Fiber vs. DSL—Making Sense of the Small Business Internet Battlefront.

Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Internet is your business’s driving force.

Try to think of the last time you went through a workday without accessing the internet. You’d likely have to stretch your memory back quite a while; for some, that period of time doesn’t even exist. Internet service has progressively become integral to most business operations, creating a vast network of connections, automated services, communications and programs that combine in force to refine systems and processes and cultivate success. Nowadays, internet is often required to perform the most basic tasks in the workplace, supporting critical applications companies use to function on the daily. A strong internet connection should always be part of your business plan.

With all of that said, it’s no wonder that the tech industry has become flooded with so many different internet providers and types of services. It can be difficult to distinguish between them all and what advantages each one brings to the table.

So what type of internet is best for your business? Here we will discuss two different types of connections, fiber-optic and DSL, and how they compare in the grand scheme of the business world.

Fiber

Fiber-optic internet is the most advanced broadband technology currently available in the telecom field. Engineered using glass wiring rather than copper lines, it extends beyond traditional internet speeds and capabilities, running at up to 1 Gbps, which supports a heavy amount of programs and online traffic. The broadband signal transmits in flashes of light through fiber-optic cables, so the connection literally travels “at the speed of light.”

In addition, a fiber-optic connection provides upload speeds to match download speeds, which can save time in the long run. This especially comes in handy for tasks such as uploading files to email or cloud-based applicationsupload speeds are reduced from minutes to seconds. Though fiber typically has more bandwidth and speed than DSL, its availability is limited (for now).  

DSL

DSL (digital subscriber line) is a high-speed internet service that utilizes copper telephone lines for connections. Unlike old school dial-up internet, which also relied on phone lines to function, a DSL connection will not interfere with incoming or outgoing phone calls (so no annoying dial-up tone blaring in your ear). There are two types of DSL service businesses can choose from.

Symmetric DSL allows equal bandwidth for both uploading and downloading. This type of DSL service is more apt to be chosen by businesses, as speed parity is highly sought after.  

An asymmetric DSL connection provides more bandwidth for downloading and less for uploading. This type of DSL service resonates more with residential internet users, who tend to use their connection to download more than upload.   

 

Factors to consider:

Reliability

DSL service is considered to be reasonably reliable. Because it transmits through a phone line, it has the benefit of a perpetual connection. However, that same phone line can cause a DSL signal to weaken over distance, and can be vulnerable in the event of power outages. The distance to power lines and internet providers can also affect the strength of your connection.

Seemingly in a league of its own, fiber is renowned for its staunch reliability. As it does not require an electric connection to run, fiber-optic networks remain constant regardless of would-be outside influences. Tasks such as web conferencing, digital filing and uploading reports will not be interrupted in the event of unforeseen circumstances like a power outage. And the signal doesn’t get distorted or patchy when covering larger areas.

Speed

Internet won’t do your business much good if it can’t keep up with your workload. Speed can be the difference between a business that thrives and stays ahead of the competition, and a business that falls behind because of frustration and a lack of productivity. Choosing an internet speed largely depends on what your business requires, such as how many devices you need to connect, what types of projects and how many of them you need to complete, and how much data you’re handling.

DSL download rates run at an average of anywhere between 1 and 8 Mbps, and since this particular type of connection lacks speed parity, upload rates are slower. And in addition to interruptions, lag can often frequent a DSL line, particularly when it’s stretched too thin over large areas.

Fiber-optic internet is known to deliver the fastest broadband speeds available, clocking in anywhere between 50 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Fiber supports businesses that are larger or have more devices and employees at faster speeds, and because it does not rely on electricity, speeds stay consistent over long distances. It also has the benefit of matching upload and download speeds.

Price

Another important factor to consider when choosing business internet is cost. Though there are variations depending on the service provider, DSL generally tends to be the more economic option. There is no additional equipment required (other than a router or modem) and the connection relies on existing provisions (your telephone line).

Fiber requires professional installation, and due to its performance is more costly than DSL service. But with speeds and reliability that outmatch DSL (and pretty much every other type of connection), it’s safe to say you get what you’re paying for. Fiber can still be an incredibly affordable option, however, depending on plans that are available from service providers.

The easiest way to factor price into your internet decision is to consider your budget, and tailor your internet plan to match it. If you need faster speeds and a more sophisticated connection to handle the devices and the amount of data your business uses, then a fiber-optic network is probably more suitable for you. For smaller organizations that put less strain on their online resources and don’t need to cover as much ground, DSL service should be sufficient support.

Verizon Fios vs. AT&T: Which Business Internet is Best?

Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Technology is an ever-advancing force, and internet is often at the forefront of that innovation. When considering an internet package for your business, the options appear limitless, particularly when every provider waves a banner declaring superiority. It’s no question that fiber has proven itself to be the undisputed top dog of telecommunications, performing at an entirely different level than services such as cable and DSL. With that established, the question then becomes: which internet service provider has the best fiber-optic connection available?    

Here you’ll find an in-depth comparison between two of the most recognized telecom brands in the country—brands that extend services far past data plans and wireless networks. But when examined side by side, which fiber internet plan stands out as the better pick for your business: Verizon or AT&T?  

 

Best business internet provider

When considering Verizon vs. AT&T business internet, only a Verizon plan guarantees upload speeds as fast as download speeds. You’ll get speeds ranging from 75, 150, 300, and 500 Mbps as well as 1 Gbps. AT&T offers speed parity as an option, but cannot guarantee there won’t be an additional upcharge.

 

Don’t set the differences aside.

As one of the top competitors of Verizon, AT&T makes a strong case for reliable business internet, and both providers implement similar amenities. Each company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to their customers with 2 year contracts, as well as no term contract options.

Cost is another important factor to consider. Verizon business internet starts at $84.99 per month*, with certain areas receiving lower, specialized pricing, and speed parity is included in all plans. AT&T offers slower speed plans and symmetrical upload speeds are optional, making it impossible to depict accurate pricing to customers. And though both providers offer 1 gigabit internet, AT&T charges nearly $500 per month for it—over twice what Verizon does ($214.99 per month). And on top of that, equal upload and download speeds are still not guaranteed.

Speed parity shouldn’t be just an option for businesses—it’s a must. It helps to better support more devices, and cuts buffering and lag time when performing daily tasks such as video conferencing or uploading files to cloud storage. Symmetrical speed gives your business valuable time back each day.

*Prices as of December 2017

AT&T charges nearly $500 per month for [1 Gbps internet]—over twice what Verizon does.

 

How do you choose?

Still trying to decide? The main thing to keep in mind when weighing internet choices is that each has its own distinct framework. Verizon and AT&T provide fiber, the best internet connection you can get. And both companies are currently investing large amounts of money in order to extend their coverage to more widespread areas—Verizon projecting an estimated $1.1 billion in expanding its fiber footprint. The difference is that Verizon Fios is visibly poised to evolve its services and amenities to continue to put customers’ needs first.

That being said, exceptional service does your business no good if it’s not even available where you’re at. As it stands now, AT&T has slightly more national coverage than Verizon, extending throughout the midwestern and southern regions of the country and along the west coast. But Verizon covers much more densely populated areas in New England and the Mid-Atlantic, leveling the playing field and providing internet to companies located in the most economically innovative and lucrative parts of the US. And as far as service quality goes, Verizon expends more energy and resources into advancing its technology, surpassing the competition by a wide margin.

Choose fiber at its finest.

AT&T proves itself to be an admirable opponent in the business internet game. But when taking all that has been discussed into consideration, it’s very clear that not all fiber is created equal. If you’re still not sold, it’s time to look at the facts that set Verizon apart from the rest: stack 99% uptime, strong service level agreements, and nearly six million satisfied subscribers and counting up against other providers and it’s really no comparison. Verizon Fios Internet for Business speeds have been ranked #1 10 years in a row, providing a superior level of consistency and dependability to businesses across the nation. If anything, the proof is in the numbers. Fiber is better when it’s Fios.

The ultimate guide to business phone service

Wednesday, 31 October, 2018

What you need to know before choosing a phone plan for your business.

How do you choose your business’s lifeline?

A good phone system is hard to find. It’s likely that your business relies heavily on its phone service to keep things running smoothly, so it’s crucial to find one that performs at your own level. But where do you even start?

The way you communicate should not be something that sits on the back shelf of your company’s priorities. It’s a core system your business relies on for functioning day-to-day—your connection to customers, suppliers, clients, and partners. Choosing the right phone plan may seem like a daunting task, but in this guide you will find the most important things small businesses should consider when shopping around for one.

 

Don’t settle when it comes to features.

In the tech industry, everyone is constantly looking for the next best thing, and thanks to the era of smartphones it’s becoming harder and harder to impress. Qualities that were once standard are now viewed as archaic when considering modern phone models. (Anyone remember direct connect? No? Exactly.) Business phone bells and whistles are getting more advanced and constantly evolving, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to pinpoint the features you need to make handling phone calls effective and uncomplicated when there are so many to choose from nowadays.  

