIP? If you’re not one of those one in eight people and aren’t

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Email message

Many people dread having to leave a phone message when they call someone. Even if you know exactly what you were calling about, having to condense everything into a short message on the fly can be nerve wracking. Think about it… how many times have you left a message and then realized that you forgot something important as soon as you got off the phone? Knowing how to structure a good phone message can help with this. Instead of scrambling to cover everything that you need to say, you can look at the various points of message structure and fill

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Worker with mobile phone

Running a business isn’t easy, especially when you take a hands-on role in keeping things going yourself. It can become even trickier when you add in the various business calls that owners and managers have to field. You may wonder how to balance the two roles, fielding calls from customers, suppliers and others while still running your business full-time. It isn’t always easy, but there are ways to make balancing your behind-the-scenes and on-the-front-lines roles easier. Here are a few things to consider that may help take some of the pressure off when you don’t know how to keep it

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mission statement

A mission statement is an important part of any business. Not only does it clarify what your business does, but it also ensures that you have a clear enough vision of your core purpose to summarize it in just a couple of lines. Unfortunately, small businesses are often guilty of not putting enough effort into creating a mission statement and some may go without one entirely. Even if your small business has a mission statement, it may not reflect where your business is now. Knowing how (and when) to refine your mission statement is just as important as creating it

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Laptop while camping

  The traditional workplace has always had everyone working together at the same location, usually at the same time. Modern technology and the needs of our evolving business world have led to an ever-increasing number of employees working remotely, however. This work set-up can be a great way to reduce overhead, but it can cause headaches for management if they’re not in a remote mentality. You just can’t handle remote teams the same way that you do onsite workers and expect to get the same results. With that said, what’s the best way to handle workers who work remotely? While

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Hustle coffee mug

Video communications were once thought to be the epitome of futuristic vision, but now they’re fairly commonplace. Social media and webmail clients even have video communication technologies built in. With the technology being so commonplace, though, is there any way that you can leverage it to save your business money? Yes, there is. There are actually several, in fact. Understanding Video Communications When you think of video communications, you might think of something like Skype. You’re right, of course, though there’s much more to video communications than that. In addition to consumer-focused video software like Skype and FaceTime, video conferencing

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workplace communication

The workplace is always evolving. This means that the way things ran just a few years ago might not flow as smoothly now. More importantly, new types of media and communications may start replacing the workplace communication trends of years past. Of course, if you’re not careful, your company may be left in the dust as new technologies come into play and other businesses move away from the hardware, software and other tools to which you have become accustomed. Even if you aren’t planning on making any changes at the moment, it’s always important to be aware of changes in communication

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iPhone user

If you’re like most people, you’re struggling to be more organized and effective at work. If you haven’t already done so, consolidating your work flow onto one device is a great way to save time and be more efficient on the job. The closer you get to a true paperless office, the less time you’ll waste shuffling piles around in your work space. The best way to take a giant step toward having a cloud office is to start depending on your smart phone as a work tool. Consider these powerful apps and think of all the physical tools you

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Social media on a smart phone

Social media is such an integral part of most people’s lives that having a Facebook business page might seem like a no-brainer. That’s far from the truth, however. Social media marketing takes a solid time commitment, and it’s not useful for every type of business. If your industry needs widespread advertising for occasional users, such as for computer repairs, swimming pool supplies or gardening tools, a Facebook page might not be for you. But if your business thrives on repeat customers and you want to turn your regulars into a close-knit community, a Facebook page can do that like no

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Sometimes you just have to get a face to face meeting to close a deal, make a lasting contact, or see far-flung family members for the holiday. With Phone.com’s new Video Conferencing feature, we give you the perfect tool for being there even when you can’t be there. This blog will walk you through how to set up Video Conferencing on your account. The first step is to login to your Phone.com control panel. Next, mouse over configure to bring up the menu and choose Video Conference.   This will take you to the System Settings screen where you can

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As more and more communications take place through texts, emails and instant messaging platforms, phone calls are more likely to be placed into one of two categories: really important or nuisance calls. Phone.com has built many tools to ensure you never miss a really important call, but we’ve put just as much effort into giving you the tools you need to avoid nuisance calls. Our Call Screening and Call Blocking features are standard with every account and allow you to block incoming calls from telemarketers, unknown numbers or even pay phones or specific area codes, and you can do it

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Globe

We posted a blog recently about the benefits of adding an international number to your account and received a few questions about how it is done. It’s a simple process, really, with just five steps. Start at your control panel and select “Add a Number.” In the Add a Number menu, select “Search Global Numbers” to bring up the country selector. The country selector is not all inclusive and there are many regulations and reasons why a country might not be listed. If the country you need isn’t listed, call customer service to learn more about availability. For countries with immediate availability,

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Workstation

This is part two in a two-part series. You can read part one here.  In part one of this two-part series, we discussed ways to dip your small business toe into mobile waters, even if a high quality mobile app is out of the question right now. But we’re not going to forget those SMBs that are ready to get their first mobile app in the Apple store and on Google Play. Part two is entirely dedicated to these folks and making sure that app is a hit. Mobile is a wild place where the online world can reach out and

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Work devices

If economic downturns and times of recession have taught American businesses anything, it’s that developing customer relationships is a much more profitable strategy than many might have believed in the past. Gone are the days when customers were disposable, today’s approach is all about maximizing loyalty and slowing churn in order to increase the profit per customer and reducing marketing costs. In fact, Gallup found that a customer who is actively engaged with a brand actually represents a 23 percent increase in terms of wallet share compared to the average. A lot of what it takes to make that engaged customer starts

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  Did you know that every Phone.com extension on your account includes a FREE conference bridge, allowing your team to run conference calls with ease? Yes, free conference calling! There are some great benefits to this free feature, including: High definition voice quality Up to 500 participants Unlimited minute usage Here’s how to make the most of your conference bridge. Accessing Your Conference Bridge Mouse over Configure and click Manage Users and Extensions. Click Edit for the extension you want to use. Click Conferencing on the left side bar. Click Get Conference Bridge. Your conference bridge number, conference ID and moderator PIN

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When we train new members of our Customer Service team, we focus more than anything on just that: Customer Service. Our new agents are not expected to know every setting for all of our features—however, we do expect them to provide outstanding service to our customers, and understand that it is find to ask for help when they have questions. Here are the five top Phone.com values that we focus on when we train new Customer Service staff. 1. Quality What makes a quality customer-service interaction? Listening to each customer, really hearing what they need, and being committed to finding exact answers to their questions. Providing great customer service and continually improving that

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  The benefit of using your mobile phone for business calls is that you can carry your office in your pocket or purse. Read voicemail, run a conference call, send a fax. But the down side is that you might receive business calls when you’re off the clock, visiting with friends or doing your grocery shopping. Set Your Schedules One of the easiest ways to manage business calls on your personal phone is to set Phone.com Schedules, which allow you to manage how incoming business calls are handled during specific times. Nights, weekends and holidays? Set all incoming calls to go to voicemail!

