Category Archives: Business

Contract Balks: The End of Cell Plans May Eat into VOIP Business

A few weeks ago, Verizon bid farewell to the two year contract, once a staple in the cell phone community that is now cast aside.
Following in the footsteps of Verizon, Sprint also is ditching the two year deal as well, now leaving just AT&T as the only major carrier that still offers some sort of term with cell phone contractual plan.

T Mobile, a distant third to AT&T and Verizon as it relates to how they’re ranked in terms of revenue, dumped the two year plan years ago, which isn’t surprising considering that T Mobile is always seemingly a step ahead of the competitors in terms of knowing what customers want, although that hasn’t changed their ranking or standing within the cell phone community.
When T Mobile said so long to two year deals, it was news.

Verizon and Sprint doing is hardly qualifies as that.

Quite frankly, the two year deal was dead and buried years ago when T Mobile chucked it. The entire concept of a contract for a phone makes sense given that everyone needs a cell phone and they’ll easily compromise their consumer integrity by signing on for something that they’ll have to pay, even if contracts aren’t something you’d really ever consider.

Which makes it even more apparent that you don’t need a contract, as the phone business has migrated into collecting more money for the phone and assuming people aren’t going to cancel. The additional income from the phone simply means that you can lease a phone for 12, 18 or 24 months, and pay a nominal fee each month for it, but you are on the hook for all the payments, unless you want to buy out the phone itself.

So essentially, the contract and the phone have switched places. Consumers are told that there is no “contract” per say for the plan; now they are contracted to pay for the phone. Of course, they can buy it outright but who is going to drop hundreds when you can pay $20 or $30 per month?

As AT&T mulls over its next move, the announcement of the No. 2 cell phone provider to dump their contracts is about as anti climatic as you can get. AT&T already offers leased phone options, so the decision to say so long to the two year plan is somewhat of a moot point.

Eventually it will happen, but to call it news is hardly accurate.

So, what does this all mean for VOIP? Scooter Simonds, of Southlake Texas runs a small business that has relied heavily on VOIP services. With high employee turnover, Scooter says he kept his VOIP service because he didn’t want to keep replacing employee cell phones. “Now, I’m considering ditching the VoIP service and just getting each employee their own cell line”. If the employee is replaced, he is not stuck with the remainder of their 2 year commitment.

Of course, there are other benefits to VOIP so time will tell.

Making the Switch: VoIP for Small Businesses

A small business owner has to find ways to save money to compete with today’s large corporations. Switching to VoIP services is one way to do such. Voice over Internet Protocol service is popular among businesses and personal users because of its affordability and convenience. Dozens of companies offer VoIP services for small business owners. The best aspect of VoIP for small businesses is that it usually comes with a ton of beneficial services. Small businesses can take advantage of services such as:

Conference Calling

Conference calling can aid a company in several areas because it gives people the opportunity to speak to each other from different areas. Many businesses use conference calling to connect salespersons and their managers. They may have weekly meetings to discuss goals and strategies. The feature provides an easy way for company representatives to stay in touch.

Text Messaging

Text messaging is quite helpful for small business owners because it allows them to get short messages across to business associates and employees. Text messaging usually comes with modern VoIP plans for small businesses.

HD Video Messaging

High-definition video messaging is a feature that is becoming increasingly popular in small businesses. It’s a step above conference calling, as it gives members the opportunity to speak with each other face-to-face in video. High-definition video messaging brings clarity and personality to the table for businesses.

Additional Features

Some of the top VoIP providers offer packages that have more than 40 features with them. Just a few of the features that the packages have are voicemail, unlimited calling, faxing, call screening and auto attendant. Auto attendant is an amazing feature of a small business because it can handle some of the calls that come in from customers

Top Business VoIP Providers
Dozens of companies offer VoIP services to businesses and personal users. Some of the top providers include Ring Central, Corvisa, Vonage, Jive and Mitel. An interested business owner should search for the best provider by using a comparison chart. Comparison charts display the most crucial elements such as pricing, features, setup fees and consumer reviews. Some of the top providers offer trials that last for up to 30 days. The prices range from $4.99 a month to as much as $20 a month.

Business leaders can enhance their productivity by looking into a business VoIP plan today. They can save hundreds of dollars a month by doing so.

