5 Reasons Why Organizations are Using Cloud Faxing

Cloud Faxing by DigitalPhone.ioA few decades ago, fax machines roamed freely on the business landscape: and it was good. Actually, it was groundbreaking. The idea of transmitting an exact facsimile of a document to anyone in the world — and within a matter of seconds — was incredible. Indeed, if you build a time machine and head back to circa 1988, you’ll be greeted by an orchestra of screeching fax machines (don’t worry, it’s a screech of joy, not of pain).

Well, here we are about to enter the third decade of the 21st century, and traditional fax machines are few and far between. In fact, some millennial doctors have no idea what to do with this ancient technology. But does this mean faxing is dead? Not at all!

On the contrary, faxing is alive and well. But like many other technologies, it has elevated to the cloud where it is enjoying a dynamic new lease on life. Here are 5 reasons why organizations are embracing cloud faxing — and why yours might want to join them:

1. Enhanced Security

Doctors, pharmacists, lawyers and many other professionals are using cloud faxing because it’s more secure. This is because unlike scanning and attaching a document to an email, faxing converts a document into base64 binary at its source, sends it through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), and then reassembles it at the other end. In addition, faxed documents are stored in a secure off-site data center.

2. Save Space

Office space is expensive — especially in premium locations. A conventional fax machine requires sufficient space to ensure safe and proper usage (and keep supplies nearby, like paper, ink, etc.). This is a non-issue with cloud faxing. It’s 100% virtual, and doesn’t take up any space.

3. Enhanced Convenience

Cloud faxing is available to employees whenever they want, and from where they’re working. They don’t have to wait to get back to the office, and they don’t have to wait in line or hike across the building. They can simply launch any internet-connected computer, laptop, desktop or smartphone, and send/receive faxes. They can also schedule faxes to be sent at a future date/time, and email faxes to colleagues or any other part (the receiving party doesn’t need to have cloud faxing — they will simply get an email with a PDF attachment).  

4. Cost Saving

Conventional fax machines are pricey to buy and maintain, and organizations need a dedicated line or switch — which adds to the cost. On the other hand, cloud faxing is extremely cost effective. There are no usage or long distance fees, nor is there a need to purchase new phone lines or upgrading existing ones.

What’s more, organizations with remote workers who need to send/receive faxes don’t have to equip them with fax machines. They simply provide them with cloud faxing, and save hundreds or thousands of dollars per year.

5. Detailed Reports

Readers of a certain vintage may recall that generating reports with conventional fax machines was — and remains — manually intensive and quite tedious. Cloud faxing completely changes this for the better. At any time and from anywhere, authorized users (e.g. managers) can simply login to review fax history, usage details, and other data.  

Are you ready to switch to cloud faxing — and reap all of the rewards above? Then call DigitalPhone.io today at (336) 560-4400. Your consultation with us is free.

4 Reasons to Choose a Local VoIP Vendor

We all know that all businesses these days need to 4 Reasons to Choose a Local VoIP Vendor

We all know that all businesses these days need to “think global and act local.” But when it comes to selecting the right VoIP vendor, this wisdom needs an adjustment: “think global and choose local.”

Let’s start with the first part of this advice: think global.

What this means is that small and mid-sized businesses should ensure that they get the same enterprise-grade telecommunications features enjoyed by large multinational firms, such as: auto attendant, live call forwarding, call transfer, automatic call distribution, online message access, call queuing, call announce, company directory, hold music, voice and fax email messages, message notification, and call analysis, and reporting. And of course, the system must be quick to learn and easy-to-use.

Now for the next part of this advice: choose local.

Choosing a local VoIP vendor – and in this context, local can also be defined as regional (e.g. Midwest, Southeast, etc.) – is vital for 5 key reasons:

1. Pre-Sales Consulting

A local/regional VoIP provider will visit your business on-site – possibly multiple times – to assess your needs, consult with your different user groups (e.g. executive, technical, infosec, operations, etc.), analyze your infrastructure, and provide you with a solution that is custom crafted to fit your needs and align with your budget.

National vendors put the bulk of their resources into sales – not into pre-sales. And so while you may get some videos to watch or brochures to read, you shouldn’t expect someone to physically come on-site. And even in the few instances where this is the case, the person or team that arrives will have their “contract signing” pen at-the-ready, and will do everything they can to seal the deal – not objectively assess your needs.

2. Expert Installation and Configuration

Many businesses that choose “mass market” nationwide VoIP vendors quickly recall the old adage: you get what you pay for. Or in this case, you don’t get what you don’t pay for – because installation and configuration is a tedious, time consuming and complex process that can last for weeks. Quite often, many businesses that head down this path end up paying a consultant to clean up the mess, or they pay their VoIP vendor exorbitant “professional services” fees, which more than offset any cost-savings they hoped to realize.

