Archive for July, 2014

The Exciting Benefits of VOIP Technology

Today many small businesses and organizations are making the switch from their current analog phone service to VoIP business phone systems. There are numerous advantages to using such a service, including standard services such as voicemail (really enhanced via VOIP technology), call waiting, toll free numbers, call forwarding, and remote operation, and there are a host of other features that really makes this technology shine and really increases the productivity of the user.

More than two persons

On a standard phone line, only two persons can speak at a time. With VoIP, you can setup a conference with a whole team communicating in real time.

Abundant, Interesting and Useful Features

Using VoIP also means benefitting from its abundant feature sets which can make your VoIP experience very rich and sophisticated. One can, for example, make calls anywhere in the world to any destination in the world with a VoIP account. Domestic long distance calls are free and International calls are made at greatly reduced rates. Other features include Caller ID, Contact Lists, Voicemail, extra-virtual numbers etc. Here are some enhanced features of this technology:

Find me/follow me call routing

Mobile workers appreciate this feature. Find me/follow me call routing allows you to create a list of numbers where you can be found before the call gets pushed to voicemail. So, for example, you might have your office phone ring twice, but on the third ring, your cell phone starts to ring, and then on the fifth, your home phone. If the list is exhausted, the caller gets sent to voicemail.

Voicemail to email carbon and transcription

Voicemail to email carbon means that an email is sent to you with a wav file attachment containing the voicemail message. Voicemail to email transcription transcribes your voicemail messages to text and sends them to your email address. Read them in your email at your leisure. This also allows you to file, organize, delete, and search all your voicemails in a way that would otherwise be impossible.

Music and/or video on hold

If your company often has to put callers on hold, this feature is a necessity. You can customize your music or on-hold message.

Call screening

Call screening is a handy feature of this technology. It allows you to look at a number on the caller ID and choose how to treat it. For example, if your spouse is calling, you can choose to pick it up whereas if it’s an annoying sales person you wish to avoid you can disregard the call.

Auto attendant

An auto attendant is one of the hidden gems of premium VoIP services. This feature allows callers to interact with a menu to choose an appropriate extension or phone, even after-hours. It’s like having an electronic receptionist!

Do not disturb
This feature does exactly what its name implies: leaves you undisturbed. You can turn it on to temporarily stop incoming calls to your phone. This becomes especially useful during conferences, lunches, and meetings. Best of all, you can program it so that it does not just ignore callers, but directs them toward voicemail or another destination of your choice.

All of these services, and more, are available with the VOIP technology phone service offered by Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch. We even include live answer before transfer, call logs if you want them and more! Contact us at 941-373-1400 to learn more about how this exciting technology can enhance your business and operations.

Conference Rooms Fully Equipped for Success

The fastest growing trend in workplaces today is the rush to go mobile. Even the Federal Government is incentivizing its workforce to work in places other than a traditional bricks and mortar office. But even though more and more workers are doing their job in places other than a traditional office the necessity to get together and share information or collaborate on a project will not diminish. While the need for office space may go away the need for a productive place to gather together will not.

So does that mean that a table in the corner of a local Starbucks™ is sufficient? In a word, no.

In order for a conference room to be fully equipped for success, and by extension for your meeting to be a success, it must provide the following (in addition to plenty of comfortable seating of course):

Wireless Internet access. In today’s workplace environment it’s an essential. As one recent meeting attendee put it, “…it’s as necessary as air”.

LCD Screens or projectors. What good are ideas if no one can see them? Whiteboards are OK but very limited. Computer based idea sharing is the norm and the ability for everyone to clearly see what is on the presenter’s computer is key.

Audio and/or videoconferencing. You need to have a way to incorporate far-flung associates into the meeting. Either of these services allows you to easily accomplish that.

Lobby greeter. If you meeting at a location that is not part of your normal office inventory, (i.e., a rented conference room space) then it’s very important to have someone to greet all attendees, to provide directions to the conference room(s) and rest rooms, provide advice and assistance on amenities and anything else that might come up. Besides, it’s professional and it’s expected.

Full business services. We’re talking print, copy, fax. Available and easy to use and ideally serviced by the lobby greeter. I don’t think these are services Baristas are trained to provide.

Catering service. Even Napoleon was aware of the necessity of feeding the troops. So the well-equipped conference room either has a kitchen associated with it or has a handy catering service menu or two. Give your order to the lobby greeter and let him or her take it from there. I’m sure they even know where the nearest Starbucks™ is.

Extras. Maybe not absolutely necessary, but these sure make the overall meeting experience that much better and provide extra peace of mind and allow everyone to focus on the task at hand:
• Break out areas for quick, private conversation.
• Nearby restaurants. Not everyone likes the lingering odor of lunch in the room they are meeting in.
• Plenty of parking, ideally free. And in case the meeting goes long, well-lit.
• Easy access. It’s not productive to have someone arrive late because they were lost.
• After hours capability.
• Easy scheduling, preferably online, 24/7.

Fortunately for you all of this, and more, is available in any one of the three conference rooms located at Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch. The next time you need to meet in Sarasota, Bradenton or Lakewood Ranch, meet at Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch.