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Why VoIP and CRM Integration is Vital

Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system plays an important role in helping your business keep track of your interactions with leads and customers. Many CRM integrations will allow you to connect your CRM account to your VoIP phone system so that the two systems can exchange information. This integration can have many advantages for your business. Below, we discuss just a few of the business benefits of integrating your VoIP system with your CRM platform.

Benefits of Integrating VoIP with CRM

Here are a few ways that you can benefit from using a VoIP service that integrates with your customer relationship management platform:

Better customer experience

Every business wants to provide a positive experience for their customers. CRM integrations will allow your sales and customer support teams to anticipate what the customer may need in real-time. By automatically pulling up the customer’s information when they call, this integration helps the sales or support agent provide a better experience by allowing them to quickly focus their attention on the customer instead of taking additional time to search for the customer’s information.

Log call data in real-time

Every time someone from your company interacts with a customer, it provides valuable insight for your business. For instance, when sales personnel chat with leads on the phone, these conversations may help shed light on what customers are looking for and what it takes to close the sale. With VoIP CRM integrations, sales and support staff no longer have to manually type up their call notes. Instead, all of this information is logged in real-time, even allowing for agents to attach the recorded conversation to the customer’s profile for later reference.

Improve staff management

VoIP CRM integrations allow you to collect key metrics on each sales and support staff member. For instance, you can track the number of calls that each agent takes, the average wait time, and the average call time. Managers can use this CRM information to find ways to make improvements across the team and with individual team members. This also helps business owners better anticipate their staffing needs as they can determine the busiest call times and identify how many agents are needed to handle current and anticipated call volumes.

If you are interested in taking advantage of the benefits that integrating your VoIP system and CRM can provide or want to learn more about how to make your business communication processes more efficient, our team would love to help. Call us today for more information: (337) 205-9364.

 

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VoIP 101: A Simple Guide to VoIP

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is by no means new. In fact, many providers have been offering this service for years. However, as high-speed internet has become more readily available, VoIP has become a popular way for businesses to communicate with their employees and customers affordably and efficiently. Here, we will provide a basic guide to what VoIP is and how it can benefit your business.

What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol is a way to take analog audio signals and turn them into digital signals to be sent over the Internet. To put it more simply, VoIP allows you to make phone calls over the Internet. While the current phone system uses an inefficient method to connect calls and maintain a continuous connection, VoIP is much more efficient.

The VoIP phone system uses a method called Packet-Switching, which is the same method you use when looking at a website. For instance, when you read this blog page, your computer is not maintaining a constant connection to the site. Instead, it is making connections as needed to send and receive information, such as when you navigate to another page or click on a link. This means that when you use VoIP services to make a phone call, your call is sent in packets along the least expensive and congested lines available, allowing for more affordable and efficient calling.

Advantages of VoIP for Business

VoIP can offer many advantages for businesses who want to improve communication between employees or connect with their customers in an affordable and efficient format. Here are just some of the benefits that VoIP can provide businesses:

  • VoIP can save companies money. Businesses can save money on long-distance calling and calls that are made on a WAN between intra-office individuals in different locations. Businesses can also save money by keeping their data and voice traffic all on one network, rather than paying for separate data and voice lines.
  • VoIP also increases flexibility and mobility. VoIP allows businesses to integrate programs like video conferencing and email over the internet via telephone. This means that users can speak to others on the phone while still being able to access other applications at the same time. What’s more is that individuals who are on the move can take their adapters anywhere and use their VoIP services at any venue with an Internet connection.
  • VoIP can also increase an organization’s productivity. There are many ways that VoIP services can help a company increase overall productivity across the organization. With VoIP, employees can more easily multi-task without interruption. They can also attach documents and share data through video conferences. In addition, the money that businesses save by using VoIP services, allows companies to allocate the saved funds to other areas of the business that may help boost overall productivity.

Are you interested in learning more about how VoIP can help your business? Contact us today for more information.

Office Phone Systems And IoT Alliance

Internet of Things (IoT) has come with a lot of promises to keep us connected through every possible wearable, household and handheld tech device. It is truly the best thing that could have happened over the last few years. Smart devices are going to get smarter when office phone systems through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and Internet of Things shake hands. All smart devices will start offering users the ultimate experience and usher in the future digital revolution. Since everything will be powered by the Internet, VoIP is going to play a very crucial role.