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  Lawyers, therapists, realtors, notaries, call centers, utilities, banks—there are many types of businesses that rely on call recording to keep a record of conversations for legal or monitoring purposes. Phone.com offers free inbound call recording that you can activate manually on any call. You can also enable premium recording on your outgoing or incoming calls on your Phone.com account at the the following rates: 300 minutes – $4.95/month 1,000 minutes – $14.95/month Let’s walk through how to set up both the free and premium call-recording options. Activating Free Call Recording on an Incoming Call This service applies only to incoming calls on your Phone.com

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business meeting

Have you noticed how common it is for people to take laptops and phones into meetings these days? How those who are not actively part of the discussion use the time to get other work done? Or check their email, the weekend weather, or read an article on a tech blog? It’s symptomatic of how meetings happen today. You call a meeting to resolve an issue, invite all those who might be affected, who need to be kept in the loop, and then settle down to brainstorm solutions. People arrive to your meeting with a snack and a soda, and settle into the comfiest

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  “There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop … if we can’t [learn new technologies], mark my words, in three years we’ll be managing decline.” Randall Stephenson. Chairman and CEO, AT&T.   “I’m riding the copper train all the way down.” Kevin Stephenson. AT&T Customer Service Technician.   Last week, The New York Times published an outstanding article on two brothers—one, a veteran technician for AT&T; the other, his brother and the phone provider’s Chief Executive. The article, by NYT Tech Editor Quentin Hardy, is an insightful study of the men, their interests and motivations,

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Leadership, what is it? Are there essential characteristics? What distinguishes a good leader from a bad one? Do I have any hope of improving my leadership skills? And if so, what will it do for me and for those I care about?  John C. Maxwell is a world-renowned expert on leadership. In his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential, he expounds on all of these questions. I chose to read this book because leadership has always been an interest of mine. I’ve been in leadership positions several times before, but I always felt I lacked effectiveness.

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  Did you know that you can have phone service without a phone?   How? Phone.com’s Communicator software lets you receive and make calls from your computer, without a phone device! Learn more about Communicator features >   To use Communicator, complete the following three steps: Download and install the software on your computer. Create a dedicated extension on your Phone.com account to use for Communicator. Find and use your unique Communicator username and password to log into the software. Download the Phone.com Communicator Software You can download the latest version of Phone.com Communicator for either Windows or Mac OS

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  Our Engineering group is rounding out a new RESTful API that you can use to build your own apps and incorporate Phone.com functionality into your business systems.   We never questioned whether or not we’d use REST—it’s pretty much a given that REST is the best way to build an API. And it’s almost as unanimous that a RESTful API should be JSON based. But since REST is a set of architectural guidelines, rather than a protocol or specification, we had to decide at the outset which media type we would use for output. That is, what kind of JSON

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  Customer service. Everyone has a customer-service story, whether good, bad or in between. This is certainly true for those of us who work in the industry—we not only need service as consumers, we provide it every day! This puts us in an interesting position, being on both sides of the customer-service equation. We know how it feels to be the desperate caller who needs something on their account fixed, and we know how it feels to be the well-intentioned representative, trying to provide the best service we possibly can. In light of this, I think the four agreements discussed in Don Miguel Ruiz’s

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Phone manners have changed some in the 150 years since Alexander Bell first spoke the words “Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!” into his leading-edge voice transmitter. Early telephone etiquette centered around social politeness, and also on the practicality that phone service was limited and should not be squandered! A few examples, taken from a list of early phone etiquette rules in a recent Mental Floss article: Don’t say hello! Because that greeting was implied and exchanging niceties was seen as tying up the phone lines unnecessarily. Instead, recipients were encouraged to state their phone number immediately as soon as they picked up

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You’ve started a promising business and you’re ready to make those great ideas happen. As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, it’s not enough to have a great plan, it’s all about how you execute. Time to get organized! In today’s distributed workforce, collaborating face to face isn’t always an option. And while Phone.com powers business communications, providing affordable phone service wherever you do business, a good phone call is only part of the solution. Here’s the list of tools we find essential to collaborating at Phone.com, particularly since our own team is distributed across the United States! These simple and free online tools will keep employees in

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  In the era of VoIP phone service, the idea of adding a phone line seems dated. You’re no longer connecting a wired cable; you’re adding a virtual software service. Technology changes quickly but terminology tends to lag before slowly fading away. Even though we’ve used touch-tone phones for decades, we still talk about dialing a number. I hang up to end a call, even though I’m really just tossing my phone into my purse. And really, why when your phone lights up with the theme song from Mission Impossible, do we say it’s ringing? We use telephony terms long after they are accurate. Mental Floss recently published

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We frequently go through some of our larger customer accounts and call to check in and see how the service is working for them. On one occasion, I came across a large account. At first glance, I noted that they paid their bill each month and almost never called Customer Service. Great, right? But when I called and spoke with them, I found out they were experiencing a number of technical issues and were considering switching to a different provider. They just didn’t have the time to call us or try to resolve the issues. I’d gone into the call thinking

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Virtual phone number for small business

As businesses and home users set aside traditional analog phone services, replacing them with Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), one of the challenges becomes allocating the right amount of bandwidth to your Internet phone service. How much of your current bandwidth is needed for high-quality voice calls? This is a question we are asked every day by our customers. Here’s an overview video.    Start by asking yourself a few questions: What is the actual data upload and download speed that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) delivers? What other services and applications on your network consume a portion of that

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Are you still writing your business contacts on random pieces of paper, or maybe you are tired of having your business and personal contacts mixed together? If so, Phone.com has a great address book feature included with every account that makes managing your business contacts easy and efficient.  There are several benefits to using our address books, including: Importing contacts is simple. Want to transfer your contacts from AOL, Gmail, Plaxo, Windows Live, or Yahoo? We’ve got you covered with an automated importing tool to handle the job. Extension specific contacts. Got a staff of employees that all have their

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As a small business owner, are you satisfied with your phone service? Wonder where to find the reliability you need or how to scale your phone system to serve your growing enterprise? You’re not alone. A recent report from Software Advice, a Texas-based service that matches businesses with best-in-class software solutions, suggests that nearly 60 percent of companies currently looking to upgrade their phone systems are looking for a sophisticated VOIP service, one that is both reliable and scalable. Top Reasons for Considering VOIP   The report highlights the top features, pain points and reasons that business owners are looking to VoIP.