Some business phone features to consider might include:

  • High definition audio
  • Conference calling
  • Long distance calling
  • Three-way calling
  • Auto attendant
  • Team messaging
  • Call forwarding/transferring
  • Call screening
  • Program/app integration
  • Customer support
  • Visual voicemail
  • Video conferencing

 

65% of consumers prefer to contact a business by phone.

Source: https://www.invoca.com/call-data/

 

Take your communication on the go.

In a world that refuses to slow down, it’s important to equip your business with tools to prevent it from tripping up and losing the lead to the competition. The age of only being able to make and receive calls on your desk phone is over. Phone systems now provide options for forwarding incoming calls or rerouting a line to another office phone or mobile device, which is essential to fulfilling your daily tasks. You can’t accomplish everything you need to if you’re chained to your desk, so to speak.  

A VoIP phone system best takes care of your mobility concerns, particularly with mobile apps and features you can download on your smartphone that forward and transfer calls. It’s as if you’re carrying your desk phone in your pocket wherever you go, so you’ll never miss a beat whether you’re at lunch, running errands, or working from home or a different location.

Find the key to collaborating offsite.

In an ever-evolving business industry, it’s not uncommon for employees to work from different locations and offices, or even from home. Though a virtual phone system allows for remote workers to tap into their company’s line, a VoIP service is the most amenable and dependable option for these employees. Working offsite can be tricky, and an employee’s day can be derailed if they’re not able to connect to the main office or to customers. VoIP has the flexibility and features to support a more well-rounded collaboration for those working from different places.

 

Good service always has your business’s back.

With something as crucial to business operations as your phone service, guaranteeing that it works as well as possible is essential. Determining the best business phone system for you should depend heavily on what’s there to back it up—no matter how good a service claims to be, technical difficulties do happen. If your line goes down, how long are you willing to wait for help in getting things up and running again? If you don’t have IT support on hand at your office, then selecting a phone system that has access to a 24/7 customer service line should be the goal. Without hands-on experts, your system could be out for much longer than you anticipated, with revenue and productivity suffering as a result.

37% of people in the US engage in part-time telecommuting.

Source: https://tech.co/stats-importance-business-voip-2017-12

Phone systems tailored for small businesses:

Landline phone service

Starting off with the most traditional and basic of phone services, it’s safe to say that nearly everyone has had some sort of experience with a landline phone. On the lower end of the tech spectrum, it depends on physical hardware to function, operating through a wire that plugs straight into the wall to connect with a line powered by your phone company. This straightforward connection results in a reliability on the higher end of the business phone spectrum, however, there are fewer features to be had, and the phone industry is progressively moving away from landline technology to accommodate for this. It also generally tends to be the most affordable option, but when implementing it at your business location it demands private branch exchange (PBX) hardware, which can hike up the price to be even more than a VoIP system.

Virtual phone service

The virtual phone system is a bit more obscure than its competitors. Users make calls through an internet connection that is not affiliated with an actual phone line. It’s a bit of a middle man among the business phone systems—it’s not quite a fully developed phone service but presents several compelling features and is accessible on a mobile phone or home network. It’s a decently affordable option for small businesses with employees that work remotely or in different locations and provides a professional aspect to clients and customers. The potential drawback? A limited amount of features. There’s plenty of flexibility with this type of system and the investment is often significantly less than a VoIP or landline service, but the tradeoff is ultimately having less to work with.   

VoIP phone service

A VoIP phone system routes your phone line through your high- speed internet connection and can be hosted either at your business or through the cloud. It uses advanced technology designed for corporations and creates a tool that strengthens small businesses. This service offers the most features and also tends to cost less than landlines, depending on whether you host it on your business’s premises or through the cloud.

The quality of your calls through a VoIP system typically depends on your internet connection and speed, but with a reliable service VoIP is a formidable opponent to other phone options. Most VoIP services come with professional customer service, can be incorporated with many important computer programs, and are incredibly user-friendly. Small businesses utilizing a VoIP system often run at the pace and efficiency of a much larger company.

Keep the cost of communication in mind.

No matter how successful your business is, it runs on a budget. When considering phone systems, you must take into account the cost involved. A VoIP system hosted on-premises is more expensive due to installation, equipment, and possible user fees. For a hosted system, you’re generally paying $500-$1,250 per user (all upfront). A cloud-based phone system does not require fees upfront, but you do pay monthly fees ranging anywhere from $10-$80 per user. The only physical thing you’d be paying for is the actual IP phone hardware, which can clock in anywhere from $50 to several hundred per phone.  

As far as the more basic plans go, a landline system typically runs between $60-$80 a month and a virtual phone line at $10-$50 a month, heavily depending on the features included (which will not match that of VoIP technology).

A business phone plan is often an overlooked yet necessary expense. Finding one that fits into your budget will not only help your business costs remain manageable, it will improve the overall efficiency of your operations.

Businesses can save up to 75% by switching from a landline to VoIP.

Source: https://it.toolbox.com/blogs/voipdesk/3-benefits-of-voip-for-customer-service-061217

When all is said and done, which system rules the day?

No two companies are the same. For every small business that operates with specific communication necessities, there are thousands more that require an endless amount of feature and performance variations to prosper in their competitive markets. The phone systems discussed in this guide can hold their own just fine in the corporate jungle, but one has proven to tip the scale further as far as performance, convenience, and overall quality goes.  

A VoIP phone system is the most versatile and feature-rich service you will encounter, relying on that internet connection to help you better curate your calls and provide a better experience for your customers.

Verizon Business Digital Voice is the VoIP phone solution that will meet all of your business needs effortlessly. With over 30 unique calling features and crystal clear HD sound, it provides the support and consistency your employees and customers need to connect to each other and create success within your business. As an affordable and flexible option, Business Digital Voice gives small businesses two legs to stand on in a brutally competitive atmosphere.  

In the end, no one knows your business like you do. You know what will serve you best as far as features, reliability, and cost. Now that you have some insight into how each phone system works and the possibilities they present, you are one step closer to establishing that critical lifeline and expanding your business’s reach even further.

What is Mbps? Your guide to what makes your internet zoom… or crawl.

Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

The driving force behind bandwidth you never really knew about.

What does internet have in common with cars? Power.

More specifically, the measurement of power, as well as speed—important features in an age defined by consumers seeking bigger, better, and faster. When dealing with internet the term “Mbps” frequently crops up in association with connection speed, prefaced by a number (i.e. 75/75 Mbps). But like most tech-heavy terms, a complicated concept is reduced to a cryptic acronym. The actual meaning is rarely defined, resulting in more confused Google searches than should be necessary.

For simplicity, think of it this way: Mbps is to internet what horsepower is to cars.

Meaning: Mbps is the unit of measurement used to convey how fast your internet is, just as horsepower is the unit of measurement used to convey how fast a car is. When you hear “the all-new Mustang has a 300 horsepower engine,” you’re prompted to imagine the full might and combined energy of 300 horses pulling your car at top speed to adequately illustrate the power behind its engine.

 

So does it work, then, to think of the combined speed and power of 300 tiny virtual stallions racing through your computer’s wiring, fueling your connection to the internet and accounting for its overall speed?

Maybe not. But, the concept remains more or less the same.  

Cool story. But… what is it?

To put it simply, Mbps is the speed at which your internet operates, which then directly translates into the speed at which your business operates. It includes every upload speed and download speed between 1 and 999 Mbps, the most common internet speeds sought by users being 25, 50, 75, and 150 Mbps.

What is Mbps?

Internet speed is measured in “megabits per second”, or Mbps. A megabit is a million bits, or tiny pieces of data, that group together to transmit information over your internet connection. A higher Mbps speed allows for faster online functions, such as quicker download rates and clearer video calls, streaming, and online gaming.

 

Internet service providers pair Mbps with a number, sometimes even two. Those numbers indicate speed as it relates to upload and download times; for example, 75 Mbps download/45 Mbps upload. Generally, download speeds are faster than uploads. Fiber is the only high-speed internet connection that allows for equal upload and download speed.  

Take a trip down the Web’s memory lane.  

How far has the megabit come?

Mbps has dominated the most recent internet era, introducing users to speeds that rarely deal with buffering and setting the bar high for what people expect online speeds to be. But Mbps would not have taken us to where we are today if its not-so-distant predecessor, Kbps, hadn’t been around to jumpstart the fledgling tech industry first.

Short for “kilobits per second”, this was what powered the era of dial-up internet. Kbps fueled speeds that were adequate for the infantile internet of the 1970s-80s, and was not really required to support a large network or user base.

Kbps is now regarded as an antique sitting quietly on the shelf of years past, every once in a while catching someone’s attention and prompting them to reflection: “Look at how far we’ve come.” It’s a lot like the nostalgia that’s unearthed in collectors and enthusiasts by things like vintage vinyl or classic cars.  

However, unlike the revered light vinyl and cars are often held in, no one of this day and age would choose to revert back to a 56K operating system. Waiting 15-20 hours to download a movie is hardly preferable to a movie or video that is instantly available via today’s internet.