UK VoIP Provider Sets the Standard for Small Businesses

A small business in the UK needs to conduct business with a VoIP provider that is affordable, reliable and honesty. The business will want to see proof of the provider’s integrity. One way a business owner can recognize an honorable VoIP provider is its accolades. The Voipfone company has won quite a few awards over the years. 

About Voipfone

Voipfone is a company that was founded in 2004 to bring comfort and ease to UK residents. The company has a long list of VoIP services that can fit UK business owners with any size business.

Products and Services

Voipfone does not slack on its service offering. The company offers individuals and businesses just about every service or product that it can think of. The company offers PBX and switchboard services to people who will be communicating with customers frequently. The PBX and switchboard features include features such as call queueing, emergency service access, virtual switchboard, PBX call groups and the like. The company’s SMS services include services such as text messaging and SMS callback. Customers can use the SMS services on Android devices as well as iPhone units.

Awards and Accolades

One thing that the Voipfone has that other companies do not have is a bunch of accolades and awards. The company won an award for being the best VoIP provider in 2013. The ITSPA organization issued that award. Another amazing award that Voipfone won is the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Prestige. Not many business awards are that elaborate. The Queen’s Award establishes the company as having a high level of professionalism and integrity. Professionalism and integrity are two of the most important qualities that businesses need to have.

The company won the Best Internet Telephony Award in 2012. In 2009, Voipfone won the Best Business VoIP Provider Award. Voipfone received some substantial nominations for awards, as well. The company was nominated for the Beset Consumer VoIP Award in 2010. Furthermore, Voipfone was shortlisted into the list of entries at the National eWell-Being Awards.

Persons who are interested in securing VoIP services can complete an online form or call the main number Monday through Friday. A Friendly representative will return the contact and help the consumer to discover the best package for his or her needs. The person will go through the various packages and find something that fits the size of the business in question.

Spring 2015: Choosing a Good VoIP Provider

VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol telecommunications products are becoming increasingly popular in all areas of the world. The VoIP services came into existence in the 80s, and it has since then been growing into one of the most widely used alternatives to traditional landline service. More than 100 VoIP providers exist. Therefore, finding the right provider requires careful consideration and study. The following are some tips that can help a consumer to find the best VoIP Provider to meet his or her needs:

Creating a Budget

The first objective that a consumer should review is the money saving objective. A good VoIP plan can help a consumer to obtain huge savings. The average landline service costs approximately $40 a month. Wireless service can cost anywhere from $50 a month to over $100 a month. Even DSL services are more expensive than VoIP services are. The consumer should think of a spending budget that can save the most money in the household. Committing to spending no more than $20 a month, for instance, is a good start. Some VoIP plans are as low as $6 a month.

Features and Benefits

Next, the consumer will want to decide which benefits will work best for him or her. Examples of some features that one will find in a VoIP plan are caller ID, call screening, call block, voicemail, call conference, call routing and more. The consumer should create a list of features that he or she would like to have before setting out on a journey to find the right provider. Creating a list beforehand will cut down qualification time.

Trial Offers

Trial offers are a great way to test the quality of VoIP services. Some providers offer trial periods of up to 30 days, while others give their customers seven days. A trial offer may involve submission of a credit card number.

Consumer Reviews

Finally, a prospective customer should read consumer reviews. Consumer reviews give people insight to other peoples’ experiences with call quality, pricing and customer service. A new customer should choose the company that has the most praise or the highest star rating because it will most likely have the most integrity. During a trial offer, a customer can choose to discontinue services and not advance to the paying stage. Examples of some of the top VoIP providers are RingCentral, Basic Talk, Vonage, Jive Phone Power and ITP.

The Best Business VoIP Services

With the cost of business operations constantly rising, it is important for each company to have affordable business VoIP providers. Business VoIP providers do not just offer telephone services; they offer a wealth of efficient business services. The following are three top VoIP business providers and the characteristics that make them special:

Vonage

Vonage is a well-established business VoIP company that has an affordable monthly price for its services. A new business could sign up for VoIP services for as little as $26.99 per month. The company would have access to features such as unlimited domestic calling, generous plan minutes and more. The Vonage company has high ratings from consumers because of the quality of its services.