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As a small business owner, time is one of your greatest assets, and also something that seems to be in a constantly short supply. The last thing you need to be doing is tinkering with your phone system, which is why Phone.com has some great preset features that will save you some valuable time. Presets allow you to: Save your settings in templates. These templates can then be quickly applied elsewhere on your account without having to set them up manually repeatedly. Edit your call forwarding in one location. When you save your call forwarding as presets, you can manage

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Apple recently unveiled their new iPhone 6 and it’s bigger and better than ever. If you’re considering upgrading, or perhaps this is your first iPhone, then why not take advantage of our iPhone app with that new phone of yours?  As a business owner, staying connected with your clients while outside of the office is critical. With our iPhone app, you can fulfill most of your business’s communication needs without being at your desk, including: Placing calls with your Phone.com number. No need for a desk phone to accomplish this. Our app allows you to use your Phone.com number as

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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

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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

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In the book Remote, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of 37signals, present a compelling argument for allowing employees to work from home.  At the core of the discussion is giving your employees the flexibility to work wherever they feel is best. That could be home or a cabin in the mountains, or possibly at one coffee shop in the morning and another in the evening. Does it really matter where they work as long as they are completing their work with flying colors and effectively communicating with the team? If you are currently considering allowing your employees to work remotely, here are five

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Traditional faxing is soon to become an obsolete obstruction in your home office setup. Those big, bulky devices are being replaced with cloud-based solutions like the one that Phone.com offers, which allows you to send faxes directly from your computer or smartphone.  Here’s 3 great reasons to start sending and receiving digital faxes today with Phone.com: You can send a fax wherever you have your computer or smartphone. Faxes can be sent digitally directly from your Phone.com account, or you can send them from our iPhone app. Be notified of your received faxes via email. No more sitting around the

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If your business is like any other, then you probably have a customer service or sales team with multiple employees answering the phones throughout the day. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to utilize Phone.com’s Queues feature so you never have to worry about setting up your call forwarding again.  Queues have several benefits, including: Routing incoming calls to a specific group of phone numbers. Never worry about having to set up individual forwarding to each employee’s phone number. You can set all your numbers to be dialed once in your queue settings. Queue members are dialed in

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In a year end piece summarizing the VoIP industry in 2008 and looking forward towards 2009, analyst Jon Arnold published this article for TMCNET magazine. In the article titled “VoIP in 2008 – Im not dead” Arnlod mentions 10 companies that made a difference in 2008 and Phone.com is among them. Arnold says about Phone.com: “— there is no shortage of SMB IP telephony solutions, but this one really shows what’s possible with a Web-based service. They offer residential service as well, but more importantly, Phone.com makes ease-of-use a priority, and shows just how flexible do-it-yourself VoIP can be.” Ease

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Rich Tehrani, President and Editor-in-Chief of TMCNET and Internet Telephony Magazine recently published an interview we had. Rich and his team have been covering the voice over IP and Internet Telephony industry pretty much from its inception and their ITExpo is the biggest pure industry conference and tradeshow. Their biggest event is coming up September 16-18 in LA and I will be speaking there on behalf of Phone.com. Below is a copy of my interview with Rich: Ari Rabban, CEO and Co-Founder of Phone.com, recently took the time to answer some of my questions about home and business phone systems,

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Business phone service

What Can a VoIP Business Phone Service Do for Your Business? It’s a sad fact, but it’s true: only 7% of workers feel they have done anything productive at the end of their workday. There are several reasons for this: the lack of a meaningful job, apathy toward the career one has been in for a long time, or simply imposter syndrome. While these factors are out of your hands, there is something you as an employer can do: enable tools to improve communications and increase their productivity. One of the most effective ways to do this is by updating

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VoIP Phone Systems for Samll Business

What Is VoIP in Phone Systems for Small Businesses? There are now many more channels on which companies’ employees, clients, suppliers and other stakeholders can communicate. Emerging technologies such as chat, text and social media make it possible to connect everyone with the internet in a convenient way. Despite this, there is no doubt phone calls are as vital as ever, and many organizations are wondering if a VoIP phone system for small business is the best option for them. Most companies find it challenging to eliminate phone calls. Phone calls are an essential customer service tool that can easily

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Business phone service

What Is an IP Phone System? While technology has given us more innovative communication channels, most small businesses have yet to abandon the phone. Companies are rapidly replacing traditional phones with IP phones that offer greater benefits to both them and their customers.  The same holds true with regards to snail mail. Today, email, chat, and video takes its place, providing faster, more reliable communications. Whether via phone, email, chat, or video, we now can establish personal connections with customers without being face-to-face.  An IP phone may be new to you, but it’s simple to understand. PC Mag defines an

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VoIP Concept on a Mobile Phone

What is a VoIP Phone: Learning the Basics Recent technology has made it possible for many more channels of communication to be available. Despite chat, text, social media, and other communication channels, evidence shows phones are as crucial as ever. So, what is a VoIP phone, and why should you consider it?  It’s been hard for many companies to eliminate phone calls, especially for small businesses that need to maintain a close connection with customers. If you’re looking for options to modernize the way your company makes and receives calls, you’ve likely come across VoIP phones but don’t quite understand

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Do not disturb

Productivity Hack: What Is the “Do Not Disturb” Feature on Your Phone?   The pandemic impacted everyone’s productivity, but a significant number of people relied on technology to keep their key performance indicators high. As an example, special features to disable mobile and office phones’ distracting rings and notifications became useful. You’re in the right place if you’re asking the question, “What is the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature on my phone?”  In a nutshell, the “Do Not Disturb” mode sends business calls directly to voicemail. Top providers can set up sophisticated virtual IP phone systems that forward the calls to

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VoIP Pros and Cons

Why Is VoIP Used On Office Telephone Systems? Are you looking into office telephone systems? Then probably, the term “VoIP” appeared a lot on your search. Going through the basics of this technology, as well as its pros and cons, will help you determine if it is the right phone choice for your business. What is VoIP? The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) explains, “Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line (…) VoIP services convert your voice into a digital

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Flower shop owner talking on mobile phone.

Why Finding The Best Virtual Phone System For a Small Business Is Essential   Finding the best virtual phone system for a small business may be challenging. At the same time, having a reliable infrastructure to receive and make calls is essential. Without it, customer service goes out the window, along with sales leads. According to HubSpot, a reputable CRM platform, “Even in today’s digital world, customers often prefer phone support when reaching out to customer service. The immediacy and familiarity of talking on the phone with a real human build trust between a customer and customer service agent.” There

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Remote worker on a mobile phone.

On-premise systems have dominated business communications for the longest time. In business, there are few unavoidable grudge buys. One of them is a telephone system. As a result, for smaller organizations, sophisticated call routing, and call control features have been out of scope. Not only were telephony systems complicated and expensive, but they were also constrained to the company premises. As soon as users ventured out of their workplace, they are disconnected from the system, and they have to use their cellular minutes to communicate. Thankfully, advances in technology and more acceptable pricing of virtual phone systems have introduced a new, cheaper

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2021 Small Business Resolutions

The end of the year is traditionally the perfect time to make plans for the coming year. The most popular New Year’s resolutions are health and fitness related, such as working out more, quitting smoking, eating healthier meals, taking up meditation, etc. Then there are some who have a different approach to New Year’s resolutions, making them not only about improving themselves, but their families (“being a better father”), their communities (“volunteering once a month”), or their work (“being a better manager”). Deciding to improve your performance at work can actually help you with all your other resolutions because any

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Man sending a text

Choosing a phone number is a surprisingly important decision for any business. Your phone number is a crucial part of your brand identity and it will impact how you interact with clients. Fortunately, you have options available depending on your business goals. Local Phone Numbers There are several excellent reasons to consider choosing a local phone number. The first is that it is usually the lowest cost option. If you sign up for a modern virtual business phone service, it will probably include a local phone number in your monthly cost. Another reason to consider a local phone number is that

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Doctor with a mobile phone

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was created in 1996 to modernize the flow of healthcare information. It stipulates how all personal data maintained by the healthcare and healthcare insurance industries should be protected from fraud and theft. It also addresses limitations on healthcare insurance coverage. All healthcare and healthcare insurance industries are required to comply with HIPAA guidelines and can expect to be audited by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), an organization within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). HIPAA compliance should be taken very seriously, as violations can carry civil or even