Thankfully, the above isn’t a risk when choosing a credible local/regional VoIP vendor. That’s because their in-house experts – who understand the technology inside and out – will handle all installation and configuration details. And since they’ll have carefully assessed your needs (per the pre-sales consulting described above), you can look forward to a smooth, streamlined and stress-free experience.

3. 24/7 Responsive Support

The importance of 24/7 responsive support cannot be underestimated – not because you should expect something to go wrong with your VoIP system, but simply because your business isn’t static and fixed: it’s dynamic and evolving.

For example, at some point in the future – and it could be sooner than later – you may need to equip employees with an IP phone that they can use from their home office. Or, you may want to provide your sales reps with mobile apps so they can stay connected while on the road. Or, you may want to launch a remote call center to handle a surge in customer inquiries.

Whatever the scenario, you can be assured that a local/regional VoIP vendor is ready, willing and able to respond. This simply isn’t the case with most large vendors. When you need assistance, they’ll either refer you to a FAQ or some other (useless and confusing) resources, or they’ll sell you a very pricey maintenance package.

4. You’ll pay less than you think.

Many businesses that expected to save big by choosing a nationwide vendor discover that the opposite is true: they’re paying more and getting less than if they went with a local/regional vendor.

This is why nationwide VoIP vendors are popular acquisition targets these days: they’re cash cows. Customers think that they’re saving money and getting a better deal, when this simply isn’t the case. The numbers don’t add up.

The Bottom Line

Thinking globally and acting locally is a critical business paradigm. But when it comes to choosing the right VoIP vendor – which is one that will provide you with the shortest path to value – then it’s all about thinking globally and choosing locally!

To learn more, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. Your consultation with us is free. Your consultation with us is free. Call (336) 544-4000.

4 Signs that Your Business Should Upgrade to a VoIP Phone System

voip phone systemIn life, there are signs that alert us to potential trouble — and if we’re attentive and wise, we heed these warnings and avoid bigger problems in the future.

For example, our car may be sluggish and sputtering, and pleading with us for a tune up or some preventative maintenance. And our bodies often tell us through various aches and pains that we need to dial things down and take a break — or else a break may be thrust upon us.

Now, what does this have to do with telecommunications? It’s this: businesses also receive warning signs that their conventional landline phone system is no longer supporting their success and growth — on the contrary, it’s bogging them down and pulling them back. And while these signs aren’t as blatant as a car dashboard warning light, they’re pretty easy to spot if you know what to look for.

And so, here are 4 signs to help you clearly see that it’s time (or make that past time) for your business to upgrade from a conventional landline phone system to an advanced VoIP phone system:

  1. Your telecommunications costs are much higher than they should be.

Here’s something that most people don’t know: phone companies don’t make a great deal of profit from residential customers; in fact, sometimes they even lose money. But business customers are another matter entirely! They’re nothing short of cash cows, which is why bills range from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars per month — and that’s on top of a wide range of other fees, such as for maintenance, technical support, and so on.

VoIP phone systems dramatically lower business telecommunication costs — and not just for the first year. The savings continue into the future, since there are no maintenance costs, no update or upgrade costs, no long distance costs, and adding numbers or extensions does NOT require physically adding new underground lines — which makes doing so extremely affordable.

Add up the numbers, and most businesses can expect to see a year-over-year savings of at least 40% compared to a conventional landline phone system. And it’s certainly not uncommon to realize savings of well over 50%.

  1. Your remote workers are out of the loop.

While remote working isn’t new, in the last few years it has skyrocketed. As noted by Global Workplace Analytics, 50% of the US labor force now works remotely at least 20 percent of the time. And with the rise of tablets and other mobile technology devices, these numbers will only increase in the years ahead.

The good news is businesses that enable remote working substantially reduce overhead costs — which is especially valuable and vital for startups and small businesses who don’t just want to maximize working capital, but need to in order to survive.

The bad news is that conventional phone systems typically keep remote workers on the outside looking in, which makes collaboration difficult, drains productivity and reduces customer satisfaction. That’s where VoIP enters the picture and changes the game!

With a VoIP phone system, all employees, contractors and other authorized system users are connected on a unified, centralized cloud-based platform, which they can access anytime from and any device: computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Instead of working on disconnected islands, remote workers — whether they spend 100% of their time out of the office, or occasionally work in the field or from a home office (or their favorite Starbucks!) — are always in the loop, and can effectively collaborate, communicate and contribute.

  1. You’re losing business to larger competitors.

These days, SMBs can’t afford to be perceived in the marketplace as having less capacity and credibility than their enterprise-level competitors — or else some customers will take their business elsewhere. Unfortunately, this is what happens when SMBs are saddled with an old fashioned conventional phone system, which offers little more than features that haven’t been innovative since the 1980s: call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, and so on.

