A modern office is a platform for employee productivity. This is an important concept to keep in mind when developing VoIP solutions for your office, and as technology progresses it becomes easier to deliver the latest in industry advancements at a more affordable price point. Voice over Wi-Fi, or VoWi-Fi, is one of those industry trends that our partner Grandstream Networks has opened up to small and medium businesses. Through Grandstream, we offer you an expertly crafted line of VoWi-Fi products to include in your portfolio. From high-speed access points to portable Wi-Fi phones, you can offer your small to medium business customers the benefits of a VoWi-Fi environment that previously was only available to enterprises.
Our GRP series of next-generation IP phones features a sleek new design, a reimagined user experience, unified firmware and powerful feature options including WiFi support, a dual LCD screen and support for up to 16 lines. For remote and cloud provisioning requirements, the GRP series is compatible with Grandstream’s new cloud provisioning platform, GDMS (Grandstream Device Management System). Designed for enterprises, service providers and other high-volume markets, the GRP series offers a powerful, easy-to-use and easy-to-deploy voice platform with next-gen features for high-end users.
By using cloud-based softphone systems, you can provide your team with communication connectivity without the need for a physical desk phone. Apps like ReachUC Mobility offer essential and crucial features such as smart call routing and auto-attendant services. This makes the concept of “taking your work with you” easier than ever by bringing your office phone to your mobile device. Softphones allow your business phone number to follow you anywhere so your contacts can easily reach you. Making sure your employees are properly trained on how to use these cloud-based systems on their mobile devices is essential for times of uncertainty.
Whether it be during a crisis, or when you are operating business-as-usual, employee safety should always be a top concern in your company. As part of a safety assessment, C-level executives and managers need a way to account for their teams no matter where they are in the world. You might want to consider implementing a platform, like Slack or Microsoft Teams, for your employees to use for daily communication and messaging. It’s important for your crisis communication plan to include an established way for employees to check-in safely and quickly during an emergency.
When it comes down to it, we all think we are prepared for the unexpected — but are we really? Power and IT outages, natural disasters, even global pandemics, can happen at any time and inevitably affect your entire organization. In order to always be prepared for the myriad of unforeseen circumstances, businesses should have a crisis communication plan ready to deploy at any given moment to ensure business continuity.
Coming from a company with a cloud-based business model, FATPBX wants to help ensure that your business keeps flowing in the event of a crisis or when unexpected situations arise. To keep going, here are some questions to ask yourself in order to create an effective crisis communication plan for your business:
As technology increasingly pervades every aspect of the modern business, many business owners have delegated their company’s IT management to either dedicated in-house staff or to a managed service providers (MSP). While managed service providers are typically more efficient than maintaining an in-house IT team, it can be difficult for companies to find superior MSPs that will competently and proactively manage their IT. Even after you partner with an MSP, there is always the possibility that they do not deliver their promised value. In this post, we will discuss three signs that suggest you’re not getting the best end of the bargain with your MSP.
In the world of IT, poor communication is considered the norm and a lack of social awareness is the standard. But MSPs should heave that stereotype and prioritize excellent communication, after all it’s embedded in their business model. If your current MSP is frequently difficult to reach and always unclear in their emails and calls, you should switch to another provider. As a business owner, the reason you delegate your IT services to an MSP is to alleviate the stresses of maintaining your VoIP network and response plan design meetings, not to add a business liability. Bad follow-up and vague responses are definitely a sign that you need a new MSP.
Because MSPs are responsible for managing your company’s technological infrastructure, any costs and risks associated with outages are a part of the total cost of that partnership. Just a couple minutes of lag on a computer or a 5 seconds of latency can cost you a contract or negotiation so if these events are a frequent occurrence, look for a different provider. In short, if the partnership is costing you money, rather than increasing your profits, you should look into another provider.
As your partner, MSPs should demonstrate a dedication to mutually beneficial solutions. If strategy meetings and advisory calls lack practical solutions that build your success, you may want to find another provider. If the solutions offered by your current MSP are always released behind schedule, consider giving them “the boot.” As an MSP, their response times should be reasonably quick to repair legitimately critical issues, minimizing that event’s impact on your business.
Problems With Your MSP? Partner With Us To Get The Best in Business Communication Technologies
With over 20 years in the telecommunications industry, FATPBX is a trusted name among companies throughout California. Offering cutting-edge solutions for all aspects of business communication, we are dedicated to ensuring that our partnerships increase the value and effectiveness of our clients. Take a look at our services and contact us today to partner with the best provider in business telecommunications!
With all of the discussion about VoIP among businesses, it can be easy to get lost in the details. While you may have already explored the benefits of VoIP and understand how it works, there may be some terms that are still confusing you. For example, as you discuss your VoIP phone system with your tech department or research VoIP systems online, you may see the acronyms TCP and UDP quite a bit. There’s no need to scratch your head any longer because we are going to discuss four common protocols in VoIP and explain how they affect your system.
What’s A VoIP Protocol?
Just in case you need a refresher, VoIP works by sending data packets over the internet, instead of landlines. In this context, the word protocol simply refers to the rules that determine how computers communicate with each other.