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Juneteenth Independence Day

  Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Jubilee Day, is a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with the news that the war had ended and that those enslaved were now free.   The celebration of Juneteenth amid the events of 2020 reminds us that freedom for Black Americans was delayed and resisted. Although decades of progress followed, the fight for equality is far from over, and we are all called to join

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Lady Justice statue in law firm attorney office

For a law firm, clear and professional communication is paramount for success.  An office phone system that meets your needs must also be easy to use and affordable. All types of offices across the country are choosing to upgrade their old phone systems to a cloud-based VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) system.  Its an investment your law office should consider if you want to stay competitive in the decade to come.   Office Phone System 2.0   If you are still using a landline, its likely time to upgrade your system.  While landlines might seem more straightforward, cheaper, or at

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businessman talking on cell phone

The voice over internet protocol (VoIP) market is expected to reach $55 billion by 2025. More companies are making the switch to VoIP, allowing them to make calls using broadband internet instead of a conventional phone system.   VoIP works by converting sounds into digital communications. Then, the digital file is transferred through internet broadband. By using VoIP, companies can use the internet to make phone calls!   Why make the switch? Keep reading to find out. Here are the 10 benefits of switching to a virtual phone system!   1. Easy Installation And Integration   Many businesses hesitate to make major

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Small business phone system.

  Plenty of small business owners are looking for ways to save money. If you get creative, you can find a variety of ways to keep costs low while you’re still in your growing phase.   Phone systems are a great way for small business owners to save money. The small business phone system you use could be expensive, and finding a new way to communicate with customers and conduct business could be the best way to cut down on costs.   Many business owners are choosing to use a virtual phone system to conduct business. VoIP has taken the business world

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Woman makes a phone call

  We’ve all called into a business seeking help or guidance, being greeted with the same generic script and tone of voice at the other end of the line. “Can you hold for just a moment while I look into this please?”   It’s never just a moment, though. Often that one moment turns into a few minutes and then a few more after that.   Then you’re a little upset and ready to hang up the phone.   Did you know that businesses have lost $1.6 trillion in revenue after bad customer service?   Customers are the lifeline of a business, so

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Small business phone system.

Upgrading your business’s phone system may seem like an unnecessary expense. After all, the current system still works, you might argue. While it’s true, you might be able to make a few calls here and there, are you at par with your competition? Technology continually evolves, and moving with technology could give you that edge over your competition. To keep up with consumer and employee demands, getting a new small business phone system might be a wise move. In this article, we’ll look at a few telltale signs that your small business phone system needs an upgrade. Types of Small Business Phone

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Advice for Remote Work

Is Your Business Prepared for a Remote Workforce? Today’s workforce looks vastly different from that of just a decade ago. More companies are not only allowing employees to work from home, but they are encouraging it. In a recent report by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, remote work was found to have increased by 44 percent over the last five years and 91 percent in the past decade. Today, 4.7 million people, 3.4 percent of the U.S. population, now work from home. A FlexJob survey discovered that 74 percent of respondents believe flexible working has “become the new normal.”  

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Business man on a mobile phone.

  In today’s corporate world, small businesses are constantly looking for new avenues to gain a competitive edge. One of the best ways to go about doing that is by streamlining production wherever and whenever it’s possible. Communication is vitally important to keep all levels of your business on the same page. However, getting stuck in the old phone systems can waste valuable time in your company’s hours of operation. Implementing a cloud-based phone system, however, will give your small business several benefits it needs to advance. Here are some of the top perks to making the switch from your

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Business woman on a mobile phone.

As your business grows, the need for a virtual phone system increases. Phone systems are a huge leap above your cell phone communication, email, and messaging apps. As a business owner, you probably have dozens of business calls every day. Now consider the different departments of your business, you could be looking at hundreds of calls each day. From customer service calls, telemarketing to coordinating with team members, you’ll need office telephone systems to handle all this. When it comes to choosing a telephone system, you have many options. However, before rushing to get a telephone system, there are a

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Mobile phone concept

  Small businesses take a lot of calls each day. How many? They get approximately 400 million per day. Historically, growing small businesses turned to PBX or private branch exchange systems. In recent years, however, small businesses chose wireless business phone systems. So, what is a wireless phone system and how does it compare with traditional PBX systems? Traditional PBX A PBX system basically works like a switchboard. It allows internal users to call one another on local extensions. It also routes external calls through a set number of external lines or numbers. Some businesses inherit old PBX systems that prove entirely analog

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Cloud phone system.

There is no communication quite like a phone call. So much can be communicated through tone of voice that is missed in text and emails. If you’ve put off getting a phone system for your business because of the expense and installation hassles, you’re in luck. A new breed of phone service is available for businesses like yours and it’s affordable and easy. Really! What Is a Cloud-Based Phone System? A cloud-based system is a phone system that uses your internet connection instead of traditional phone wires or cellular services. How Is a Cloud Phone System Different From Traditional Phone

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Business man on a mobile phone.

Phone numbers, as we know them are changing. Traditionally, phone numbers were tied to a specific phone, device, or home. That is no longer the case, thanks to the emergence of virtual phone numbers. Virtual and normal phone numbers are slightly different from each other. Find out the difference between a virtual phone number and a normal phone number here. The Difference Between a Virtual Phone Number and a Physical One Virtual phone numbers can sound like a complicated or, quite possibly, an expensive option for a phone system. That simply is not the case. A straightforward and cost-effective option,

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Checklist graphic

Did you know that consumers prefer a personal relationship with small business owners? Well, recent reports indicate that 60% of customers communicate with small entrepreneurs over the phone. For entrepreneurs, knowing how your customers love to communicate with you is an insightful revelation. It helps you provide a communication system that offers them the best experience. Are you unable to decide on the best business phone system for your new establishment? You need to keep in mind the phone systems today are not merely tools for making and receiving calls. Customers will want a unified system that permits an array

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Florist using a mobile phone.

Your business clients expect the best from you; being able to reach you is essential. Your business phone system should fulfill the needs of your clients; when you’re in your office and when your not.  There are many options for phone systems in today’s market, but what are the features that make the best call handling solution for your business? We’ve all had the experience of dealing with automated systems that leave us shouting “operator” and being routed in a circle. That’s the last thing you want to happen to your clients, especially when your business is new. Losing clients

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Young woman looks at mobile phone.

There are several reasons why it is important to have a business phone number. After all, society today is very interconnected with online-oriented communication. And business telephone numbers are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury.  Having a business phone number is necessary if you want to maintain consistency within your business while never missing a beat. But there are plenty of other important reasons why your company needs a dedicated number. Here are our top 7 reasons why you should get a business phone number today. 1. Your Personal Cell Phone Number Remains Private Nothing is more annoying

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Young business woman with mobile phone.

  Are you a busy small business owner trying to streamline your business?  The Internet has changed business as we know it. Each day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data—Superman would certainly be impressed with this speed! The Internet does more than Google searches, social media, and news articles. You can get a virtual phone system with more features than any landline could ever provide. Let’s take a look at how to choose the right system for you and your business. What is a Virtual Phone System? A virtual phone system is a platform that runs over the Internet

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Young man working from home on a mobile phone.

