Virtual Assistants, Teleworkers, Remote Contractors and VoIP
Skype is synonymous with VoIP because it was around when the Internet grew up and it was free. It’s free because on-net calls don’t cost you anything and it’s the same with the virion VoIP system, calls from one number to another number in your CloudPBX phone system are free no matter where you are.
We’ve recently received calls from companies who are working smarter and more efficiently with their staff by downsizing from their big office to a smaller office and having their team members work from home, teleworking.
When they initially spoke with us they were not sure if a phone system can handle this type of setup but they were pleasantly surprised when they discover that VoIP gives them:
Typical VoIP Business Telephone System Call Flow Scenarios
To demonstrate more precisely how many of our customers utilise a VoIP business phone system with the CloudPBX we have created some rudimentary call flow diagrams. These call flow diagrams show you how a small business can take advantage of sophisticated features and work with their staff from their home offices.
The cost to expand your business telephone system
[quote]With virion VoIP you can order an extra phone number by sending us an email![/quote]
We’ll setup the new number, configure your CloudPBX, setup the VoIP handset and ship it to your location. Within a short amount of time you’ll have the extra service and your staff can get on with serving customers. The cost of these services is very low and will simply appear on your next monthly invoice.
It’s pretty easy to spot a small business or one-man-band these days, just by looking at their contact details. It’s even easier to tell which ones use remote workers, too. You know how? They only give out a mobile number. Even if they tell you otherwise on their website, and give the appearance of being a professional medium-sized business, the mobile phone number always gives them away.
Maybe you’re one of those businesses; you started out small, but as you grew you needed to hire more people. Now you have a sizeable team of remote workers, each trying to communicate with your clients and customers using a mobile phone. Aside from being impractical (how do you transfer an external call to a member of your team from a mobile?), it’s also not very professional.
The Commander of business telephone systems
The problem has always been that for most small businesses, the go-to phone system was the Commander business phone system, which was originally manufactured by Nitsuko Corporation in Japan, until Nitsuko was bought by NEC. They stopped producing Commander phones not long after that, although you’d have hardly realised; they were so hugely popular in Australia that, even to this very day, you can still buy secondhand Commander telephone systems and spare parts for them – and quite cheaply, too.
If you’re looking for a business phone system, picking up a secondhand Commander telephone system might be the way to go, and for as little as $50 in some cases at sites like Gumtree and Ebay.
These old analogue phone systems can be set up in your office but you’ll need someone with the technical skills and you’ll also need analog lines which you’ll need to organise with someone like Telstra. Keep in mind, also, that if you only have four phone lines and each one is in use when someone calls, they might get the engaged tone – pretty bad for business. If you’re looking for some advanced call handling features like call waiting, auto-attendants, and so forth, you may need to get a more modern, more sophisticated business telephone system from Cisco or Yealink.
These cheap analog telephone systems might solve the problem for small businesses looking for a cheap phone system that their staff can use in their office, but what about those remote or teleworkers? If they deal with external stakeholders on your business’s behalf, you’d still want to be able to assign a business number for them.
The Commander’s modern mate: an ATA adapter
Some virion customers have an old Commander business phone system but connect it to an analogue telephone adapter, like one of Cisco’s ATA adapters. By connecting a Commander phone system to a Cisco ATA adapter, ideally Cisco’s Linksys PAP2 device, you’ll be able to add two extra VoIP services, so you can extend the functionality of your phone system AND enable all your outbound calls to travel via VoIP (at a largely discounted call rate).
For less than $100 you can pick up a complete Commander phone system and a Cisco Linksys PAP2 adapter, and then configure if for a VoIP service, making it a low-cost option for small businesses. If you anticipate your business to grow – and quickly – you might consider the benefits of a new VoIP phone system for cheaper than you think.
Commander – Cheap to buy, expensive to setup
Because you’re using old technology, however, there isn’t a lot of assistance available in terms of set-up or troubleshooting if problems occur (you may need to consult the Internet in such instances), and although it might seem like a cheap phone system you’ll then need to find a local technician who’ll need to come to your office and connect to your expensive Telstra PSTN phone lines.
New VoIP business telephone systems may be cheaper
We recently had a bookkeeping business order a business telephone system for their key administration people and they wanted it all in the cloud. They wanted features like Line Hunt, Remote Extensions, Softphones on Mobile devices, and Call Queues and the challenge was that each person in the admin team where located from their own home offices – enter the CloudPBX.
Key benefits of cloud based online services is that your business telephone system is located in a secure data centre, your staff’s VoIP telephone handsets are located on their desks and the two talk to each other via the Internet. If you have a team in remote locations yet you still need them to be part of the same telephone system then CloudPBX is the best solution for you.
Want Cisco VoIP Handsets?
Our customer had their mind on Cisco VoIP telephone handsets and they wanted to take advantage of our Cheap Telephone System offer so we provided them with some Cisco phones from our rental stock and they worked perfectly. Because they took advantage of our low rental rate for their business phone system Cisco handsets they only needed to pay for their VoIP call services.