Communication Between Devices

According to the estimates of IT market pundits, a whopping 200 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. This implies that every individual across the world will be connected to approximately 9 devices! Office phone systems will receive a shot in the arm because connectivity will no longer be an issue. As you read through this post, there are terabytes of data being exchanged across various networks in the world.

Most of the office phone systems can connect and communicate with one another virtually and wirelessly from any location on earth only if there is an Internet connection. VoIP is completely an Internet-based technology, so it is going to provide an ideal platform for all devices to communicate. Users like you and me can now make optimal use of all the smart devices that we use in the office or our home.

VoIP technology has immense potential for future growth, something that started way back in 2000. Over the past decade it has not only become cheaper and faster but also a strong alternative to the traditional phone system that existed in our homes and offices. Old and cranky office phone systems are quickly being replaced by VoIP. By leveraging the potential of IoT, it is going to turn into an ideal choice for integrating and managing smart devices.

We are already familiar with various communication and social media apps like Facebook, Gtalk and Skype, which are powered by VoIP. Businesses as well as individuals are able to set up cloud-based as well as hosted VoIP services by subscribing to any of the VoIP service providing companies. These companies are offering a bouquet of services that include office communication, data storage and customer relation management, etc.

Both Internet of things and VoIP office phone systems can help users manage a host of devices efficiently. Here is a list of things that we can expect from the much anticipated alliance of VoIP and IoT.

Anytime Access to Data

Accessing data from anywhere at anytime will become a reality when we use devices powered by VoIP and IoT. Companies will be able to update all customer data related to their behaviors, buying patterns, preferences etc. and at the same time inform them about special offers and personalized discounts on a real-time basis. Since the data is hosted on the cloud, collaboration among different groups of customer support teams spread across different time zones will become far easier.

Remote Management Through Office Phone Systems

Smart devices are already remotely manageable and when these will be powered by VoIP and IoT, they will get even better. It will be possible for you to mange devices like security systems, thermostats, air conditioning systems, etc. You can not only enable them from anywhere using your smart device but disable them when not in use. Office phone systems can now be used to manage the power system at the office.

VoIP has been around for over a decade and it was available at a very small scale. It is now time for this powerful technology to hog the limelight and help in leveraging the full potential of the revolution called IoT.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs. Please visit our VoIP Phone Systems page to get more details on our business phone capabilities.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your business phone system, data cabling and communication needs.

Detect VoIP Hacking

VoIP is popular, and its popularity attracts the wrong doers in drives. VoIP hacking is used to steal your contact details, steal some call time, and to misuse your connection from making international and long distance calls at your expense.  Read on to detect VoIP hacking and how to protect yourself.

Voice over Internet protocol or VoIP has offered a numerous advantages to both small scale and large business enterprises. With this communication system, it has become easier for organizations to communicate with their employees, partners and clients all over the world. This system has made business communication more effective and faster. Irrespective of your location, you and your business can take advantage of this system. It allows you to have efficient and dependable business communication.

Although VoIP services are useful for any business, if not installed properly, they do become vulnerable to mischief. Improper VoIP implementation will lead to problems that may make your business suffer. VoIP hacking is used hackers to mess with your connection and business. They are creative in defining new ways with which they can increase your costs and steal data, and steal your contact lists. After you install a VoIP system, it’s your responsibility to check whether your system protected or you are a victim of VoIP hacking.

Let us understand what VoIP hacking is and how to identify it.

Getting Fake Anti-Virus Messages

Being an IP based system, VoIP uses the Internet for completing its regular operations. Whether you are doing a voice communication or video conference, you will need data. If you or your employees suddenly start getting fake anti-virus messages, there are high chances that your system is hacked! Inform your technical team immediately to check the system. You cannot do much more that stop using the system and wait for a green signal from the technical team. They will trace the source of such messages and build some protection against it. Next time you get a fake anti-virus message beware.

Trace Irregularities In Voip Call-History

It is true that you cannot monitor all calls. You are not the only person who is using VoIP system in you organization. Thus, implementation of an effective call monitoring model may not be possible. However, if you check your VoIP call history at regular intervals you may find that there are some irregularities. One way to check is limiting the calls to certain geographical boundaries. If you find numbers that are unknown to you or your employees, it’s time to take action. You can start looking for other signs that shows that your system is hacked.

