Archive for the ‘VoIP’ Category

10 Key Features & Advantages of Hosted Call Centers

Call centers are a key component of many large organizations, especially those that provide support to their customers. Traditional call centers are extremely costly to implement, with large capital investments and significant IT support required. Additionally, making changes to the system can be time consuming and extremely complicated.

Businesses are always looking for ways to decrease their operational expenses and increase their productivity so they can better serve their customers, and a hosted call center is the answer for today’s businesses.

Whether your company currently utilizes a call center environment, or is looking to implement one in the future as your business grows, moving it to the cloud will significantly reduce your operating costs and increase your business flexibility.

So what are the benefits of moving your call center to the cloud?

  • Financial Savings: Minimal upfront costs, reduced maintenance fees, and a “pay as you go” model make it an ideal choice for today’s businesses.
  • Flexible Work Options & Virtualization:  The ease of provisioning and managing on-site and remote agents, and the ability to use a single central queue which routes calls to agents regardless of their physical location allows for flexibility that was previously unavailable.  
  • Enhanced Operational Flexibility: The ability to rapidly scale up and down and handle unexpected or fluctuating call volume quickly, without disrupting or changing infrastructure, will change the way your business operates.
  • Access to Latest Technologies: Low risk and cost to access cutting edge features e.g. video call centers ensures your business always has the best communications tools available.
  • Business Continuity: With hosted architecture, calls are queued and can be re-routed to alternate locations in the case of service disruption. You always have a business back up plan no matter what is thrown your way.

What are the key features of hosted (cloud) call centers, and what are their business benefits?

  • Call Recording: Record agents’ calls for training purposes and to improve the customer experience. This also provides you with a record of what was said on a call if there is ever a dispute with a customer or agent.
  • Automatic Call Distribution: You decide how you want incoming calls to be routed and the level of importance of each type of call. Route to the appropriate agent based on department, skill level and purpose of the call.
  • Call Queues: Organize users, teams and departments by queues. Callers will be routed to the next available agent in the appropriate queue based on the call distribution policy you specify.
  • Agent Status Display: See the status of every active agent from the web-based client. See agents who are available, on a call, have an incoming call, or are set to an alternate status. This helps to access call volume levels and agent status.
  • Call Center Reporting: Monitor real-time activity, as well as generate in-depth historical data and trends to improve performance and ensure that calls are handled efficiently. You can create customized reports based on your business needs to support unique process and monitoring requirements. Then, use the information to make informed business and staffing decisions.

To learn more about hosted call centers and the positive impact implementing one will have on at your business, please visit

9.11.15 NextOS 3.0 Beta Release Notes


For Users, you can now:

  • Assign multiple numbers or extensions to a user's primary number with Alternate numbers. You can also specify a distinctive ring pattern for each one.
  • Use Selective acceptance to pre-define criteria to accept calls from specific numbers.
  • Use Selective rejection to pre-define criteria to reject calls from specific numbers.
  • Use Call notify to send the user an email notification when they receive a call that meets pre-defined criteria (for example, from a specified phone number).

For Locations, you can now:

  • Upload and manage your Announcements to use for location- or user-specific features.
  • Make and receive calls from your Nextiva main location number using another phone (like your home or cell phone) with Nextiva Anywhere.

In Advanced Routing, you can now:

  • Assign multiple numbers or extensions to an Auto attendant’s primary number with Alternate numbers. You can also specify a distinctive ring pattern for each one.


  • The import template (for both Users and Devices) has a dropdown list for the Device model. Yay!

Nextiva Customer Success Story: Blue Marble Media

Companies of all sizes and industries benefit from Nextiva’s cloud-based communication solution. While on a recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia, our team spent some time with one of the creative agencies we serve—Blue Marble Media—to learn more about their business and the impact moving to Nextiva’s cloud-based phone system has had on their business.

Blue Marble Media is a full-service provider of film and motion graphics presentations based in Atlanta, Georgia. Cara Barineau, Creative Director and Principal, likens themselves to an advertising agency that specializes in film, video and motion graphic who works with clients across the world. Since most of their clients are scattered across the United States and the world, telephone communication is key to generating new business, moving projects forward and communicating with clients. From weekly conference calls with clients to communicating with the video team on location, a reliable phone system is essential to Blue Marble Media’s business growth.

