Browsing Date

February 2010

Faxing Has Never Been So Mobile

By February 24, 2010 No Comments

VoIP has done for business what Mozart did for music. Encompassing all areas of corporate communications, IP telephony, provides businesses with affordable and reliable access to the most advanced transmission technologies on the market.

The first-class email and messaging capabilities of VoIP are tremendous. In fact, businesses are discarding their pre dated fax machines in record numbers. So fast that the local waste pickup companies are considering deploying separate trucks to be used solely for unwanted fax machines. Okay, that may be not be a bona fide fact, but what is true is the advantages associated with migrating to a Internet faxing solution from Nextiva.

Businesses operating on a voice over IP communications platform now have the choice to send and receive faxes the same way they would an email. Using a highly innovative software application, it is possible to turn any standard computer (or data activated mobile phone) into a fully functioning fax machine. What does this mean for business? It means that fax messaging can be accessed anywhere at anytime – without the restrictions that come with having to operate and maintain a conventional fax machine.

Previously, sending a fax was a tedious and over complicated task. Fax machines needed to be filled with special ink cartridges, paper trays loaded, and a dedicated telephone line was needed to ensure there were no signal interruptions. Even after all of the prep work was carefully carried out, there was still an impending chance of paper jams, or dreaded ink blots. If by some stroke of genius, the fax machine was working and error free, there still needed to be a person in relevant proximity to the fax machine in order to receive the message.

Now it is possible to forgo the pitfalls of conventional faxing, and send a fax from virtually any location; the office, the gym, the beach – anywhere. Nextiva vFax subscribers even have the option of having their faxes sent as attachments to their emails, or being notified via voicemail as soon as a new fax arrives. Imagine never having to hang around the office waiting for a fax to come through again?

Nextiva offers a virtual faxing solution for everyone; and a 500 page, 30 days risk-free trial (with the purchase of NextivaFAX) for those who like to try – before they buy.

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VoIP In The Event Of A 9-1-1 Emergency

By February 24, 2010 No Comments

When making a voice over IP solution provider decision, it is important to remember that not all VoIP servicewas created equally. Nextiva understands the importance of safety, which is why they comply with the FCC Mandate 05-166 that declares that “all VoIP service providers must enable 9-1-1 calling and provide callback and location information.”

Although this Federal Mandate came into action half a decade ago, there are still several VoIP providers who fail to provide adequate emergency services calling. By complying with Mandate 05-166 Nextiva has agreed to carefully document the address and callback location of their business consumers, so that they may quickly provide emergency service workers with possible life saving information.

For years voice over IP has been under scrutiny, based mostly on the misconception that IP telephony does not offer access to emergency calling. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Much like conventional telephony, Voice Enhanced 9-1-1 calling is routed over a dedicated 9-1-1 network and will arrive at the local 9-1-1 dispatch centre; with both the customer registered location and callback number.

However, since voice over IP is a virtual service there are certain steps to be taken to ensure quick and efficient access to 9-1-1 service – before the event of an emergency.

Be certain to keep Nextiva informed of the correct business location, at all times.
Invest in a backup power supply to lessen the chances of loss of service in the event of a power outage.
When traveling with a voice over IP adapter, update your physical location with your Nextiva representative. Remember to advise them of your return from the business trip as well.
Keep the callback number and business location located somewhere near the phone, in the event that the 9-1-1 dispatcher is unable to locate it.
Remember that much like normal cellular phones, VoIP wireless mobiles do not show the location of the caller – so always know your surroundings.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility, Nextiva has done their part to not only ensure FCC compliance; but also to ensure that their VoIP clients receive the best in IP telephony.

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Plan Before You Leap

By February 24, 2010 No Comments

It is common knowledge that voice over IP allows businesses to save a bundle on their regular telephone expenses. In fact, some businesses operating on a hosted PBX VoIP platform, report savings upwards of nearly 80%, with the average amount of savings falling in the 40 – 60% range. A common misconception, however, is that there is no initial upfront investment required. While this is true for home users, who simply need to download a soft phone application and contact a VoIP residential service provider, business owners must pay extra attention to their unique requirements to ensure that they reap the best return from their IP telephony investment.

