JUN 2015

Posted by Kevin Bartley at 03:31 PM EDT

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Managing Employees On a Remote Basis: Building Team Unity

According to the Harvard Business Review, up to 79% of employees work in geographically dispersed groups. Effective management of remote employees is critical for the success of your team, but it turns out that off-site workers need to be managed much like your onsite team. It's only the means of integrating them into the office that differs.

Here are four tips highlighting the most important aspects of managing your remote team members.

JUN 2015

Posted by Kevin Bartley at 09:10 AM EDT

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OnSIP Customer Success Team Takes Home Bronze Stevie Award at American Business Awards

American Business Awards OnSIP

On Monday night, our Customer Success team took home the Bronze Stevie Award at the American Business Awards Ceremony for the Customer Service Team of the Year - Computer Software category. Larry Browne, our Director of Customer Success, was on hand at the Fairmont Millennium Park Hotel in Chicago to receive the award.

“Creating relationships with customers is every bit as important as working with them to solve their issues,” said Larry. “We build trust with customers. They know when they call, they’re going to get the answer they need, and we work to make it as pleasant an experience as possible. Many customers are surprised the first time they call that we answer so quickly and think we have a much larger team. I love talking with people and assisting them with their issues— big or small. Every day is a series of new challenges.”

JUN 2015

Posted by Kevin Bartley at 09:45 AM EDT

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SMB VoIP System Options: Is Hosted or On-Premise Right for You?

IT Person Considering Phone System for SMB

If you're considering a new business VoIP solution, one of the first questions you may ask is: should I consider a hosted/cloud or on-premise phone system? Most hosted solutions require zero on-site hardware, except phones; on-premise solutions need on-site equipment to operate. (That's the key difference, as you probably know.)

We're going to help you decide with this blog, drawn upon our experience providing service for both hosted and on-premise solutions to tens of thousands of SMBs. Plus, we've asked a few IT Managers to weigh in on hosted vs. on-premise for their businesses. Either way, if you're making a switch to VoIP, you're making a good decision. Businesses that transition to VoIP reduce their costs by up to 40%, and save up to 90% on international calls. Nitty gritty comparisons of individual services can only be undertaken with your specific business needs in mind, but we'll address the big picture factors below.

JUN 2015

Posted by Joseph De Bari at 02:43 PM EDT

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Searching for a Law Office Phone System? Consider the Benefits of Hosted VoIP

lawyer reading documents at desk

Dealing with the corporate phone system can be stressful, especially in an active law office. When a problem arises, client calls may be missed, resulting in lost revenue and angry colleagues. You may be reliant upon an outside technician to fix the issues and have no choice but to wait. Instead of succumbing to this scenario, you can empower yourself and your office by using a hosted VoIP service.

Hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions put you in control and allow you to make instantaneous changes to your phone system as needed. These platforms are easy to manage, and as AttorneyAtWork.com put it, offer a degree of customization you may not have expected from your phone provider. Let’s take a look at what a hosted VoIP solution is and how it can be successfully deployed in your law office.

JUN 2015

Posted by James Criscuolo at 04:47 PM EDT

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ClueCon 2015: 3 Reasons Why Open Source VoIP and WebRTC Developers Should Attend

OnSIP is developed on open source software, and we are proponents of open source projects. One open source project that is beloved at OnSIP is FreeSWITCH. Many of the great business telephony features we offer today are built using it. (One example is our latest Smart Queue feature).

FreeSWITCH was conceived during a discussion between several open source leaders with a goal to improve the state of existing Internet telephony options. That meeting/event was named ClueCon, which has become a leading annual telephony and VoIP developers conference.

JUN 2015

Posted by Kevin Bartley at 03:05 PM EDT

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5 Steps to a Lower Business Phone Bill for Business Owners

Phone bills are often an overlooked aspect of a company's overall operating cost. It's not uncommon for business owners to be out of touch with the unnecessary maintenance fees, hidden charges, and built-in cost inefficiency that drive phone bills to excessive highs.