  Every business has a different set of needs based on its structure and customer geographics. Although some businesses remain local, business is becoming more global requiring changes in every aspect of your business. Whether it is infrastructure, networking, communications or staffing models, things are changing and at a fast pace. Is a virtual phone system right for your company? Reviewing the cost and benefits will help you find out if a virtual phone system is right for you. What is a Virtual Phone System?  A virtual phone system works using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It was developed in

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Lawyers using call recording VOIP

There are many reasons for wanting to record a call. Whether you’re a lawyer, therapist, realtor, notary, call center, utility company, bank, etc.—there are many types of businesses that rely on call recording to keep a record of conversations for legal or monitoring purposes. If you don’t currently record calls or are weighing whether you should, here are a few benefits call recording can provide.   Business Advantages to Call Recording:   Improve your products and service Capturing customer complaints or product shortcomings is an excellent way to improve your overall product strategy. Call recording is an easy method to

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customer dialing custom vanity number

How many times have you needed customer support and couldn’t for the life of you find a company number? Or are you just frustrated and exhausted by the constant ping of a chatbot that can’t really solve your problem? You’re not alone. There is still a big contingent of consumers who want to talk to a real human. And if you’re a small business that offers a service, you need to be available to help if the going gets tough. For some customers, solving problems online or through messenger apps simply isn’t enough. So if you’re a new startup, an

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Small business/startup meeting in progress

There was a time when if you heard the word “meeting” you pictured a bunch of people sitting around listening while one or two people talked. Though some meetings had more back-and-forth feedback than others, by and large meetings were often handled the same. And in some companies, they still are. That doesn’t mean that meetings (and the workplace in general) aren’t changing, however. Modern technology has changed the way that we have meetings, and it’s even augmented the way that we look at the workplace in terms of efficiency, the potential of communications and more. If you’re curious as

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HIPAA compliant laptop

Here at Phone.com we’re not only proud to deliver top notch business class phone service to a diverse group of small businesses, we’re also able to legally protect the sensitive information handled by medical professionals with our HIPAA compliant coverage in our standard features. If you’re unfamiliar with that acronym or new to the VoIP industry, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was signed into law in 1996 with the chief aim at providing accountability for health insurance companies and patients’ information. With the VoIP revolution, small, medium and large medical companies are able to cut costs by not having to

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Coffee mug and calendar

Everyone wants to be successful, even if we all have different definitions of success. Some view success as amassing wealth and power, others view it as seeing a dream come true or becoming their own boss. Regardless of how you define success, you’re unlikely to find it by simply waiting around for it to show up. If you want to be successful, you’ve got to work for it. While the specific work depends on lots of variables, there are some things you can do to help it along. If you want to achieve maximum success and reach your goals, a

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Man with coat and tie

A CEO has a lot of power of his or her company, but with that power comes an immense amount of responsibility. Not everyone is cut out for this sort of responsibility, and new CEOs can sometimes be overwhelmed by everything that’s required for their jobs. That’s why some CEOs seem to flounder once they’re in position while others thrive and take their companies to new heights. To be truly successful, new CEOs typically require certain traits. These traits are often the same sort of traits that one has to have to become a CEO in the first place, but

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Small business owner using call screening feature for VOIP

                            When you think of call screening, you likely imagine a feature that’s used be people at home trying to avoid calls from telemarketers or other folks they want to avoid. With the advent of caller ID, call screening is a feature that many people don’t even use. What many don’t realize is that there are still some great uses of call screening even in a world where you can see at a glance where a call is coming from. Not only that, but call screening can

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Mobile phone user

A new report by marketing and research firm Criteo reveals that mobile apps grabbed the lion’s share of e-commerce transactions in 4Q’17 for retailers that have shopping apps. This is a big deal, as more and more retailers are seeing the advantage of having a dedicated mobile app to make things easier on shoppers. Some are even making a major push to make their apps commonplace, with retail giants like Wal-Mart pitching the app in stores and even adding scan-and-pay functionality that lets shoppers scan items as they pick them up to skip most of the hassle of checkout. Why

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Charts on a tablet

Regardless of the size of your business, proper marketing is essential if you want to be successful. Different generations have different wants and needs, however, so a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing usually isn’t the best way to reach your largest possible audience. If you want to make the biggest impact, you need to target your marketing efforts differently to different generations. This is the core concept behind generational marketing. By researching trends in different generations, your marketing team can more effectively develop strategies to promote your business and products. This differentiation improves the likelihood of your message getting out there

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mobile phone user

You’ve probably never considered how the way that you use your phone could influence the success of your business. After all, the two things seem so disconnected that there’s no reason to think that one might affect the other. As it turns out, though, there is actually a direct connection between how you use your phone and how successful your business is. Knowing how to identify and use this connection can mean the difference between a business that does better than you ever expected and one that just barely gets by. Before we get too far into how you can

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Animated office scene

This was the caption to a panel of the popular tech webcomic found at XKCD.com. Also, these are words that terrify everyone in the telecom business. It’s no secret that millennials are far more comfortable texting rather than calling. Even Gen X and Y often avoid calls in favor of the less intrusive SMS. So how did we get to this point, and what can we do to fix it? Or, does it even need to be fixed? If, like the character in the hat, you have five phone numbers and you’re not sure what they all do, rest assured

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User network

Networking is an important part of the business world. If you want to get things done and keep everything under budget, it’s essential that you have access to the people, tools and materials that you need to get the job done. If you don’t focus on business networking, you’re going to be quickly outpaced by those who do. That said, business networking is evolving. No longer is it about collecting business cards and keeping your rolodex up to date in case you need to reach a specific contact. Now it’s much more nuanced and offers many more opportunities to the

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answer phones

A lot of effort goes in to creating the professional image of a business. Some businesses prefer to be seen as casual and fun, while others are the epitome of businesslike and professional. These differences in approach are reflected in the company’s marketing efforts, logo designs and even the look of the office or storefront (or website). There’s one other aspect of a company’s professional image that many businesses forget about, though: How you answer the phone. It might seem like a small thing, but the way that you answer the phone at work can have a big impact on

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puppy on a sidewalk

As the holiday season approaches, many businesses are looking at ways to translate holiday shopping trends into sales. You’ve no doubt already seen the start of holiday advertising pushes, and may be planning your own push for your business. Everyone from huge corporations to little mom-and-pop shops tend to rake it in from Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so there’s good reason to get excited for your business when the holidays roll around. That said, there’s more to improving your business through holiday celebrations than just targeting Christmas and the other end-of-year holidays. Even small businesses can score some

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Passion Led Us Here written on a sidewalk

Chances are, you had a specific goal or business vision in mind when you first set about starting your business. Over time, though, those initial goals have a way of getting lost in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of keeping a business running. They may grow outdated, or the company may simply outgrow them. Regardless, you can end up with a company that is focused on running (and possibly running well) but not really going anywhere because it lacks a central vision to drive it forward. With the dawning of a new year, it’s the perfect time to establish a

