ConnectMeVoice Blog

Enterprise Scale Phone Features for Small- & Medium-Size Businesses

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 @ 05:44 PM

Do you own or work for a small business? Maybe a medium-sized business? Or maybe you worked for a large corporate company prior to moving to a small or medium size business. I am sure that you noticed that there are differences. In some cases, what you had with a large enterprise you no longer have with a small or medium sized business. This may be true with certain things, but do you think it is true with a business phone system? The answer may surprise you.

checklist-1622517_960_720.pngWith the advent of Hosted-VoIP Phone systems, there may be little or no difference in phone system features. Generally speaking, you probably had a facilities-based phone system (also known as a PBX) supplying a lot of the features. That system probably cost the firm $50,000 to $100,000 or more. In addition, there may have been a special department to handle repairs, moves, adds and changes as well as system maintenance. I am sure that system worked fine. But what does that do for the smaller business you ask?

Hosted-VoIP Phone systems take away the expense and backend management of a phone system. Businesses no longer need to purchase a PBX to gain all of the advanced features. A Hosted-VoIP Phone system allows you to change things quickly. You want to move a phone from one location to another. With Hosted-VoIP it is simple. You unplug it from location A and plug it into location B. The extension moves and the phone works the same. Simple.

There are probably many features that you aren't aware of and things you would like to do. Many advanced features are standard with Hosted-VoIP Phone systems like "find me follow me", auto attendant, voice mail sent to email, call recording, call monitoring, etc. 

In closing, I suggest you take a look at offerings from a few Hosted-VoIP Interconnect carriers like ConnectMe. Find out what you can do and what you may be misssing.


Uncover The Value Of VoIP

Tags: hosted voip, hosted VoIP interconnect

Cash Flow and VoIP Phone Systems

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Mon, Apr 03, 2017 @ 11:11 AM

You are considering buying a new phone system. Maybe you are looking at buying a Hosted-VoIP phone system. So you go to a few Hosted-VoIP providers and ask them for a quote. You are probably surprised that a Hosted-VoIP phone system costs considerably less than the facilities-based phone system you bought years ago.

digital communication.jpgYou've decided you need a new phone system. You understand all of the features (such as find me follow me, voicemail sent to email, etc) and how Hosted-VoIP can benefit your business. However, you are constantly juggling cash flow. How can you manage moving to a new phone system but also manage your cash flow?

How about considering leasing? Many clients of Hosted-VoIP carrier ConnectMe don't purchase phones outright. They choose to do a lease purchase with a dollar buyout. What that means is you that you don't put any money down. You simply have a 24 month, 36 month, 48 month lease (or whatever term). At the end of the lease, you simply pay $1 and you own the equipment. 

There are leasing companies (such as Marlin Leasing) and banks that provide this service. Your monthly payment depends on the amount of money financed, term length, etc.

Companies like ConnectMe have been able to provide their clients with brand new SIP phones with monthly service for equal to or less than they are paying now just for service. In closing, I suggest you get a quote for a new phone system with service. You might be surprised that getting a new phone system is less expensive than you think.


Uncover The Value Of VoIP

Tags: hosted voip

Add Time To Your Day with Hosted VoIP Phone Service

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 @ 02:28 PM

Interesting title? Everyone is looking to add more time to their day. Some of us need more time to complete tasks at work. Others need more time to add appointments to the calendar. Yet others may need a little more leisure time. Whatever the case, most of us could use a little more time in the day.


So the question is how do I add more time to my day? Buying a watch that has an extra hour won't help (insert chuckle here). How about updating and improving your infrastructure, specifically your business telephone system? Do you think that can help? Let's explore.

Whenever you own and rely on a piece of equipment and software it needs one thing. Maintenance. You need to take time for it. Possibly take a portion of the system, or the entire device out of service for a time. And let's not forget the cost of maintenance. This is where a Hosted-VoIP phone system comes in. Hosted-VoIP interconnect carriers (such as ConnectMe) do the maintenance for you off-hours. The maintenance is scheduled so you don't have to worry about losing time without a functioning device or paying money.

Another way Hosted-VoIP phone service saves you time is to allow you to take calls on the road. Here is a typical situation. You have a meeting to attend in an hour. Your drive in the car is approximately 55 minutes. You need to leave your office in 5 minutes. An important client calls you with a conversation that will last 20 minutes. You start the call with the client, it gets interrupted and she says she will call you back in 10 minutes. If you take the call from your desk you will be stuck and be late for your next meeting. How can you handle this in a way that you can both serve the client yet keep on schedule?

The problem above happens often. The time saving solution with Hosted-VoIP is to set up find me follow me. When the client calls your office phone it automatically rings to your cell phone. You are in the car, pick up the call and have your 20 minute conversation. Then you arrive at your appointment on time. Pretty cool!

In closing, I suggest you speak to a Hosted-VoIP business telephone services provider. Find out just how much time a Hosted-VoIP phone system can save you.


