Cloud Phone System For Modern Businesses

Equip Your Business for the Second Wave of COVID-19

Equip Your Business for the Second Wave of COVID-19

2020 has been one of the most challenging times for modern businesses. Now, Europe is in the midst of the second wave of COVID-19. England, France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, and Ireland have all entered full lockdown mode. The time to act is now. In this blog, we have outlined some practical ways businesses equip their daily communications in these uncertain times to help you get prepared for the second lockdown.

The past few months have taught us that whether to have an agile communications solution is something that can fundamentally make or break your business. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many businesses, which used to be restricted to traditional landlines, have upgraded to VoIP phone systems to facilitate a teleworking environment. Some might just want to take temporary measures in the first place, but with remote working becoming the new normal, legacy phone systems are nowhere near enough to support the daily communication requirements of modern businesses.

In a BCG survey75% of executives agreed that they regard digital transformation as becoming more urgent in light of the COVID-19 crisis, and 65% said that they anticipate increasing their investments in digital transformation. VoIP is a must-have tool for working from home and also a major step towards digital transformation.


Businesses are rethinking how they stay connected

Remote working solutions are not one-size-fits-all. Every business has its own unique needs. Here are 4 typical ways to connect your remote-based employees and customers.

#1 Let Employees Take Desk Phones Home

Taking desk phones home is a straightforward way to retain inter-office communication functionality. Because the VoIP phone system transmits voice data over the internet, rather than traditional landlines, it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Under this circumstance, businesses will require a VPN connection within their corporate network and have desk phones re-configured so that employees can plug and play their desk phones at home directly. VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows your staff to securely connect to your office through an encrypted tunnel from their desk phones.

Alternatively, instead of establishing a VPN connection, you can also configure NAT settings and port forwarding to register a desk phone as a remote extension to the PBX. NAT (Network Access Translation) is a technology used in routers that transform the private IP address to the public IP address, and vice versa, helping to connect the private and public network together, while port forwarding (also known as port mapping) allows your endpoints to connect to a private network. However, this way may raise more security risks compared to VPN.

#2 Adopt a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Policy

According to PC Matic’s research on COVID-19 Work from Home Trend, 61% of remote employees were using personal devices as their primary method to access company networks. Without bringing desk phones home, you can also take your own mobile phones and desktops to make and receive business calls with your office number by installing a softphone app. Besides that, all the features that you have on desk phones to manage calls effectively, such as transfer, hold, mute, and record, are now accessible in the form of an app. Some softphones also work more like unified communications platforms and come with collaboration features to improve productivity, making them more powerful than desk phones.

Leading VoIP phone system providers often natively provide softphones to ensure the best compatibility, extensive functionality, and a seamless user experience, while there are also third-party softphones available on the market. As with desk phones, it is also a necessity to consider how to connect to the corporate network when equipping your staff with softphones.

Linkus UC Softphone & Linkus Cloud Service

Linkus is a unified communications app for Windows desktops, Mac desktops, iPhones, and Android phones. Designed for Yeastar PBX System, it transforms user devices into fully-featured office extensions, provides a convenient call experience, and offers powerful UC features like presence, instant messaging, CRM integration, etc.

Download Free Linkus UC Softphone

Better yet, for Yeastar on-premises PBX users, Linkus Cloud Service, an application-level tunneling service, eliminates the troublesome of port forwarding & insecure network settings when using Linkus outside of the company network and makes Linkus configuration a breeze.

#3 Businesses are Opting for Cloud Phone Systems

The cloud-based phone system has become one of the vital lifelines of business continuity. Cloud adoption was highlighted in a new survey by Centrify which revealed that 48% of enterprises accelerated cloud migration plans to support remote working.

While an on-premises phone system requires VPN or NAT configurations to let remote desk phones and softphones access the corporate network, cloud-based service works regardless of what network you are on. Especially helpful for times of emergency like the past months, many businesses opt for cloud phone systems because they can be up and running quickly.

Other benefits of cloud phone systems include:

  • Reduced upfront investments and maintenance costs
  • Little technical expertise and administrative requirements
  • Quick installation and flexibility to adapt to changing needs instantly, and more
Yeastar Cloud PBX Free Trial

Either cloud-based or on-premises, a VoIP phone system is capable of supporting the remote workforce, whereas each may be a better option for specific communications requirements. Check the blog below to see what you need to factor in when it comes to the choice.

Related: On-premises or Cloud PBX? 5 Questions to Determine the Best Fit

#4 Collaborate Virtually and Stay Engaged

The adoption of collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, has surged in response to the pandemic. In late October, Microsoft just announced that Teams had reached 115 million daily active users.

However, these collaboration tools all have an Achilles’ heel when it comes to telephony. Though they may offer telephony capabilities, they are not suitable for all organizations and fall short in different aspects. For example, Microsoft’s Calling Plans are provided to limited countries, with limited basic call features, and existing phone lines cannot be supported. Fortunately, these gaps can benefit from further VoIP integration.