Of course, this begs the question: why don’t these SMBs simply add advanced calling features? The answer is even simpler: because phone companies charge an arm and a leg (and often a few other valuable body parts as well!). Remember what we said about business customers being cash cows? This is a perfect example.

A VoIP phone system permanently eliminates this excessive cost barrier, by providing SMBs with a full range of advanced enterprise-grade calling features at no extra cost, such as: voicemail-to-email, voicemail-to-text, video calling, auto attendant, one-number service, direct-inward-dial, and the list goes on.

The end result is that a VoIP phone systems significantly helps SMBs compete with the “big boys” in their marketplace — which is critical for short-term success, and long-term survival.

  1.  Your business is located in an area where brownouts are common.

As noted by a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the nation’s aging and over-burdened utility infrastructure triggers thousands of brownouts each year. These are relatively brief — but certainly noticeable — power outages that can last for a few seconds to a few minutes.

The problem for business is that going off the grid — even for 10 seconds — can mean the difference between impressing a customer, or losing them to the competition. It can also mean critical internal communications get delayed and costly misunderstandings occur.

With a VoIP phone system, fearing brownouts are a thing of the past. That’s because the system is supported on an on-premise network of backup power systems, which immediately and automatically spring into action in the event of power loss. Even if computers and laptops can’t be turned on, users can simply access the VoIP system from their smartphone. Incoming calls from customers, partners, suppliers, vendors or anyone else continue as usual with no disruption or reputation-damaging “we’re sorry, the number you have called is not in service” recordings.

If your business is experiencing any — or possibly all — of the above, then it’s clearly time to upgrade to a VoIP phone system! To learn more, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today at (336) 560-4400. Your consultation with us is free.

Debunking 4 Myths about Cloud Business VoIP Phone Systems

Some myths in life are perfectly fine to be left as-is. For example, even the most practical of parents don’t want to be responsible for shattering their young child’s belief that Santa Claus lives in the North Pole with a tribe of friendly reindeer and elves. And what parent hasn’t silently said a “thank you” to the great soul who invented the Tooth Fairy. Seriously: is there a better bargain in the world than spending a few bucks to have a child look forward to losing a tooth vs. dread it?

voip business phone systemsHowever, there are some persistent myths that aren’t fun or functional — and like many disruptive technology-led solutions, cloud business VoIP phone systems are caught up in the misinformation net.

Fortunately, debunking these myths doesn’t take a lot of heavy lifting. It simply takes clear, basic facts. To that end, here are 4 things that you need and deserve to know about cloud business VoIP phone systems that you typically won’t hear from conventional landline phone system vendors, consultants, and other folks who have a vested interest in keeping you from the truth:

Myth #1: Cloud business VoIP phone system calling quality is inferior to a conventional landline phone system

The Truth: Cloud business VoIP phone system calling quality is actually superior to a conventional landline phone system. This is because cloud systems use certified VoIP phones that are designed to convert standard analog audio into crystal clear digital packets. The result is consistently outstanding call quality, regardless of what other users are doing on the network (e.g. sending emails, watching videos, surfing the web, and so on). Conversely, conventional landline phone systems essentially use degraded copper wire technology that was invented in the 19th century, and has not fundamentally changed in the last two centuries.

Myth #2: Cloud business VoIP phone systems aren’t suitable for startups and small businesses.

The Truth: Cloud business VoIP phone systems are ideal for startups and small businesses, because they are extremely affordable vs. conventional on-premises systems — both to setup, and to maintain. What’s more, businesses can start with less than 5 users, and scale up as required to over 5,000 users. That’s why both small startups and large enterprises are switching to cloud business VoIP phone systems. It simply makes bottom-line sense.

Myth #3: Cloud business VoIP phone systems aren’t as reliable as conventional landline systems.

The Truth: Conventional phone companies “go to the well” on this myth often in order to avoid losing customers. As you might expect, the truth is a very different story! Cloud business VoIP phone systems are actually more reliable than conventional systems, because they leverage multiple automatic backup and failover systems (learn more about these here). That’s why during brownouts and blackouts, when businesses with conventional landline phone systems cannot even get a dial tone, businesses with a cloud solution are making and receiving calls without any issue.

Myth #4: Cloud business VoIP phone systems lack solution control.

The Truth: Cloud business VoIP phone systems empower businesses with unprecedented control over all aspects of the solution via a simple-to-use web interface, which can be accessed from any computer, laptop, tablet or device — anytime, anywhere. Instead of having to “call the phone company” and wait days or weeks for a technician to make a change, businesses can easily adjust call flow rules, forward calls, add extensions, and so on.