But how far has internet really come in the past few decades? How has computer hardware and software developments and the competitive nature of the market shaped the way it functions today? Take a look at the timeline below to see some of the highlights of the ever-changing story of the internet:  

1968-Present

    It’s not stopping here. The tech industry is gunning for an even faster future, and it’s relatively safe to say that within a few short years, the megabit will be phased out by the gigabit, ushering in the dawn of the Gbps era, which will then be eventually edged out by the terabit era.

    Already available and used by many, gig internet is the next exciting frontier of high-speed internet, a broad door that is opening an entirely new realm of possibilities for business, communication, entertainment, virtual reality, gaming, and so much more.

    The internet is an industry that will never stop trying to outpace itself.

    Investing in technology is the same as investing in your business.

    People have always been driven by an obsession for the latest and greatest gadgets and gear. Technology lies at the heart of that drive, particularly internet tech—nearly everything nowadays is online in some way and demands bandwidth. Our collective society would have a hard time functioning without it. Its presence dominates the atmosphere of our work, school, and home lives, and has formed a lifeline that we depend on to keep up with the world around us.  

    What is something like Mbps to your business?

    Frankly, it’s your network connection—to your customers, vendors, partners, suppliers, and technicians. It’s the fuel behind the well-oiled machine; what tracks your business’s finances and inventory and scheduling. It’s also how fast people find you. If it slows down, your business is likely to slow down, too.

    The price you pay for internet and the speed you choose not only affects the work you do now, but also as far a year out. The tech pace is constantly changing, and businesses with it, so it would make sense to pay for a bit more than what you’re used to to accommodate that potential growth. Need to check your business internet speed? Visit our speed test page.

    The need for speed can grow your business.

    It’s interesting to think that four letters and a couple of numbers have such a crucial impact on an integral part of our everyday lives, but without Mbps, our internet wouldn’t have any fuel to run.

    Let’s circle back to our car metaphor.

    Cars get you where you need to go, and the higher the horsepower, the faster you can get somewhere. Mbps is the expressway for your business, a clear route to growth and productivity. The faster the speed, the faster you can operate and improve.

     

    The power that’s paired with Mbps doesn’t have to be intimidating. When you know what your needs are and how to fulfill them, the power is yours to command. Technology will continue to progress and Mbps will evolve in tandem with the next inevitable phase of the internet, but keeping up will ensure your business ultimately stays ahead of the curve.  

     

    Verizon Fios vs. Comcast Xfinity: Who Wins the Battle for Better Internet?

    Wednesday, 8 August, 2018

    The new frontier of internet is calling your name.

    When it comes to internet the gauntlet is thrown down daily between service providers, each claiming superiority in speed, reliability, and the quality of the connection. Cable, once the long-reigning leader of the digital world, has been unseated and left in the dust by fiber-optic technology, the current unparalleled champion of telecommunications. For internet customers who are tired of cable’s antics, it seems impossible to find a solution that’s not… cable. Enter fiber, which may seem like a foreign choice when all you’ve known is the Comcast crawl, however—a fiber network changes the internet game in ways you didn’t even know were possible.

    So if placed side by side, how do Xfinity and Fios measure up to each other? Let’s take a look.

     

    Best business internet provider

    When comparing Comcast vs.Verizon business internet, consider that only Verizon gives you upload speeds as fast as download speeds. You can enjoy speed parity at 75, 150, 300, or 500 Mbps, whereas Comcast cable cannot match its upload and download data rates (for example: 150/20 Mbps). Verizon speeds help your business stay ahead.

    Choose wisely.

    As the top competitor to Verizon, Comcast Xfinity makes a valiant effort to remain innovative. Despite leading the pack as far as cable companies go, there are several areas in which it just doesn’t measure up to Fios.

    Fiber-optic internet isn’t trying to be a better version of cable. It doesn’t need to—it’s already so much more. The mere fact that Comcast can’t deliver upload speeds as fast Verizon (up to 880 Mbps) should be proof enough that Fios operates on another level. And while Verizon and Comcast both offer a 30-day money back guarantee, that’s about where the similarities end. Each service provider offers convenient bundling options, however Verizon Fios TV has superior picture quality, and Business Digital Voice provides unlimited calling nationwide as well as over 30 calling features at no extra charge.

    Price is another thing to consider. Verizon business internet starts at $84.99 per month, and some areas even enjoy special, lower pricing. The top speed Verizon offers is 1 Gbps internet, with a price tag of $214.99 per month*. Now brace yourself—Comcast offers 1 gig internet but at over twice the cost, ringing in at nearly $500** a month. And with no speed parity and a basic copper line that delivers a lackluster signal, it’s clear who the better option is.

    * For year 1. Year 2: $229/mo. **Prices as of June 2018  

     

    Verizon Fios internet Cable internet

    Fastest internet speeds available (up to 940/880)

    Cable offers only 150/20 Mbps for business enterprise internet.

    Equal upload and download speeds (up to 500/500 Mbps)

    Cable upload speeds are never as fast as download speeds.

    100% fiber-optic network

    Cable uses copper lines and mixes in fiber where available.

    Fastest Wi-Fi available*

    Cable’s slower internet speeds also affect Wi-Fi throughput.

    *Based on internet speeds plans and maximum router throughput available.

     

    Getting down to the wire.

    It might sound silly, but choosing your internet plan is not a decision to take lightly. Picking the wrong plan could cost you money and hours on the phone or sitting in front of a device that’s not working. The resulting frustration is itself a time waster, but can be easily avoided.

    Fiber is designed with power in mind. Verizon business internet is a 100% fiber-optic network, harnessing that power through glass components rather than copper lines, which transmit the internet signal through flashes of light at speeds that far outpace any other medium. Cable’s history stretches back to 1948 and is a conglomerate that has thrived off of household television since then, only breaking into the internet market by necessity to keep up with the competition. So the question is, do you want a network that caters mostly to your TV set, or one that optimizes all of your internet, TV, and phone services? There aren’t enough HD or premium channels in the world to overshadow what fiber can do, and cable providers like Comcast know it. The presence of Fios is real and growing—Verizon is constantly expanding its fiber footprint and pushing the boundaries of internet capabilities.  

    In addition to speed, only Verizon gives you premium tech support service and priority handling*, so you know nothing is going to slip through the cracks and that you’re covered right from the start.

    *Free for the first 2 months when you order internet with a 2-year term

    So how does Comcast compare to Verizon? It doesn’t.

    If you’re still up in the air, or nervous to leave what you’ve always known, it’s understandable. Tracking down new internet service is an undertaking that can be tedious and time consuming. But if you’re interested in 99% uptime and service level agreements that make your business run more efficiently, then a Verizon Fios network is your match through and through. Fios has been awarded the #1 spot for internet speed by PC Magazine 10 years in a row, recognizing Verizon excellence at its best, and a simple speed test will erase any doubts in your mind that your current Comcast connection just isn’t cutting it.     

    If you don’t believe us, ask Verizon customers. Every day over 5.92 million internet subscribers enjoy Fios in all its glory. That’s almost 6 million people who are getting work done faster, streaming high-definition video with no buffering, and benefitting from smooth, uninterrupted connections on all of their devices. You can be one of these people by making the switch to Fios and wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.

    Verizon Business Preferred: Your stress-free tech support.

    Thursday, 21 June, 2018

    DIY tech maintenance is a thing of the past.

     

    Time is valuable, but to a business owner it’s irreplaceable. Why waste any of it on things that you shouldn’t have to do yourself? Many small businesses face challenges when it comes to time and staff management—owners and employees alike often wear many different hats and their time is eaten away by issues like IT maintenance. That kind of downtime can equal a loss in revenue, not to mention focus and productivity. But technology maintenance doesn’t have to fall on your shoulders. Verizon Business Preferred is the exclusive white glove tech support that will keep your business running by taking care of tricky tech fixes. You get nothing but the best features with Tech Support Pro, a Service Protection Plan, and Priority Call Routing.  

    Tech Support Pro

    With Tech Support Pro, you get access to experts who can help with the setup, configuration, and installation of your devices 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our premium technical support staff will also aid in connecting any new devices to your wireless network. And since 38% of small businesses are making internet security one of their top investment priorities within the next 12 months, you can rest assured knowing that our techs can install the latest security software during setup so your system stays free of viruses, spyware, and malware. Even better, we keep it up to date, so you won’t have to worry about all of those update notifications you tend to skip over. Verizon Tech Support Pro has it covered.

    Service Protection Plan

    Did your internet cut out in the middle of your workday? Has your front desk phone line disconnected abruptly and won’t go back online? Not to worry. If you have Verizon Business Preferred, you get a Service Protection Plan with your package. One of our professional service technicians can be dispatched directly to your office to run diagnostics, and can repair the inside wiring of up to 30 separate lines. This applies to all Verizon phone, Fios TV, and broadband connections, so you’re covered no matter what device is causing the problem. The Service Protection Plan gives you prompt, in-person technical support to take the stress off of trying to handle everything on your own, so you can get back to business.