In order to ensure optimal quality, businesses must first make certain that their existing Internet connection maintains a speed and bandwidth rate capable of housing voice over IP requirements. Unlike home voice over IP users, a dial up Internet connection simply won’t suffice in the corporate world. Anything short of high speed cable Internet will lead to problems with voice quality and result in conversations resembling a garbled mess of unrecognizable data. Another important factor to bare in mind, is the dynamic capabilities of bandwidth allocation. While most recommend no less than 256 kbps, this may not be enough for businesses with multiple phone lines. The bandwidth must be sufficient enough to support both the upload and the download, while still having room left over for extra functions and operations. There are numerous programs available to test bandwidth capabilities.

For the majority of businesses, electing to continue utilizing existing hardware proves to be the most cost effective method of migrating to voice over IP. However, simply switching to a VoIP platform and expecting that regular analog phones to continue to work as usual will only lead to disappointment. Unlike conventional analog phone service, voice over IP relies on digital transmissions in order to send and receive voice communications. For all intents and purposes, continuing to use pre-existing telephony hardware for the functions of VoIP requires the purchase of special ATA adapters; technologically advanced devices designed to convert analog signals to data packets.

Since voice over IP is reliant upon an active network connection, in order to carry out it’s most basic functions, a strong network router proves to be a sound investment – particularly for businesses wishing to deploy wireless IP telephony. Routers often vary in price, ranging from $50 to several hundred. It is important to remember that the most expensive router is not always the best in terms of hardware. Investing in a high quality router not only aids in providing superior quality, but it also helps to ensure active network security. That being said, prior to the purchase of a network router, wireless or otherwise, make certain that the technical specifications are compatible with firewall software and other business network security credentials.

Businesses wishing to see the best return on their communications investment will take the time to research the options available to them. An experienced and qualified hosted voice over IP provider, like Nextiva, has the technical knowledge and expertise to assist consumers in making choices suitable for their business.

When considering voice over IP migration it is best not make a decision based solely on the amount of money that will be spent to implement the solution, but rather based on the overall return on investment offered. To learn more about the options available and to receive a quote for a new hosted phone system, visit http://www.nextiva.com.

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VoIP Brings Business Continuity Home

By February 19, 2010 No Comments

Even after decades of careful strategic planning and sound technological advancements, there are still businesses who refuse to see the benefits of VoIP simply because they feel the service will be unusable in the event of a disaster. With a hosted phone system from Nextiva, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

As a professional business, Nextiva understand the important of business continuity and disaster recovery planning. This is why they have undergone careful planning to ensure in the event that a disaster, VoIP communications service will still be available – even if your physical office location becomes inoperable or inaccessible.

Like most hosted solutions, in the event of a power outage or disaster, business callers will still be able to be routed to an employee or department and may leave voicemails as they choose. Employees of businesses deploying VoIP have complete access to their voicemail systems.

Business and toll-free calling numbers can instantly be re-routed to an alternate location should the occasion require it. It is possible to have any calls, on a Nextiva hosted system, forwarded if for any reason the main business phone number becomes non-functioning. All automated attendants, hunt groups, voice mail and email accounts etc, will continue to function, without the need for human interaction, should the physical office location become inoperable.

If in the event of a disaster, it is safe to enter and retrieve the business VoIP phone sets, it is possible to plug them in to any active Internet connection and continue to do business as usual. This makes it feasible for employees to work from home, so long as they maintain an active Internet connection and the bandwidth necessary to operate.

At no time will business clients be aware that employees are working from an alternate location, since they will hear the same greetings and have access to the same functions as always.

On a conventional telephony platform, business operation would come to a halt in the event of disaster. This is not true with a Nextiva hosted VoIP phone system. VoIP service provides the peace of mind that comes with knowing that business communications never collapse – even if the office building does.

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VoIP Service Is Bringing Employees Together

By February 19, 2010 No Comments

There is something to be said about business owners who think proactively and choose to keep pace with technological advancements. Perhaps the greatest technological discovery of the past quarter century, as it pertains to business development, is the formation of the enterprise VoIP telephony model.