Blue Marble Media started out with a traditional analog phone system, but knew they needed a phone system that could support advanced features as their business grew. This led them to move to a VoIP phone system a few years ago. While the new VoIP system provided them with the features they were looking for, they were very unhappy and frustrated with the customer service they received. They knew they wanted to stay with a VoIP system, but needed to find a provider that delivered the great customer support they were looking for.

After a few calls with one of Nextiva’s experienced Account Executives, they could tell that Nextiva really cared about their communication needs and provided the customer service they were looking for. As Cara put it, “Nextiva made it so easy. Really phenomenal, patient, wonderful customer service. For a company our size, that doesn’t have an on-staff IT person, I really think Nextiva is a terrific answer.”

Since moving to Nextiva, Blue Marble Media has experienced more than just Amazing Service, including:

  • Advanced features that were once only available to large corporations help increase their teams’ productivity and efficiency.
  • Reliable phone service allows them to communicate with clients throughout the U.S. and the world.
  • As their business continues to grow and they expand their team, Nextiva’s cloud-based phone system allows them to easily add lines of service and features whenever they need them.

Meet Cara Barineau and hear her story in the video below.  

4 Tips to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Next Conference Call

9-1 Conference Call smallAs workforces become increasingly remote and colleagues are no longer located in the same office, conference calls are now a large part of every day life (that we often dread). For anyone that has participated in a conference call lately, they know this is how they typically unfold. But why succumb to this fate? With a little effort and planning, you can improve the effectiveness of your conference calls. Stop wasting valuable time and increase your company’s productivity with these four steps. Keep them in mind when planning your next conference call.

These steps may seem simple and obvious, but they will change the way you communicate with your colleagues, vendors and customers.

Have a clear leader for the meeting that schedules the call, maintains the balance in conversation and directs questions to the appropriate participant(s).

Defining the leader before the conference call starts will save everyone time and frustration during the call. It will cut down on confusion of who should be speaking when, who will be providing follow-up and action items at the end of the meeting, and who to reach out to for any questions regarding the topics discussed.

Have a clear objective for the call.

This may seem obvious, but think back on recent conference calls you were on. Was the objective of the call clear before it began? This should be step #1 when planning a conference call.  No one wants to feel like they’re wasting their time on a conference call that has no clear direction, focus or purpose.

Define the topics of discussion.  

An agenda (especially one sent before the call) is key to keeping everyone on track and reduce the amount of time wasted on discussions that do not relate to the objective of the meeting. In short, stay on topic and everyone will be very appreciative.

Be mindful of others time.

Punctuality is very important. Start the meeting on time, end the meeting on time (or early), and treat the meeting with the same importance you would an in-person meeting.

Take additional topics of conversation off-line.

Going off track is easy to do, but can quickly derail the entire meeting. Be mindful of the objective of the call and topics of discussion outlined by the leader. Take these additional conversations and topics off-line, especially if they are only relevant to a few people on the call. Everyone will thank you for saying, “We can take this off-line and finish this conversation later.”

We’re always looking for ways to simplify business communication and increase your company’s productivity and efficiency. Nextiva offers an affordable conference call feature, aptly named Meet-Me-Conferencing, that will meet your conferencing needs and improve your company’s communication. Visit to learn more.

Shared Call Appearance: Make & Receive Calls From Multiple Devices

Cloud-based phone systems are feature-rich and provide endless opportunities to improve your business’s internal and customer communication. While some features may seem basic, they can revolutionize your productivity and efficiency. One of these features that is often underrated, but deserves more attention is Shared Call Appearance.

Shared Call Appearance is a useful feature available with all Nextiva Office® plans that allows your phone number to be assigned to multiple phones/devices. This means you can have a phone at your office, your house, the Nextiva App on your smartphone and a phone at another location that all have your number assigned to it, and you can make and receive calls as yourself from any of these devices. You can also apply someone else’s line in your company to your phone to make and receive calls as them.  This feature is useful if you work out of multiple offices, or need others to have the ability to make and receive calls on your behalf. Below are additional business benefits of the Shared Call Appearance feature.

  • You work out of multiple offices: If you’re constantly jumping between one of your business locations and another, and occasionally work from home, this feature ensures you can make and receive calls from your phone number on multiple devices.
  • You want others to be able to make calls on your behalf: This is very practical for Executive Assistants, receptionists and other team members who you’d like to have the ability to make and receive calls using your specific phone number.
  • You want a specific team to use the same phone number: If you’d like a team that doesn’t make and receive a high volume of calls to have one phone number that they can all use and can see when someone else is currently using the line.

