Cloud vs. Onsite Voice – Let PhoneAmerica Help You Decide

If you currently have an older phone system and you’re looking to improve your communications technology in 2018, it’s a good idea to call in the experts at PhoneAmerica before making any commitments.

The reason: choosing between today’s premises and cloud platforms is not always straightforward. There are a lot of variables to consider that impact business agility and return on investment.

PhoneAmerica will meet with you to perform a comprehensive evaluation so you can make a more informed decision. In addition to costs, here are just a few of the other things we look at:

  • Whether your voice communication needs are fairly static over time, or need to expand and contract faster to keep pace with changes in seasonal demand.
  • Whether you would benefit more by making capital investments for infrastructure and depreciating the costs over time, or by using services on a pay-as-you-go subscription basis.
  • Whether you rely on customized features, require integration with other applications, or want advanced call center and conferencing capabilities.
  • Whether you really need to exercise in-house control over the technology, and actually have the in-house resources to manage it efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Whether your organization must comply with regulations and industry standards for things like uninterrupted communications, security and voice recording.
  • Whether your business must connect easily and securely with teleworkers, remote offices, supply-chain partners, and contractors.

PhoneAmerica is ready to help you determine which voice platform is right for your business. When you’re ready, we can take care of all the setup details for you.

To determine the right voice platform for your business, schedule your complementary evaluation by contacting PhoneAmerica today: (610) 296-2850 or


10 Ways Business VoIP Offers More for Less

Today’s businesses require more efficient and cost-effective communication solutions to serve customers better and to respond faster to changing markets. Switching from analog landlines to digital VoIP over a broadband Internet connection offers a number of transformative benefits for businesses of any size…

  1. Easy implementation: You do not need a sophisticated infrastructure to implement VoIP. In fact, with a cloud-based system, you are freed from the cost and burden of constant maintenance and upgrades. The host provider does all this for you.
  2. Easy management: Standard features and capabilities are easy to configure by accessing a secure portal with your web browser.
  3. Easy customization: You can opt for specialized features like call routing, video call conferencing, and mobile device forwarding simply by enabling them through your web browser.
  4. Easy scale-up: Smaller businesses can scale up their operations quickly as they grow or as they need to adapt to fluctuations in seasonal demand.
  5. Easy collaboration: Unified communication solutions offer social collaboration, communication, sales and management tools. Colleagues can be in different cities, but can collaborate on one document in real time.
  6. Easy integration: Hosted VoIP systems can be easily integrated with applications like Outlook, Salesforce and more. When integrated with voicemail, messages can be accessed from remote locations – even transcribed to text and forwarded to others via email.
  7. Easy call feature usage: VoIP supports all the call features of traditional phone systems, and then some. Employees can hold and transfer calls, have conference calls, or automate calling menus. They can also send virtual faxes with their VoIP phone, without the need to print and feed it to a separate fax machine.
  8. Easy portability: Traveling employees can use a softphone app on their notebook computers to access office features and functionality.
  9. Easy disaster protection: Instead of investing in spare lines, redundant sub-systems and uninterruptible power sources, you can rely on the host provider for ensuring fail-safe VoIP service – even to the point of rerouting calls via another data center.
  10. Easy payment: You just pay for high-speed Internet and a monthly subscription based on the number of users. You can select from a variety of feature-rich desktop IP phones that may be purchased separately or bundled into the monthly subscription.

PhoneAmerica is ready to help you determine if VoIP is right for your business. When you’re ready, we will take care of all the setup details for you.

Contact us today: (610) 296-2850 or


How the Cloud is Changing Business Communication

With advancements in technology new business solutions like the cloud allow for greater work efficiency, security and cost savings. Businesses that fail to take advantage of cloud communication services risk falling behind while smarter companies are surging ahead.

There are several important ways the cloud is changing the way businesses communicate…

Makes remote work possible – Many businesses today operate from different locations, so the ability to collaborate through audio and video conferencing and real-time chat and call apps is becoming essential for continued success. This is especially true for companies that are decentralizing work by hiring more full-time remote employees. The cloud also gives these companies greater flexibility to hire talent from anywhere, including international locations.

