The Rising Adoption Of Cloud-Based Business Phones

The next evolution in business phone systems is “the Cloud”.  The trend is now well under way and as a result, businesses are becoming comfortable with the idea of leveraging hosted services in an increasing number of ways. Varying from web sites, applications, and data storage; but what about business phone systems?

In Toronto, as well as the rest of Ontario, internet speed and reliability have finally caught up and reached a point where hosted phone systems can be trusted to run a business, call center or to connect a team of mobile workers.  But how do you know when it’s time to consider making the move from aging technology to Cloud communications? The purpose of this article is to address three of the big factors in making that decision.

3 Reasons To Consider Cloud Business Phones

1. Your Business Is Growing And Your Technology Needs To Keep Up

You may have new staff members joining the team, and more phones are required, or locations are being added, offices are moving, and staff are working away from the office. This is the ideal time to review your businesses technology and determine if it’s up to the task. Hosted business phone systems make it quicker and easier than it has ever been before to add and remove user extensions as changes happen. When multiple office locations are involved, the traditional phone systems in the marketplace are very challenging and often costly to integrate between multiple locations. Cloud based phone systems in contrast, allow for plug and play. This allow for phones to be moved from one location to the new or added to remote sites across wide geographic locations, often without any need for investment in IT infrastructure.

2. Your Equipment Is Reaching Obsolescence, Failing, Or On The Verge Of Breaking Down Completely

Does your business phone system need a hardware or software upgrade? Has the maintenance agreement expired, or the manufacturer declared the product’s end-of-life and ceased to provide support?  Have you reached the limit for maximum phones or phone lines?  If you answered “yes” to any of these, investing in a cloud business phone solution may provide better value than sinking even more money into out-dated legacy technology. If you look at your business goals and future growth, consider the flexibility that hosted phone platforms provide, and see if it makes sense for your situation.

3. You Need Feature Enhancements To Improve Productivity

Today’s hosted phone solutions have been pushing the bar forward on features and functionality. Far beyond what premise-based systems could ever offer, and at a far lesser cost. Unless you have recently upgraded platforms, the chances are good, that features are limited.  Typically this means only basic telephony capabilities are included, a dependence on traditional carriers, limitations on the number of simultaneous call’s in and out, no disaster recovery and minimal potential for integration with other systems such as desktop computers, conferencing, instant messaging and CRM’s (Client Record Management).  In other words, no further progress or improvements in productivity are possible, it’s only with the next evolution in business phone solutions that you can help overcome these sticking points.

Ultimately, the biggest benefit of upgrading to Cloud communications comes from freeing up IT and administrative staff’s energy to focus on other activities. Even companies that are heavily involved in technology, often don’t necessarily have the specialized skill-set to plan, deploy and maintain intricate PBX solutions.  Instead, you can free up valuable time and resources to focus on the primary aspects of your business.

Author Bio

Kerry Forbes is a technician and phone system specialist with YOVU Cloud Office Phone, based in London Ontario.  Working with business phone solutions since 2011, he specializes in planning, programming, installation, and management of hosted business phone systems. For more information on how upgrading to YOVU can help your business, please visit www.YOVU.ca.

YOVU in the News!

YOVU was recently featured in the London Free Press!

Check it out the full article here: http://www.lfpress.com/2017/08/14/london-firm-brings-personal-touch-to-cloud-phone-service

A small London telecom company is taking on the big guys by offering the latest telephone technology with a personal touch.

YOur Voice Unified (YOVU) is a company that offers internet-based telephone systems for businesses. But unlike VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems, YOVU is delivered through the internet cloud, eliminating the need for an on-site server to support the system.

Company founder Aaron Atkinson said all you need is a handset and a good online connection.

In a market where VOIP, cellphones and old-fashioned land lines exist, Atkinson said cloud-based system offers simplicity.

“It’s user-friendly. They don’t have to worry about the servers, the hardware, the upkeep. Everything is done behind the scenes,”

Customers pay a monthly subscription fee based on the number of users. Atkinson said big companies are getting into cloud-based VOIP systems as well, but YOVU offers more personalized service.

“It’s David versus Goliath. The big difference is that we are like a family-run establishment. When you call here, you get a live person,” he said.

An online app lets customers forward calls to a different phone, change voicemails and change or add calling features.