Ring Central

Ring Central is a business VoIP provider that a business will go with if it is looking for the best discounts and the most features. First, Ring Central does not charge its customers a setup fee of any kind. Secondly, Ring Central does not charge cancellation fees to people who are unhappy with the services. Ring Central offers business plans as well as month-to-month plans with unlimited minutes. What sets their services apart from other services is the long list of features. Users can have access to features such as call transfer, call blocking, find me, speed dial, call return, fax support, enhanced 911 and more. Ring Central features can help a thriving company to grow by providing support for various tasks.

ITP

ITP is a reliable business VoIP company that has high ratings for its customer support. The company received an 88 percent score, which was the highest score for support quality for all providers except for TinCan Talk. ITP offers an extensive line of features and benefits. Installation is fairly easy, and new users have access to email assistance, a FAQ section and a knowledge base. Businesses can take advantage of popular VoIP features such as 411-directory assistance, speed dial, enhanced 911, call transfer and more. The down side of ITP is that its plans do not include FAX support. FAX support may be a necessity for a modern business.

The aforementioned business VoIP providers are only a few of the companies that can assist a budding business. Prospective business clients should read consumer reviews to gauge the overall reliability of several providers before choosing a specific company. Some companies offer risk-free trials of their services.

VoIP Features: A Study in Evolution

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) features have come a long way since the service came about in 1995. Individual consumers and businesses can now choose from a wide variety of features that can make personal and business operations simple. Additionally, VoIP costs are drastically lower than the costs of traditional landline services, wireless services, and DSL phone services. The following are some of the amazing features that consumers can obtain from VoIP providers:

Point-to-Point-Video Calling

Point to Point Video Calling allows people in one location such as a campus to conduct video calling with other parties.

Single Inbox Messaging

The SIM service converts voicemails into convenient WAV files that the service delivers to the subscriber’s Outlook inbox. The person can listen to messages and delete them from the inbox.

Single Number Reach

Single Number Reach is a service that routes calls from an office telephone to a cell phone after a certain amount of rings.

Distinctive Ringtones

Distinctive ringtones can help a business or a consumer to recognize different people who are calling. The consumer can set different ringtones according to priority level.

SMS Notifications

SMS notifications send messages to a user whenever a voicemail comes in. The message will alert the user as to the number of the caller and the time and date of the message. The user can then decide if he or she would like to listen to the voicemail.

Network Failover Forwarding

Network Failover Forwarding is an excellent feature to have during a power outage or an ISP complication. The service forwards calls to a designated alternative phone number so that the customer still receive calls and messages.

Virtual Phone Numbers

A VoIP customer can obtain a multitude of unique virtual phone numbers, and they will all ring on the same line.

Virtual Voicemail Boxes

Each virtual phone number can have its own voicemail box.

SMS Control

Users can control a wide variety of features and settings on their VoIP accounts by simply sending an SMS to a specific number.

Inbound and Outbound Call Routing

VoIP customers can set their own rules and criteria for inbound and outbound calling.

Some basic VoIP features include call waiting, call forwarding, call blocking, caller ID, Do Not Disturb, three-way calling, *67 and *69. The *67 feature hides the number of the caller, and the *69 feature redials the last person who dialed the VoIP number. Modern VoIP services offer more features than many of its technological competitors offer.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) features have come a long way since the service came about in 1995. Individual consumers and businesses can now choose from a wide variety of features that can make personal and business operations simple. Additionally, VoIP costs are drastically lower than the costs of traditional landline services, wireless services, and DSL phone services. The following are some of the amazing features that consumers can obtain from VoIP providers:

Point-to-Point-Video Calling

Point to Point Video Calling allows people in one location such as a campus to conduct video calling with other parties.

Single Inbox Messaging

The SIM service converts voicemails into convenient WAV files that the service delivers to the subscriber’s Outlook inbox. The person can listen to messages and delete them from the inbox.

Single Number Reach

Single Number Reach is a service that routes calls from an office telephone to a cell phone after a certain amount of rings.

Distinctive Ringtones

Distinctive ringtones can help a business or a consumer to recognize different people who are calling. The consumer can set different ringtones according to priority level.

SMS Notifications

SMS notifications send messages to a user whenever a voicemail comes in. The message will alert the user as to the number of the caller and the time and date of the message. The user can then decide if he or she would like to listen to the voicemail.