3 handset Business Telephone System
For a low minimum monthly fee our bookkeeping business received:
4 telephone numbers,
unlimited calls to local and national numbers,
free calls between handsets (even though they’re in remote locations),
cheap calls to mobiles and
a business grade telephone system that has all of the call handling features most businesses desire.
Use Your Current Internet Service Provider
Our client uses Telstra as their ISP in two of the locations and iiNet in another and despite the variety of different hardware used at the remote sites their new business phone system worked easily. It is important to note that the quality of your VoIP telephone service is dependent on your broadband Internet so if your Internet goes down your telephone system won’t operate so we always recommend a business grade broadband plan.
Virtual Assistants and Cloud Bookkeepers
Many of our clients are virtual assistants or independent contractors who run their businesses from their home so we’re always proud to promote our CloudPBX as a service that enables all of these remote workers to be connected to your business telephone system and able to respond to customers needs quickly.
Request a Quote for a Business Telephone System
If you are starting a new business, relocating or just want to upgrade your telephone system to one that has powerful PBX features, low cost and great support, then Request a Quote from us.
We’ve received a lot of interest from our cheap phone system offer and in the information we provide prospective customers we realise that VoIP technology and terminology can be very confusing for first time users.
Broadband Internet Speed is Important for Business Grade VoIP
One of the most important things to understand is how dependant your VoIP Phone System is on your Broadband Internet Connection. There are several ways of testing the speed of your Internet service and you can even get a little nerdy and get to know about voice codecs to see how many conversations you could have at the same time using a VoIP system (concurrent conversations).
VoIP handsets enable your small business to take advantage of the functionality and flexibility of a hosted CloudPBX. These handsets can be located in remote offices like staff or contractors homes or even interstate or international offices.
Do you want to see how most people handle the calls with their business telephone system? These call flow scenarios enable you to quickly choose from the most common choices and can help you get a good solution quickly.
C470IP is a very simple IP PBX with basic VoIP functionality however it can connect up to 5 additional handsets. Multiple handsets can be registered to be used with a single VoIP phone number (endpoint) or multiple endpoints.
Configuring a C470IP System
Most IP PBX’s can be configured by entering the IP address of the device. An IP Address looks something like 192.168.0.2 and it’s just a location for a device that is located on your local network.
To get the IP address of your Siemens C470IP system, press the blue “Paging Button” that normally gets each of the handsets ringing. You’ll see the IP Address displayed on the handset.
Type that address into your browser and the normal password is 0000. You can then log in to the admin area, setup phone numbers, handsets and manage how calls are handled – things like which phone number rings on which handset.
Handset registration process
When you get another handset to use with your system you can register it using the following procedure:
Turn on additional handset
On the phone menu, Navigate to Settings > Handset > Register H/Set
Enter your system PIN, (default is “0000”)
Press and hold INTERCOM button on base station until handset is registered (it will show an icon like the phone is ringing).
Great for Virtual Assistants
You can then go into your IP PBX admin and rename the handset to something that makes more sense to you. For example if you operate a home based business as a virtual assistant you can have one line for home and a couple others for your own business and any business you’re answering calls for.
We’ve had quite a bit of interest from virtual assistants who are using these phone systems because they are cheap and enable them to take advantage of cheap voip rates and have some great features like group pickup, assisted call transfer and can be combined with the VoIP service features like voicemail-to-email.
We recently spoke to Angela, a freelance writer, to share her experiences working with some of the largest publishing and advertising businesses in Australia. If you are interested in media and more importantly how large and well known companies measure the success of their advertising dollar, you’ll find this quite interesting.
For a spell, I left the media industry to work as a research analyst where I analysed the efficiency of various advertising and marketing strategies for a host of clients, such as Qantas, Westpac, Coca Cola, the NSW Government, and so on.
Though my chief objective was to determine things like whether a thirty second spot in Packed to the Rafters would deliver a client’s TARP goals, time and again, I was asked how a client could tell if that thirty-second spot had resulted in more sales; something I was unqualified to speculate on.
To isolate this information, marketers would often suggest that clients advertise different products or special offers in each different medium they used, and then analyse sales data to see which medium outperformed the other. But becoming more popular is the use of a Voice Over Internet Protocol service (VoIP).
Unlike the former, which cannot control for natural selection—a person going into a supermarket and selecting Arnotts Tim Tams over another Arnotts product due merely to product placement, impulse or pre-existing bias—a VoIP rules out the possibility of natural selection.
You may use a variety of mediums—television, print, online, radio, outdoor—but of those mediums, which one actually drives a person to pick up the phone? What was the strongest marketing message? VoIP answers all of those questions with a simple text file detailing every phone call and the marketing number they originated from.