Do you use Shared Call Appearance? Is there another feature you can’t live without? Share in the comments below.

If you’d like to learn more about Nextiva’s cloud-based business phone service, please visit

Nextiva Customer Success Story: Ruscomp, Inc.

Who says that small companies can’t have the same communication features and systems that large corporations utilize? Not us! At Nextiva, we believe every business, no matter their number of employees or locations, can benefit from a cloud-based phone system. The flat monthly fee per user and minimal equipment needs make it an ideal solution for small businesses with big plans to grow. Additionally, Nextiva’s cloud-based phone service has no hidden fees (kiss those service and maintenance fees goodbye!), comes with more than 40 features (hello endless possibilities) that will improve all internal and customer communication.

For businesses that rely heavily on their phone system to communicate with clients, such as Ruscomp Inc. based in Peachtree, Georgia right outside of Atlanta, unlimited calling and mobility features are essential to business growth. Ruscomp Inc. is a company of eight employees that creates custom facilities management software for large corporations throughout the United States and the world, and most of their customer support and client communication is facilitated over the phone.

Before switching to Nextiva, Kara Carpenter, Ruscomp’s Support Manager, said the company was plagued with call quality issues, lack of mobility features and customer service issues that lead them to seek out a new phone service provider. Once Ruscomp made the switch to Nextiva, they no longer worried about dropped calls, service reliability or support calls going unanswered. The setup process was a breeze, and the company was finally able to take advantage of the mobility features they desperately needed, such as the Nextiva App. Being able to take their business phones with them anywhere, on any device, via the Nextiva App has significantly increased the team’s productivity and improved the client experience.

The company recently moved offices, and the first thing that was up and running was their phone system. Since Nextiva handles all servicing and maintenance, Ruscomp simply plugged in their phones to the office Internet and were live within minutes. The company is growing and Nextiva offers them the scalability and infrastructure they need, at an affordable price, to successfully expand their business.

Meet Kara and hear her story in the video below. 

To learn more about Nextiva's cloud-based business phone service, please visit

5 Ways to Improve Your Internal Communication With Cloud Phone Service

Effective and efficient internal communication is key to business success and an enjoyable work environment, but the execution is not always as easy as it seems. Keeping appropriate team members informed and ensuring communication is seamless between employees, departments, and different locations takes a significant amount of dedication, effort and communication tools.  Luckily, technology, and specifically cloud-based unified communications services, have streamlined processes and made it easier than ever to stay connected and communicate within your organization.

Nextiva Office® is a robust cloud-based suite of products that will improve your internal communication. Below are five key features within Nextiva Office that will change the way your team communicates.

The Nextiva App

With features such as chat and Presence, it is easy to communicate with team members when you’re in the office or working remotely. Additionally, you’ll have your business phone at your fingertips so colleagues can reach you anytime without having to call multiple numbers to track you down.

Group Paging

Sometimes an email just won’t do. The Group Paging feature allows you to initiate a one-way call to multiple users. You can easily broadcast information to a group of people from the convenience of your office phone.

Call Forwarding

Reduce your colleagues’ frustration and wait time by automatically redirecting, or forwarding, calls to a third party destination, such as a phone number or extension based on circumstances you specify, when you are away from your office phone.


With the more advanced version of Voicemail-to-Email, Voicemail-to-Text transcribes your voicemails and sends them to you via email or SMS depending on your personal preferences. You’ll be able to quickly reference information mentioned in the voicemail when working with coworkers on a project. Also, easily share the message with colleagues to reduce issues that arise from miscommunication.

Quick Call Transfers

Quickly transfer calls and call team members in different locations or home offices via an extension. You no longer have to dial a full 10-digit number or ask the customer to hang up and call the other location’s direct number.

What tools do you use in your business for effective internal communication? 

Is a Cloud-Based Phone System Right for You?

Many businesses are beginning to realize that in addition to the economic advantages, cloud-based phone systems are more powerful than traditional phone lines. Cloud-based phone systems, often called VoIP, leverage broadband Internet connections instead of the standard phone line. The technology transforms voice singals in to a digital form that can travel over the Internet, which enables a low-cost but powerful way to make and receive phone calls from a variety of devices. Is a cloud-based phone system right for your business? Read through the infographic below to learn more about the business advantages of cloud-based communications solutions. 