Allows work on multiple devices – Cloud applications can work on any type of device, making information stored in the cloud accessible from mobile devices as well as desktop computers. Depending on the speed of the connection, even mobile users can run data-heavy applications and exchange large files easily. Office phone features, email and other services can sync between devices so employees can do business virtually anywhere with their preferred device.

Gives small businesses a competitive edge – Cloud services level the playing field, allowing smaller businesses to compete with bigger companies. Small businesses can start small, and gradually increase their usage over time, depending on their growth trajectory. Cloud communication services are also self-managed so businesses don’t typically need full-time IT staff to set up and maintain things. This allows them to deliver results faster, cheaper and with higher quality, enabling them to compete and win against larger firms.

Eliminates need for traditional phone system – With IP phones, the cloud provider hosts, maintains and upgrades all of the phone system technology, eliminating the need for a premises PBX. Setting up and configuring the system is self-managed through a web browser.  In this way, new lines and features can be easily added with virtually immediate availability.

Technology is flexible and cost-effective – Companies get their own piece of the cloud within a shared infrastructure. This solution is for organizations that value flexibility, managed security and affordability. Instead of an upfront capital investment, they simply pay a monthly fee on a per-user basis.

Others opt for a private cloud managed in-house by their own IT team. This gives them exclusive access and more control over their cloud infrastructure.

A hybrid solution uses both private and public infrastructure. The company’s IT team takes care of a part of the in-house cloud, while the rest is off-site. That way, a business can manage sensitive data like customer files in-house, but store less-sensitive information with a third party.

The demand for cloud communication services is growing. It’s just a matter of figuring out what kind of solution is best for your business. PhoneAmerica is ready to help you review the implementation choices. Contact us today: (610) 296-2850 or

It’s Your Call… Cloud, Premises or Hybrid

Phone systems have traditionally been deployed at a company location, but today the popularity of the cloud makes it a compelling choice.  Many multi-site businesses have chosen a combination of both – a hybrid deployment consisting of a premises system at headquarters and the cloud for branch offices and home workers. Voice over IP (VoIP) enables all sites to be interconnected, providing a simplified dialing plan and consistent feature set across all locations under central management.


There are sound reasons why premises phone systems are still favored by many businesses…

  • Control Companies that have a long history of buying and managing their own IT systems may like the control that comes with running technology in-house. For them, a premises voice solution might make the most sense.
  • Functionality If a business needs customized voice features, requires integration with other applications, or wants advanced contact center capabilities, a premises solution might deliver more flexibility.
  • Compliance requirements If an organization is under pressure to achieve uninterrupted communications to satisfy customers, or is under a strict regulatory requirement to do so, a premises system may be the best fit.
  • Expense strategy If a company prefers to make capital investments for infrastructure and depreciate the costs over time, a premises voice solution can be the most advantageous over the long haul.


The cloud can be a good fit for small to mid-sized businesses or an enterprise that needs to connect smaller, remote offices…

  • Predictable costs Cloud voice solutions eliminate the need for an upfront investment in hardware. Costs become an operational expense and are predictable because they are based on the number of users.
  • Rapid deployment IT staff is not needed to buy, install and configure systems, servers and storage. A company orders only what it needs now without having to overbuy to accommodate uncertain future demand.
  • Simplicity With voice-as-a-service, maintenance and support are simplified, and upgrades are automatic. When users pick up the phone, they have the latest version of system hardware and software.
  • Pay as you go Whether a business is growing or needs to scale down quickly, a cloud service can easily adapt to changing needs. Peak demand can be instantly accommodated for functions like conferencing or for temporary seasonal growth, then scaled back as needs change.


Today businesses have the flexibility of deploying a voice communications system either on location or hosted in the cloud – or combining both as a hybrid solution to exploit the best of both worlds. Whatever the choice, VoIP networking makes it all possible and manageable.

PhoneAmerica can help you determine the solution that’s right for your business. Contact your Account Executive or the Sales Dept. at or call 610-296-2850, Option 2.