Network Failover Forwarding

Network Failover Forwarding is an excellent feature to have during a power outage or an ISP complication. The service forwards calls to a designated alternative phone number so that the customer still receive calls and messages.

Virtual Phone Numbers

A VoIP customer can obtain a multitude of unique virtual phone numbers, and they will all ring on the same line.

Virtual Voicemail Boxes

Each virtual phone number can have its own voicemail box.

SMS Control

Users can control a wide variety of features and settings on their VoIP accounts by simply sending an SMS to a specific number.

Inbound and Outbound Call Routing

VoIP customers can set their own rules and criteria for inbound and outbound calling.

Some basic VoIP features include call waiting, call forwarding, call blocking, caller ID, Do Not Disturb, three-way calling, *67 and *69. The *67 feature hides the number of the caller, and the *69 feature redials the last person who dialed the VoIP number. Modern VoIP services offer more features than many of its technological competitors offer.

Beginning of the end: Is satellite television in danger of being eliminated?

The latest fad in the cable and television industry seems to the constant jockeying for position to prove that one entity is more dominant than the other. A lot of that includes talk of would be mergers or outright purchases to take one company and turn it into another.

But did anyone stop to wonder what would happen if a cell phone communications provider decided to throw their hat into the proverbial ring?

That very well might happen as AT&T has shown tremendous interest in broadening its profile by expanding beyond cellular communications and into the cable and television marketplace.

Simply put, AT&T wants to be more than just about phones. So why not tackle television?

That plan includes setting its sights on Direct TV and reportedly willing to pay a heft price tag to make this dream become reality (rumored to be in the 50 million dollar range).

So what does AT&T perhaps buying Direct TV mean?

Today’s marketing plan for the majority of technological companies like AT&T, Comcast and others is bundle services to make the consumer happy and the organizations doing it even happier by reaping profits hand over fist. What better way to continue to build its brand than AT&T being able to offer some sort of television related service to its customers?

AT&T is doing its part to spin the buyout as a win win for both itself and customers. The latter would be able to have yet another option from a television standpoint so price points would conceivably be lower for the masses. One has to wonder aloud, however, if that is all true considering mergers and buyouts often lead to more of an up charge for AT&T having pay out $50 million for all this to take place.

That said, AT&T getting into the television market might make them think twice about how they package together all that they do for customers. That’s the hope, anyway, as this deal is inching closer to getting done. AT&T has tried its hand at TV on its own with its often maligned U Verse, which has failed to do much in the way of both notoriety and success.

AT&T aims to change its luck and is going to do it the only way billion dollar companies know how: spend money.

If that sounds like the easy way out, then so be it. AT&T isn’t interested in how it gets to where it wants to be but that it ultimately won its inner struggle of trying to dominate all communications. Let’s just hope for the sake of the consumer that we’re also celebrating this occasion with the same vigor, excitement and optimism.

Planning for VoIP for Your Business

Switching over to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system can save your company lots of money in the long run, but it’s not something you want to implement without some careful planning. If you’re wondering how long it takes, you should plan for several months.

Tips for Switching to VoIP

  1. Have a Time Buffer: Plan for it taking longer than you expect to be ready. Even if your business itself is ready, your internet provider may not be and could take a while securing the extra bandwidth.
  2. Build a VoIP Team: You need to have everyone trained before the system is implemented to prevent mass chaos. Have your team leaders in on planning meetings so they can effectively explain the process to the people they supervise when the time comes.
  3. Have the Right Equipment: The phones you have right now may not be compatible with operating over the internet via VoIP connection. Hopefully you have a dedicated IT person or department to help or you might consider hiring a consultant. You don’t want to switch over and not be able to make calls.
  4. Bandwidth: At this time, you’re going to have to take a careful look at your bandwidth. Making digital calls will take up extra space and may make the rest of your internet activities considerably slower. Perform a careful audit and consider upgrading your service.
  5. Emergency Services: With a VoIP system, it’s not going to know who to call in the event of an emergency. You may end up dialing 911 halfway across the country. Keep this mind or have at least one phone still tied to an analog line.
  6. Training: Most of your employees will not be familiar with this type of technology and might be reluctant to change their old ways. Prepare training guides or presentations with pictures and simple steps. You should also prepare an FAQ to reduce the number of calls going to your IT department. Keep in mind you may also have remote employees who need to setup this technology themselves.