This is especially true for SMBs moving beyond the 5-10 employee mark. Fortune.com suggests, "Fast-growing firms need to upgrade their infrastructure at three critical points or their teams will get lost in inefficiency: At 10 employees, you need a better phone system... Procrastinating on this will kill your growth. Trust me: Your most aggressive rivals made these changes—last year..."

At OnSIP, we often get inquiries from business owners who admit they hadn't even looked at their phone bills in over a year, only now coming to the realization that they're losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month on solutions that fall under the 'if it's not broke, don't fix it' threshold. But with modest research, they can find new phone system solutions at substantially lower total cost of ownership with more functionality than they have today.

JUN 2015

Posted by Kevin Bartley at 03:26 PM EDT

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Smart Queues Out of Beta, Added Remote Agent Login/Logout

Smart Queue Dashboard
The Queue Dashboard gives admins a complete overview of Smart Queues directly from InstaPhone

We're happy to announce that Smart Queues are officially out of Beta. To mark the occasion, we've added a Remote Log In/Log Out feature to our Smart Queues. The Queue Dashboard in InstaPhone will now allow Queue Supervisors to log individual agents in or out of a given queue, rather than having the agent manually enter in numerical codes from their phone.

"As a Sales manager, it's vitally important for me to be able to monitor our Inbound Sales Queue," said Director of Sales Tim Cleves. "I can track call volume and assess the need to add more Sales agents quickly as the situation warrants. Being able to log agents in and out of the Sales queue remotely provides additional functionality and flexibility to manage queues better. Also, salespeople are only human and they can sometimes forget to log themselves in and out of the queues, so I can now do it for them!"

JUN 2015

Posted by Kevin Bartley at 05:39 PM EDT

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Chairing a Conference Call Like a Boss: 3 Tips for You and Your Team

team conference call

Whether you're looking for tips to improve your calls with clients, host more productive meetings with your team, or train your team on conference call best practices, you've come to the right place. As a phone system provider, we live and breathe business communications. We understand conference calls can, unfortunately, be the least effective minutes of an employee's day.

To qualify that, writer Derek Thompson cites Intercall, the largest International conference call company, reporting, "More than 60 percent of Intercall's respondents admitted to doing other work or sending an email while on a conference call. More than half the people on the line are eating (hopefully on mute). Just under half are in the bathroom (hopefully on mute!). One in five are shopping. One in 11 are exercising. Six percent are taking another call." [Source: The Atlantic]

Those are some eye opening statistics. So what can you and your team members do to improve conference call efficiency and chair a conference call like a boss? We've collected some expert opinions.

MAY 2015

Posted by Kevin Bartley at 10:58 AM EDT

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Scalability, Flexibility, and InstaCall: Key Factors That Moved The Tax Authority Over to OnSIP

The Tax Authority specializes in preparing Federal and State tax returns across the United States. Focusing on individuals and businesses within Sierra Vista, Arizona, The Tax Authority has over 14 years of experience in achieving tax and investment goals. A recent OnSIP customer in 2015, The Tax Authority currently claims 8 hosted PBX users, and remains an example of how small businesses can implement some of our latest features, such as the InstaCall solution. We spoke to Lyle Cantrell, President of The Tax Authority, to get his take on the OnSIP experience.

MAY 2015

Posted by Kevin Bartley at 10:51 AM EDT

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Four Expert Cold Calling Tips To Heat Up Your Sales in 2015

Cold calling has a bad rap these days. Inbound marketing and sales experts might tell you not to waste your time— The buyers of today want to research products and investigate solutions on their own time. Cold calling is too interruptive. But the fact of the matter is, cold calling may still be vital to your business, especially if you provide a B2B product or service that requires a high degree of targeting busy executives and forming interpersonal relationships.

Yes, it's true that buyers today are more empowered, and it's harder than it's ever been to grab their attention. Some of the bleakest statistics show that as little as 2% of all cold calls end in advancement conversations with actual decision makers. With such a tight window of opportunity, sales representatives must be equipped to speedily steer the conversation forward, establish a connection of trust and authority with the caller, educate soundly, and clearly articulate the next phase in the buying process to both the lead and the sales team at large. How? We asked a few sales experts and gathered four vital tips to cold calling.