Some Tips That Will Ease Your Migration to the Cloud

The Cloud makes it easy to manage Voice and IT and expand your operations quickly, smoothly, and with click-of-the-mouse ease. But moving applications and workloads to the Cloud requires a well thought out plan to avoid unnecessary complexity, cost, and risk. Follow these tips to make your migration to the Cloud easier…

  1. Incremental Adoption – Moving to the Cloud need not be an “all or nothing” proposition. You may find that your Voice and IT systems and applications are best supported in a hybrid arrangement of Cloud and on-premises deployments.
  2. Business Continuity – Make sure your mission critical apps will reside in Cloud facilities that have faster performance, more reliable disaster recovery, and higher security than your own.
  3. Shared Obligations – Make sure the Cloud provider understands your obligations as well as its own obligations. Clarify whether you are signing on for ad hoc or complete, end-to-end support.
  4. Regulatory Compliance – Find a Cloud provider that can assist with measurement and reporting of metrics that apply to your business, such as HIPAA, PCI, SOC, ISO, and HITRUST.
  5. Team Skills – Moving to the Cloud doesn’t mean you can get along without technical expertise. Either your in-house IT team or your technology partner needs to be part of the migration process so they can help maintain the service levels your users and customers expect.

With a successful Cloud migration, you’ll have more time to pursue strategic initiatives that really have a big impact on your business, and you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that your Voice and IT are covered by experts you can trust.

PhoneAmerica can help you determine the Cloud solution that’s right for your business and manage the entire deployment for you. Contact your Account Executive or the Sales Dept. at or call 610-296-2850, Option 2.

Why More Businesses Are Migrating to Cloud Services

When it comes to implementing voice and data solutions, businesses now have more choices – on-premises systems, public or private cloud, or a mix of both. For businesses struggling with procuring and maintaining their own servers and software, it may make more sense to rely on the cloud.

Public cloud solutions provide subscribers with pay-as-you-go information technology and voice services that originate from an off-site data center. The provider’s infrastructure is highly secure, properly equipped and professionally managed. Critical voice and data services are provided across internet protocol (IP) networks, such as broadband internet, or high-speed private data networks. Voice is treated as just another IP application so that data and voice share the same network connections.

High Availability

The off-site data center in the cloud becomes a “virtual” resource that can be accessed from any location and any device. Users simply log in with their web browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone. Remote users can view their personalized desktop and can use the applications and services as easily as they would back at the office. With every log in, “virtual” desktop and voice users automatically get the most updated versions of everything they need.

When a server goes down in the cloud, a redundant system immediately takes over. If a connection goes down, voice and data traffic are handed off to another connection. If there is a power outage, a generator or fuel cell array takes over. If a remote site loses its local connection, mobile devices can still connect via a wireless provider.

Operational Efficiency

Voice and IT cloud arrangements not only allow short-staffed businesses to minimize their equipment needs, they eliminate new hardware purchases, software upgrades and security patches too. Here’s what else to expect for your organization:

  • Fewer servers and less system hardware means less real estate, and lower power and cooling requirements.
  • Better management tools let you improve your server-to-admin personnel ratio.
  • Migrate and back up your virtual voice environment with no interruption in user service and recover quickly from unexpected outages.
  • Resources and personnel traditionally devoted to maintaining separate voice and IT systems and networks now can refocus on developing new apps and services that help grow the business.
  • Respond faster to market changes with dynamic resource management, server provisioning, and streamlined desktop and application deployment. Need to add a user? Just point and click.

Unprecedented Flexibility

Businesses now have the best of both worlds to choose from for all their voice and data needs. Those that require complete control or have unique custom requirements often go with on-premises systems.

Those that want advanced capabilities, but prefer them on a pay-as-you-go basis, will find the cloud a worthy alternative. Those with multiple office locations have the flexibility to use a mix of both on-premises systems and cloud services, and integrate all of their sites into a unified network.

PhoneAmerica can help you determine the solution that’s right for your business. Contact your Account Executive or the Sales Dept. at or call 610-296-2850, Option 2.


Expectations From Hosted PBX And SIP Trunking

As trends and things stand now, it seems that the global market for hosted PBX technology and SIP trunking is likely to continue growing.

Rapid implementation of SIP trunking and hosted PBX solutions in the business organizations support unified communication services. This has actually given this expectation a massive shot in the arm.