The most matured of all IP telephony, VoIP, strives to not only stabilize the cost associated with communications, but also to improve the way the corporate world operates and interacts. Channeling the basic operational functioning of the Internet to carry out various mediums of communication allows businesses to achieve a unified state, while reaping the immediate rewards of highly advanced, profitable tools and features.

Businesses failing to keep employees informed and connected seldom ever prosper. Productivity rates decline, employees become mentally fatigued and discouraged and customer service capabilities begin to weaken as a direct result of poor communications structures.

While it is true that the average American small business owner is unable to fiscally justify spending the thousands of dollars the local telephone company would charge, in order to utilize a state-of-the-art communications platform. The same cost restrictions do not apply to small businesses choosing to deploy a small business Voice over IP solution offered by Nextiva. Nextiva offers small to medium businesses access to a top-of-the-line calling system, much better than that of most Fortune 500 firms, for less than one would expect to pay for a burger and a plate of fries.

For a monthly fee as low as $8.95 small businesses can now keep employees constantly connected – anywhere, any time. Whether it is via IM, email, voicemail, or even mobile phone. VoIP goes where the business needs it to go. And a professional automated attendant is always online to ensure that clients are instantly routed to the departments or employees that they need to speak with as well.

The ability to keep employees connected not only benefits small community offices, but also businesses with multiple office locations (or several teleworkers) as each office can be affordably linked over one single active company network, or over any normal Internet network. No hassle. No hidden fees. Just one great employee connecting service.

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What is Online Faxing?

By February 19, 2010 No Comments

Online faxing is also referred to as Internet fax, virtual fax, fax to email, digital fax, electronic fax, vfax, and much more! Simply, you will come across many variations of this popular technology service. Online fax converts traditional facsimile transmission into a digital file allowing faxes to be received and sent via email (electronically). There are many online fax service providers that offer reliable faxing service at cheap prices. Nearly every online fax provider on the market will provide users with a fax phone number when you join as a customer. The fax phone number you are assigned will convert your incoming and outgoing faxes to an electronic document that can be managed online via email or through the control panel provided by your online fax service provider.

If you are using a fax machine at home or at your office, you should consider online faxing. Nextiva vFAX is an award-winning fax solution and was recently awarded Product of the Year 2009 by Internet Telephony Magazine. NextivaFAX comes with a 30 day free-trial of Nextiva’s most popular online faxing service, the 500 page basic plan.

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Business VoIP On The Go

By February 18, 2010 No Comments

Boost employee productivity and communications by providing employees on the go with mobile WiFi phones – without fear of the disapproval of the accounting department. Unlike cell phone plans offered by the local telephone company, mobile phones operating on a voice over IP platform aren’t subject to costly per-minute billing and expensive roaming charge.

Taking business VoIP telephony to the mobile sphere, not only allows the same cost advantages as regular VoIP calling, but it also provides mobile employees with quick and easy access to voicemail, email and fax and every other feature or function that would be made available if the employee were working from the actual office location.

With the addition of a corporate auto attendant feature, calls are able to be instantly and professionally routed to any mobile phone on the business network. By providing employees with mobile VoIP phones, they are proactively ensuring that business communications operate as normal, regardless of the employees physical location.

Mobile WiFi capable phones allow employees to treat their mobile as if it were a desk phone, without the obvious restrictions of having to be stationed at a desk. This allows employees to move freely about the building, or travel between locations, without having to worry about missed business opportunities or other important phone calls. A particularly beneficial tool in industries where employees are constantly on-the-go, such as healthcare, manufacturing or sales.

Due to the increased availability of WiFi hotspots and locations with easy access to wireless Internet, mobile VoIP is a viable solution for businesses requiring their employees to have access to a mobile phone, but not wanting to pay the outlandish fees and charges in place by traditional providers. Mobile VoIP eliminates roaming charges by allowing ‘local’ calling from any vicinity in the world, on a virtual front.

Mobile VoIP technology is available with the same complete and comprehensive set of features offered on all of Nextiva’s small business VoIP phone systems.

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