    Priority Call Routing

    Waiting endlessly on hold with patchy elevator music in your ear doesn’t have to be your life anymore. When you call the Business Preferred toll-free number, your call is bumped to the top of the queue, saving you time and making your experience altogether more pleasant. We know our customers have endless to-do lists, and calling tech support is never a welcome task, but Priority Call Routing makes it quick and painless. That’s what makes Verizon the most sought-after and reliable service provider in the industry—our customers are our priority, and it’s important to us that they feel the same way.

    The search for faster internet is over.

    Verizon Business Preferred makes your internet experience easier, but you need internet to make it work in the first place. When it comes to speed and reliability, Verizon Fios is way ahead of the curve. Fios offers a secure internet connection at competitive prices to launch your business ahead of the competition, and only a pure fiber-optic connection gives you upload speeds to match download speeds. If you want benefits like 99% uptime, 24/7 customer service and speeds up to 500 Mbps, then Verizon is your network. You don’t have time to worry about your business internet, so why worry? Verizon has over two decades of industry-leading experience—we’re here to make it as easy as possible for you.   

    2018 small business growth spurt: Are you ready for it?

    Tuesday, 5 June, 2018

    Own a small business? Here’s a question for you: Have you seen steady, promising growth over the past year? Many like you have, and are looking to expand their staff to better accommodate the swell in clientele and revenue.

     

    The National Federation of Independent Business ran a study this March that predicts 28% of small businesses expect to expand their enterprise as a whole. 20% anticipate higher sales during the fiscal year, and will be looking to hire new employees as a result.

     

    Are you inclined to agree with this optimistic assessment? If so, what are you doing to prepare your business for future growth?

    We reached out to the small biz community to get a feel for the current atmosphere, and to get a sense of how businesses are approaching adding new employees to their team. Take a look at what some experts in the field have to say on the subject.

    The National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) has observed a strong confidence from our clients this year with an interest in hiring, and investment in their business growth. With the low unemployment rate in Florida, a hot construction market, and the overall acceleration of the economy, (which are all good things!) it is becoming more difficult to locate qualified and available workers, which may become a hindrance to growth in the future. However, the overwhelming trend from the thousands of business people who visited the NEC this year points to strong optimism within the industry.

     

    Here at Creation Utah, we feel very optimistic about the future. Our real estate investment company is growing rapidly in this market. In the last 4 months, company sales have tripled and we have increased our staff from five to nine full and part-time employees. We are anticipating accelerated growth both in sales and hiring over the next year. We are expanding our business by increasing our sales and marketing efforts to reach a larger portion of our home market and adding additional sales staff to the team.

     

    People are not an expense, they are an investment. I never understood why business owners have no problem investing in equipment or retirement plans, but not people. I am always on the lookout for good people for my business. The purpose of a business is to serve a customer and make a profit, so if I find someone who can take one dollar and make two, I want to hire that person, whether it’s a good economy or a bad economy. 

    I am planning to talk to more people, have more conversations, and ask for more referrals in the coming months. I am basically trying to figure out who will be a good investment on my part. I love to bet on people. 

     

    At Home Helpers of Bradenton, we are optimistic about higher sales and are looking to hire despite our “busy season” now coming to a close due to the “snowbirds” returning home. We’ve been fortunate to increase sales each year since the inception of the company in 2015. We feel that our success is primarily based on our commitment to customer service and, as a result, word of mouth. Every client, no matter how small (in terms of revenue), is important to us. If we can exceed their expectations, there is a greater opportunity for continued business in the future. In contrast, if we lose a client due to something that is within our control, we analyze the issues to ensure those issues are avoided in the future.  We’ve actually hired a third party company that surveys our clients on a regular basis in efforts to be proactive and resolve any issues before they occur. Within the next quarter, we plan to increase our administrative staff by one to two personnel.

     

    As far as hiring goes, we have experienced a 20% increase in employees at mycorporation.com because we are seeing great growth and success. We are hiring team members who are go-getters, work hard, and are committed to an entrepreneurial, growth-focused mindset. We are committed to finding the right employees and team members and believe that the best thing is to hire people who are fantastic and a great fit for the company. Our growth comes from partnerships and relationships with clients, where we highlight our awesome customer service.

     

    At Velo, we are focused on growing our business strategically. As our company has expanded and increased sales, we have continued to grow our team and invest in our employees. Recruiting quality staff takes time, energy, and continuous effort, but when you find the right fit, you have made a hire that will be with you wherever you lead them. We are intentional about coaching, training, and providing great opportunities for continuing education for each team member, which increases employee engagement and the likelihood that they will develop into long-term, low-churn, high-producing members of our team. We work to illuminate a clear trajectory for prospective employees, emphasizing clear room for growth in our business. Due to a commitment to continual growth and efficiency, our small but elite team enjoy above-market salaries, fast paths to promotion, flexible work hours, competitive benefits, a finely tuned pay-for-performance program, continuing education, and industrious culture where intrapreneurship is encouraged and rewarded. In the past twelve months we have also drastically improved our benefit and perk offerings. The most impressive change has been our implementation of unlimited PTO, which together with flex time, allows our employees more freedom to take care of their families.

     

    Our small local business of about 20 employees has started to notice some sizable gains along the lines of 25 percent growth, and we are consequently looking to hire some part-time as well as full-time employees for these positions during the upcoming months of 2018. One of the ways we are looking to cope with our success throughout 2018 is to try to be ahead of the curve. At RachetStraps, we look for potential people for positions that may not exactly need to be fulfilled immediately, but will need to be filled in the next few months, depending on workloads and trends throughout the year. Another way we are dealing with the new growth within our company is by using some new employee team building events. This encourages employees to work together and function as a team, but also allows them to have a little fun along the way.

     

     

    What it looks like from the other side.

     

    Not everyone considers hiring a necessity right now. Some of our respondents held a different view about the question we posed—check out why they’re fairly content to keep their businesses scaled back for the time being.

     

    Essentially, I do not have plans to take on many new full-time workers because our employee to workload ratio is fairly balanced. Some people argue that with more workers comes the ability to do more work, but there are times when cases ebb and flow: some months may see a decrease in new cases, while others see a large influx. What I am aiming to do at the Employee Justice Legal Team is utilize independent contractors and temporary hires to help in times of need. We occasionally need specific content drafted and created, and instead of implementing a new department specifically to fill that purpose, I’ll be outsourcing the work to another organization. This allows me to retain my employees and keep them focused on their work without having to introduce another team, which can disrupt the space and put more work on our administrative team and Human Resources department. When our workload shows signs of steady increase as opposed to following a predictable pattern, I will take the necessary steps to bring on more assistants. In two of the past four years, I had to expand our pre-litigation department and bring on additional attorneys, allowing us to have a steady workload for the ensuing year.

     

    The Koble platform polled 500 owners and managers of small-to-medium sized business across the U.S. with fewer than 100 employees over the last several weeks and found the following sentiment from SMBs on growing their business in 2018: 

    • Despite calls of small business confidence being at all-time highs, Koble found that 58% of SMB operators are less confident in their business’s sales prospects due to the political climate in 2018.
    • Those operating retail or food businesses were the least confident and those operating real estate businesses were the most confident in business prospects under the Trump administration in 2018.
    • The majority of SMBs (43%) stated tax reform will have no impact on their business. Those operating tech/engineering SMBs were the most likely (51%) industry vertical to say it would have no impact on their business.

    Read the full Koble survey results.

    Verizon Visual Voicemail

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Cut the phone cord and make your messaging count.

    In this day and age, phone services aren’t limited to just phones. In fact, communication capabilities nowadays transcend the boundaries of typical phone lines—modern technology makes it possible to make and receive calls from anywhere, on any device. And in the business world, that has become crucial to maintaining a steady workflow and increasing productivity. But life gets busy, and sometimes your voicemail inbox bears the brunt of your phone traffic, and voice messages pile up as a result. Does the same kind of technology extend to missed calls?

    With a visual voicemail service you can listen to (or view) your outstanding voice messages on any device and in any order you choose. You will receive a list of calls and messages, along with specifics about the call (such as contact information and the date and time it was made). If there’s a pressing call you’ve been waiting for, you can get right to your priorities and skip the wasted time of listening to messages recorded before the one you want to listen to. (You can call your mom back later.) You can also play back messages on your cell phone, computer, or landline, and respond to them via callback or text message. After reviewing your messages, you can choose which ones you’d like to listen to, delete, or archive.

    View video transcript >

    Put visual voicemail to work.

    In the midst of a highly competitive business atmosphere, you work hard to make sure your company keeps up. With so many operations and applications to attend to, it pays to play everything to your advantage, and relatively small things (such as checking messages) can make a large impact. Handling your voice messages with a voicemail to text application could significantly improve your business processes, giving you the ability to:    

    Save time

    Review urgent missed calls and voicemail messages without having to cycle through recordings left previously. Visual voicemail also allows you to review messages, missed calls, and emails from one location or device, saving you the hassle and time spent dialing into your voicemail account. Apply that time to fueling your business’s success instead.

