5 Signs that Your “Old School” On-Premise Phone System is Holding Your Business Back

On today’s relentlessly fast-paced and hyper-competitive business landscape, there are only two directions: forward towards growth, or backwards towards…well, we all know how that horror story unfolds. To say the least, it ain’t pretty.

It goes without saying that every business — whether it sells jet engines or coffee cup lids — needs to head towards success, and away from failure. This is so blatantly obvious, that they don’t even teach it in business school. At least we hope they don’t need to teach this.

Yet despite this truth, many businesses are held back from achieving their full success and profit potential — not by marketplace dynamics or aggressive competition, but by their very own “old school” on-premise phone system. Here are the 5 key reasons why:

1. They’re getting much less for far more.

There’s a really good reason why advertisers don’t try and sell things with pitches like “why pay less and get value, when you can pay more and get hosed?” Yet that’s exactly what is happening to many businesses that are forced to spend thousands of dollars a year for an on-premise phone system that essentially stopped being “technologically advanced” around the time of the first moon landing. And of course, the fees they pay are always going up year after year. They never, ever go down.

2. They’re not accessing advanced features.

A long, long time ago — we’re talking before smartphones roamed the earth and “the web” was something spiders weaved vs. people surfed — the only companies that could afford advanced phone features were large enterprises.

However, technology has changed this, and now ALL businesses can access advanced calling features they need like voicemail-to-email, music-on-hole, auto attendant, and more. There’s only one problem with this, and it’s a big one: on-premise phone companies don’t want to send this beloved cash cow into retirement, and so they continue charging ridiculous — and totally unjustifiable — fees for advanced features. In many cases, small and mid-sized businesses cannot even access certain calling features unless they spend a massive amount of money on a brand new system. Phone companies love this. It makes their cash cow moOOOooOOoOooOo with joy.

3. Their customers are getting frustrated — and heading elsewhere.

As noted by CustomerExperienceInsight.com, today’s customers don’t just want, but they DEMAND more personalization, more responsiveness, more options, and more convenience. If they don’t get these requirements, they disengage and head to a competitor.

On-premise phone systems are part of the problem vs. the solution. Instead of enabling employees to be provide an optimal customer experience anytime and anywhere, they force employees to stay at their desks — or worse, constantly send customers to voicemail or put them on hold for excessive amounts of time (which is really a bad idea, since studies have shown that about 1/3rd of people won’t wait on hold at all, and about 60% will hang up after a few minutes).

Add it up, and it’s a recipe for customer disengagement and churn — which is the fastest ways send a business backwards vs. forwards.

4. They’re forced to hire costly IT staff or get drilled with pricey maintenance fees.

When it comes to technical support, businesses with on-premise phone systems have traditionally faced a “lesser of two evils” scenario. Either they hire IT costly staff who have the specialized skills to manage the system, or they sign-up for a very pricey maintenance agreement. This is the “golden goose” for phone companies (who lives on the same farm as the cash cow…it’s all very rustic).

5. Scalability is virtually non-existent.

All businesses — from startups to unicorns — face ongoing scaling challenges. Some are scaling up and onboarding more people. Others are consolidating, outsourcing and downsizing. Either way, the key to success is agility and going with the flow.

However, on-premises phone systems are categorically not built for scalability. As a result, many businesses are saddled with capacity (lines) that they don’t need — or they are forced to pay through the nose to increase capacity in order to accommodate new hires.

The Solution: Hosted VoIP

The solution to ALL of these problems is simple: switch to a hosted VoIP system from DigitalPhone.io! That’s because our system:

  • Delivers significant — and in many cases dramatic — ongoing cost savings. Our customers consistently get more for less vs. less for more.
  • Includes a full range of carrier-class advanced calling features, such as auto attendant, voicemail-to-email, music-on-hold, video conferencing, business SMS, and more.
  • Enhances customer experience through features like live call forwarding, hunt groups/ring groups, and more.
  • Is supported, monitored and managed 24/7 by our team of experts. There are NO additional maintenance costs, which is great news for CEOs and other executives, and even better for IT staff who don’t have to deal with end user help tickets!
  • Easily and affordably scales up or down. Customers can add extensions in a matter of minutes. Or if they are consolidating, they simply let licenses expire.