The Bottom Line 

When it comes to making smart and successful decisions, businesses need to empower themselves with FACTS and steer clear of MYTHS. Keeping the above in mind will help you understand why a cloud business VoIP phone system makes sense — especially when it comes to your bottom line.

To learn more, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. Your consultation with us is free, and we’ll gladly provide you with a live, guided demo of our solutions and services.

How We Help Government Organizations and Education Institutions Solve their Key Objectives

While they have different missions and mandates, today’s government organizations and education institutions share key objectives. For example:

  • They face increasing pressure to be more efficient, more cost-effective, more innovative, and essentially “do more with less.”
  • They need to enhance communication among team members, while making it easy and fast for remote users, partners and other stakeholders to connect and collaborate.
  • They must ensure security, compliance, and system-wide continuity at all times.

That’s where DigitalPhone.io’s VoIP hosted phone system enters the picture, and ticks all of these mission-critical boxes.

voip phone system for educationAffordable, Scalable, Secure & Easy to Change

Unlike conventional phone systems that are costly to purchase and maintain, offer limited features and functions, and are inflexible when it comes to making changes or scaling, a VoIP hosted phone system from DigitalPhone.io is affordable, scalable, secure, and easy to change — whether the goal is to adjust calling rules, add or remove users, generate reports on system usage, and the list goes on.

Substantial Year-Over-Year Cost Savings

In addition, budget and financial officers champion our hosted phone system solution because it saves their organization tens of thousands of dollars — or sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars — per year compared to a conventional system. Plus, there are no ongoing maintenance fees or technical support costs.

A Whole New World of Features 

End users love our hosted phone system solution, because they access a whole new world of advanced, yet easy-to-use features like: auto attendant, video calling, live call forwarding, call transfer, automatic call distribution, online message access, call announce, message notification, voicemail to email, call queuing, hold music, and much more.voip phone system for government

Robust Security & 24/7/365 Support

When it comes to security, we keep government organizations and educational institutions safe through several integrated strategies and technologies, including network encryption, next-generation security gateways, and comprehensive fraud management strategy that proactively detects and prevents misuse — whether accidental or intentional. Plus, our in-house team of experts is on the job and ready to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Implementation & Training

We ensure that installation and implementation — including porting numbers and handling all network configuration details — is smooth and stress-free. What’s more, we know that some people are less excited than others about adopting new technology. That’s why our training team makes the learning curve gentle, easy and fun. Within minutes, people who were reluctant to use the system enthusiastically say: how on earth did we survive without hosted VoIP?

The Bottom Line

The bottom-line is clear: today’s government organizations and education institutions need a telecommunication system that is innovative, feature-rich, scaleable, efficient, easy-to-use and secure. That’s why they’re choosing a VoIP hosted phone system from DigitalPhone.io — and reaping significant and measurable rewards from day one.

To learn more, contact the DigitalPhone.io team. Your consultation is free. Call us today at (336) 560-4400.

DigitalPhone.io Awarded New School District Deployments

DigitalPhone.io, a leading provider of USAC Category 1 E-Rate eligible hosted telecommunications for K-12 schools in the U.S. Southeast, announced that it has been awarded new contracts to install state-of-the art VoIP phone solutions at two school systems North Carolina and Georgia, respectively.

In April 2017, the DigitalPhone.io team will deploy 97 SIP trunks for Brunswick County Schools in North Carolina. The installation was given the green light after a highly successful test of 3 SIP trunks in February, which saved the school board over 50 percent vs. their current carrier. Staff were also impressed with the built-in data recovery and redundancy features that guarantee 99.99% uptime.

“Carolina Digital offers everything a customer deserves from their SIP service provider,” commented Michael Bullard, Systems Asset Analyst at Brunswick County Schools. “Quality, price, responsiveness and dependability are important to us as a customer and I can’t imagine any other service provider out performing them.”

In June 2017, the DigitalPhone.io team will head to Georgia and deploy hosted VoIP phone system for Evans County Schools. The system will also include additional POTS lines for alarms and cloud-based faxing.  This is the second school system in the state of Georgia for DigitalPhone.io, and will further strengthen their efforts to provide class leading VoIP services to school systems neighboring states.

In separate but related news, DigitalPhone.io also announced that in recent months it has renewed agreements with three other North Carolina school districts, including Roanoke Rapids Graded School District, Bertie County School District, and Currituck County School District, respectively.

“Over the past five years we have developed relationships in the K-12 market that now drive our commitment to servicing this sector,” commented Brant Yandell, Partner Manager at DigitalPhone.io. “Saving school systems money to retain teaching jobs or free up funds for bettering programs for students is extremely rewarding.”

The E-Rate program allows eligible schools and libraries to receive funding of 20-90 percent for new and existing network and telecommunications services. E-Rate discounts are based on the percentage of students eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program and the degree to which they may be considered urban or rural.

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.