    Easily forward call information

    Forward entire transcriptions to business associates, colleagues, or clients in a matter of seconds. If a message is left on your phone by mistake, you can forward the caller’s information and phone number to the appropriate recipient. You’ll have everything you need right in front of you at a moment’s notice.

    Increase your productivity

    Confusion can cost you in the workplace. Wasted time turns into wasted revenue, and it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks when your attention is diverted from your daily tasks. Visual voicemail acts as a virtual valet, cataloging your messages for you to review later (in the order you want) so you can focus more on your business’s productivity.

    Enjoy the convenience

    If you’re taking care of other projects and can’t make it to a phone, you’ll easily be able to monitor messages as they’re coming in. In addition, voice to email and voice to text services make it so you can access your messages from anywhere—at home, at the office, or on the go. Visual voicemail provides a better way to track and archive your correspondence.

    How does it all come together?

    When you receive that convenient list of messages through your visual voicemail service, all it takes is pressing one button on your device to hear a playback of the recording you want to listen to. Or, if you prefer to read your messages, visual voicemail technology allows for them to reach you through other mediums such as email and text messages.

    So how about it? If you want to get visual voicemail up and running, all you need to do is install the Verizon Visual Voicemail app on your preferred device(s). When you want to listen to your messages, simply select the desired message, hit play, and listen. It’s as easy as that. Or, you can read a transcript of the message through the voicemail to text or voicemail to email features. In most circumstances, your visual voicemail inbox on your selected device is synced with your network voice mailbox, so you won’t have to worry about toggling back and forth between systems.

    Visual voicemail provides convenience and organization to your business communication. Paired with the Verizon standard, you can expect it to significantly reduce stress and improve the way your business handles its messaging—what growing company couldn’t use that? It’s one more tool in your belt to refining your processes, streamlining your services, and achieving success for your business.

    with visual voicemail from Verizon you
    00:07
    get a text message when someone leaves
    00:09
    you a recording and you can play it
    00:12
    back through your mobile phone computer
    00:14
    or even your email connect your office
    00:19
    and business world with Verizon business
    00:21
    digital voice

     

     

    Verizon Voice Portal

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Business Digital Voice from Verizon is an advanced phone solution for small businesses that offers powerful, enterprise-level features at an affordable price. Businesses get access to over 30 calling features, such as Visual Voicemail, Music on Hold, and Shared Call Appearance. Business Digital Voice is built on a reliable VoIP platform so it can grow and scale with your business.

     

    Business Digital Voice helps you stay in touch with your employees and provide your customers with reliable, fast service.

     

    The Voice Portal is your one-stop shop for adjusting key phone settings on the go. If you don’t have access to a computer or otherwise can’t log into the “My Phone” End User Web Portal, you can still make adjustments by calling the Voice Portal number, entering a passcode, and choosing your options from a menu.

    The Voice Portal allows you to change multiple settings, including listening to and changing your prerecorded no-answer, busy, and voicemail greetings. You don’t need to have admin rights to make the changes to your personal settings.

    You can also listen to and manage your voicemail messages, send new messages, and reply to messages. Lastly, the Voice Portal allows you to forward important messages to other team members.

    The Voice Portal uses a simple touch-tone menu system to make changes, so it’s familiar to anyone who’s used a phone-based menu system before.

    If you can’t access your web portal, the Voice Portal is a perfect emergency alternative.

    Customer story: Using Voice Portal on the go

    Derek is travelling for work. He’s meeting is at 2pm in Dallas, so he is flying out during business hours. During his shuttle ride, he takes a couple calls that are routed from the auto attendant. Traffic holds him up, so he’s running 15 minutes late. When he gets to the airport, he planned to check emails on his laptop and change his greeting so callers know he’s in flight using the “My Phone” web portal. But now he’s short on time. Voice Portal lets Derek call from his mobile phone, while he’s walking through the terminal to his gate. He can update his settings and record a greeting on the go. Derek’s customers will get the message that he’s unavailable for the two-hour flight, and he will call them back when he lands.

     

    More Business Digital Voice advanced features

    Administrator Portal Auto Attendant Hunt Group My Phone Portal
    Music on Hold Shared Call Unified Messaging Visual Voicemail
    Voicemail to Email Voice Portal Voicemail to Text

    Verizon Shared Call Appearance

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Verizon Business Digital Voice is an enterprise-level phone solution for small businesses. Business Digital Voice provides a secure VoIP phone system for your business.

    Get access to enterprise-quality phone tools at an affordable price. Over 30 advanced calling features help you give customers the service they deserve, while an online dashboard lets you manage your phone system from anywhere.

     

     

    Shared call appearance lets Business Digital Voice customers dial out with any phone and still display the correct caller ID info to customers.

    For example, if your business has two buildings and you have an office in each, you can call from either office and the same info will be displayed to the person receiving the call. Or if your smartphone battery runs out but you still need a customer to know it’s you calling, you can use another phone in the building and show your normal contact details.

    Shared call appearance ensures you can reach customers from anywhere in your business while providing a consistent, seamless experience.

     

    You have more important things to worry about in your business than whose name appears on the caller ID, so let Verizon handle it for you with shared call appearance.

    More Business Digital Voice advanced features

    Administrator Portal Auto Attendant Hunt Group My Phone Portal
    Music on Hold Shared Call Unified Messaging Visual Voicemail
    Voicemail to Email Voice Portal Voicemail to Text

     

    Business Digital Voice: Shared Call Appearance video transcription

    00:00
    Hey Michelle my phone died. Can I use
    00:01
    yours? With shared call appearance you can
    00:06
    make calls from someone else’s phone in
    00:08
    your business and your customers will
    00:11
    know who is calling. Hey Mary. Connect your
    00:15
    office and business world with Verizon
    00:18
    Business Digital Voice

    Verizon Hunt Group

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Verizon Business Digital Voice is a powerful and flexible phone solution for small businesses. Business Digital Voice provides a secure VoIP system for your business, giving you access to enterprise features at an affordable price.

    Over 30 professional calling features help you give your customers the service they deserve. And the easy-to-use online dashboard and mobile app let you manage your phone system no matter where you are.

     

     

    Tired of missing calls because the right person isn’t available to answer? Or maybe you’re tired of having employees tied to their desks just in case a call comes through.

     

    With a Hunt Group setup from Verizon Business Digital Voice, you can give employees the freedom to move and work where they’re most comfortable while never missing an important call.

     

    A Hunt Group, also called line hunting in the telecom world, is a system that automatically transfers an incoming call from line to line until someone answers. If the main contact can’t pick up, you can designate second, third, and additional lines to receive the call. You can also have calls ring to several phones simultaneously to cut down on wait times for customers.

     

    Customer story: Hunt Group improves the customer experience

    When customers call a business, no one wants to get a voicemail experience. Customers want to speak to someone and get the help they need. This is the main reason Jennie, an office manager for a busy design company, went looking for a better solution than their old PBX set up. With PBX, customers could connect to different extensions in the office but that was about it. Jennie heard about Hunt Group and decided that was the way to go. She could set incoming calls to ring to different lines in a series. She made it so calls go to Sue first, the full time receptionist, and then rollover to John who is the assistant for the head designer and handles most of the scheduling. Jennie kept the rings to only two, and added a third line to rollover to accounting if Sue and John can’t answer. Within six rings, clients can reach a friendly, live person who can handle their question. No need to wait for a call back.

     

    More Business Digital Voice advanced features

    Administrator Portal Auto Attendant Hunt Group My Phone Portal
    Music on Hold Shared Call Unified Messaging Visual Voicemail
    Voicemail to Email Voice Portal Voicemail to Text

    Business Digital Voice: Hunt Group video transcription

    00:00
    Hi delivery for Sara. Yes. With hunt
    00:03
    group from Verizon Business Digital
    00:05
    Voice an inbound call will automatically
    00:10
    pass from one line to another until
    00:12
    someone in your business can answer
    00:15
    Hello this is Michelle. Connect your office and
    00:17
    business world with Verizon
    00:19
    Business Digital Voice

     

     

    Verizon Auto Attendant

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Verizon Business Digital Voice is a powerful, professional phone solution for small businesses. Business Digital Voice is a secure VoIP system that gives your business access to enterprise features at an affordable price.

    More than 30 advanced calling features help you give your customers and clients the service they deserve. And the powerful online dashboard and app let you manage your phone system no matter where business takes you.

     

     

    Give your small business a big business feel with this virtual receptionist. The Auto Attendant feature gives your small business access to a virtual assistant that can greet customers and route calls to the appropriate employee. Callers can choose an option from a customizable menu to direct the call to the right place.

     

    The Auto Attendant feature helps give your small business a professional feel that customers will appreciate.

     

    You can use a menu setup that works for your customers and business (for example, “For sales press 1, for service press 2,” etc.) and create schedules for times when your business is closed, such as company holidays and weekends. During those times, callers are presented with an alternate greeting and menu.

    Simply log in to your My Account Admin Portal to configure Auto Attendant.