The Bottom Line

In business as in life, it’s important to know who your allies are — and it’s arguably even more important to know who your adversaries are. For many businesses, one of the biggest threats to their success and growth isn’t outside their walls: it’s rooted in their on-premise phone system. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that permanently ending this threat is straightforward and simple: contact DigitalPhone.io today for a free consultation. Call (336) 544-4000 Discover how we will transform your telecommunications system from an adversary that holds your business back, to an ally that drives your business forward!

Fake News: What Conventional Phone Companies & Carriers Don’t Want You to Know About Hosted VoIP

Regardless of what side of the political spectrum you fall — or maybe you think the best political party is no party at all — we can all agree that if there’s one thing we should learn from what’s happening in Washington, D.C., it’s that you can’t trust everything you hear or read.

Of course, “fake news” isn’t a new idea. It’s been around for decades (or make that centuries). And it’s certainly not limited to politicians, commentators, and talking heads. Some businesses have made plenty of money generating fake news. Take for example the myths, half-truths and outright lies that some conventional phone companies and carriers spew about hosted VoIP.

Fortunately, there is a wonderful antidote to fake news — it’s called FACTS. And that’s what we’re going to spotlight here as we highlight 5 things that conventional phone companies and carriers don’t want you to know about hosted VoIP:

Fake News: “When you add up all of the costs, you won’t save money.”

FACT: Hosted VoIP phone systems typically save organizations anywhere from 20-50 percent on an annual basis — and in some cases, the savings are even bigger. This is not playing with numbers or moving costs from one category to another. This is black-and-white, bottom-line savings that you can (and should) calculate yourself.

Fake News: “You need to create a separate network to run the system.”

FACT: We don’t even know where to begin with this one, because it’s SO patently untrue that it’s shocking. Here’s the truth that you can independently verify: unlike a conventional phone system that needs a separate voice network — complete with servers, cabling, and so on — a hosted VoIP phone system is fundamentally designed to work with the existing data network that organizations already use to access the internet and send/receive emails. There is no requirement whatsoever to create a separate network, which is why so many organizations have already switched to hosted VoIP, and are saving tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Fake News: “You have to be a VoIP expert to manage and maintain the system.”

FACT: A hosted VoIP phone system is housed, managed, and maintained by off-site experts who provide everything from end user technical support, to regular updates and system upgrades. As we’ve written about, organizations that switch to hosted VoIP don’t face any support burden, which makes their IT staff very happy.

Fake News: “You don’t need a hosted VoIP phone system if you simply use your cell phones.”

Someone should really tell conventional phone companies and carriers that it’s not the 19th century anymore (wait until they find out there’s no Pony Express!)

FACT: Seriously — what century is this?! Today’s organizations need to unify all of their devices — including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, phones, car Bluetooth systems and cell phones — on the same telecommunication platform, and that’s exactly what a hosted VoIP phone system does. For example, an end user can answer a call on their desktop (i.e. softphone), forward it their cell phone as they exit the building, and forward it again to their car Bluetooth.

Fake News: “VoIP is unreliable.”

FACT: This is the neutron bomb that conventional phone companies and carriers launch when their other fake news efforts (see above) fall flat, because it’s the one that tends to resonate with a lot of customers whose experience with VoIP is primarily flaky Skype calling with relatives.

Here’s the truth: long before a hosted VoIP phone system goes live, the Solution Provider conducts multiple quality assurance tests to confirm that the network is ready, willing and able to handle the load (e.g. video conferencing, simultaneous calls, etc.). The system is also constantly monitored to meet performance standards and achieve a guaranteed uptime of 99.99%. Plus, unlike a conventional on-premises system, a hosted VoIP system remains online and operational even in the event of a local power outage.

In this respect, hosted VoIP phone systems are MORE reliable than conventional phone systems. But as the old saying goes, sometimes the best defense is a good offense — and phone companies afraid of losing customers are understandably on the attack.