Yeastar for Microsoft Teams Integration

Using direct routing technology, Yeastar PBX System can fully integrate with Microsoft Teams to enable Teams users to make and receive internal and external calls directly on the Teams App and enjoy a variety of advanced calling features. You can also bring your existing phone number and any SIP endpoints to MS Teams to keep business running uninterruptedly.


9 ways to relieve home office communications pains

1) Set up IVR as your always-on 24/7 receptionist.

If there are any changes in your customer services during the pandemic, simply record and upload an announcement to inform your callers in time. IVR keeps business professionalism and customer satisfaction unaffected.

2) Initiate an ad hoc conference to bring everyone together.

Some softphones, such as Linkus, allow you to host ad hoc conference calls right on your mobile phone and invite others to join. Linkus will make calls to prompt them immediately, and they can simply pick up the call to participate.

Related: 5 Tips to Benefit Your Conference call with Linkus

3) Send voice messages to your mailbox

On the new P-Series PBX System, you can even customize voicemail greetings under different presence status, customize how to be notified when receiving a voicemail, and flexibly choose how to handle it upon the notification.

4) View the full corporate directory and colleagues’ availability.

Besides signaling your presence, on the new P-Series PBX System, you can take advantage of even richer presence status, use temporary settings to cope with more scenarios, and switch agent status automatically.

5) Use call recording to keep track of remote employee performance.

Call recording is critical for quality assurance when managing a dispersed workforce. Supervisors often set it up to evaluate employee performance, improve customer experience, dispute resolution, and identify training needs.

Related: How to Use Call Recording to Monitor Calls for Quality Control

6) Start a chat or group with colleagues instantly.

Instant messaging helps improve team collaboration when working from home. When it is not convenient for you to make calls, it offers another option to supplement and ensure unbroken communications and you can even share files during the conversation.

7) Increase efficiency and productivity with out-of-box CRM integrations.

VoIP and CRM integration enables incoming calls to be automatically matched to your CRM records, proving contexts, and customer profiles for you to better allocate customer needs and offer personalized services.

Related: Yeastar and Zoho Integration

8) Monitor & Reports is especially important for managing remote call centers.

Call centers also need to support agents working from any location. Besides expanding capacity to handle increased demands, full supervision, and reporting capabilities are of the most significant as well. Yeastar provides an economical call center solution with SLA for quality assurance, a wallboard for real-time monitoring, and detailed statistical reports for multi-dimension performance measurement.

9) Meet face-to-face with video conferencing.

The past months also witnesses a great video conferencing boom. Zoom had over 300 million meeting participants per day in 2020. (Source) Some VoIP phone systems also have built-in web conferencing solutions to deliver a more seamless and user-friendly communications experience. Yeastar P-Series PBX System will also introduce web conferencing in around 2 months. Stay tuned!


Wrap up

The shift to remote working is likely to become more permanent. COVID-19 has proved a catalyst to embrace a new approach to work and tomorrow is going to be very different. It is time to reimagine and future-proof your digital workplace now.

If you need further help or more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us to explore more resources on unifying the workforce and facilitating a digital workplace.

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User Login

Instantaneously receive user login credentials via email once the extension has been deployed by the adminstrator.

Log in conveniently via any web browser for access to the user portal.

Integrations

Integrate various CRM software for better customer service and satisfaction.

Enable transcription of audio messages into text with integration of third-party transcription service.

Enable API for integration with various third-party integrations for advanced performance such as call center and hotel reception services.

System

Provision email SMTP and template settings for event notifications to be sent out.

Manage storage allocation and duration of various types of data being stored on the PBX.

Determine the types of event notifications to be sent out, and the parties receiving them.

IVR

Add various audio voice prompts to be played according to different call scenarios.

Add voice prompts on multiple levels for more effecient and precise inbound call routing.

Voicemail

Customize default voicemail settings for each user extension.

Add various voicemail messages for allocation to different call scenarios and users.

Provision specific rules to how voicemail messages are played over the PBX system for better caller experience.

Reports and CDR

All call log activities are stored, with the option of having audio conversations recorded by default or for specific extensions.

Use intuitive visual call reports, to check various call statistics over extensions, trunks, queues, ring groups, and more.

Call reports can be viewed and downloaded directly from the PBX, or scheduled to be sent via email to respective parties.

Security

Restrict a general group or specific IP addresses to prevent unauthorized access to your PBX.

Limit the number of otbound calls users are allowed to make within a time period to protect against toll fraud.

Restrict certain country codes for outbound calls either company-wide or on certain extensions.

User Login

Determine extension ranges for different functions.

Define use of different voice prompts depending on call scenarios or intended function.

Provision basic and advanced SIP settings to be used on the PBX.

Recordings

Record all calls made on specified trunks, including inbound and outbound calls.

Recordings

Record all calls made on specified extensions, conferences, or call queues.

Paging and Intercom

Create different types of paging and intercom broadcast groups for selected extensions.

Set a time schedule to automatically start your broadcast.

Maintenance

Check for and download firmware upgrades to ensure that your PBX is always up-to-date.

Perform back-ups to prevent data and settings from getting lost.

Perform troubleshooting on your own to debug.

Conference

Pre-set conference settings and dial-in passwords for security, and allow internal users to send conference invites to external parties.