     

    More Business Digital Voice advanced features

    Administrator Portal Auto Attendant Hunt Group My Phone Portal
    Music on Hold Shared Call Unified Messaging Visual Voicemail
    Voicemail to Email Voice Portal Voicemail to Text

     

    Business Digital Voice: Auto Attendant video transcription

    00:00
    I appreciate it, thanks guys. Auto attendant
    00:02
    is your business’s virtual receptionist
    00:05
    You’ve reached all spring nursery
    00:07
    to speak with a representative, press 1
    00:09
    let your customers select what they need so they
    00:10
    get in touch with the right person in
    00:12
    your business. Connect your office and
    00:15
    business world with Verizon
    00:16
    Business Digital Voice

     

    Verizon Unified Messaging

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Business Digital Voice from Verizon is a small-business phone solution with enterprise-level features. Get access to over 30 advanced calling features, such as Auto Attendant, Music on Hold, and Unified Messaging, all in an affordable package. Business Digital Voice is built on a cloud-based VoIP platform for secure, reliable calling so you can stay in touch with your team and give your customers the service they deserve.

    Unified Messaging puts voicemail and fax messages in one place, your My Phone Web Portal. This feature makes it quick and easy to get to all your messages using either your e-mail or telephone.

    The Unified Messaging feature of Business Digital Voice lets you retrieve voicemails from your online My Phone management dashboard so you can listen to messages from anywhere.

    You can have the voicemail files sent to you in an email and receive notifications on your phone or tablet via text or email.

    In addition to retrieving voicemail files, users can also retrieve fax messages using Unified Messaging on the My Phone dashboard and through email. The system is fully configurable from the My Account web portal, including what notifications you want to receive and whether you want to access voicemail, fax, or both.

    Another useful feature you can set up is the option for callers to transfer calls that get sent to voicemail. For example, you can allow callers to transfer the call to your assistant by pressing O. This feature can be useful if a call is urgent and needs immediate attention. Read The Secret to Better Service and Productivity: Unified Communications to learn more about advancements in communications with unified communications technologies.

     

    Customer story: Using Unified Messaging to stay on top

    These days, business happens everywhere. That’s one of the things that Murray likes about his job. He’s a production line manager and gets to go back and forth from the office to the plant. With this type of schedule, he can’t afford to lose track of messages. Unified Messaging keeps voicemails and faxes in one place. So there’s little chance Murray will miss an important call or forget about a change to an order, even in the midst of a busy day.

     

    More Business Digital Voice advanced features

    Administrator Portal Auto Attendant Hunt Group My Phone Portal
    Music on Hold Shared Call Unified Messaging Visual Voicemail
    Voicemail to Email Voice Portal Voicemail to Text

    Verizon My Phone Web Portal

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Business Digital Voice from Verizon is a flexible VoIP phone solution for small businesses that want enterprise-level features at an affordable price. Get access to over 30 advanced calling features, such as Auto Attendant, Music on Hold, and Unified Messaging.

    Business Digital Voice is built on a cloud-based VoIP platform for reliable calling and easy scalability so you can stay in touch with your team and give your customers the service they deserve.

     

     

    The My Phone End User Web Portal is an employee-level web portal that gives members of your team access to their phone settings, voicemail, and other phone functions. The portal is designed to be easy to use, with a simple, clear interface.

    Users can access phone settings from any computer or tablet by logging into the web portal. If they need to check voicemail with the Unified Messaging feature or adjust on-hold messages while they’re out of town, the settings are just a few clicks away.

     

    Accessing the My Phone Web portal is easy.

     

    The My Phone End User Web Portal gives your employees quick access to phone features and settings, allowing your whole team to serve customers more effectively.

    Frequently asked questions

    Get answers to your questions about the My Phone End User Web Portal. Read the Business Digital Voice frequently asked questions for tips and help with features.

     

    More Business Digital Voice advanced features

    Administrator Portal Auto Attendant Hunt Group My Phone Portal
    Music on Hold Shared Call Unified Messaging Visual Voicemail
    Voicemail to Email Voice Portal Voicemail to Text

     

    Business Digital Voice: My Phone End User Web Portal video transcription

    00:00
    with Verizon Business Digital Voice you
    00:02
    set the features your employees can
    00:04
    access visual voicemail and they can
    00:07
    customize their settings too so everyone
    00:10
    in your business is ready to serve your
    00:11
    customers. Connect your office and
    00:14
    business world with Verizon
    00:16
    Business Digital Voice

     

    Verizon Music on Hold

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Verizon Business Digital Voice is a flexible, enterprise-level phone solution for small businesses. Get access to enterprise-quality phone tools at an affordable price, with over 30 professional calling features to help you give customers the service they deserve.

    Manage your phone system anywhere with an easy-to-use online dashboard and app. Business Digital Voice also provides a secure VoIP phone system for your business.

     

     

    Don’t leave your customers wondering—greet them with customizable music or announcements so they know to stay on the line if you can’t answer right away.

    With Verizon Business Digital Voice, your phone system can play custom hold music to entertain callers while they wait. On-hold music can help reduce hang-ups, especially during long waiting periods.

     

    Hold messages can help you communicate better with customers.

     

    You can also set up customizable announcements to inform callers of promotions, special offers, or news related to your company. For example, let callers know about your business’s schedule, office hours, or special holiday hours.

    You can also use your hold message to promote upcoming sales or events, such as clearance sales or community outreach initiatives.

     

     

    More Business Digital Voice advanced features

    Administrator Portal Auto Attendant Hunt Group My Phone Portal
    Music on Hold Shared Call Unified Messaging Visual Voicemail
    Voicemail to Email Voice Portal Voicemail to Text

     

    Business Digital Voice: Music on Hold video transcription

    00:00
    when business is busy you can set a
    00:04
    greeting or announcement for your
    00:05
    customers to hear while at home
    00:07
    thank you for calling Camille’s flowers all custom
    00:09
    arrangements are 10% off through
    00:11
    the end of month. Camille’s flowers how can help you
    00:13
    connect your office and business world
    00:15
    with Verizon Business Digital Voice
    00:17
    [Music]

     

     

    Verizon My Account Administrator Web Portal

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Business Digital Voice from Verizon is a powerful phone solution for small businesses that want enterprise-level features. Get access to over 30 advanced calling features, including Auto Attendant, Music on Hold, and Unified Messaging, all at an affordable price. Business Digital Voice is built on a cloud-based VoIP platform for reliable calling and easy scalability, so you can stay in touch with your team and give your customers the service they deserve.

     

     

    The My Account Administrator Web Portal allows business owners and IT teams to manage the phone features employees can access in one simple, easy-to-use interface. Managers and administrators can log in and enable or disable features at any time, and they can also configure users and various features such as Hunt Groups and Visual Voicemail from this portal.

    The My Account Administrator Portal is designed for easy use. The portal comes with detailed instructions, and all the options are laid out in a clear, visual manner so they are easy to find and change.

    Employees can also adjust their own features and settings with a separate-end user panel. This setup allows them to create the phone configuration that works best for them and maximizes their ability to serve customers and collaborate with other team members.

    The My Account Administrator Web Portal lets you control the phone features employees have access to so your whole team can readily serve customers as effectively as possible.

    Frequently asked questions

    Get answers to your questions about the My Account Administrator Web Portal and other Business Digital Voice features. Read the Business Digital Voice frequently asked questions.

     

    More Business Digital Voice advanced features

    Administrator Portal Auto Attendant Hunt Group My Phone Portal
    Music on Hold Shared Call Unified Messaging Visual Voicemail
    Voicemail to Email Voice Portal Voicemail to Text

    Business Digital Voice: My Account Administrator Web Portal video transcription

    00:00
    with Verizon Business Digital Voice you
    00:02
    set the features your employees can
    00:04
    access like Visual Voicemail and they can
    00:07
    customize their settings too so everyone
    00:10
    in your business is ready to serve your
    00:11
    customers. Connect your office and
    00:14
    business world with Verizon
    00:16
    Business Digital Voice

    Verizon Voicemail to Email

    Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

    Business Digital Voice from Verizon is a flexible VoIP phone solution for small businesses that offers powerful, enterprise-level features at an affordable price. Businesses get access to over 30 calling features, such as Visual Voicemail, Music on Hold, and Hunt Groups. And Business Digital Voice is built on a reliable VoIP platform for stress-free calling and easy scalability. Business Digital Voice helps you stay in touch with your team and give your customers quality, reliable service.

     

    Small-business owners have a lot of communications to juggle. Voicemail to Email makes better use of your time.

     

    Standard visual voicemail gives you a convenient list of your voicemail messages—including who called, time of the call and callback number—so you can listen to them as needed. Voicemail to Email from Business Digital Voice goes one step further to help improve your productivity. Voicemail to Email sends your voicemail messages as .wav attachments to your email, allowing you to listen to them when you tackle your in-box.

    The messages are sent as .wav files that can be played back on any PC, Mac, or smartphone so you can listen at your convenience.

    You can also organize the messages with your regular email filing system. It’s one more way Verizon helps streamline your daily operations.

    This feature is also known as voicemail to text transcription—something high-functioning business people have been paying up to $14.95 per month for this service alone from other vendors. Plus additional fees for additional users.