Studies conducted by various research bureaus have clearly shown a substantial increase in revenue from residential as well as commercial sectors since the first half of 2013. Since then, this sector has seen a substantial growth. Both hosted PBX and SIP trunking has been noted as the fastest growing and most promising segments amongst VoIP based services. This, as per experts, is mainly due to the fact that business houses, corporate and large enterprises prefer to opt for hosted solutions.

All the experts who are dealing with this subject have a unified opinion in this regard. Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking are on the very right track and they expect that residential VoIP is likely to constitute the majority of revenue. However, till now the growth has mainly been fuelled by business services such as cloud based unified communication and SIP trunking. These two are expected to expand further and find broader adoption with business enterprises of every size and scale.

With all enterprises thriving hard for a holistic growth, the expectation for global business oriented VoIP service revenue is set to grow at around 7% CAGR over the next few years.

All this is the scenario from the perspective of the large scale enterprises and the domestic sector. The perspective of small scale enterprises is no push over as well. With people’s concern over security issues on a steady rise, even small scale companies are putting more emphasis on Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking technology services. This trend is expected to go up in the coming days.

The concern of people over security is on a steady rise. Pushed by the failure of security in a number of high profile corporate organizations, small scale companies are investing upon Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking technology for ensuring their own safety and security. In fact, going by the trends, safety and security is, and likely to be, the most pivotal contributing reason why Hosted PBX and SIP Trunking technology is being considered the best option.

However, quite expectedly and not surprisingly, though, quality or clarity of the service provided along with the most favorable pricing structure continues to round out the top three expectations. As expected, though, pricing is in fact on a downslide in terms of importance, and this trend indicates a more familiar expectation that any VoIP based communication system is going to be affordable than a conventional, physical telephone system.

Privacy vs Security in the Cloud

Security vs PrivacyThe rising popularity of cloud in the last few years has also thrown up some uncomfortable questions, both for the service providers as well as users. The primary concern of cloud service providers as well as users has been privacy and security in the cloud. It would be an understatement to say that it was predicted in the early days of the cloud that it could be easily abused by any of the cybercriminals around the world.

Today, the growing cases of cloud hacks have just made those prophecies true. Things are not going to get any better in the coming years because popular services like Dropbox and Sendspace have been abused by many people to host their illegitimate payload.

The Need for Privacy

People nowadays are more concerned about data privacy and they do not want to see their personal data being scrutinized by government agencies or monetized by the cloud data providers. For instance, when we upload our files on cloud storage, we do not want the service providers to search each and every file. We want such a system where customer’s data would be completely encoded and incomprehensible to the service provider. The primary clash is between privacy and security – we want to have the cake as well as eat it!

The Additional Cost of Privacy

In order to put things in perspective we will take up a very popular scenario:  There is a service provider who wants to ensure that their service is not being used by perpetrators for hosting malware. Thus, the service provider would have to use solutions like sandbox testing, file scanning etc. in order to test all the files that were uploaded. The provider will have to incur extra costs for this but at the same time, users can complain about the breach in data privacy, which can pretty much spoil goodwill and reputation of the company.

Where to Encrypt

On the other hand, if the service provider opts for private storage where the encryption is carried out on user devices, no one at the service provider’s end will have any idea about the data being stored.  Now, such a service is highly vulnerable for being used for malicious purposes by cybercriminals. Thus, both the legitimate users as well as the illegitimate users will be shielded from any type of data scrutiny. Both the approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages.

In such a precarious environment, service providers will have to strike a balance between data privacy and security and offer a solution that suits both their business model as well as security. Thus, no matter how hard a service provider tries a certain level of abuse will still remain and this can be termed as an inevitable cost which has to be incurred for doing business.

Your Options

What options does the user have? Well, I would have to reiterate that abuse cannot be completely stopped; however, precautions can be taken by both the users as well as their service providers.  Users will have to take up the responsibility of data security and they cannot shrug it off just because the vendor chose to do otherwise. Users will have to strategize and find solutions for the safekeeping of data on the cloud and this can’t be completely handed over to the cloud service providers. There are pros and cons of using cloud storage and related services – you are the best person to judge because there is no one better than you who knows the importance of security for your business.