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Comparing Hosted-VoIP Phone Systems with PBX and Key Systems

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 @ 12:39 PM

You have made the decision to move from a facilities-based phone system to a Hosted-VoIP phone system. Now you are in the process of shopping for a phone system. So where do you begin? 

modem-1833_960_720.jpgLet's start with your budget. One thing that might surprise you is the cost. Maybe 7, 8 or even 10 years ago you bought a PBX or Key phone system (a traditional, facilities-based phone system). It wasn't a cheap proposition. So you are thinking that a new Hosted-VoIP phone system must cost a fortune or a least a lot more than your current system. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

Hosted-VoIP phone systems are generally a fraction of the cost of traditional phone systems. The reason is, is that the only thing you need are SIP Phones. All of the call control is performed in a carrier data center. So instead of buying a railroad to get to your destination, you buy a ticket on the railroad for a fraction of the cost. 

Let's look at operations. Are you moving? Try and move your existing phone system. It is expensive and what a pain in the neck. With a Hosted-VoIP phone system, you can simply take your SIP phone from your existing location and plug it into your new location. Everything works exactly the same with little or no intervention. 

The features that you realize from a Hosted-VoIP phone system will blow your old phone system away. Staying connected to your clients, disaster recovery and business continuity, and increased productivity will drive sales and reduce costs.

In closing, I suggest you you reach out to a few Hosted VoIP interconnect carriers (like ConnectMe). Have them put together a proposal with a value proposition. Then you decide.


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Tags: Hosted VoIP Phone System

Hosted VoIP Business Phone Service with Online Dashboard

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Thu, Mar 02, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

-You currently have a traditional facilities based phone system. Maybe its a PBX or possibly a key-phone system. You are in the process of considering migrating to a Hosted-VoIP phone system. Someone in your organization has done a lot of research. Maybe they have even looked at some demos. What else do you need to understand or do?

computer-1869236_960_720.jpgI am sure you at least know and understand the features that Hosted VoIP provides. You get an automated attendant, find me follow me, voice mail sent to your email, call monitoring and call recording just to name few. It is obvious what benefits you will realize from those features. 

One really important benefit you get with Hosted VoIP (from companies like ConnectMe) is an online dashboard. The online dashboard is a software interface that allows for immediate access to your business phone system. 

Why is the online dashboard so important? Here are a few reasons. Setting up and changing routing. You can set up find me follow me in real time--routing calls from your business phone to your cell phone. How about changing groups of people (on the fly) that receive your business calls. Do you manage the number of calls and amount of time employees spend on calls? Whatever your expectations are, they can be easily analyzed and managed through the online dashboard. Maybe you are going on vacation or have an employee leaving the company. You simply go to the online site and redirect voice mails to other employees emails, route calls to someone else for coverage, change passwords, etc.

In closing, I suggest that before you choose a Hosted VoIP provider, you test drive their online dashboard.


Uncover The Value Of VoIP

Tags: VoIP, hosted voip, ConnectMe

Re-Selling Hosted VoIP Phone Systems & Service

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 @ 04:07 PM

Are you a technology company? Maybe you are an IT services provider? Possibly a Managed Services Provider? Or maybe you do desktop support for businesses? Whatever the case, you are probably interested in growing revenue. One way to grow revenue is to resell Hosted VoIP phone systems and service.

office-432672_960_720.jpgWhy is reselling Hosted VoIP such a good idea? Let's explore each of the ways it makes sense:

1) You already have a relationship with the business.

2) End user support is being provided.

3) You undersand the network.

4) This will give you the ability to provide a disaster recovery solution for voice and data. 

5) Increase revenue by selling hardware and service.

Scott Seltzer (President - ConnectMe which is a Hosted VoIP Interconnect carrier) did a webinar on this very subject. He described in detail the hows, the wheres and the whys of technology companies selling or reselling VoIP. Technology companies do not need to own and manage the system. That is handled by companies like ConnectMe. They provide a turnkey solution.

I suggest you listen to the attached link for the webinar and find out why this could make sense for your business.


Uncover The Value Of VoIP


Tags: hosted voip, VoIP Reseller

Demo SIP phones and VoIP service

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 @ 06:54 PM

When you are looking to buy a new pair of shoes, maybe a pair of pants or a dress, how do you go about it ? You find a style you like and try them on. How about purchasing a new automobile? This is a higher cost item. You probably will go for a test drive. This will give you the opportunity to evaluate the automobile, comparison shop and make sure it has the features you desire. 

doors-1767563_960_720.jpgIn a sense, the same way you shop for a car is the way you should shop for a phone system. Is it in your price range? Do you need it soon? What benefits will you derive? Does it have the features that will make your life easier and more productive?

When purchasing a new VoIP or Hosted-VoIP phone system and service there are two  elements you need to investigate. One are the actual SIP phones, and the other is the Hosted-VoIP service.

Let's look at the SIP phones first. The most popular SIP phone manufacturers are Mitel, Cisco, Polycom, Yealink, Snom and Grandstream. There is a difference in price and quality so you need to choose what works for you. One of the things that is pretty true across all manufacturers is the price varies by the number of buttons. For example, a two-line phone is less expensive than a twelve-line phone. These phones also come with a number a programmable buttons. The more features you need, the more programmable buttons you need on the phone. Test drive a few models before you buy. 