Activation Of Webcams Or Microphones

While video conferencing through your VoIP system you need webcams and microphones. It is indeed an excellent feature that allows you to communicate with employees and business associates easily. However, the threat comes when you find that webcams or microphones are activated without your knowledge. Every system should ideally seek the user’s permission and then activate these devices. Thus, beware and inform your technical team and VoIP service provider if you encounter any such anomaly.

Internet Searches Are Redirected

Another sign that shows that your system is attacked by hacker! While you are conducting regular searches online and you are redirected to new sites unknown to you, chances are high that your system is being hacked. Many times you may find unwanted toolbars and extensions to your browsers. They also point to the fact that your system is hacked. Get in touch with your VoIP service provider soon to get rid of unwanted stuff.

VoIP Bills Shoot Up Without Reason

Why will a hacker hack your system? Obviously to misuse it for himself. Thus, if you find your VoIP bill is much higher than regular bills you should start taking immediate action. Inform your system admin and finance to do a system and usage audit. Also seek clarification from the VoIP provider on the details of such bill. If you take action quickly you can control the damage.

Irrespective of the size of your business, it is not a pleasant experience to be taken for ride. This is more important for small and medium business where every penny count. It is good to be aware of where you are susceptible and build a protective mechanism.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

VoIP Phone And 2016

VoIP phone usage has been growing consistently since 2012. The growth rate has been around 7% every year. 2016 will be no different. That year will see the same growth in VoIP phone use. It is now a buyer’s market for IP-PBX. The market conditions are extremely favourable – low prices, large number of alternates, limited volatility in prices, and technological advances.

The market is highly competitive and is leading to mergers and acquisitions. Cisco, Avaya, NEC and Toshiba are the top four vendors for VoIP phones, services and accessories. By the end of 2015, VoIP services market will peak at some $75 billion.

The Adoption of Hosted Services

Companies are always looking to cut costs. That is not new. What is new is the companies today are ready to outsource a prime asset of the company – communication. Today, nearly 50% of companies of all sizes – small, medium and large – are selecting managed communication services over establishing their own in house. This augurs well for cloud based VoIP phone systems.

What About Homes?

Residential VoIP phone usage spend is expected to touch $377 billion by 2016. Around 25% of all US households have stopped using landlines. 60% of all people between the ages of 25 and 29 don’t have a landline. Inexpensive and reliable broadband, and improving connectivity as well as good voice quality is propelling this trend.

Advantages of Cloud Telephony

Before we get to that, let us foresee one important point – will cloud telephony completely kill in house IP-PBX? The answer is yes and no. Today the bulk of business IP telephony is supplied by premises-based solutions. Currently about 59% of the market is handled by in-house PBX. By 2016 end, this could change to 32%. Nearly 75% of respondents representing 100-999 employees have said they will stick with in-house systems. So all is not lost of premises based IP-PBX.

At the same time let us look at some of the advantages of cloud based systems:

1. Flexible, effective, and budget friendly.
2. Complete set of features including UC.
3. Easy to switch vendors.
4. Low upfront costs.
5. IoT as a disruptor. You cannot connect to 80 billion devices from your premises based IP-PBX.
6. Low costs for trying to switch from PSTN. Easy fallback.
7. Easy growth prospects.
8. Complete mobility solutions.
9. Pay only for capacity used.
10. Have access to enterprise scale exchanges without the cost of owning one.

2016 is going to be another exciting year for VoIP phone systems and other forms of IP based communication. PSTN is really dead. Mobile phones and VoIP are the primary forms of communication of the future. At least with the technologies we know and understand today.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

The Power of VOIP during Disaster Recovery

Businesses can be severely affected due to natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes etc. that not only damage the office space but also force the staff to relocate. The latest earthquake in Nepal is the biggest example of the veracity of nature and its disastrous implications on humans. Commercial buildings were completely destroyed and offices were buried under the rubble. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is an essential tool that can help you to maintain continuity in your business operations and a little planning would help you in disaster recovery while helping your staff to work from any location.

If you have implemented VoIP then you will be best placed to design a disaster recovery strategy as per your business and infrastructural needs. Contingency plans are often driven by budget and existing infrastructure; however, VoIP offers the appropriate flexibility needed to handle all types of disasters. You can choose to reroute your calls through the existing IP PBX or through the cloud.