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Letting employees work remotely is a great option for many businesses since it lets them hire the best people for the job regardless of physical location. Unfortunately, these virtual teams sometimes have trouble working cohesively because of differences in time zones, lack of direct contact and other iss ues that arise when people aren’t physically working together. This is part of the reason that some major corporations, including IBM and Yahoo!, have started phasing out virtual teams completely. Just because problems can arise doesn’t mean that they have to, though. If your business makes use of virtual teams, there are

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Puzzle pieces

As your business grows, you may be surprised at how much you are able to accomplish. This is especially true once your business has grown to the point that you’re starting to consider larger projects and initiatives that would have once seemed beyond your scope. Unfortunately, you might sometimes find that these new projects are still a little beyond what you can easily do alone. Sometimes the problem that you face with larger projects is a cost issue, or having enough workers to pull it off without hindering your day-to-day operations in the process. Regardless of your limitation, though, the

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One of the most important things that a business can do is contribute to the community around it. This spirit of giving not only builds up the very community that supports the business, but also provides the business with some well-deserved public recognition. Businesses shouldn’t contribute to their communities just for the recognition, of course; it’s merely a positive side effect that comes from business leaders trying to do the right thing. Even though communities can use help any time of the year, the amount of help needed often grows significantly as the holidays creep closer. If you’re wondering how

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Outdoor meeting

The Phone.com Channel Partner Program (CPP) started in October 2010. The impetus was quite simple: Phone.com customers saw a reliable, cost effective, and forward-thinking solution for their voice communications needs and wanted to sell it to their clients and customers! Fast forward to today and the CPP has 360 members! These organizations represent Phone.com to their customers or clients and earn a commission for the revenues generated for as long as the customer is active with Phone.com. This results in a recurring revenue stream for our partners! In the initial stages of the program, it was expected that our successful

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Mobile phone user

Millennials are often seen as being innovative and tech-savvy, so many in the business world expect them to be part of the next big wave of entrepreneurs. It makes sense, after all; millennials are already taking over for the baby boomers when it comes to things like property ownership, so it’s natural for them to take over for baby boomers in entrepreneurship as well. Surprisingly, though, that doesn’t seem to be happening. From the looks of things, however, it’s only a matter of time. Millennials and Entrepreneurship Millennials are 20-somethings and 30-somethings at the moment, and that portion of the

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Communication is essential in business. This is especially true when you’re in a line of work where you take on individual clients. Regardless of the type of work that you do, your clients will have certain expectations that you need to meet. If you’re not able to effectively communicate with them, you might miss the mark entirely and either have to redo your work or lose the client completely. The big question is, what’s the best way to keep in touch with your clients? Some purists believe that the tried-and-true telephone is still by far the best option, while others

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Time management is essential to being productive during the workday. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get distracted by the people and events surrounding you. That’s not even getting into the various distractions you’ll find online… have you ever fallen down a Wikipedia hole at work while trying to look something up? Even if you’re usually pretty productive, there are still likely a few ways that you can better manage your time while you’re on the clock. Sometimes, improving your time management skills is just a matter of becoming more aware of how you spend your time during the workday. In other

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Once you’ve got it set up, you might not give much thought to your company’s phone system. After all, this is the age of the Internet… your phones may not even be the primary way that your customers connect with your business. That doesn’t mean that your phone system isn’t important, however; even with Facebook and email taking a role of prominence in business communications, people are still going to call when they need to get in touch with someone quickly. With that in mind, take a moment and think about what the user experience is when someone calls your

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This is part 1 of a 2 part blog. You can read part 2 here. IP phones are becoming increasingly common these days. Not only are they popular for residential use, but they’re showing up more and more at businesses as well. VoIP services offer a lot of options that businesses can use, allowing business owners to take advantage of more features for less money. Of course, if you really want to get the most out of your VoIP service then you’ll want to pair it with an IP phone. What’s an IP Phone? Glad you asked! An IP phone

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Work can be stressful even on a good day. It’s even worse on busy or hectic days, when you barely have enough time to do everything that you need to do. It’s days like that when you want nothing more than to get out of there and find a way to unleash all of that stress. Unfortunately, it seems like more often than not we end up bringing workday stress home with us and let it affect our home lives as well. When you’re finally off the clock after a busy workday, you need to get rid of some of

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Phones for professional services

Once upon a time, being an entrepreneur meant that you had an office space to work from which you might occasionally pack up and move to another building as businesses grew and evolved. This became less common over time, with entrepreneurs gravitating more toward coworking spaces where they shared office areas with other entrepreneurs. It offered a bit more freedom, and even allowed for networking with people you might not have met otherwise. In time, though, even the coworking spaces became too crowded and confining for modern entrepreneurs. A new breed of mobile entrepreneurs has left the office behind and

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Phone in a restaurant booth

As far as trends and use go, Voice over IP, better known as VoIP, is big. You may not realize just how big of a business it is, though. According to the latest statistics, it’s expected that there will be one billion people using VoIP services by the end of 2017. Given that there are only 7.5 billion people in the world, that means that approximately one in every eight people uses VoIP at home, at work or at some other point during the day. What Is VoIP? If you’re not one of those one in eight people and aren’t

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Email message

Many people dread having to leave a phone message when they call someone. Even if you know exactly what you were calling about, having to condense everything into a short message on the fly can be nerve wracking. Think about it… how many times have you left a message and then realized that you forgot something important as soon as you got off the phone? Knowing how to structure a good phone message can help with this. Instead of scrambling to cover everything that you need to say, you can look at the various points of message structure and fill

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Worker with mobile phone

Running a business isn’t easy, especially when you take a hands-on role in keeping things going yourself. It can become even trickier when you add in the various business calls that owners and managers have to field. You may wonder how to balance the two roles, fielding calls from customers, suppliers and others while still running your business full-time. It isn’t always easy, but there are ways to make balancing your behind-the-scenes and on-the-front-lines roles easier. Here are a few things to consider that may help take some of the pressure off when you don’t know how to keep it

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mission statement

A mission statement is an important part of any business. Not only does it clarify what your business does, but it also ensures that you have a clear enough vision of your core purpose to summarize it in just a couple of lines. Unfortunately, small businesses are often guilty of not putting enough effort into creating a mission statement and some may go without one entirely. Even if your small business has a mission statement, it may not reflect where your business is now. Knowing how (and when) to refine your mission statement is just as important as creating it

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Laptop while camping

  The traditional workplace has always had everyone working together at the same location, usually at the same time. Modern technology and the needs of our evolving business world have led to an ever-increasing number of employees working remotely, however. This work set-up can be a great way to reduce overhead, but it can cause headaches for management if they’re not in a remote mentality. You just can’t handle remote teams the same way that you do onsite workers and expect to get the same results. With that said, what’s the best way to handle workers who work remotely? While

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Hustle coffee mug

Video communications were once thought to be the epitome of futuristic vision, but now they’re fairly commonplace. Social media and webmail clients even have video communication technologies built in. With the technology being so commonplace, though, is there any way that you can leverage it to save your business money? Yes, there is. There are actually several, in fact. Understanding Video Communications When you think of video communications, you might think of something like Skype. You’re right, of course, though there’s much more to video communications than that. In addition to consumer-focused video software like Skype and FaceTime, video conferencing

