Thinking of a “DIY” VoIP Phone System for Your Business? Think Again!

Don't DIY a Business VoIP Phone SystemThe strongest and most successful businesses aren’t those that out-spend their competitors. Rather, they out-smart them by knowing when taking a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach makes strategic and financial sense — and when it’s a really bad idea.

What does this have to do with VoIP phone systems? It’s this: there are some mass market VoIP vendors in the marketplace that want businesses to think that a DIY VoIP business phone system is easy, smart and cost-effective.

However, if you ask an overwhelming number of businesses that have been misled by this hype, you’ll discover that the experience is tedious, disappointing and expensive; the latter because within weeks (or sometimes days) of implementation, businesses are forced to call a VoIP Solutions Provider to come to the rescue, and put in place the phone system that they believed they were getting to begin with!

Still not convinced? That’s good: because here at DigitalPhone.io, we deal in facts instead of myths, and believe that an educated customer is the best customer. With this in mind, here are the three reasons why a DIY VoIP Phone System will soon have you sending out an SOS:

1. If something goes wrong, you’ll be on your own — unless you’re willing to pay.

You can completely ignore any service promises that mass market VoIP vendors make, because WHEN (not if!) you have an issue or need to reconfigure your system, you’ll be told that your only option is to purchase a ridiculously expensive maintenance plan, or pay through the nose for a technician to provide on-site service.

However, if you purchase your system from a legitimate VoIP Solutions Provider, then you’ll get exceptional and responsive technical support without paying an extra cent. What’s more, your VoIP phone system will include a managed router, which enables technical experts to perform a wide range of maintenance, troubleshooting and configuration tasks remotely — which means they can be taken care of rapidly; often within minutes or hours of identifying an issue or submitting a request

2. Don’t count on the help resources being all that helpful.

You may have some talented technicians in your business who can solve all kinds of challenges. But even these DIY wizards are going to fly the white flag of surrender when they see what kind of “helpful resources” are in store for them when it comes to dealing with VoIP configurations and issues: outdated FAQs, useless videos, and manuals that are so incomprehensible that they might as well be from IKEA.

On the other end of the spectrum, your in-house IT team won’t face any installation or support burden. Everything is handled by your VoIP Solutions Provider. That means no white flags of surrender (or angry emails saying “if I get one more end user asking me how to set up the auto attendant feature I’m going to go  @#!@*&! crazy!”)

3. Don’t expect to take the shortest path to value.

It goes without saying that you want to start reaping the rewards of your VoIP phone system ASAP, so that you can take the shortest path to value and start generating cost savings and performance gains. But none of this is going to happen with a DIY system, because it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it thing. To get the most value, you need to monitor various metrics, and optimize based on actual system usage. You may also need to resolve issues with your ISP (some ISPs are notorious for exaggerating bandwidth speeds, and a VoIP phone system is going to reveal the truth!).

Fortunately, with a VoIP Solutions Provider, you don’t have to worry about paying more for less, or taking the long and winding road to value and ROI. That’s because they — not you — will take care of all system monitoring, testing and optimization, and make sure that you’re firing on all cylinders.

The Bottom Line

There are times when doing things DIY makes sense. But then there are other times when partnering with experts is the right way to go — and switching to a VoIP phone system definitely applies! We’ll conclude with the sage advice of 19th century social thinker and philanthropist John Ruskin:

“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all.

When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. 

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

To learn more about getting the VoIP phone system that your business wants, needs and EXPECTS from day one, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. Call us at (336) 560-4400. Your consultation is free!

DigitalPhone.io Accepted into NCAPCS Preferred Partners Program

Leading Hosted Telecommunications Firm DigitalPhone.io Accepted into NCAPCS Preferred Partners Program

DigitalPhone.io, a leading hosted telecommunications firm that serves businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations and educational institutions across the US, proudly announced that it has been accepted into the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools’ (NCAPCS) “Preferred Partners Program”.

The innovative program, which launched in 2017, is available to select vendors that have a verified track record of serving NCAPCS-member charter schools, and have demonstrated a clear commitment to supporting their current and long-term success. Approved vendors must also have a current NCAPCS Business Membership in good standing, and agree to offer NCAPCS-member charter schools discounted pricing.  

“I had the opportunity meet with Gary Tomlin from DigitalPhone.io last month when his company sponsored our Job Fair in Durham,” commented Rhonda Dillingham NCAPCS’s Executive Director. “We spoke about the Preferred Partners Program, and based on their interest in joining, I contacted two NCAPCS-member charter schools that they’ve served — Arapahoe Charter School and Bethany Community Middle School — and both spoke very highly of their experience with DigitalPhone.io. We’re pleased to include them as a preferred vendor, so they can help our members get the affordable technologies and systems they need to improve school communications and safety, and enhance overall performance and efficiency.”