The phone service is equally if not more important. Can you get all of the features that you need? Does the Hosted VoIP carrier offer auto attendant, voice mail to email, find me follow me, call recording, call monitoring, etc?. Make sure that the Hosted-VoIP carrier offers all of the features that you need. Check pricing between carriers. You may see a wide range of pricing with essentially the same functionality. Last but not least, check references. Reach out to ConnectMe and get a quote.

In closing, do your homework. Test drive the SIP phones working with Hosted-VoIP service and make sure it meets and exceeds your needs. 

Tags: Hosted VoIP Phone System

Conferencing and Hosted-VoIP Service

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 @ 06:43 PM

There are many facets to your business.... particularly communications and telecommunications. Every business has phones whether they are SIP Phones, traditional phones and/or cell phones. Some businesses have all three.


Let's focus on audio conferencing. The first thing is that audio conferencing is a perfect fit with Hosted-VoIP Service. Everything operationally works pretty much the same as you are used to using with traditional phone service. 

Phone (including SIP Phone) manufacturers make conference phones specifically to work with Hosted-VoIP. Mitel and Polycom are two of the leading manufacturers. They have different models depending on your needs. You may have heard of the Mitel Mi-Voice conference phone or the Polycom IP5000, IP6000, IP7000, etc. 

The first thing you need to know when selecting a Mitel or Polycom conference phone is the size of the room. Let me give you an example. Le's say your conference room is 10 feet by 12 feet. You can choose the least expensive conference phone and things will work just fine. What if your conference room is 18 feet by 30 feet. You will need a more expensive conference phone and may even need pick-up mic's.

Another thing you need to be aware of is that there is a big difference in price between a typical SIP phone and a SIP Conference phone. The SIP conference phone could cost you about 2 to 3 to 4 times the cost of a typical SIP phone. However, if you have conference calls with multiple people particpating, there is nothing better.

In closing, I suggest you speak with a telecommunications professional (like ConnectMe). Have them analyze the situation and make the recommendation that is right for your business.

Tags: Polycom, Hosted VoIP Phone System, Mitel MiVoice Conference, Audio Conferencing

Toll-Free 800 Service and VoIP

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 @ 11:42 AM

You have heard many things about VoIP and Hosted-VoIP Phone Service. Let's discuss a few things that can enhance your business.

call_us.jpgBusinesses are migrating from traditional phone systems like a premise-based PBX and key-system running over copper wire. They are moving to VoIP and Hosted-VoIP Phone Systems with SIP phones. Hosted-VoIP Phone Service has the call control performed in the cloud (a carrier data center). SIP Phones are connected via Cat5 or Cat6 ethernet cables. 

When you sign up for service with Hosted VoIP Interconnect carriers (like ConnectMe) you will have choices to make. Do you need a new phone number? Your Hosted-VoIP provider should be able to get you a new number. Do you want or need toll free (800) service? Your Hosted-VoIP provider should be able to procure a number for you as well.

Many businesses want to know what the cost differences are. As a general statement, you can get local and long distance covered with a flat monthly charge (call centers being the exception). However, toll free (800) service is generally charged on a per minute basis.

There are many reasons to use a toll free (800) number. One is to make your location or area unrecognizable by the phone number. There is a perception that people like to buy locally and that if a business is not in a local area they won't get the sale. Another reason is if you can get a vanity number. That is a number that spells out your business name or industry.

I suggest you talk with your marketing department. Decide if a toll free (800) number is right for you. Then call your Hosted VoIP provider, understand the costs and make a business decision.


Tags: VoIP, hosted voip, Toll-Free

Making The Switch To VOiP

Posted by Eugene Erichsen on Mon, Jan 09, 2017 @ 07:00 PM

You haven't yet made the switch to VoIP or Hosted VoIP phone service... Maybe you are thinking about it? Possibly you don't fully understand the benefits? Or maybe the last time you bought a phone system it was very expensive and you don't want to lay out the money. Whatever the case, VoIP and Hosted-VoIP is here to stay and sooner or later you will have to make the switch. Everything is going to be IP-based including phone service.


Is there a reason to wait when switching to Hosted-VoIP? The answer in short is, not really. Let me give you some reasons why:

1) The technology has been around long enough to become reliable. 

2) SIP Phone manufacturers such as Mitel, Polycom, Cisco and Panasonic continue to make and improve on their devices, driving down costs and improving technology. Take a look at the Mitel 6873i SIP Phone. It is a touch-screen. Are you used to using a touch-screen device like an iPad or iPhone? The screen kind of reminds you of an iPad.

3) Remote workers can easily become part of your company phone system even at a different location. Transfer, conference and other advantages can be realized.

4) Moving offices are made simple by unplugging your phone from your existing office and plugging in to the new office. Gone are the hassle and big expense of moving a PBX and re-installing. 

5) Cost savings will also become apparent. In many cases you can get a new Hosted-VoIP phone system for service for equal to or less than you are paying now just for service.

In closing, I suggest you consult with a Hosted-VoIP phone expert and find out exactly what the new technology can do for you.

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Tags: hosted voip