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workplace communication

The workplace is always evolving. This means that the way things ran just a few years ago might not flow as smoothly now. More importantly, new types of media and communications may start replacing the workplace communication trends of years past. Of course, if you’re not careful, your company may be left in the dust as new technologies come into play and other businesses move away from the hardware, software and other tools to which you have become accustomed. Even if you aren’t planning on making any changes at the moment, it’s always important to be aware of changes in communication

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iPhone user

If you’re like most people, you’re struggling to be more organized and effective at work. If you haven’t already done so, consolidating your work flow onto one device is a great way to save time and be more efficient on the job. The closer you get to a true paperless office, the less time you’ll waste shuffling piles around in your work space. The best way to take a giant step toward having a cloud office is to start depending on your smart phone as a work tool. Consider these powerful apps and think of all the physical tools you

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Social media on a smart phone

Social media is such an integral part of most people’s lives that having a Facebook business page might seem like a no-brainer. That’s far from the truth, however. Social media marketing takes a solid time commitment, and it’s not useful for every type of business. If your industry needs widespread advertising for occasional users, such as for computer repairs, swimming pool supplies or gardening tools, a Facebook page might not be for you. But if your business thrives on repeat customers and you want to turn your regulars into a close-knit community, a Facebook page can do that like no

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Sometimes you just have to get a face to face meeting to close a deal, make a lasting contact, or see far-flung family members for the holiday. With Phone.com’s new Video Conferencing feature, we give you the perfect tool for being there even when you can’t be there. This blog will walk you through how to set up Video Conferencing on your account. The first step is to login to your Phone.com control panel. Next, mouse over configure to bring up the menu and choose Video Conference.   This will take you to the System Settings screen where you can

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As more and more communications take place through texts, emails and instant messaging platforms, phone calls are more likely to be placed into one of two categories: really important or nuisance calls. Phone.com has built many tools to ensure you never miss a really important call, but we’ve put just as much effort into giving you the tools you need to avoid nuisance calls. Our Call Screening and Call Blocking features are standard with every account and allow you to block incoming calls from telemarketers, unknown numbers or even pay phones or specific area codes, and you can do it

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Globe

We posted a blog recently about the benefits of adding an international number to your account and received a few questions about how it is done. It’s a simple process, really, with just five steps. Start at your control panel and select “Add a Number.” In the Add a Number menu, select “Search Global Numbers” to bring up the country selector. The country selector is not all inclusive and there are many regulations and reasons why a country might not be listed. If the country you need isn’t listed, call customer service to learn more about availability. For countries with immediate availability,

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Workstation

This is part two in a two-part series. You can read part one here.  In part one of this two-part series, we discussed ways to dip your small business toe into mobile waters, even if a high quality mobile app is out of the question right now. But we’re not going to forget those SMBs that are ready to get their first mobile app in the Apple store and on Google Play. Part two is entirely dedicated to these folks and making sure that app is a hit. Mobile is a wild place where the online world can reach out and

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Work devices

If economic downturns and times of recession have taught American businesses anything, it’s that developing customer relationships is a much more profitable strategy than many might have believed in the past. Gone are the days when customers were disposable, today’s approach is all about maximizing loyalty and slowing churn in order to increase the profit per customer and reducing marketing costs. In fact, Gallup found that a customer who is actively engaged with a brand actually represents a 23 percent increase in terms of wallet share compared to the average. A lot of what it takes to make that engaged customer starts

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  Did you know that every Phone.com extension on your account includes a FREE conference bridge, allowing your team to run conference calls with ease? Yes, free conference calling! There are some great benefits to this free feature, including: High definition voice quality Up to 500 participants Unlimited minute usage Here’s how to make the most of your conference bridge. Accessing Your Conference Bridge Mouse over Configure and click Manage Users and Extensions. Click Edit for the extension you want to use. Click Conferencing on the left side bar. Click Get Conference Bridge. Your conference bridge number, conference ID and moderator PIN

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When we train new members of our Customer Service team, we focus more than anything on just that: Customer Service. Our new agents are not expected to know every setting for all of our features—however, we do expect them to provide outstanding service to our customers, and understand that it is find to ask for help when they have questions. Here are the five top Phone.com values that we focus on when we train new Customer Service staff. 1. Quality What makes a quality customer-service interaction? Listening to each customer, really hearing what they need, and being committed to finding exact answers to their questions. Providing great customer service and continually improving that

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  The benefit of using your mobile phone for business calls is that you can carry your office in your pocket or purse. Read voicemail, run a conference call, send a fax. But the down side is that you might receive business calls when you’re off the clock, visiting with friends or doing your grocery shopping. Set Your Schedules One of the easiest ways to manage business calls on your personal phone is to set Phone.com Schedules, which allow you to manage how incoming business calls are handled during specific times. Nights, weekends and holidays? Set all incoming calls to go to voicemail!

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  Lawyers, therapists, realtors, notaries, call centers, utilities, banks—there are many types of businesses that rely on call recording to keep a record of conversations for legal or monitoring purposes. Phone.com offers free inbound call recording that you can activate manually on any call. You can also enable premium recording on your outgoing or incoming calls on your Phone.com account at the the following rates: 300 minutes – $4.95/month 1,000 minutes – $14.95/month Let’s walk through how to set up both the free and premium call-recording options. Activating Free Call Recording on an Incoming Call This service applies only to incoming calls on your Phone.com

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business meeting

Have you noticed how common it is for people to take laptops and phones into meetings these days? How those who are not actively part of the discussion use the time to get other work done? Or check their email, the weekend weather, or read an article on a tech blog? It’s symptomatic of how meetings happen today. You call a meeting to resolve an issue, invite all those who might be affected, who need to be kept in the loop, and then settle down to brainstorm solutions. People arrive to your meeting with a snack and a soda, and settle into the comfiest

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  “There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop … if we can’t [learn new technologies], mark my words, in three years we’ll be managing decline.” Randall Stephenson. Chairman and CEO, AT&T.   “I’m riding the copper train all the way down.” Kevin Stephenson. AT&T Customer Service Technician.   Last week, The New York Times published an outstanding article on two brothers—one, a veteran technician for AT&T; the other, his brother and the phone provider’s Chief Executive. The article, by NYT Tech Editor Quentin Hardy, is an insightful study of the men, their interests and motivations,

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Leadership, what is it? Are there essential characteristics? What distinguishes a good leader from a bad one? Do I have any hope of improving my leadership skills? And if so, what will it do for me and for those I care about?  John C. Maxwell is a world-renowned expert on leadership. In his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential, he expounds on all of these questions. I chose to read this book because leadership has always been an interest of mine. I’ve been in leadership positions several times before, but I always felt I lacked effectiveness.