Clients are sent handsets ranging from a basic desk phone to portable units depending on their needs.

“It’s plug and play. We ship you a phone and you plug into your computer or any internet jack,” said Jessica Murray, the firm’s business operations manager.

Atkinson said security is an issue for clients unfamiliar with cloud-based technology but he said YOVU is protected by firewalls.

The company is located on Consortium Court in south London and has 10 employees. It is expanding from its base in Southwestern Ontario.

Atkinson said the YOVU system does require good internet access and works with other companies such as London-based Start Communications to upgrade service.

Atkinson is a London native and Fanshawe College graduate.

He worked for a paging business and large telecom. In 2010, he founded LCA system, a VOIP-based system which continues to operate along with the new YOVU system.

Atkinson said business people try to rely on a cellphone but they do not offer the same sound quality, reliability and comfort.

“I like the quality of a desk phone. I feel weird talking for hours with a cellphone stuck to my ear,” he said.

hdaniszewski@postmedia.com

What to Look for in an Office Phone System

Looking for an office phone system? Don’t stop at ordinary; find the fantastic features that are sure to help push your business ahead.

There is one truth to the business world that simply cannot be contested: no matter what kind of business you are running, the key to its success lies in the strength of its communication. Never before has this been so important; technological innovations have created a global economy, which means your business needs to have the communications technology set up that will allow it to compete in a global market. This includes a communication system that connects your teams from any location, easy to use and won’t drain your pocket book.

Of course, when it comes to long distance and international business calls, the quality of your business can only be as good as the quality of your phone—and the quality of your connection. In the past, international communications meant hefty phone bills, but as the need for international calling grew, the cost from traditional carriers gew as well. Fortunately, that isn’t the case anymore with VoIP phone systems.

 

Introducing VoIP on the Cloud

Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows you to make high-quality long-distance and international phone calls at reduced rates, without having to go through traditional phone providers. Reduced rates make a big difference for businesses who otherwise have to budget (sometimes exorbitant amounts) to cover their monthly international phone bills—and these are cost savings that can be reinvested back into the business while still enabling access to fantastic features that are unavailable to traditional phones.

 

Some of the favorite features our customer enjoy are as follows:

 

  • A web portal to manage your business on the fly
  • Voicemail Transcription- turn your voicemails into text!
  • Extensions that can be answered anywhere via a VoIP phone, a cell phone, or even a  phone built in 1913 (yes we have one of these in our office connected to the YOVU Cloud, extension 1913)
  • Multi level automated menu
  • Fax and virtual fax (say goodbye to fax machines)
  • IOS/Android Application
  • Standard features, like caller ID, call waiting, call transfer, and music on hold
  • Call recordings, call monitoring, and eavesdropping, which allows you to silently monitor and enter a call (great for call centre management)
  • Call queuing, Dashboards and Advanced Reports.
  • Meeting conferencing, which allows conference calls to be set up and optionally secured with a PIN number
  • Call detail statistics, which allow you to review how many calls your team has made, when the phone calls took, place, the length of the calls, etc., along with the ability to export the data to a CSV file to keep track of the information
  • Salesforce.com Integration

 

Don’t upgrade your phone system to a traditional one – upgrade to a Cloud based phone system that can easily and affordably offer you all the features you are going to need to keep your business running smoothly and efficiently. YOVU Cloud Office Phone offers all of that and more; high call quality, great pricing, and a variety of options to choose from when it comes to selecting the right style of VoIP phone system for you and your business.

 

BlueC – Certified Integration Partner

YOVU Cloud Office Phone announced today that BlueC has become a certified integration partner. BlueC represents YOVU’s drive towards ensuring our insurance agencies and brokerages have the best VoIP integration tools to drive efficiencies in their business processes.

Integrated with YOVU’s Flex API, BlueC’s blueButler application launches at the start of every phone call to provide real-time workflow tags, guides, checklists, audio signature scripts and upsell/cross-sell reminders. Additionally, client call histories are made available to ensure agency and brokerage staff deliver a superior customer experience when servicing clients live on the phone.

blueButler complements YOVU customers by synchronizing the YOVU call recording, and embeds client phone calls as an activity in leading insurance agency and brokerage management systems such as Applied Systems. The integration provides agency and brokerage staff instant access to critical information to complete business tasks, train staff, and mitigate against and manage E&O.

