Blog

Mark Greim

Recent Posts

Hosted VoIP, Fully Integrated

Posted by Mark Greim on Apr 14, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Hosted VoIP continues to evolve and has proven to be the best way to integrate business communications. Its flexibility, scalability and mobility keep the business connected…and saves businesses money over traditional phone service.  Whether your business is large or small, a cloud-based phone service possesses the adaptability and flexibility to match your current communication requirements and advance them forward.

Read More

Tags: VoIP Trends in Business, Business VoIP

Business Continuity with Hosted VoIP as a Strategy

Posted by Mark Greim on Mar 16, 2020 9:31:31 AM

For years, we’ve published articles on the virtues of a Hosted VoIP solution for your business relating to empowering a remote or multiple location organization. Now, with the coronavirus concerns and prevention efforts impacting businesses in an unprecedented fashion, the benefits of a Hosted VoIP phone system are real and significant.

Read More

Tags: virtual workforce

Should You Take Your Business Phone System When Relocating Offices?

Posted by Mark Greim on Jan 16, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Moving day, and there’s so much to consider.  If you have a Hosted VoIP phone system, the phone system decision is already made, as you simply pack up your phones and move them with you.  If you don’t have Hosted VoIP, now may be the perfect opportunity to make a change.

Read More

Tags: Moving Phone Service

Hosted VoIP is the Best Phone Service for Manufacturing Companies

Posted by Mark Greim on Oct 8, 2019 9:39:29 AM

The operational benefits of a Hosted VoIP phone service aid and advance any organization.  However, our economic foundation was built on manufacturing organizations, and these businesses can advance with the right communication platform.

Read More

Tags: Phone Service for Manufacterers

Teamwork Requires Communication: Phone Solutions for Mobile Workforces

Posted by Mark Greim on Sep 16, 2019 10:38:00 AM

To compete in the 21st century marketplace, businesses need to align their workforce with their customer's behavior and preferences.  There are many tools available to support this practice, with a Hosted VoIP platform being a key for internal and external communication strategies.

Read More

Tags: Phone Service for Multiple Locations, virtual workforce, VoIP Mobility

Five Indicators You Are Paying Too Much for Business Phone Service

Posted by Mark Greim on Aug 26, 2019 9:20:00 AM

There has been a lot of disruption in the telecommunications market over the past decade. With the Hosted VoIP providers not only bursting on the scene, but taking over the business phone service market, the telecom landscape has changed forever.  Competitiveness has never been greater, yet there remains significant inconsistencies in how businesses are charged for phone service.

Read More

Tags: small business phone service, Phone Service Bill

Call Queues vs. Ring Groups – Hosted VoIP Delivers Both Options

Posted by Mark Greim on Aug 12, 2019 3:19:51 PM

You do not need an expensive phone system to enjoy the benefits of call management via a call queue or ring group.  Securing your service with the right Hosted VoIP provider who can effectively consult with you and program your call flow to balance customer needs and employee capacity will deliver the benefits you are looking for with your hosted system.

For high inbound call volume companies, a hot debate is whether to utilize call queues or ring groups.  There are benefits to each, but let’s start with a general description:

Ring Group – Inbound calls are directed to a set of employees and they ring all phones at the same time.  If no one is available to answer, it can be programmed to roll to a back-up group or move into an auto attendant.

Call Queue – Inbound calls are directed into a queue, where the caller is on hold for an available attendant.  Employees need to log in and log out of the queue to accept calls.  Programming and system capability differ widely at this point, but typically there are either opt out processes or time out process that direct callers to an automated attendant.

The beauty of the call queue is the equitable distribution of calls to employees in the queue.  Callers typically will hear hold music and messages while they wait.  Depending upon preferences of the company and their customers, the length of time in queue is a programmable variable.  The challenge with call queues is the management of the employees from a log in/log out perspective.  If someone forgets to log out, calls could be directed to an unattended station.  Again, there are some programming variables to solve for such an issue, but it could lead to some longer hold times for a caller or two until the programming kicks in.

Ring groups are more of a static program with a fixed number of rings between groups and ultimately to an auto attendant as a back-up.  Callers can either hear ringing or hold music while ringing.  The automated attendants serve as back-ups and can provide for routing to people or departments or for message delivery.  The benefit of this approach is that employees in the group are free to move about without worrying about logging in and out of the queue.  Additionally, the fixed amount of time before back up groups or attendants are engaged is seen as a benefit.  The downside is potential inequity of call disbursement between members of the group.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to striking the right balance between customer preference and employee management.  Companies that bring a solid understanding of customer preferences to the table are a step ahead in programming the right solution. 