Cloud-Based Phone System Infographic

NextOS 3.0 Beta Portal: Frequently Asked Questions & Current Features

NextOS 3.0 Beta Background smallNextiva has reinvented how businesses manage their phone system with the new NextOS 3.0 Beta portal. Nextiva Office® Administrators now have an entirely redesigned UC interface to utilize that unites functionality and simplicity. Many functions have been streamlined from multi-step, and a sometimes hour-long setup process, to being completed in a few clicks and matter of minutes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I log in to the NextOS 3.0 Beta portal, will my account information be there?

A: All of your account information and settings are now available in both the NextOS 3.0 Beta portal and the NextOS 2.0 portal (the previous version). You can log in to either one, at any time, to view and manage all of your current account details.

Q: If I log in to the new NextOS 3.0 Beta portal, will I be able to log in to the NextOS 2.0 portal (the previous version) again?

A: Yup. Every time you log in, you will have the choice to log in to the new NextOS 3.0 Beta portal or the NextOS 2.0 portal (the previous version).

Q: If I save changes to my account in the new NextOS 3.0 Beta portal, will the changes be reflected in the NextOS 2.0 (the previous version) as well?

A: Yes indeed. And vice versa. Every time changes are successfully saved, they will be updated in both portal versions.

Q: If I need help while I am using the NextOS 3.0 Beta portal, where do I go?

A: One of the cool things about the new portal is the XBert tips, which can be found by hovering over the ? icons. Many features also have a video icon, which you can click to watch a tutorial. Or if you can’t find what you need, just call our support team any time at (800) 289-7995 or visit

Q: If I discover a bug or defect in the NextOS 3.0 Beta portal, what should I do?

A: If you find a glitch in the software or simply have an idea for improvement, please send it to If reporting a bug, please include the web browser (Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc) you are using.

Q: If I can’t find what I am looking for in the NextOS 3.0 Beta portal, what should I do?

A: If you can’t find a certain feature, please refer to the release notes for NextOS 3.0 Beta to see if the feature has been released. We are still developing the NextOS 3.0 Beta portal, and new features will be added regularly throughout the rest of the year. If you need a feature that is not yet available in the new portal, you can always log in to the NextOS 2.0 portal (the previous version) to manage it.

Q: What do I do if the audio file I have doesn't match your requirements, or if I'm not sure if it does? What's an easy way to record an audio file for a greeting or announcement?

A: The easiest way to create an audio file to use as a personal greeting, or as an announcement for your location or auto attendant, is to simply call your own voicemail and leave it as a message. Make sure you have enabled the Voicemail to Email feature first. This way the message you record will automatically be emailed to you, as an attached audio file. Then you can just upload it in the portal, wherever a greeting or announcement is needed.

Nextiva Office features currently available in the NextOS 3.0 Beta portal


  • View live system status
  • View current billing status
  • View recent call history


  • Add/manage users
  • Import users
  • Upload voicemail greetings
  • Add/assign devices
  • Add/manage administrators
  • Set up the following features for users:

    • Alternative Numbers
    • Anonymous Rejection 
    • Busy Lamp Field
    • Call Forwarding (Selective, Always, Busy, Unanswered, Unreachable)
    • Call Me Now
    • Call Notify
    • Calling Line ID Blocking Override
    • Calling Name Retrieval
    • Connected Line Identification Restriction
    • Custom Ringback User
    • Nextiva Anywhere
    • Privacy Settings
    • Remote Office
    • Selective Appearance
    • Selective Rejection
    • Sequential Ring
    • Shared Call Appearance
    • Simultaneous Ring
    • Voicemail to Email

Locations (Groups)

  • Add/manage locations
  • Upload announcements
  • Set up the following feature for locations: 

    • ​Nextiva Anywhere


  • Add/assign devices
  • Import devices

Advanced Routing

  • Create/manage call groups (hunt groups)
  • Create/manage auto attendants
  • Set up the following features for advanced routing: 

    • ​Alternative numbers for Call Groups
    • Alternative numbers for Auto Attendants


  • Create/manage regular schedules
  • Create/manage holiday schedules

My Account

  • Reset password and PIN
  • View call history
  • Add/edit credit cards
  • Make payments
  • View invoices
  • Assign/manage licenses

We will be adding new features and functionality regularly, and a new user portal will be available in the coming months. We encourage you to continue to log in, explore and familiarize yourself with the new layout and features. 

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