    • Just like our Voicemail to Email, a voicemail transcription service converts your voicemail messages to text and sends your transcriptions to your email inbox.
    • Just like Voicemail to Email, transcription services also attach .wav files to your transcriptions so you can hear the original voicemail recordings.

    Unlike transcription services, there is no extra cost to use this feature. Voicemail to Email is included with your Business Digital Voice service.

     

    You’ll get alerts to your inbox every time someone calls and leave a voicemail.

     

    You can keep up with your calls, whether you’re in a meeting or on the factory floor. Even if it’s too noisy to take the call, Voicemail to Email helps you handle business over email without waiting for a time when you can talk on the phone.

     

    Five ways Voicemail to Email helps you take care of business:

    • Scanning an email message is faster than logging in to voicemail to get the same info.
    • Searching for keywords in your inbox helps pinpoint the info you need.
    • Nothing is missing. Your email message captures the voicemail and stores it.
    • Looking for a pen or pressing rewind to repeat a message is old school.
    • Managing your communications is easier since all your messages are in one place–your inbox.

    More Business Digital Voice advanced features

    Administrator Portal Auto Attendant Hunt Group My Phone Portal
    Music on Hold Shared Call Unified Messaging Visual Voicemail
    Voicemail to Email Voice Portal Voicemail to Text

    How safe is your state from automation?

    Monday, 12 March, 2018

     

    Industries across the US based on the #1 hiring positions

    Top 5 jobs in each state. States listed in alphabetical order. Bullets are ranked from #1 available job to #5 available job.

    1. Alabama (transportation)
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Assistant Manager
      • Lead Sales Associate
      • Sales Associate
      • Assistant Store Manager
    2. Alaska (retail)
      • General Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Cook
      • Crew Member
      • Driver
    3. Arizona (retail)
      • Team Member
      • Assistant Manager
      • Delivery Driver
      • Restaurant General Manager
      • General Manager
    4. Arkansas (transportation)
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Assistant Store Manager
      • Delivery Driver
    5. California (retail)
      • General Manager
      • Assistant Manager
      • Lyft Driver
      • Team Member
      • Sales Associate
    6. Colorado (retail)
      • Shift Leader
      • Restaurant Cashier
      • Guest Service Expert
      • Kitchen Coordinator
      • Cook
    7. Connecticut (misc.)
      • Sales Account Executive
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Pharmacy Technician
    8. Delaware (misc.)
      • Sales Account Executive
      • Server
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Lyft Driver
    9. Florida (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Delivery Driver
      • Sales Associate
      • Server
      • General Manager
    10. Georgia (misc.)
      • Scribe
      • Java Developer
      • Truck Driver
      • .NET Developer
      • Owner Operator
    11. Hawaii (transportation)
      • Delivery Driver
      • General Manager
      • Team Member
      • Assistant General Manager
      • Shift Leader
    12. Idaho (transportation)
      • Delivery Driver
      • Customer Service Representative
      • Server
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Reset Merchandiser
    13. Illinois (transportation)
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Lyft Driver
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Server
    14. Indiana (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Server
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Sales Associate
      • Delivery Driver
    15. Iowa (retail)
      • Shift Leader
      • Crew Member
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Server
      • RN Travel Nurse
    16. Kansas (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Delivery Driver
      • General Manager
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Sales Associate
    17. Kentucky (retail)
      • Sales Associate
      • Assistant Manager
      • Assistant Store Manager
      • Lead Sales Associate
      • Delivery Driver
    18. Louisiana (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • General Manager
      • Assistant Store Manager
      • Lead Sales Associate
    19. Maine (misc.)
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Cashier
      • CDL Class A Truck Driver
      • Reset Merchandiser
      • Assistant Manager
    20. Maryland (transportation)
      • Lyft Driver
      • Sales Account Executive
      • Assistant Manager
      • Delivery Driver
      • Sales Associate
    21. Massachusetts (transportation)
      • Lyft Driver
      • Sales Account Executive
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Delivery Driver
    22. Michigan (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Lyft Driver
      • Sales Associate
      • Restaurant General Manager
      • Shift Lead
    23. Minnesota (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Sales Associate
      • Cook
    24. Mississippi (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Assistant Store Manager
      • Crew Member
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
    25. Missouri (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Delivery Driver
      • RN Travel Nurse
    26. Montana (retail)
      • Reset Merchandiser
      • Delivery Driver
      • Company Class A CDL Driver
      • Store Clerk
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
    27. Nebraska (retail)
      • Reset Merchandiser
      • Assistant Manager
      • Insurance Sales Agent
      • Crew Member
      • Sales Associate
    28. Nevada (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Team Member
      • Shift Lead
      • Restaurant General Manager
      • Delivery Driver
    29. New Hampshire (misc.)
      • Registered Nurse
      • Licensed Nursing Assistant
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Sales Associate
      • Reset Merchandiser
    30. New Jersey (transportation)
      • Lyft Driver
      • Sales Account Executive
      • Assistant Manager
      • Store Team Member
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
    31. New Mexico (transportation)
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Cook
      • Assistant Manager
      • General Manager
      • Reset Merchandiser
    32. New York (misc.)
      • Postdoctoral Fellow
      • Account Executive
      • Project Manager
      • Executive Assistant
      • Software Engineer
    33. North Carolina (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Delivery Driver
      • Sales Associate
      • Assistant Store Manager
      • Server
    34. North Dakota (retail)
      • Reset Merchandiser
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Registered Nurse
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Assistant Manager
    35. Ohio (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Delivery Driver
      • Shift Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • General Manager
    36. Oklahoma (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Lead Sales Associate
      • Assistant Store Manager
      • Cook
    37. Oregon (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Cook
      • Sales Account Executive
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Delivery Driver
    38. Pennsylvania (retail)
      • Sales Associate
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Account Executive
      • Assistant Store Manager
    39. Rhode Island (transportation)
      • Lyft Driver
      • Direct Support Staff
      • Registered Nurse
      • Certified Nursing Assistant
      • Pharmacy Technician
    40. South Carolina (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Lead Sales Associate
      • Assistant Store Manager
      • General Manager
    41. South Dakota (misc.)
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Reset Merchandiser
      • Assistant Manager
      • Insurance Sales Agent
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
    42. Tennessee (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • Assistant Store Manager
      • Lead Sales Associate
      • Lyft Driver
    43. Texas (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Sales Associate
      • General Manager
      • Cook
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
    44. Utah (retail)
      • Team Member
      • Assistant Manager
      • Delivery Driver
      • Server
      • Cook
    45. Vermont (retail)
      • Reset Merchandiser
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Registered Nurse
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Licensed Nursing Assistant
    46. Virginia (retail)
      • Assistant Manager
      • Delivery Driver
      • Sales Associate
      • Server
      • Assistant Store Manager
    47. Washington (misc.)
      • Project Manager
      • Program Manager
      • Pharmacy Technician
      • Clinical Nurse
      • Business Analyst
    48. West Virginia (retail)
      • Sales Associate
      • Assistant Store Manager
      • Lead Sales Associate
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Reset Merchandiser
    49. Wisconsin (transportation)
      • Class A CDL Truck Driver
      • Lyft Driver
      • Assistant Manager
      • Delivery Driver
      • General Manager
    50. Wyoming (retail)
      • Reset Merchandiser
      • Assistant Manager
      • RN Travel Nurse
      • Cook
      • Company Class A CDL Driver

     

    Methodology: We took the jobs with the most available open positions from Glassdoor for each state, then compared those available jobs with research on automation by McKinsey Global and Pew Research to determine the economic perceptions and impact on each state.

    Unified Communications: The secret to better service and productivity

    Thursday, 30 November, 2017

     

    Take your business to the next level with unified communications

    Your business can have innovative ideas, top-notch products, and talented people, but it will never reach its full potential if your employees aren’t communicating well with each other and with customers.

    To thrive today, businesses need to stay in touch with their customers or clients, and they need to do so frequently. They also need excellent communication and collaboration tools. A modern, hosted Unified Communication system with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling can help your business deliver better customer service and better employee productivity.

    What is Unified Communications?

    Unified Communications, or UC, is a way to link all your communication and collaboration tools. In fact, it’s sometimes referred to as Unified Communications and Collaboration. Basically, UC lets people talk in whatever way makes the most sense at the moment: voice calls, email, audio/video conferencing, chat, etc. On a UC system, you get the same user experience on all devices, and it’s easy to use no matter where you are.

    Another big plus is that UC solutions may be linked with your compatible customer relationship management (CRM) system. So when a customer service rep is on a call, they can easily pull up a record of all past purchases and contacts with the customer.

    What is Voice over Internet Protocol?

    Voice over Internet Protocol, also known as VoIP or IP telephony, modernizes your business communication network. This Unified Communications technology sends data over the internet rather than over the old public switched telephone network (PSTN), enabling better voice quality and reliability.

    VoIP is a key element for Unified Communications—you need it to make all the UC pieces work together. You can also reap the following benefits by using VoIP solutions alone:

    • You get unlimited local and long-distance calling.
    • You can control costs better by consolidating your voice and data network, and avoiding high costs related to maintaining a premise-based system.
    • You can easily add or subtract phone lines and move extensions to adjust to your business demands.