 

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of Hosted VoIP Phone Service. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and has a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments. 

Read More

Tags: Hosted VoIP, Configuring digital phone service

Small Organizations Need Big Business Phone Service

Posted by Mark Greim on Jul 16, 2019 9:18:00 AM

To compete in today's environment, small businesses need enterprise level features and capabilities found in Hosted VoIP phone service. Settling for low-featured phones or over spending for a complex phone system isn't necessary, and small businesses can rise above their competition with improved communication practices.

Read More

Tags: small business phone service

Consider Separating Your Data and VoIP Networks

Posted by Mark Greim on Jul 15, 2019 9:18:49 AM

With business internet usage continuing to increase, contention for bandwidth between your data and VoIP activity can create problems.  Yes, the convergence buzzword has been replaced with contention!

Why is this happening?  Businesses are evolving faster than the ability for suppliers of bandwidth to keep up with demand.  More are using cloud computing applications, using the internet to move data to a host server rather than to servers on their local area networks.  On-line data backup is another such application.  General use of the internet continues to accelerate, both for personal and business purposes.  With the sky-rocket adoption rate of smart phones, the lines between business and personal have blurred, and office internet usage is following suit.  Social media is not only a personal outlet, but a business tool and resource.  Buying practices have shifted toward internet research and ecommerce, and marketing activity has followed. 

I’m looking at my personal browser.  On a daily basis, my browser auto-opens tabs for three social media sites, four cloud applications, news, and Google.  Each application is actively worked throughout the day.  This is becoming the norm, and it requires a lot of bandwidth to perform efficiently.

What is the impact on VoIP applications?  When a company uses a hosted VoIP service, voice packets travel over the same internet connection as the data packets.  Good VoIP companies will provide a quality of service device or program your router to prioritize voice packets over data to ensure that your calls remain clear and free from interruption.  However, if the internet connection is highly saturated with activity, even the best QoS routines will be compromised.  Phone conversations can experience poor voice quality and phones can lose their registration and go off-line.

What can be done?  Where available, you should look at your internet provider’s capability to add bandwidth to the circuit or change to a provider who has the ability to grow with your needs.  Depending upon your internet usage and needs, you still may have occasional contention between your voice and data traffic.  Again, make sure your VoIP provider has the capabilities to implement QoS on your network.  However, an alternative may be to separate your voice and data network.

With a separate voice and data network, your calls and phones will no longer be impacted by your data usage.  Many VoIP phones have two ports on the back which allow for a computer to share an Ethernet cable to the network.  The phones and computers can still share an Ethernet connection to the servers, but they will simply be directed out disparate internet connections.  This can be accomplished by setting up a vLan on your switch or by simply assigning the phones separate IP addresses and route them out the new internet connection.  Your network manager or your hosted VoIP provider should be able to assist you with this programming. 

Finally, voice calls do not require much bandwidth (80 kb/s non-compressed).   Dependent upon your concurrent call maximum, your alternative connection may not be required to be very large.

Capture some statistics on your network usage.  Compare this with the anecdotal complaints from your employees about internet speeds and VoIP call quality and then investigate your options for more bandwidth and/or disparate connections for voice and data.

 

About the author:  Mark Greim is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at sipVine, a provider of a variety of VoIP solutions and services. Mark has extensive experience working for start-up or entrepreneurial organizations and a passion for affordable, reliable, and purposeful technology solutions in those environments. 

Read More

Tags: VoIP Bandwidth Requirements, Voice Quality

My Phone System is Failing! What do I do?

Posted by Mark Greim on Jun 10, 2019 10:20:00 AM

Every business with an analog phone system faces this question at some point.  The first sign that something is wrong typically is that you are having difficulty securing replacement handsets or other components.  The manufacturer has long since put that system on "end-of-life" and is looking for you to upgrade to their newer model.  You're able to hold on for a while by finding parts on Ebay until your actual service vendor indicates that they will no longer be able to support your system, which really disturbs you because you've been spending a small fortune with them to keep the phone system alive!

Read More

Tags: Hosted VoIP, Phone System Replacement

Get More Information

Recent Posts