“In today’s hyper competitive environment, ensuring your agency and broker management system has the latest in communication integration is important to remain competitive, and doing more with less. YOVU and BlueC have a seamless integration allowing your team to focus on your core business.” said Aaron Atkinson, President of YOVU Cloud Office Phone.  

About YOVU Cloud Office Phone

YOVU is a division of LCA Systems Inc. and provides cloud based phone systems for businesses. Our focus is on delivering user friendly voice communication’s backed by excellent customer service and reliability. Our platform flexibility allows for integrations such as BlueC802, to ensure our customers have the best tools to manage their business. For more information please visit www.yovu.ca

About blueC 802 Inc.

blueC specializes in enterprise Call Content and Recorded Call Management and is a leading solution provider in the Insurance Carrier/Broker/Agency market. blueC’s award winning flagship product blueButler enables Brokers and Agencies to optimize call recorded business processes while identifying new revenue opportunities, mitigating risk and managing a highly qualified and productive workforce. For information on blueButler for Applied Epic, please visit http://www.bluec802.com.

Natural Evolution: How Business Phone Technology Has Changed Over the Years

Technology is changing quickly—so quickly in fact, that if you don’t make an effort to keep up, you can easily get left behind. Don’t lose business by letting your technology get too outdated; stay up-to-date on the latest trends in business communication technology so you can stay relevant in today’s market. 

Technology has come a long way when it comes to business communications—and it’s a good thing. Could you imagine having to wait on an important business decision via a carrier pigeon? What about trying to get in on that conference call with Morse Code (did he say dash, dash, dash, dash, dot or dot, dash, dash, dash, dash?).

Of course, applying old-fashioned communication technologies to modern business practices wouldn’t be very efficient. Technological advancements aren’t merely designed to coincide with developments in the business world; advancements in technology have also shaped the modern business world. Think about how much the Internet has changed commerce: we now have a global market to compete with and participate in—and much of that market success greatly depends on the immediacy of communication within it.

In other words, if your business is going to make it, you’re going to need to invest in the latest communications technology. We’ve come a long ways since carrier pigeons, but how far has business phone technology come over the years?

The concept of the phone began to change on March 10th, 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell used a liquid transmitter and an electromagnetic receiver to transmit the first sentence: “Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!” The telephone continued to advance, from the 1890s candlestick phone to the rotary phone, to the first U.S. coast-to-coast long-distance telephone call in 1915 to 1960s touch-tone signalling.

Analog signals switched to digital, telecommunication networks were established, and from there, developments in communications technology began to develop alongside business technology. The answering machine in 1898, the fax machine in 1843, three-way and conference calling in the 1990s, all began to shift the way businesses could communicate.

Mobile communications would come next. In 1989, after the invention of the World Wide Web came email in the 1970s, then the cell phone in 1973. Once the first commercial mobile phone service began in 1983 in the US, which would eventually all come together to form the smartphone (which surprisingly dates all the way back to the BellSouth Simon Personal Communicator of 1994).

Although every form of communication imaginable can fit comfortably in your hand today, the development of communications technology isn’t slowing down!

The 21st-century revolution in technology involves combining telecommunications and the internet to create world-wide instant communications that extend well beyond chat and social media. Now, video calls and long-distance phone calls can be made without the landline through IP Telephony. Countless platforms are using Voice over Internet Protocol (Voice over IP, VoIP, and IP telephony) to deliver voice communications and multimedia sessions over IP networks.

Why the sudden shift to VoIP?

VoIP is a revolution in telephony. Making Internet phone calls means major cost savings for businesses who deal in international telecommunications and for businesses with expensive analog lines. VoIP is available on desk phones as well as on many smartphones, computers, tablets—you name it: if it can access the Internet, it can manage your business calls. With companies like YOVU, you can access a reliable, cost-effective, user-friendly, full-featured cloud office phone system for your business.

 

Understanding The Cloud and How a Cloud-Based Phone System Saves You Money

The desire to communicate effectively over great distances has always been a part of the human experience. From pigeons and human messengers, to Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 telephone patent, mankind has never stopped innovating communication. Communications have now evolved to the Cloud, which is exciting because it is finally easy to connect from anywhere.