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  Did you know that you can have phone service without a phone?   How? Phone.com’s Communicator software lets you receive and make calls from your computer, without a phone device! Learn more about Communicator features >   To use Communicator, complete the following three steps: Download and install the software on your computer. Create a dedicated extension on your Phone.com account to use for Communicator. Find and use your unique Communicator username and password to log into the software. Download the Phone.com Communicator Software You can download the latest version of Phone.com Communicator for either Windows or Mac OS

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  Our Engineering group is rounding out a new RESTful API that you can use to build your own apps and incorporate Phone.com functionality into your business systems.   We never questioned whether or not we’d use REST—it’s pretty much a given that REST is the best way to build an API. And it’s almost as unanimous that a RESTful API should be JSON based. But since REST is a set of architectural guidelines, rather than a protocol or specification, we had to decide at the outset which media type we would use for output. That is, what kind of JSON

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  Customer service. Everyone has a customer-service story, whether good, bad or in between. This is certainly true for those of us who work in the industry—we not only need service as consumers, we provide it every day! This puts us in an interesting position, being on both sides of the customer-service equation. We know how it feels to be the desperate caller who needs something on their account fixed, and we know how it feels to be the well-intentioned representative, trying to provide the best service we possibly can. In light of this, I think the four agreements discussed in Don Miguel Ruiz’s

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Phone manners have changed some in the 150 years since Alexander Bell first spoke the words “Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!” into his leading-edge voice transmitter. Early telephone etiquette centered around social politeness, and also on the practicality that phone service was limited and should not be squandered! A few examples, taken from a list of early phone etiquette rules in a recent Mental Floss article: Don’t say hello! Because that greeting was implied and exchanging niceties was seen as tying up the phone lines unnecessarily. Instead, recipients were encouraged to state their phone number immediately as soon as they picked up

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You’ve started a promising business and you’re ready to make those great ideas happen. As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, it’s not enough to have a great plan, it’s all about how you execute. Time to get organized! In today’s distributed workforce, collaborating face to face isn’t always an option. And while Phone.com powers business communications, providing affordable phone service wherever you do business, a good phone call is only part of the solution. Here’s the list of tools we find essential to collaborating at Phone.com, particularly since our own team is distributed across the United States! These simple and free online tools will keep employees in

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  In the era of VoIP phone service, the idea of adding a phone line seems dated. You’re no longer connecting a wired cable; you’re adding a virtual software service. Technology changes quickly but terminology tends to lag before slowly fading away. Even though we’ve used touch-tone phones for decades, we still talk about dialing a number. I hang up to end a call, even though I’m really just tossing my phone into my purse. And really, why when your phone lights up with the theme song from Mission Impossible, do we say it’s ringing? We use telephony terms long after they are accurate. Mental Floss recently published

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We frequently go through some of our larger customer accounts and call to check in and see how the service is working for them. On one occasion, I came across a large account. At first glance, I noted that they paid their bill each month and almost never called Customer Service. Great, right? But when I called and spoke with them, I found out they were experiencing a number of technical issues and were considering switching to a different provider. They just didn’t have the time to call us or try to resolve the issues. I’d gone into the call thinking

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Virtual phone number for small business

As businesses and home users set aside traditional analog phone services, replacing them with Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), one of the challenges becomes allocating the right amount of bandwidth to your Internet phone service. How much of your current bandwidth is needed for high-quality voice calls? This is a question we are asked every day by our customers. Here’s an overview video.    Start by asking yourself a few questions: What is the actual data upload and download speed that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) delivers? What other services and applications on your network consume a portion of that

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Are you still writing your business contacts on random pieces of paper, or maybe you are tired of having your business and personal contacts mixed together? If so, Phone.com has a great address book feature included with every account that makes managing your business contacts easy and efficient.  There are several benefits to using our address books, including: Importing contacts is simple. Want to transfer your contacts from AOL, Gmail, Plaxo, Windows Live, or Yahoo? We’ve got you covered with an automated importing tool to handle the job. Extension specific contacts. Got a staff of employees that all have their

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As a small business owner, are you satisfied with your phone service? Wonder where to find the reliability you need or how to scale your phone system to serve your growing enterprise? You’re not alone. A recent report from Software Advice, a Texas-based service that matches businesses with best-in-class software solutions, suggests that nearly 60 percent of companies currently looking to upgrade their phone systems are looking for a sophisticated VOIP service, one that is both reliable and scalable. Top Reasons for Considering VOIP   The report highlights the top features, pain points and reasons that business owners are looking to VoIP.

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As a small business owner, time is one of your greatest assets, and also something that seems to be in a constantly short supply. The last thing you need to be doing is tinkering with your phone system, which is why Phone.com has some great preset features that will save you some valuable time. Presets allow you to: Save your settings in templates. These templates can then be quickly applied elsewhere on your account without having to set them up manually repeatedly. Edit your call forwarding in one location. When you save your call forwarding as presets, you can manage

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Apple recently unveiled their new iPhone 6 and it’s bigger and better than ever. If you’re considering upgrading, or perhaps this is your first iPhone, then why not take advantage of our iPhone app with that new phone of yours?  As a business owner, staying connected with your clients while outside of the office is critical. With our iPhone app, you can fulfill most of your business’s communication needs without being at your desk, including: Placing calls with your Phone.com number. No need for a desk phone to accomplish this. Our app allows you to use your Phone.com number as

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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

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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

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In the book Remote, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of 37signals, present a compelling argument for allowing employees to work from home.  At the core of the discussion is giving your employees the flexibility to work wherever they feel is best. That could be home or a cabin in the mountains, or possibly at one coffee shop in the morning and another in the evening. Does it really matter where they work as long as they are completing their work with flying colors and effectively communicating with the team? If you are currently considering allowing your employees to work remotely, here are five

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Traditional faxing is soon to become an obsolete obstruction in your home office setup. Those big, bulky devices are being replaced with cloud-based solutions like the one that Phone.com offers, which allows you to send faxes directly from your computer or smartphone.  Here’s 3 great reasons to start sending and receiving digital faxes today with Phone.com: You can send a fax wherever you have your computer or smartphone. Faxes can be sent digitally directly from your Phone.com account, or you can send them from our iPhone app. Be notified of your received faxes via email. No more sitting around the

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If your business is like any other, then you probably have a customer service or sales team with multiple employees answering the phones throughout the day. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to utilize Phone.com’s Queues feature so you never have to worry about setting up your call forwarding again.  Queues have several benefits, including: Routing incoming calls to a specific group of phone numbers. Never worry about having to set up individual forwarding to each employee’s phone number. You can set all your numbers to be dialed once in your queue settings. Queue members are dialed in

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In a year end piece summarizing the VoIP industry in 2008 and looking forward towards 2009, analyst Jon Arnold published this article for TMCNET magazine. In the article titled “VoIP in 2008 – Im not dead” Arnlod mentions 10 companies that made a difference in 2008 and Phone.com is among them. Arnold says about Phone.com: “— there is no shortage of SMB IP telephony solutions, but this one really shows what’s possible with a Web-based service. They offer residential service as well, but more importantly, Phone.com makes ease-of-use a priority, and shows just how flexible do-it-yourself VoIP can be.” Ease

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Rich Tehrani, President and Editor-in-Chief of TMCNET and Internet Telephony Magazine recently published an interview we had. Rich and his team have been covering the voice over IP and Internet Telephony industry pretty much from its inception and their ITExpo is the biggest pure industry conference and tradeshow. Their biggest event is coming up September 16-18 in LA and I will be speaking there on behalf of Phone.com. Below is a copy of my interview with Rich: Ari Rabban, CEO and Co-Founder of Phone.com, recently took the time to answer some of my questions about home and business phone systems,

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