There are several organizations that have IP-PBX installed at their offices for which they make significant investments on hardware, software and staff training for supporting in-house communication needs, remote offices and even the contact centers. During a disaster, if it is the office premises and staff that are affected and not the PBX server then it is easy to reroute the calls (though planning and testing) to the individual homes, remote offices and other sites unaffected by the disaster. Organizations that have already implemented teleworking or support the remote offices have an edge over the others because they have the requisite experience and capability of rerouting the calls to the alternate extensions, home phones and mobile phones.

For several organizations, their IP-PBX is the most critical point of failure and there are only a few companies that actually create and test their contingency plans. Seldom do they consider service interruption resulting out of enterprise communication system because of physical damage of equipment and cyberattacks. In order to maintain distributed hardware across multiple locations to handle huge call volume when one PBX server is down, organizations will have to invest a huge amount and this is possible only if the company is a big one.

There are several specialized telecommunication firms and service providers who are offering cloud based service as an alternative to IP-PBX. These service providers are known to set up virtual PBX mirror that functions just like the IP-PBX while performing all the call handling. Whenever the IP-PBX is offline, the cloud mirror starts up with just a few commands or a call to your cloud service provider. All the incoming calls would be instantly routed to the cloud mirror server and you will be able to handle all the calls without even worrying about the downed IP-PBX server. You will be charged for the setup and the monthly contingency feel till the time you keep using the service.

Opting for the cloud based VoIP solution is the best way to ensure continuity and help you during disaster recovery. However, you will have to have to keep in mind that cloud based solutions really do not provide all the features or flexibility that you would probably require to carry out all the business operations. Cloud PBX is not quite appropriate for the organizations that follow regularity reporting requirements like legal, medical and financial businesses.

You will have to weigh your options carefully before planning, creating and implementing disaster recovery strategies involving VoIP.

 

3 Reasons Why You Need a Business IP-PBX Phone System

Businesses are fast dumping their old PBX systems and are switching to the powerful IP-PBX system. The IP-PBX system facilitates the routing of calls over a dedicated IP network and the calls are transmitted in the form of data packets. This technology not only encapsulates the latest communication features but also facilitates robustness and scalability. Another great feature of IP-PBX system is that it can be easily connected with the PSTN lines with the help of the optional gateway. Thus, you will be able to upgrade your enterprise communication system to the most advanced data and voice network without making any changes to your existing infrastructure or operations.

Enterprises don’t need to disrupt their current external communication infrastructure and operations. With an IP-PBX deployed, an enterprise can even keep its regular telephone numbers. This way, the IP-PBX switches local calls over the data network inside the enterprise and allows all users to share the same external phone lines.

Constituents of an IP-PBX

The primary constituents of an IP PBX system are one or multiple SIP phones, a VOIP gateway (for connecting to the PSTN Lines) and an IP-PBX server. Just like a proxy server, IP-PBX server also functions in a similar manner. The SIP clients are either the desk phones or the soft phones that connect to the IP PBX server and request it to complete a call. The IP-PBX server maintains a directory of the users/phones along with their corresponding SIP addresses, which helps it connect the internal calls directly. In the event of an external call, it is routed via the VoIP service provider or VoIP gateway.

Here is a list of 3 compelling reasons why you need a business PBX phone system:

Easier to install, configure and manage

The IP-PBX system is nothing but an application that can easily leverage the processing power of a PC along with the user interface and the Windows features. Installation of an IP-PBX is extremely easy and people from the IT team of a company would need only a day to get the system up and running. However, if you are working with the legacy systems, you will need specialized technicians who are trained for the installation purpose only. Managing the IP-PBX system too is extremely hassle-free because it comes with an easy to use web-based GUI. You will be able to configure and maintain the system from the web GUI (Graphical User Interface). Thus fine tuning your IP-PBX system is super easy when you manage it from an easy-to-use interface.

Eliminate complex wiring and save money

By implementing the IP telephone system, you will be able to eliminate the complex wiring. This latest network based PBX system facilitates the connection of IP Phones directly to the computer port. Even the soft phones can be used without any kind of wiring. This not only frees up office space but also saves a lot of money that you would have spent on buying expensive telephone system and hardware.