The Bottom Line

Is a hosted VoIP phone system right for you? If you want to save money, improve efficiency, increase customer service, boost employee engagement, and make your organization more flexible and agile, then the answer is YES.

But don’t take our or anyone else’s word for it. Schedule a live, guided demo and get the FACTS directly from our team. You can then make an informed decision that is right for your organization now and into the future. And isn’t that the way its supposed to be?
Call us now at (336) 560-4400, or click the Contact Button on your right. Your consultation with us is free!

Your IT Staff Will Jump for Joy When You Switch to Hosted VoIP

As a breed, IT professionals tend not to be the most emotional folks on the business landscape — and that’s a good thing. A calm, cool and detached perspective is essential for accurate analysis. After all, we want an evaluation of the current state of the network defense system or a forecast of future bandwidth needs to be backed by data and best practices, not by cheers and a marching band.

However, there are times with IT professionals can’t help themselves and jump for joy — and maybe even shed tears of happiness. No, we aren’t talking about when end users stop saving passwords on sticky notes. We’re talking about when organizations switch from a bloated, old school landline phone system to a state-of-the-art hosted VoIP phone system.

Here are 3 key reasons why, for IT staff, hosted VoIP is the gift that keeps on giving:

1. Zero Support Burden

When organizations implement new technology, that loud groan of agony that erupts from the IT department (or the hallway, lunch room, or wherever they’re hanging out) is triggered by the miserable awareness that they — and not the vendor — will be responsible for providing support. That means plenty of compatibility headaches and end user “why doesn’t this thingy work?” questions are on the horizon.

Blissfully, this is not an issue with a hosted VoIP phone system. All support — including answer end user questions — is handled by off-site experts who understand the technology inside and out.

2. Automatic Updates

In addition to providing support for various tools and technologies, IT staff usually must manually update servers, desktops and devices. And since vendors can release dozens of updates a year, that means the to-do list for IT staff gets longer…and longer…and longer. Peace, love and joy under such conditions is unlikely. Actually, it’s pretty impossible.

But with a hosted VoIP phone system, IT staff don’t have to lift a finger when it comes to updates — because off-site experts handle everything from their end. What’s more, end users always know that they’re accessing the latest and safest version.

3. Enhanced Security

Speaking of safety: IT staff are on constant red alert for the latest malware variations and zero-day threats, which are exploits that cyber criminals have identified hours, days, weeks, or sometimes months before vendors release patches to close the gaps. And of course, if an endpoint is compromised or the network is breached, everyone uses IT staff as target practice to hone their screaming and swearing skills.

With a hosted VoIP phone system, external staff constantly monitor and update the server, and implement a range of security measures to both detect and prevent misuse; including call fraud and insider threats.

Does this mean that IT staff can take their foot off the gas when it comes to being hyper-vigilant about keeping the bad guys at bay? No. But it certainly means that IT staff will be asked to safeguard a smaller threat surface, which makes their jobs easier and more effective at the same time.

To learn more about how you can boost employee productivity, enhance customer service, dramatically lower costs — and make your IT staff jump for joy — contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. Your consultation with us is free (and go ahead, invite your IT staff!).

Call us now at (336) 560-4400, or click the Contact Button  on your right. 

hosted voip phone systems

4 Questions You MUST Ask Before Switching Your Current Hosted Telecommunication Provider

Many times in our professional and personal lives, we believe that the “grass is greener on the other side” — only to discover after making a change, that the grass isn’t greener at all. In fact, sometimes it’s not even grass, but the painted carpet stuff that they use in some baseball stadiums.

The reason we bring this up, is because some schools, businesses, and government agencies that are quite happy with their reliable and affordable hosted telecommunications provider, get seduced by a competitor that promises all kinds of benefits and extras — and for an “amazing low, low price.”

Yet in many cases, these promises never materialize. It’s all sizzle, and no steak. How do we know? Because we’ve been in the hosted telecommunications space for nearly 20 years, which is an eternity in this industry where the lifespan for most companies a few years — and in some cases, a few months!