 

What is the Cloud?

The first step in understanding how a Cloud-based phone system works is to understand the “Cloud” itself. There is no one single “Cloud”. The term “Cloud” refers to a network of servers housed in a secure location.

Imagine a typical server room in a large corporation. Access to this room is limited to IT staff and upper management, and the equipment is maintained in a temperature controlled environment that was retrofitted into an existing office space. When the company needs to upgrade, troubleshoot its operating system or have each employee use new software, someone must physically enter the server room to provide the work.

The Cloud takes the server room out of the office and places it in much larger, much more robust and physically secure location, usually called a Data Center. The company can pay for a private Cloud or it can share costs with other companies by renting space on a shared network. All the upgrades, maintenance and high level of security is outsourced to the Cloud’s administrators. These experienced Cloud administrators are more skilled than customers can afford, which offers another considerable benefit of subscribing to Cloud services.

These days, it is nearly impossible not to use the Cloud in some way; Amazon, Gmail, Youtube, and Salesforce.com are some of the pioneers in this field.


What is a Cloud-based phone system?

Cloud-based phone systems use internet language, also referred to as VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) instead of physical telephone lines. The software to run the phone system is housed in a Cloud facility (also known as a Data Center). For example, YOVU Cloud Office Phone runs out of multiple Data Centers.


How can a Cloud-based phone system benefit my company?

One reason why companies are switching to Cloud-based phone systems such as YOVU, is to reduce costs. By eliminating the complexity of onsite servers, telephone lines, support contracts, phone hardware and the human resources required to manage it all, businesses typically find a ROI for making the shift. Cloud-based phone systems are incredibly flexible. Instead of having a physical office phone in each location or an alternate phone number for off hours, extensions can be assigned to cell phones. In addition to all of the standard calling features such as caller ID and call transferring, YOVU Cloud Office Phone also allows call monitoring and a web portal that also allows you to virtually send and receive faxes.  In the portal, you can set up automatic routing to ensure calls are addressed any time, day or night, as well as pull call reports and listen to call recordings (useful for training or problem resolution). Another beneficial component for making the shift, is the built-in disaster recovery and CRM integration.

 

Are you ready to save money and upgrade your office phone system?

YOVU provides a complete Cloud-based phone system for any sized business, so you can reduce costs and give your staff and clients a better communication experience. We have products and packages that are customizable to meet not only the current needs of your business, but future needs too. For more information on how a Cloud-based phone system can benefit your specific needs, please contact us.

 

 

 

Attention Sales Managers: Looking To Blow Your Sales Quotas Out Of The Water?

salesVoIP/Voice over IP, hosted, Cloud, bandwidth, PBX – these terms may sound foreign to a Sales Manager – but what if I said: talk time, call volume, star performers, coaching, reporting, campaigns, customer feedback…

Now I’m speaking your language!

 

 

The majority of existing phone systems are outdated, with limited abilities and tools, preventing you and your team from reaching your goals.

 

There’s a massive shift happening in the telecommunications world, and unless you’re reading a weekly “‘tech talk” blog, you won’t know much about the new technologies and features that are available to you.

 

When a new smartphone is released, the public gets into a frenzy trying to get their hands on the latest and greatest version, regardless of their current phone’s condition. Ironically, the same concept isn’t being applied to the business phone world, which has been slower to move on, despite it being revenue generating! That’s all about to change.

phones

As a Sales Manager, there’s value in knowing who your star performers are and what they’re doing to succeed. Is it the number of calls they make? The length of their “talk time” ? Having this information is crucial for your business. It can help your team grow and improve, and train future hires.

Example:

statistics
These tools will help you grow and nurture your business. Research, research, research! Contact various providers and ask about the features included, mobility with on the go agents, additional charges, contracts etc. Bring it back to your IT team and get their input.

new-vs-old

You’ll be amazed at what you could be missing and how easy it can be to switch. You’ll be left asking why you didn’t do this sooner!

Nina Lavery
YOVU Cloud Office Phone
nina@yovu.ca

R.I.P. 1930-2016 Onsite Phone systems

Onsite Business Telephone Systems

R.I.P. 1930-2016   r-i-pimage

 

Do I want to manage an email server? How about a CRM server? Or any server…

No thank you.