The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) can be described as an improvement in initiating and terminating multimedia sessions. By These “multimedia” sessions include internet telephony (similar to VoIP), video conferencing, and other forms of unified communications. It is not a communication service, but a protocol or set of rules for defining how communication sessions are initiated and terminated.
The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is concerned with preserving the integrity of your data, ensuring that no information is lost or missed as it travels from the server to your computer. First, data packets are transmitted from Server A to Server B. After receiving the packets. Server B sends Server A an “acknowledgement”, signifying that the packet arrived intact. If there are any delays or issues with the “acknowledgement” receipt, Server A will resend the information to Server B, Because TCP checks for errors and issues with the packet, it is helpful in scenarios that require error-free communication and data integrity, like email or file transfer.
The User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is primarily concerned with your data’s transmission speed. Instead, of the “acknowledgement” process in TCP, servers utilizing UDP will just send data packets, one right after another. While there is a check for errors, if an error is discovered, there are no attempts made to “recover” the lost data. There are also no ‘callbacks” to verify that a packet has been received, instead, once Server A sends a packet to Server B, it will continue to send data packets. Because UDP is less focused on data integrity and more on the speed of data transmission, it is appropriate in scenarios like live broadcasts and online games.
The Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) is a protocol that defines the management of real-time transmission of multimedia over a network. It is sometimes combined with a control protocol (called RTCP in this case) to enable to monitoring of large-scale data delivery to multiple users. It can be used to detect packet loss and compensate for jitter delay during transmission. Generally, RTP is configured with UDP since there is less risk of packet loss. Using RTP with UDP also allows packets to transport more data, efficiently utilizing bandwidth and providing fast data transmission.
We are Your Partner in Business Communications
FatPBX is dedicated to providing businesses with the tools they need to successfully communicate with their clients, in either B2B or B2C relationships. Our communication solutions are designed to be simple for you to use and incorporate into your business. This means you can focus on your business activities while we handle all of the technical stuff in the background. If you’re serious about taking your company’s communication to the next level, get in touch with us!
Convenience or Effectiveness?
It is very easy to spot when someone else is using the wrong channel to get their message across, but it’s harder to determine the appropriate channel for our own communications. Often, we choose the channel that is most convenient for us, based on our situation. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it can become a problem when you begin to choose convenience over effectiveness. Just because it’s easier to send an email to that guy across the hall, doesn’t necessarily mean that email is better than an in-person chat. After all, emails get lost, and IM’s can be missed, but a quick call or brief stop by your co-worker’s office can save you precious minutes that you would have spent waiting for a reply. Save yourself the frustration and choose the tool that is most effective at communicating your message.
It Matters How You Say It
Because the tool that you choose can affect your effectiveness as a speaker, it’s important to use the most effective tool possible, based on the type of message. Below, we’ve outlined the benefits and drawbacks of the four most common communication tools in the workplace: phone, email, chat. As a note, we won’t talk about an in-person communication since that is undeniably the best way to communicate any message.
Instant Messaging (IM)
The Benefits & Disadvantages
There a variety of enterprise-level IM tools available in the marketplace today, with more being released every year. Because it provides a fast and relaxed setting, IM is quickly becoming a popular choice for communication in many companies. While IM is a fast and informal way to talk to your co-workers, it can get chaotic and messy when there are multiple people involved (think group texts) or multiple subjects being discussed.
If the efficiency and collaborative opportunities of IM appeal to you, check out our business SMS service. Utilizing SMS in your business allows you to reach coworkers and customers in a comfortable, relaxed medium. For customers, this means gaining valuable feedback data. For employees, this means improving the flow of communication and collaboration in your company.
Bottom Line: You should use IM for “water cooler” talks, collaborative projects, or quick questions – not an all-staff meeting.
The Benefits & Disadvantages
Email is the tool of choice for most companies today because it it is so convenient. For example, sending an email doesn’t require that you make sure Bob is at his desk because Bob can just respond when he gets back. However, despite email’s convenience, it is less effective and efficient than video, phone, or an in-person conversation. After all, when you use email, you lose things like tone of voice facial expression that can be important, especially in emotionally-charged conversations. When writing emails, you usually also have to spend time formatting it (unless you’re one of those annoying people who always send vague, one-line emails…). While you should definitely use email, of course, you should also understand its limitations and advantages so you are a better communicator.
Bottom Line: Use email to communicate emotionally-neutral, summaries, or evergreen information that doesn’t require immediate collaboration or feedback.
The Benefits & Disadvantages
As the most traditional communication tool in this article, phones are a good alternative to in-person conversation or video conferences. Phone calls are good for discussing sensitive or complicated information because they allow for immediate clarification and understanding of any questions. Conference calls expand on this idea and are great for staff meetings and similar situations. Phone calls don’t require prep time, like video conferencing, so they can be a way to quickly get or send information. Because it’s more intrusive than IM, a phone call is generally not the go-to communicative tool for younger workers. There are many benefits to incorporating a phone system into your company, but generational preferences may impede it’s unanimous adoption within your company. In any case, phones are a trusted and reliable method of communication that many companies still rely on in their daily operations.
At FATPBX, we offer VoIP phone systems that are used in enterprise settings to improve communication among employees and with customers. It’s simple: we take care of the maintenance and support while you take of driving your business to success. Our VoIP phone systems allow you the mobility and flexibility you need while dealing with business needs on a daily basis.
Bottom Line: Use the phone as an alternative to video conferencing or in-person conversations when you need to communicate sensitive and complex information to a few individuals quickly.
The Benefits & Disadvantages
Video conferences are the best alternative to an in-person conversation because they still allow for nonverbal communication, like facial gestures. Video conferencing does require the right technology and some preparation time, but it can be very effective for large-scale collaborative efforts. At FATPBX, we offer a video conferencing system that can be set up in only three steps. If video conferencing will help you achieve greater business success, check out our video conferencing solutions and start enhancing your communications!
Bottom Line: Use video conferencing to replicate in-person meetings and enhance large-scale collaboration efforts by allowing for both verbal and nonverbal communication.
Two PBX Systems – Traditional & Hosted
The two types of phone systems available to you are the premise-based (onsite) system and the hosted (offsite) system. The conventional phone system is the premises-based PBX in which a switching system handles incoming and outgoing calls for your company. This setup requires a company to purchase equipment like servers and phones but allows for more control over equipment transfers and upgrades or additions.
A hosted PBX (offsite) is quickly becoming the more common option among modern businesses who recognize the advantages of this system over the traditional PBX system. Hosted PBX systems manage and route calls over an internet protocol (VoIP) rather than conventional phone lines. Adopting a hosted PBX means that companies do not have to buy servers or other hardware, but can set up their system using only “softphone” software on a computer and a microphone. While many vendors will allow companies to manage their system in a limited sense, the vendor will be responsible for updates and maintenance, not the company.
Understanding the two types of systems that are available to your company will help you to make an informed decision regarding a communication solution for your particular situation. While there are many different factors to consider when choosing what type of PBX system to adopt into your company, we have listed the most generally applicable factors to help you make an informed decision.
What Kind Of System Do You Need?
Traditional PBX – requires substantial upfront costs for equipment and regular maintenance
Hosted PBX (VoIP) – requires only a computer and mic, but includes an ongoing monthly fee
IT Training and Maintenance
Traditional PBX – requires dedicated IT personnel to oversee upgrades, additions, and issues
Hosted PBX (VoIP) – vendor handles all maintenance and upgrades, IT oversees implementation
Ownership & Control
Traditional PBX – owning all equipment means that you directly control all upgrades, additions and customization
Hosted PBX (VoIP) – vendor handles all equipment requirements, you have little to limited control over upgrades or maintenance
Remote Workers & Multiple Offices
Traditional PBX – multiple locations requires multiplied investment costs in equipment and IT personnel.
Hosted PBX (VoIP) – multiple locations and remote workers can access same calling features, requiring no equipment costs other than a mobile phone or computer and mic.
Traditional PBX – company expansion requires accounting for equipment and IT personnel costs at any new locations
Hosted PBX (VoIP) – company expansion can occur in any location with a computer, mic, and good network connection
FATPBX – Your VoIP Solutions Provider
We are proud to offer California businesses VoIP solutions that will positively transform their company’s internal and external communication. Contact us today to learn more about how VoIP technology
5 Great Uses for SMS Technology in Your Company
Sales & Product Launches
If you are looking for a way to tell customers about a sale or new product, SMS marketing is a great way to do it. Linking it to your website or app would guide customers right into your “store”, increasing the chances of a purchase. Domino’s Pizza has taken advantage of SMS marketing tools, offering customers the chance to opt into the program.
As a company, you want customers to have an easy access point into your company. When there is less hassle for your customer’s, their chances of purchasing are greater. So when the lunch cravings hit, their customers don’t have to go to a website and fill out long forms, they just text for a pizza!
SMS can also be used to remind participants of a scheduled meeting, rather than a call or email. While calls and emails can be time-consuming, texts can be automated and scheduled for delivery at a certain time.
The input of customers and clients is vital for identifying opportunities for improvement in your business model. Text messages can be great for gathering the feelings and experiences of customers in a fast and non-invasive way!
When your coworker is running late or needs to get in touch with you real quick, it is much quicker to send a text than an email. Neither of you have to worry about missing a word, since there are no spam filters for texts.
Benefits of SMS and Text Marketing
Unlike emails, texts are delivered to your clients or customers with no detours into a spam folder.
High Open Rate
While there are many studies regarding this topic, we can all confess that we open texts quicker and more frequently than emails.
High Conversion Rate
Because of the high open rate and easy accessibility, customers and clients are more likely to respond to a text message than to an email.
Fresno Area Telephone & PBX – Your Business SMS and TextProvider
SMS Technology lets you communicate with customers and coworkers just by sending a text. Don’t worry about data speeds anymore for that email or whether or not they will pick up your call, send them a text! In the fast-paced, dynamic world of business, it is imperative to reach people in the fastest way possible – don’t worry, FatPBX has you covered with our industrial-grade SMS technology. Don’t miss what your customers or coworkers are saying – contact us today to learn how our business SMS system can help you!