And throughout this time, we’ve lost track of how many new players have entered the marketplace, created a whole bunch of flashy hype, and then disappeared — but only after leaving a trail of very angry ex-customers in their wake. Trust us on this, because we’re the ones they call to get them back on track, and get the advanced and affordable hosted telecommunications system they needed in the first place (and of course, we make it happen!).

And so, if you’re currently happy with your hosted telecommunication system provider — i.e. they’ve delivered on their promises and continuously demonstrated how much they value your business — but are nevertheless being “headhunted” by competitors, here are 4 questions you MUST ask to save yourself a great deal of money, time and regret:

1. Are you really getting a better deal?

On the surface, it make look like switching providers will lead to cost savings. But you really need to dig deeper and crunch the numbers to see if all that glitters is really gold. For example, many providers promise all kinds of free services, but in reality it’s not free forever. Often, it’s free for 1 year on licenses with a limited number of simultaneous calls.

Plus, there are always setup and support costs that need to be factored into the analysis. And speaking of support costs: many of the aggressive providers in the marketplace have regularly raised their support costs over the years. Many customers are very unhappy to realize that when they first signed up annual support costs were about 20 percent of the initial purchase price, but have since risen to 30 percent or more.

2. Do they specialize in hosted deployments?

The importance of this question cannot be underestimated! Many providers offer both on-premises and hosted deployments, but this doesn’t mean they support them equally. In most cases, the bulk of their resources are allocated towards their (much more profitable) on-premises product.

And don’t be fooled by promises like “oh don’t worry, you can use the on-premises product remotely”. This compatibility is NOT out-of-the-box. On the contrary, it is much more complex and requires excessive setup time, and it likely doesn’t support a Windows environment — which is what most organizations use.

3. How are internal class classified?

Some providers make a really big deal about how you’ll enjoy “affordable calling. But what they typically DON’T make explicit is that they count internal calls as part of simultaneous calls. For example, if you can have up to 16 simultaneous calls and 20 internal staff members are having a conversation (which equals 10 internal calls), then you will only be able to make 6 more internal or external calls. Any more, and — yes, you guessed it — you’ll have to pay more.

4. What is the support?

Where all (so-called) low cost providers make their money is on support, which they charge by the hour — and it’s not cheap! Furthermore, these providers typically don’t offer geo-redundancy support, which means that in the event of a local power outage due to inclement weather, natural disaster, or any other factor the entire system will go offline for minutes, hours — or maybe even days.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is clear and straightforward: do your homework, ask tough questions, and absolutely refuse to settle for fuzzy “marketing spin” answers. Because sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Isn’t it wiser to figure this out before making a switch vs. after?

Leading Hosted Telecommunications Firm DigitalPhone.io Adds Key New Talent to Workforce

DigitalPhone.io announced today that it has expanded its workforce in response to strong ongoing demand among businesses, government agencieseducational institutions and nonprofit organizations for its full suite of hosted telecommunications solutions.

Joining the DigitalPhone.io operations team are: Samantha Buggé, Project & Provisioning Manager; Marisa Diaz, Account Executive; Lisa Green, Account Executive; Arianna Forgay, Client Support Specialist; and Paige Sullivan, Client Support Specialist.

In addition, acclaimed Business and Executive Coach Ross Cox has been hired to assist DigitalPhone.io with strategic development, execution planning, and performance management. Mr. Cox has nearly 50 years of business experience, and is widely recognized as one of North America’s leading coaches.

Individually and collectively, these talented and experienced new team members will play a key role in helping DigitalPhone.io continue expanding its nationwide footprint, and provide current and future customers with an unparalleled level of support, value and service.

This is DigitalPhone.io’s second significant workforce expansion this year. In January, the company expanded its senior sales and support teams, respectively. Last year, DigitalPhone.io added two highly experienced and acclaimed executives to its leadership team: Steve Worrell, CPA as CFO, and Gary Tomlin as VP of Sales.

“There is no shortage of professionals in the labor market that have required technical knowledge when it comes to telecommunications systems and solutions,” commented CEO and Founder Nicky Smith, who launched DigitalPhone.io in 2000. “But we don’t just hire for ability — we also hire for attitude, and ensure that everyone who joins our team is committed to doing what is best for our customers — and where possible, exceeding their expectations. I’m confident that our exceptional new hires align with our values and vision, and will help us succeed and grow into the future.”