    What can UC do for your business?

    When you add Unified Communications and Collaboration on top of VoIP solutions, you can expect even more benefits. For example, UC solutions can help improve business efficiencies, spurring increases in market revenue. The major benefits of Unified Communications include higher productivity and better customer service for your company.

    Let’s look at some examples of Unified Communications at work and how it can help your business processes.

    Say an employee has finished a project for a major client and has to leave immediately for an important conference. The employee is already gone when the client calls with a question about the project, and the question has to be answered today.

    With UC, the client can call your employee’s desk phone and the call will ring directly to their mobile device or laptop. The employee can take the call, switch to a video conference call, and share their screen so everyone is literally on the same page at the same time.

    With UC solutions, the end-user experience—whether you’re videoconferencing or answering an email—is simple and familiar, regardless of the device being used.

    UC also helps you provide better customer service. It can be linked with your CRM system so that when your service reps are chatting with customers, they can easily pull up a record of past purchases and communications.

    If they need extra help answering a customer’s questions, they can use the presence feature to find someone who knows more about the issue. By conferencing with an expert, employees can resolve issues quickly without transferring the customer from one person to another.

    These are just a couple of examples of the kind of business processes where UC can be valuable in helping propel market growth for your business.

    What should you consider when choosing VoIP and UC solutions?

    You’ll want to make sure that the VoIP or Unified Communications companies you talk with have a carrier-grade network and can guarantee high uptime. Internet Telephony magazine follows the industry closely and can be a good source of information on service providers, the UC market in North America, and unified communications and collaboration market trends in general.

    You also need to be sure your existing broadband internet service is robust enough to handle the increased phone traffic VoIP and UC solutions bring. An experienced provider of business communication solutions can help you evaluate your network’s current capabilities.

    How can you decide on a Unified Communications and Collaboration platform?

    What is a Unified Communication platform? It’s the base technologies that your UC service is built on. There are two different kinds of Unified Communications platforms: on-premises (which means the service is hosted on servers at your place of business) and as a service (which means the service is hosted in the cloud).

    What is on-premises Unified Communications?

    On-premises Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions are, as the name suggests, located at your business. You have more control with this option, but unlike cloud-based solutions, you have to invest in equipment, space to store that equipment, and staff to maintain it. On-premises systems are generally part of enterprise communication systems that very large corporations use.

    What is Unified Communications as a service?

    Unified Communications as a service, or UCaas, is a cloud-based solution that’s a good fit for small and medium-size business.  It eliminates the need for on-premises equipment, personnel, and upfront capital investments. Because it’s based in the cloud, Unified Communications as a service lets you scale up and down easily, and you have a predictable monthly cost.

    Cloud-based Unified Communications as a service is not just for smaller companies, though. According to a Gartner report, Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, “UCaaS … capabilities now exceed those available from premises-based UC solutions.”

    What features can you expect with UC?

    Different Unified Communications and Collaboration companies package UC solutions differently, but these packages typically include real-time communication and collaboration tools as well as basic tools, like email. Features commonly offered, in addition to the obvious voice calling, include the following:

    • Video conferencing and audio conferencing
    • Email, including email fax, accessible on multiple devices
    • Voice mail, which can also be accessed as a text or an email message from your office phone or mobile devices
    • Chat (instant messaging)
    • SMS (phone texting)
    • Presence indicator so employees know when someone is available to talk
    • Parallel ringing so calls come to both your desk phone and mobile phone
    • Calendar access via any of your devices

    Popular solutions for unified communications include Cisco Spark, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Skype for Business and Verizon Virtual Communications Express. The solutions can provide you with the tools and benefits of VoIP Unified Communications. (You may be familiar with Lync Online and Office Communicator. Microsoft has replaced these UC solutions with Skype for Business, although Lync Phone Edition and Lync Server 2013 are still supported platforms.)

    Training programs through companies like Unitek Education can also help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your solution, whether it’s based in the cloud or on-premises.

    Choose a Unified Communications leader for VoIP.

    If you’re looking for a great provider to help you implement your Unified Communications and Collaboration strategy, you can’t go wrong with Verizon. Verizon ranked as a leader for its cloud-based UC solution and for its network services and managed security services.

    Gartner notes that Verizon’s pricing is competitive, and bundled services can help cost savings even further.”**

    The provider has cloud-based UC solutions for all sizes of companies, from large enterprises to small businesses, with strong service level agreements and competitive pricing. Bundled services can save you even more.

    Make sure you’re giving your employees all the tools they need to help your business grow. See how Verizon Unified Communications solutions, such as Virtual Communications Express, can help you improve productivity and customer service.


    *Griffith, Eric. “The Fastest ISPs of 2017,” PCMag, June 2, 1027. https://www.pcmag.com/article/353936/the-fastest-isps-of-2017

    *https://getvoip.com/blog/2017/09/18/ucaas-magicquadrant-2017/

    Business internet vs. residential: What you don’t know could cost you

    Thursday, 2 November, 2017

    “Why should I pay so much for internet service?”

    It’s a valid question, especially for small-business owners squeezing as much as they can out of every scarce dollar. With fiber broadband-wired neighborhoods popping up everywhere promising low cost pricing and high speed internet, the choice between business internet vs. residential seems simple. This Quora thread sums it up: residential internet is cheaper, and now it’s almost as good as a business-level connection, so why pay the difference? You have a handful of employees, and they can easily get by on fewer Mbps than MegaCorp downtown. But, is this the right choice for your business?

     

    Business internet vs. residential

    Business internet has more features and benefits than residential, and is worth the higher cost. Residential internet often has restricted upload speeds and comes with only best-effort service agreements, while business internet demands faster upload speeds in order to perform operations. In addition, ISPs provide guaranteed service and uptimes for business internet.

    Saving a few bucks now could end up costing you down the line, since the differences between business internet vs. residential are critical—would you line up at FedEx Office self-serve instead of buying your own office printer? Or have an Uber driver make your client deliveries? The choice is really that cut-and-dried.

    Here are the most important factors for your business internet vs. residential consideration:

    Parity

    Residential, and even some business internet providers, keep prices down by offering impressively fast download speeds while glossing over their far slower upload speeds. For streaming movies and web surfing, download speed matters. If you’re creating content and need to get it to clients, upload speed really matters—the same goes for backing up your data offsite. Business internet connections usually offer identical download and upload speeds, known as parity.  In residential connections, throttled upload speed is the norm: 20Mbps down, 2Mbps up is a standard package, which would be advertised as “20×2,” or the upload speed left out completely.

    Service Level Agreements

    A service-level agreement (or an SLA) is a contract between a service provider and its customers stating what services the provider will furnish, as well as defining performance standards. Service providers use SLAs to manage customer expectations, as well as to clarify when they’re not liable for performance issues or outages. By being made aware these parameters, business customers (residential customers usually receive less-binding “best effort” promises) know what to expect from providers, and can compare them to the SLAs of other vendors. SLAs also define means of compensation should the service level not be met, either through credits or a refund.

    Static IP

    Business internet connections typically come with static Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, permanent numbers assigned by the Internet service provider (ISP). If it’s not included, you can add a static IP when you set up your service. A static IP address is also known as a fixed address. This is ideal for hosting a web site or email server from your location or for connecting to a whitelisted server so you can use a service that another business provides. Also if you have heating and air conditioning controls or video cameras at your business, you can access these controls remotely with a static IP.

     

    Residential internet connections typically use dynamic IP addresses that are temporary and change each time the computer or device accesses the internet from your network. Your ISP will set this up so it happens automatically using a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). When it comes to security, both dynamic and static IPs are comparable, as long as you have a good security program or firewall installed.

    Price

    The lowest cost shouldn’t be the deciding factor in the business internet vs. residential debate. Think about what your business could lose in the event of an internet slowdown or, worse, a complete outage. The initial savings of going residential could easily be wiped out by loss of connectivity and productivity, and it might end up costing you even more in the end. It won’t, however, cost you anything to compare business internet features and pricing besides a few minutes of research into what might be best for the future of your business. To help get you started, click the following link to learn more about Verizon Fios business internet.

    Speed

    Business internet speeds tend to be anywhere from two to five times faster than those of residential connections, meaning more people can get more done, more quickly. Twenty employees sharing a 5Mbps residential-style connection at the office can makes little financial sense when you’re counting on it to help complete transactions and make you income. And, as annoying as the dragging downloads and eternal uploads of a slower residential connection can be for you, they’re even more tedious for your customers. It may predate the internet, but the old saying “time is money” still holds up.

    When it comes to learning more about speed, feel free to check out our article: How much bandwidth do I need for my business? If you’re considering what makes Fios and fiber optic connections so much faster, we recommend reading fiber optic vs. cable.


    *Griffith, Eric. “The Fastest ISPs of 2017,” PCMag, June 2, 1027. https://www.pcmag.com/article/353936/the-fastest-isps-of-2017

     

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