The same principles apply to onsite telephone systems:

 

Top 5 reasons business are tossing out the onsite telephone system and moving over to YOVU.

 

1- They age fast – I have been in telecom for 15 years and have seen 3 generations of onsite phone systems (Nortel Norstar, Nortel BCM1000, Nortel BCM450) that required fix, upgrade and inevitable replacement. The reason for this  is that technology changes so fast that  the servers  powering the “phone system” cannot handle the advancing  features and functionality.

2- Breakage – “But our system is 15 years and we have never had a problem” … If this is your business you are on borrowed time. All electronics have a lifespan it is just a matter of time before you’re frantically calling around looking for a replacement while your customers call in and get a busy signal.

3- Scalability  – Onsite phone systems are sized at time of sale, showing you 10 year return on upfront investment  for example. How great that was, until your business changed and decided to grow. Expansion  can stem  from organic growth, or perhaps you buy a new business , add more locations etc. Nobody told you about this up front but … onsite phone systems have limited scalability.

4- Complexity – If the words , VPN, Private tunnel, vmware, hyperV, Session Border Controller, SIP trunks, one-way audio, resources, servers, intimidate you, then  it’s a good thing you’re reading into this. If it takes someone an hour on a whiteboard to explain the setup in everyday language you’ll have found yourself in a  dark place of onsite phone system complexity!

5- User & Admin friendliness –Ease of use was forgotten with Onsite Phone systems. Over the years, feature upon feature was added but nobody ever stepped back to say “hey this is looking a little crazy to manage”… “is all this going to fit?” .

 

R.I.P. Onsite Business Telephone systems!!

1930-2016 “you had a good run”

 

 

 

 

 

How to pick a wireless phone for your business

Its been too long since I posted here, YOVU Cloud Office Phone continues to do excellent in the market which is amazing….. the downfall it keeps us really busy making sure our deployments go smooth.

In this post i wanted to share some ideas around choosing wireless phones.

There are really 3 big technologies for wireless:

  1. DECT : the Digital signalling standard in most of the world. Benefit: Works out of the box simplicity, Plug and Play with Base Station and phone very reliable solution, can record calls, transfer have all YOVU functionality for inbound and outbound.  Disadvantage: Limited Range and extending the range requires repeaters($$), cabling($$).
  2. WIFI: Everyone knows what WIFI is, there are wifi cordless phones and phone Apps that run on your Smart Phone (iphone, Android and some Blackberry’s) Benefit: Everyone has wifi and a smart phone, the Apps are cheap and sometimes free. The Apps can also leverage your LTE DATA plan on your smartphone which allow you to leave your office, plus all the YOVU features, call recording, transfer, conference, call statistics etc. Disadvantage: Not all wifi is created equal, wifi networks are congested with computers, fridges, thermostats and everything else will soon be connecting. Also if you have a large business you will need to roam between wifi access points, if not setup properly calls can drop when jumping between access points. And let’s not forget about the battery on your smartphone… no explanation required.
  3. Cell Phone/Smart phone :  Benefit: Nothing to install, have YOVU Cloud Office extension ring cell phone and desk phone at same time, extremely reliable and works everywhere.  Plus you can still transfer calls back to your desk phone, record calls, just like your on a desk phone. Disadvantage: When making outbound calls you use your cellular provider and bypass YOVU Cloud , meaning no call recording, no call statistics, no office caller ID (it will show your cell number).

 

In a nutshell selecting the right wireless technology depends on the business environment and sometimes its a combination of technologies that win. We will help work with you on the right solution plus we have free trials of all the above technology so you can test it and see for yourself what works best for your situation. Email us at sales@yovu.ca to start your trial.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Moving Offices was so easy

We have been very busy lately our tech support and sales team recently moved offices and by the way it was so easy to move our Yovu Cloud office phone. . No Servers or hardware to move, no phone lines to move and coordinate with B%LL, no strange bix or amphenol wiring to deal with and most of all NO DOWNTIME. Unplug the phone and plug it back in. The Yovu service routed to our cell phones while our phones were unplugged, we never missed a call. Yovu is so amazing! If your interested in learning more we are setting up a demo area at our new location email sales@yovu.ca to schedule an appointment.  We are always happy to come out and visit you too!