VoIP delivers something that as a research analyst I could never definitively answer: accountability. It’s true that VoIP is no substitute for a good marketing campaign, but when used in conjunction with your marketing strategies it offers a kind of clarity that TARPs and circulation numbers simply cannot.
To include Virion’s VoIP service in your next marketing campaign, sign up here.
Call Forward is a functionality that enables you to have incoming calls diverted to alternative numbers on situations where you are away from your phone, are busy on your phone or are not in your office.
This functionality was seen as a break through a decade ago, but with the onset of VoIP and digital telephone systems this type of functionality is now available via most VoIP Admin Portals and you can control more aspects of your VoIP Phone System by logging into a cloud-based administration area.
Porting Away from Telstra
As a low-cost, high feature VoIP Phone Service operator we have many customers who port away from Telstra. By Porting away from Telstra you get to
Keep your phone number (no matter where you move in the world!),
Pay low VoIP rates for the number and calls, PLUS
You can take your number with you wherever you go!
Call diversion is a function that Telstra customers can use to divert calls to their new VoIP Phone System until they are ready to port their number away from Telstra and to virion and we’ve written the basic instructions for how to do it below.
VoIP Phone System for $1 per Month
If you want a VoIP Phone System for your office and be able to take advantage of great advanced call handling features like those listed below, we can help you with a VoIP Phone System for only $1 per month. Here are some of the most desired features:
The virion voip voicemail-to-email service allows you to create your own greeting and receive messages to your own email address, no matter where you are. Telstra normally charge for their voicemail (messagebank) service, but now you can use ours for free (with each VoIP phone number).
Turning Call Forward On and Off
Below is some information we found to help our customers with the codes required to activate and deactivate the Telstra Call Forward services: Remember! Do not use brackets, but do use the asterisk (*) and hash (#) keys.
How to turn Call Forward on
Here are the basics:
The easiest way to turn on Call Forward is to call 1#, then say “Turn on Call Forward” and listen to the instructions. Alternatively, follow the instructions below to turn on each type of Call Forward.
To turn on Call Forward Immediate (all calls):
Press * 2 1 (phone number) #
To turn on Call Forward Busy:
Press * 2 4 (phone number) #
To turn on Call Forward No Answer:
Press * 6 1 (phone number) #
You can also turn on Call Forward No Answer and specify how many seconds before the call is forwarded:
Press * 6 1 (phone number) * (time in seconds) #
Cheap Business Telephone Systems from $1 per month
[box type=”tick” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Did you know that you can have the power of a professional business telephone system and the capability to turn on features like Call Forward, Do Not Disturb etc from your VoIP Handsets?You can also have all of your team connected as part of the one business phone system even if they are spread out across Australia (or even the world)?Learn about the features of the CloudPBX..[/box]
How to turn Call Forward off
Here are the basics:
The easiest way to turn off Call Forward is to call 1#, then say “Turn off Call Forward” and listen to the instructions.
To turn off Call Forward Immediate (all calls):
Press # 21 # on your keypad
To turn off Call Forward Busy:
Press # 24 # on your keypad
To turn off Call Forward No Answer:
Press # 61 # on your keypad
Turn off Call Forward Selected Callers:
Press # 92 # on your keypad
Turn off Call Forward Set the Time:
Press # 16 # on your keypad
Typical small business call flow scenarios
We’ve put together some call flow diagrams to make it easier to choose your ideal business telephone system customisation. Combined with $1 per month for a phone system you’ll have professional features, setup quickly and at a fantastic cheap rate. See the common business telephone system setups..
Cisco, Yealink and Siemens Handsets
Feature-rich and professional these global brands will make your business look and feel professional and they’ll come with the power to manage the calls in your small business.
If you want to get started with VoIP but not sure how to get started, tell us a little bit about your circumstances and request a quote and we’ll get something back to you quickly. Our quotation includes every aspect of your business telephone system, including call rates and connectivity, CloudPBX and configuration and Business telephone handsets delivered to your premises.
Bria 3 is a carrier-grade next generation softphone application that enables you to manage your communications easily and efficiently – all from your computer desktop. Replacing or complementing your hard phone, the Bria softphone allows you to make VoIP and Video calls over IP, see when your contacts are available, send Instant Messages and transfer files with ease and efficiency.
Built on SIP and open standards, Bria is proven interoperable with many of the industry’s standard platforms and devices. It now also includes features specifically designed for business and enterprise users and can be deployed within an enterprise environment either by manual configuration via the softphone Graphical User Interface (GUI) or by using a provisioning server.
The latest softphone technology
Bria 3 is the first CounterPath softphone based on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and .net for Windows, and Cocoa for Mac, the most flexible user interface frameworks currently available. This foundation enables a dynamic interface with new task flows and customization options for an unprecedented user experience.
Mobile phones and even tablets like Samsung, iPad and even Windows tablets are a fantastic platform for softphones connected to a business telephone system based on a CloudPBX (hosted PBX) system. Learn more about how they can help you get a cheap phone system with enterprise grade features!