Great scalability

It has been often observed that the proprietary systems fail to grow with the business and find it extremely difficult to cope with the growth. Addition of greater number of extensions or phones lines often needs more hardware equipment, which again is expensive. However, IP-PBX offers great scalability as it can grow with your business without any new investments. You can increase the number of phone lines or extensions with ease.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.

Top Benefits of SIP Trunking

If you are utilizing a traditional telephone service provider, and you have analog CO (central office) lines or ISDN primary rate interface (PRI), you’re missing advanced features that are quickly becoming essential, and trunk bandwidth is not being used as efficiently as it could be. Our SIP channels come with unlimited local and long-distance calling.

Business-Grade Voice Quality
Calls on SIP trunks can have voice quality comparable to traditional phone company circuits. We recommend using a business-class router to ensure that voice traffic gets the network performance it needs for clear, two-way conversations.

Maximize Bandwidth
With SIP trunks, bandwidth is dynamically allocated between voice and data at any time. If there are lots of concurrent calls, the SIP trunk can apply more bandwidth for voice. And if nobody is talking on the phone, all bandwidth is available for data.

Reduce Monthly Costs
Only pay for the number of channels (or lines) you need. We also give you the flexibility of increasing or decreasing the numberCalling World-wide of lines at any given time to accomodate seasonal calling trends.  If your call volume is higher during certain months, we allow you to add more lines during these peak periods; then, reduce the number of lines during months with less call traffic. SIP Trunking gives you the flexibility to create efficiencies for your business, and save you money!

Improve Scalability
With ISDN trunks, if you only need 15 voice channels, you still have to pay for an entire 23 channel PRI. With Toshiba’s SIP Trunking I-VoIP Service, pay only for what you need, and choose from various calling plans with competitive low rates.

Small Business Communication Systems

The domain of small business communication systems is rapidly expanding because it is no longer limited to the traditional PSTN phones or PBX systems. It would be wrong to say that modern businesses have stopped using the PBX systems – there are many that still use digital PBX systems. Several organizations are switching to advanced, more cost effective small business communication systems that facilitate voice and video calls, data sharing, web conferencing, wireless and several other applications that run on one Internet Protocol or IP network.

The latest small business communication systems come loaded with amazing telephony features which you can leverage the power of the new technology to propel the growth of your business. In this article, we are going to look at the benefits of an IP (or VoIP) small business telephone system.

One interface for multiple applications:

Any of the latest small business communication systems that run on your secure network will facilitate the access to other applications. This might include voicemail, video conferencing, softphone and database queries, all of which have a common interface.

Collaboration on a real-time basis:

The latest small business communication systems facilitate real-time collaboration among your employees. This communication solution is not only cost effective but also much more powerful than the traditional phone system. Communication among your employees can be carried out easily, and you or your employees can communicate with suppliers, business partners, vendors or customers using voice, video, data and mobility applications.

Features that you need today and in the future:

The small business communications that are available in the market can meet not only the current business communication needs of your business but also any other future requirements. These business phone systems can grow and adapt to your changing business communication needs. The latest small business system can be loaded with features that you will need like intercom, paging, presence technology and automated attendant. Presence is one feature that helps you to determine which employees are available within the company for quick communication via web conference, phone call, video conference, IM chat and any other interaction. The phone system can also be integrated with several other useful business applications, which are used on a regular basis like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and calendar. Thus, you will be able to provide your employees with easy to use tools that take care of all their modern communication needs. Integration of useful business applications like CRM will help your customer support representatives with real-time data pertaining to the customers.

There are several reasons why a business should migrate to the latest small business communication system. Some of the most prominent reasons are:

Set monthly budget for communication – It is better to know beforehand the monthly expenses for using your business telephone system. This will help you to keep your budget and expenses in check and there are no chances of overspending.

No extra overhead for IT staff – Small businesses cannot afford to spend their money on maintaining a full-time IT team. The latest small business communication systems do not need any kind of complex management, so you can do with very few technical staff on-hand.

There are several other reasons for migrating to the latest small business communication systems, but it is the cost savings that drive the demand for such systems. Contact us for more information on the small business communication system that best meets your needs.

About Universal ComOne

Universal ComOne offers award winning business telephone systems that are right for any business. We can design a solution to fit your needs.

Call 337-205-9364 for all your communication needs.