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE


New Unified Communications Solutions From Toshiba

UCedge - Unified CommunicationsOne of the greatest utility of a VoIP or IP based business phone system is Unified Communication. UC allows you to use computer applications, data files, video, and other resources as part of your voice call. Till now, using Unified Communications required multiple resources on hand such a phone system, a computer, and log-in to servers and other databases.

Not any more. If you are using Toshiba’s IP, VIPedge, or the Strata CIX phone systems, your are truly mobile for all aspects of the modern IP based phone systems. Toshiba has introduced UCedge applications for Windows, iOS, and Android operating environments. Once installed, UCedge present a single and uniform user interface for you to access and use all the applications that reside on your Toshiba phone server – whether on-premise or on the cloud.

For more details on UCedge, please click here.


About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE

What is Interactive Voice Response?

IVREvery time I called up the customer care department of my insurance firm, I was amazed at the automated voice system that guided me to the right person for resolving my issues. Now, how is it possible for a recorded voice to be played up at the right time that leads us to the right agent? It is the IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, that does the trick!

How IVR Works

IVR is an amazing technology that facilitates interaction between the communication system and the caller without any human intervention. Whenever a caller calls up a phone number of an organization, he is greeted by the IVR system reads out a menu, and asks the caller to choose his option. Based upon the response, the IVR searches its internal database to find out the exact extension within the organization for routing the call to. Thus, you and I, or for that matter any caller, can be redirected to the executive who would take care of our needs. The IVR works by asking the caller to press a key or speak particular words for executing a command.

Nowadays there is hardly any company that does not use IVR with their communication system. Companies that have to handle customer calls on a regular basis are the ones that make the most of IVR systems.

Features Galore

There are a variety of IVR systems available in the market and while shopping for an IVR, you will be presented with IVR’s that differ in terms of complexity and sophistication. For instance, there is one IVR that wants the user to only press a particular key to get connected to a particular department. Others ask the user to provide multiple inputs for carrying out a particular operation such as in banks and medical diagnosis centers. Intelligent systems can be established by combining the power of knowledge based systems with IVR.

Other Uses of IVR

There are many companies that even use the IVR to conduct polls and surveys; these surveys or polls can be conducted on thousands of people. All the questions are pre-recorded and the answers can be in the form of a simple yes or no. Thus organizations are often able to build a huge repository of information without using huge manpower or time. The latest form of IVR is also available with TTS or Text to Speech where the commands can be interpreted from the voiced response of the callers. Some experts believe that such technology will soon replace the use of keyboards or keypad in the near future.

How You Can Use IVR

It is very easy to integrate an IVR with your organization’s telephone system, especially if you are using the latest VoIP or IP based business phone systems. There are intelligent interfaces built for using IVR with IP-PBX and related applications.

Some intelligent systems that have been built using IVR are:

  • Stock and bank balances as well as transfers
  • Polls and surveys
  • Intelligent call routing in offices
  • Forwarding in call centers
  • Order entry transactions
  • Information lookup based on selection
  • There are pre-recorded responses that are used by IVR for different situations, keypad command and also the feature to record the voice for future use. The IVR system also uses CTI to display all details of the caller to the answering executive. This helps save enormous time in asking boring and repetitive questions, and impressing the client with information on your fingertips.

IVR has made it possible to reduce the waiting time for customers and route the incoming traffic in an intelligent manner by modern phone systems. It is also amazing to see how IVR helps to meet the customer needs and stabilized the fluctuating customer satisfaction level.

About PhoneAM

At PhoneAM, we have the knowledge and experience to prepare a blueprint for your shift to VoIP. Call us today and we will guide you through the whole process.

PhoneAmerica Corporation is a leading supplier of advanced telecommunication systems for small and large business environments. A total service company, PhoneAmerica serves as a single point of contact for today’s growing communication needs, offering a wide range of telephone equipment, wiring, surveillance systems, telephone cost accounting systems, and voice processing systems.

Please call (800) 836-3601 for a free evaluation of your current system and the system you will need to carry your business into the FUTURE