Added Smith: “We are also proud to create more high quality career opportunities in Greensboro, and continue helping this area thrive and grow. As the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce very wisely points out, our business community must be creative, innovative and agile to compete in attracting a 21st century workforce. We are honored and excited to be part of this solution!”

For additional information regarding DigitalPhone.io, visit https://digitalphone.io or email inquiry@DigitalPhone.io.

About DigitalPhone.io

DigitalPhone.io (formerly Carolina Digital) is a pioneer of hosted phone services, and provides products that improve the capabilities of business and education telephony, while reducing their overall cost. The company’s offerings stand out for their excellent value, including very competitive pricing, the industry’s deepest feature set, ease of deployment, and many user-friendly packages — from a full turnkey set-up including dial tone and VoIP phones, to automated call answering and routing solutions that work with existing land lines, cell phones or VoIP phones.

Best Practices for Cloud Telephone System Quality Assurance (QA)

At DigitalPhone.io, we aren’t mass market retailers who sell cloud telephone systems along with various other products, like smartphones, GPS systems, and SSD drives so tiny that you need tweezers and a magnifying glass.

We’re proud and proven VoIP Solutions Providers. And that means “one-and-done” customer relationships don’t fit with our business plan. For us to succeed and grow — which we’ve been doing for nearly 20 years — we need our customers to succeed. It’s not an option for them, and it’s not an option for us.

And one of the ways that we ensure that our customers take the shortest path to value and generate ROI and performance results is by implementing a comprehensive quality assurance (QA) framework. Here are some of the best practices that drive our QA approach and strategy:

Comprehensive Pre-Implementation Site Survey

Before we implement a cloud telephone system on our customers’ premise (i.e. installing managed routers, back-up power supplies, IP phones, etc.), we conduct a comprehensive site survey to evaluate critical network aspects, such as usage patterns, traffic flows, WAN bandwidth, switches, and more. This deep analysis process enables our team to adjust and optimize the infrastructure as required.

User Experience Review

Our user experience review is integrated into the pre-implementation site survey process, but is worth focusing on separately because it’s such an important part of the overall QA framework — and one that businesses that typically overlook or neglect when they work with mass market vendors (which basically involves getting some hardware in the mail and doing everything yourself).

As the term suggests, our user experience review is not so much about the technology, but about the people who will use it (as well as when and how). This data is then used to ensure that, once implemented, the cloud telephone system is immediately ready to support anticipated usage.

Quality of Service Prioritization

Another key part of our QA framework is analyzing and validating Quality of Service (QoS) prioritization settings. This ensures that the cloud telephone system is given suitable priority throughout different points of the network. Otherwise, there will likely be delays in packet delivery and other quality issues.

Establishing Metrics

It’s been said that “you cannot manage what you cannot measure.” This is true, but there is another piece of the puzzle that must be part of the equation: you must also establish the right metrics and key performance indicators (KPI).

With this in mind, our team establishes a suite of technology-based tools to monitor and optimize performance — not just during the implementation stage, but throughout the full life of the cloud telephone system. These metrics include (but aren’t limited to) burst density, compression, jitter, gap density, R-factor, mean opinion score (MOS), and many others.

We also monitor end user experience by focusing on key network performance metrics, such as codecs, VLAN configuration, link utilization, and so on.

Establish Resolution Tools

Another wise saying that we subscribe to is “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s why we install tools that give us valuable insight to identify and resolve issues that may emerge months or years down the road. These strategies include (but aren’t limited to) using VLANs organized by user group to keep an eye on traffic patterns, setting alarms to detect when traffic/usage patterns deviate from typical baseline norms, and so on.

The Bottom Line

Perhaps the best thing about our comprehensive QA framework is the price that our customers pay: zero. And that’s because, as noted above, we don’t just hope that our customers get the most value, performance and ROI from their cloud telephone system. We need them to — and so do they!

To learn more contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. Your consultation with us is free! Call 336-560-4400