“We are delighted to be part of the NCAPCS’ Preferred Partners Program,” commented Gary Tomlin, DigitalPhone.io’s VP of Sales. “It is abundantly clear that Rhonda’s focus is on offering the very best to the association’s membership, which is why vendors in the program cannot simply offer pricing discounts and expect to get accepted. They must also demonstrate a dedication to the success, vision and values of charter schools, and we are extremely proud of our commitment and contribution in this area. We look forward a long and rewarding relationship with the NCAPCS and all of their members!”

For additional information regarding DigitalPhone.io, visit https://digitalphone.io or email inquiry(at)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, education, government and nonprofit organization 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. Learn more at https://digitalphone.io.

The Key Benefits of a VoIP Phone System Auto Attendant

While VoIP phone systems offer many enterprise-grade calling features such as voicemail-to-email, video conferencing, live call forwarding, direct-inward-dial and the list goes on, the one that most businesses instantly fall in love with — and wonder how they managed without — is auto attendant. Here are the key benefits:

1. Fully Customizable

An auto attendant is more than just an answering machine. It’s a functional and customizable 24/7 digital receptionist that lets callers quickly connect with the right individual or team, instead of having to go through a live operator or run the risk of getting “bounced around” because someone made a call forwarding mistake (with this being said, callers who do wish to contact a live operator can be given the option to do so).  

2. Multiple Messages

What’s more, an auto attendant can be configured with multiple messages based on pre-set variables, such as where calls originate from, what number was dialed (e.g. new sales number vs. technical support number), the time of day (e.g. an after-hours message can automatically start at 5:01pm), and so on.

3. Look BIG

An auto attendant can make any business look like an enterprise — even if it has a small staff roster or recently launched. This is a critical factor that can make the difference between connecting with customers, or losing them to larger competitors.

4. Save Thousands a Month

Since an auto attendant does the work of a receptionist — and in fact, does it better and more efficiently — businesses can save thousands of dollars a month in staffing costs. That’s money that they can be put back into the business to help it grow. At the same time, staff that was previously bogged down by answering and forwarding calls have more time to deal with higher priority tasks (e.g. dealing with escalated customer issues, etc.)

Best Practices for an Auto Attendant Script

As noted above, businesses can customize a variety of auto attendant scripts based on their needs. Below are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Configure the auto attendant to answer the call on the first ring.
  • Start each script with a warm, friendly and professional greeting.
  • For an after-hours or weekend script, inform callers immediately that the business is closed (i.e. don’t risk making them think that the business is open, only to disappoint them later on). Make sure that the script also provides the normal business hours.
  • Keep each script as brief as possible.  
  • Remind callers immediately after hearing the available options (or prior to that if desired) that they can dial their party’s extension at any time, or reach a live operator (if applicable).  
  • It’s generally advised to limit the menu to 5 options. Also provide callers with the ability to re-listen to the options (e.g. “press the pound key to repeat this message”.  

Sample Auto Attendant Script

Here is a sample auto attendant script for ACME Incorporated (under the visionary guidance of CEO Wile E. Coyote).  

Thank you for calling ACME Incorporated, where we offer the very best in anti-roadrunner technology.

If you know your party’s extension, please enter it at any time. For a staff directory, please press the star key.

To speak with our sales team, please press 1.

To speak with our customer service team, please press 2.  

For information on our hours of business, location and website, please press 3.  

If you would like to speak with a member of our team, please press 0.

If you would like to leave a message, please press the pound key.  

To hear this menu again, please press 9.  

To learn more about the benefits and advantages of a VoIP phone system auto attendant, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. Your consultation with us is free.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: How We Keep Your Business Up and Running 24/7/365

While email and web chat are increasingly becoming preferred communication channels, many of today’s customers insist on being able to pick up the phone and get in touch with a business – whether it’s to ask questions about a potential product or service, get support for a prior purchase, or for any other reason.

But what happens in the event of a power outage caused by a disaster, or even a shorter – but certainly noticeable – brownout resulting from the country’s aging and over-burdened utility infrastructure? Well, if you have a conventional phone system that uses an on-site IP PBX, then instead of hearing “thank you for your call, how may I help you?”, your customers will hear “sorry, the number you have reached is out of service, please try your call again later.”