Speed Dial

Create multiple speed dial numbers to respective external numbers frequently used for outgoing calls.

Speed dial is activated when the set prefix (default or customized) is dialed.

Ring Group

Create multiple ring groups and determine custom ring strategies and failover settings for each.

Call Queue

Create different call queues with specific ring strategies and failover settings.

Static agents permanently answer calls in queue, while dynamic agents can log in and out. Allocate different extensions to each group.

Determine what actions are to be allowed for Mangers or Agents to manage on the Queue Panel.

Call Control

Have calls received on specific SIP trunks routed to designated extensions or destinations within the PBX.

Set-up dial patterns so that outbound calls are routed to their intended destinations.

Determine how calls are routed and received at different times of a day.

Contacts

Store, retrieve, and share company contact details easily on your PBX.

Organize company contacts into dedicated phonebooks and determine accessibility rights to extension groups for each.

Bulk import a list of contacts instead of having to key details in individually.

Role and Client Permission

Pre-defined user roles within the PBX are conveniently available for allocation, or create your own set of permissions.

Restrict users from viewing specific extensions, departments, or extension groups with Extension Visibility.

Allow or resrict specific users from managing or viewing certain company contacts

Auto Provision

Pre-defined setting parameters specific to respective IP phone models are conveniently available for easy set-up.

IP Phones can be quickly provisioned to your Yeastar PBX with just the pre-defined template and device MAC address.

Trunks

Register multiple SIP trunks on a single PBX as needed.

Different types of trunks can be created, Caller ID can be customized.

Extensions

View, deploy, add, and remove user extensions within your PBX system.

Configure default call and user settings for individual extensions.

Customize allocation of user extensions to specific ring groups.

Portal Login Page

Receive your administrator log-in credentials and set-up guide via email.

Log-in on any web-browser to get started with PBX set-up.

Installation Wizard will guide you through basic configurations.

User Login

Access all company contacts made available to you by the administrator.

Create your own personal contacts list for easy reference and dialing.

Bulk import contact details for convenient data entry.

User Login

Access and manage user settings for softphone application and voicemail.

Manage call routing and presence status for your individual extension.

Retrieve or download your personal call logs and recordings.

User Login

Receive your log-in credentials and set-up guide via email, sent by your admin.

Log-in on any web-browser to get started with PBX set-up.

Configure contacts and personal settings from the web portal.

Auto Provision

Add, remove, or modify IP phone settings from your web interface.

Upgrade IP phone firmware conveniently from your PBX.

Upload various default setting parameters specific to respective IP phone models for greater convenience during set-up.

Contacts

Store, retrieve, and share company contact details easily on your PBX.

Have detailed contact information for your vendors and clients conveniently stored .

Bulk add a list of contacts instead of having to key details in individually.

PBX Monitor

Monitor the status extensions, whether they aren idle, in use, or unavailable.

Know whether your SIP Trunk running properly, or experiencing problems.

Monitor the number of call conferences currently running on your PBX, and their individual durations.

Maintenance

Check for and download firmware upgrades to ensure that your PBX is always up-to-date.

Perform back-ups to prevent data and settings from getting lost.

Perform troubleshooting on your own to debug.

Call Detailed Report

All call log activities are stored, with the option of having audio conversations recorded by default or for specific extensions.

Filter by date, time, or extension number to retrieve specific call logs or recordings

Playback call recordings directly from the PBX or download to store externally.

Event Center

Determine what events and logs are to be recorded and/or have notifications sent.

Specify particular notifications to be sent to respective authorized personnel.

User Permission

Set up vaious groups of users for allocation to certain sets of access rules.

Determine what features a certain group of extensions can or cannot access.

Determine if users can access, play-back, or download call logs and recordings from the pbx.

Security

Restrict a general group or specific IP addresses to prevent unauthorized access to your PBX.

Determine specific the range of SIP ports for connection between your PBX and endpoints.

Restrict country codes for outbound calls either company-wide or on certain extensions.

Voice Prompt

Upload and designate customised audio recordings at multiple levels of a call journey.

Upload recorded music to fill the silence that would be heard by callers on hold.

Upload customised voice prompts to create a professional call experience.

General

Customize general call preferences either company-wide or for individual extensions.

Set-up feature dial codes for convenient user navigation to specific call features.

Determine how voicemails are retrieved, and also upload custom voicemail recordings.

Call Features

Add multiple automated responses to be played at different phases of a call journey.

Designate specific extensions to ring concurrently based on an external caller's dial pattern.

Customize messages and waiting times to keep external callers engaged when put on hold.

Call Control

Have calls received on specific SIP trunks routed to designated extensions within the PBX.

Set-up dial patterns so that outbound calls are routed to their intended destinations.

Determine how calls are routed and received at different times of a day.

Trunks

Register multiple SIP trunks on a single PBX as needed.

Provision SIP trunk settings and dedicate them to particular extensions.

Bulk add DDIs on each SIP trunk, for allocation to an individual or groups of extensions.

Extensions

View, deploy, add, and remove user extensions within your PBX system.

Allocate and deploy specific extension numbers to respective users via email.

Set-up default ring and presence status settings for individual users.

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