Unfortunately, many customers won’t “try their call again later.” Instead, they’ll head to a competitor whose phone lines are working normally – and they’ll never look back. To avoid that unacceptable scenario, here are the key ways that our hosted VoIP solution keeps your business up and running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year:

Geographically-Dispersed Cloud Infrastructure

All communication that takes place via our hosted VoIP phone system – including file sharing, video conferencing, instant messaging, and so on – is supported by a geographically-dispersed cloud infrastructure. As such, during a local power outage your business does not have to worry about disappearing from the radar screen. Everyone on your team will be able to continue sending and receiving calls, and accessing all system features – even as other businesses nearby using conventional phone systems cannot even get a dial tone.

Automatic Failover

Our hosted VoIP phone systems utilizes a broadband internet connection to transfer both audio and video (for web and video conferencing). If your ISP suffers a power outage or your internet connection goes offline for any reason, an automatic failover response takes over and switches to a secondary connection. Then, when the primary connection comes back online, it automatically switches back. Your IT team doesn’t have to make any configuration changes or modify the system in any way.

Carrier-Grade Network Security

Our hosted VoIP phone system is NOT run on the public internet. Rather, it is managed on a private and highly secure data network, which is protected by end-to-end encryption mechanisms including Transport Layer Security/TLS and Secure RTP for transmitting media. In addition, our expert team installs and configures all security patches and updates to thwart zero-day threats.

In addition, our hosted VoIP phone system features robust password protection for managed routers, as well as for web-based dashboard access. In addition, all system access and usage is tracked for compliance, quality assurance, and audit trail purposes.

Granular Security Controls

Your business will be empowered with granular security controls to ensure compliance and prevent unauthorized usage. For example, specific access and permissions can be granted to different users/groups, and restrictions can be imposed (e.g. maximum time per call, geographic calling restrictions, etc.).

24/7 Monitoring

Speaking of our expert team: we continuously monitor and test the system to ensure security and integrity. If there is any actual or potential threat or vulnerability, alarms are automatically triggered, and the issue is thoroughly investigated to resolution. We have also recently strengthened our enhanced and comprehensive telecommunications fraud management program, which covers the following:

  • Monitoring all outbound traffic to detect anomalies at the automatic number identification (ANI) level.
  • Automatically blocking suspicious calling that may be the result of subscription fraud, IP PBX hacking, abuse of service terms and conditions, internal fraud, employee theft, phishing, pharming, and payment fraud.
  • Implementing customized system rules using conditional criteria, which are based on known fraud trends and tactics.
  • Flagging calls to/from numbers linked to confirmed fraud cases noted in industry-wide “hot lists.”
  • Creating and scoring profiles based on key risk indicators, such as volume, dialed destination, etc.
  • Analyzing robocalls by researching and analyzing each telephone number, and accessing carrier and consumer reports.
  • Automatically notifying you if fraudulent activity is suspected or detected.

The Bottom Line

It goes without saying that your business can’t afford to go off the grid for even a few minutes – let alone hours, or in the case of a severe event like a hurricane, tornado, ice storm, flood or fire, for several days. That’s where DigitalPhone.io’s Business Continuity infrastructure enters the picture and closes the gap!

To learn more, contact DigitalPhone.io today for a guided demo of our hosted VoIP phone system (336) 560-4400.

How to Get Your Boss to Switch to a Cloud Telephone System

It’s not quite Mission: Impossible and you’re not expected to scale buildings or wear scanner contact lenses. However, you know from experience that convincing The Powers That Be in your business to invest in a new solution can be a challenge — or a struggle.

To be fair, it’s (probably) not that your boss delights in saying no, or enjoys borrowing a phrase from the universal parents playbook: “we’ll look into it at a later date.” It’s a lot more pragmatic and down to earth than that.

Simply put, smart bosses — which are the kind that make decisions that keep folks (including you) employed — don’t loosen the purse strings because they think something looks interesting or seems like a good idea. Instead, they approve procurements based on data and facts.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what your convincing proposal, pitch or presentation for a much-needed — and probably long overdue — cloud telephone system will include. Here’s the territory that you need to cover:

1. Your business will dramatically lower telecommunications costs.

Some cost saving promises are just that: promises. But they never come to fruition, because the savings are either paltry or negligible.

This isn’t a risk with a cloud telephone system. Depending on your usage needs, your business can expect to save anywhere from 25 percent to over 50 percent. And this isn’t just a one-time saving. It’s ongoing year after year. That’s money that your business can re-invest to drive growth — or hey, better yet, hand out some well-deserved raises and bonuses.

2. You’ll enjoy unprecedented mobility.

We’re all familiar with the convenience of being able to use our personal smartphones to connect with whoever we want, whenever we want, and wherever we are. However, conventional business phone systems are a different story. Other than call forwarding, mobility really doesn’t exist.

However, a cloud telephone system enables true — and unprecedented — mobility. You and the rest of your colleagues can make and receive calls using your smartphone anytime and from anywhere. What’s more, you won’t incur any long distance costs, you can link to your car’s Bluetooth system, and perhaps best of all: your business’s name and number will show up on Caller ID instead of your personal name and number.

3. Scaling in Either Direction is Fast, Easy and Affordable

With a conventional phone system, scaling up or scaling down can be costly and frustrating. With the former, technicians may need to dig and lay cable. With the latter, you can be stuck with costly lines and capacity that you don’t need — but are paying for month after month.

A cloud telephone system eliminates both of these risks. Scaling up is seamless, and you can easily add numbers through a web-based dashboard. There are no cables to lay, and virtually no limit — you can have 5 users, or more than 5000. On the other hand, if you consolidate operations and no longer need numbers, you simply let your affordable licenses expire. It’s as simple as that.

4. Your team will benefit from advanced carrier-grade features.

Last but certainly not least: your boss is always saying that the team needs to be more productive and efficient.

A cloud telephone system makes this happen with a wide range of advanced carrier-grade

features that either aren’t available with a conventional phone system, or are excessively (or prohibitively) expensive. These features include voicemail-to-email, video conferencing, auto attendant, and the list goes on. You and your colleagues will be doing more with less, which makes your boss happy. Everyone wins.

Need help convincing your boss to switch to a cloud telephone system? Contact the DigitalPhone.io team today. (336) 560-4400. We can help you prepare a data-driven proposal — or if you wish, we can even deliver the presentation on-site in front of your thrilled boss!

How a Cloud Telephone System Helps Your Recruit & Retain Millennials

Millennials — the people born from around the early 1980s to the late 1990s — now comprise the largest segment of the U.S. workforce. And by 2019, they’ll be the biggest adult population overall, surpassing Boomers and Generation Xers.

Given this seismic demographic shift, it’s not surprising that businesses across all industries — from small startups to large enterprises — are aggressively trying to recruit and retain the millennials they need to drive today’s success, and lead tomorrow’s growth.

If your organization is vying to onboard talented and high-potential millennials, then you’re well aware that competition is ferocious. But what you may not be aware of, is that your old school conventional premises-based landline phone system might be a human resource liability instead of an asset. Why is this the case?

It’s because study after study — like the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey — confirms that the number one thing that millennials want isn’t a hefty signing bonus, a corner office with a big window, or even enhanced perks and benefits. What they want more than anything else is FLEXIBILITY. And that’s precisely what a cloud telephone (VoIP) phone system delivers!

Here are the 4 ways that a cloud telephone system drives flexibility across your workforce, and ultimately helps you recruit and retain millennials who value flexibility above all else:

1 . Total Mobility

With a cloud telephone system, millennials can flexibly continue the work journey at anytime, and from wherever they’re working — such as from a home office, a hot desk environment, their favorite café, and so on.   

2. Voicemail-to-Email

Of all of the cloud telephone system unified calling features that millennials love, voicemail-to-email is usually atop the list. This isn’t surprising, because it aligns perfectly with their fondness for flexibility. They can easily listen to voicemails on their smartphone, and prioritize their tasks and time accordingly.  

3. Video Conferencing

Obliging millennials to come into head office for meetings can be a non-starter — because there just aren’t enough hours in the day, and the only thing that millennials hate worse than slow internet is tedious commuting. A cloud telephone system features built-in video conferencing, which means that face-to-face doesn’t always mean in-person.

4. Availability Updates

Millennials who work on a flexible schedule quickly grow weary — and exhausted — of emailing their colleagues telling them when they’re in the office and when they’re not. With a cloud telephone system, they can easily toggle their availability so that their colleagues know when they should or shouldn’t send instant messages or route calls.

The Bottom Line

Millennials get a bad wrap, and get slapped with some unfair stereotypes (which ironically only seems fair, since it’s the same rite-of-passage that Boomers and, Gen Xers have gone through, and Gen Zers will soon experience!).

Contrary to popular belief, millennials in the main aren’t lazy or self-entitled. They’re simply trying to carve out a career path on a relentlessly-fast paced work landscape where stability is the exception vs. the norm. Flexibility for them isn’t just a preference. It’s part of what they need to thrive, and in the bigger picture, to survive. That makes a cloud telephone system an essential investment: one that will pay dividends and delivery ROI for decades to come!

To learn more about the advantages and benefits of a cloud telephone system in your environment, contact the DigitalPhone.io team today.