Pitchrate | 5 Broadvoice Tricks to Untangle Business VoIP Setup

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10/25/2016 10:47am
5 Broadvoice Tricks to Untangle Business VoIP Setup

Setting up a business VOIP service with traditional hardware units can be a mess of crisscrossed handset, router, and adapter wires resulting in a lot of hair pulling. Cloud-hosted private branch exchange (PBX) VoIP technology is changing all that.

There are a lot of great VoIP solutions out there, but on the cloud-hosted PBX front one of the most comprehensive offerings is Broadvoice Cloud PBX. Broadvoice includes more hand holding during setup than similar PBX services such as RingCentral Office (for Business), which relies heavily on procedural wizards, so Broadvoice Cloud PBX an ideal solution for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) installing a cloud-hosted VoIP for the first time. Here are five useful features and support tips to keep in mind when setting up Broadvoice Cloud PBX.

1. Take Advantage of Customer SupportFor a web-based service that's largely automated (once you get it up and running), Broadvoice Cloud PBX still treats installation as a hands-on process. For its consumer offerings, you still do the basic setup by ordering the Broadvoice adapter, plugging it into your router, and connecting it to multiple office phones or your employees' mobile devices through Broadvoice's Android and iOS applications. While you can set up Broadvoice that way without any assistance, businesses would be leaving a wealth of deeper setup help on the table that could speed up your installation with better results.

We recommend setting up an introductory call with Broadvoice to meet your dedicated account representative and talk through the different service plans (standard or global, plus a la carte features such as auto-attendants, call recording, and access to the Broadvoice Communicator unified communications suite). You can also request a demo of Broadvoice's web-based admininstrator and user interfaces (UIs) before you fill out a DocuSign form, which is where you enter your business details as you'd like them to appear on outgoing caller ID. Broadvoice sends confirmations upon the DocuSign form's receipt, completion, and billing.

2. Don't Sweat the Softphone Installation The Broadvoice Cloud PBX service eliminates the need for hard phone lines, but that doesn't mean you don't have to install anything. The cloud-based Softphone downloaded from pbx.broadvoice.com needs to be downloaded and configured, but the process is fairly straightforward if you use Broadvoice's detailed setup instructions for OS X or Windows, with your account representative on call as a backup.

You'll need administrative privileges on the corporate device to install the package and, after downloading and following the installation wizard for either the softphoneinstaller.exe (Windows) or softphoneinstaller.dmg (Mac), load and log into the Softphone and you should see an emulator resembling a dialer that's already associated with your extension.

You can then change a number of other Softphone settings including the session initiation protocol (SIP) port by right-clicking anywhere or typing Ctrl+P to bring up Preferences. Click into Advanced Options to pull up a navigation menu spanning Protocol options (where you'll find SIP), fax options, chat options, "Contact Server" options, diagnostics, and more. This is also where you'll find audio options to change the sound input and output to different devices to which your Broadvoice account is connected.

3. Plug-and-Play Call Forwarding You can read about some of Broadvoice's useful features on this front in our review, including its Short Code dialing and Click-to-Call, but the service also lets you do a lot with automated call forwarding. From the main Call Forwarding tab in the Broadvoice app, go into "Forwarding Rules" to choose a forwarding destination (voicemail, home number, cell number, etc.) and how many times or how many seconds the call rings before forwarding. You can also set up different forwarding rules depending on whether no one picks up or if the line is simply busy. To set this up, click the "Add New Call Forwarding Rule" button.

There's also an option called Selective Forwarding, which you can access via the Selective Forwarding tab in the Call Forwarding section. It's a feature you have to enable first so, under the Selective Forwarding list, click "Enable," and set a destination phone number, and then click Save. This feature allows you to select specific phone numbers to forward to another number, so you can designate a colleague, client, or a superior's number of particular importance to forward directly to, let's say, your cell phone if it's a call you'd like to get right away (or straight to voicemail if you don't).

4. Customize Your Visual VoicemailBroadvoice's visual voicemail feature includes a number of nifty features for business users including voicemail-to-text transcription sent directly to your email address as an attachment. When configuring the voicemail box, there are also a number of other settings worth exploring to gain the best value.

Once you've logged into your Broadvoice account from the web app or one of the mobile apps, you'll see your voicemail list on the left-hand side of your Account home page. On the voicemail list, you'll then see a button labeled "Update Voicemail Settings" where you can specify a range of other voicemail options. First, decide whether you'd like to forward HTML-based voicemail emails or whether you'd like email notifications without the voice or voicemail-to-text file attached, and then enter the email address to which you'd like it sent.

After that, you'll want to set up your Voicemail Purger settings. Voicemail Purger allows you to set limits for how long your box will hold old voicemails before automatically deleting them. Under the Voicemail Purger Days section, enter the number of days for which you'd like voicemails kept. Then, in the Voicemail Purger Settings section below that, you can add more advanced purge features such as purging the voicemail box when it reaches a certain percentage full, with options within that to either automatically delete voicemails when the box fills up or to send yourself a warning email when your box hits that percentage.

5. Set Up a Failsafe NumberCloud-based VoIP services aren't without their occasional hiccups in service or connectivity, so setting up a failsafe number to forward all your calls to in the event of a PBX outage is a must. On the Call Forwarding page, click the last tab to the right entitled "Failsafe" and enter the phone number to which all of your calls will be routed (in the event of an issue with the cloud service or an Internet or power outage). As much as cloud-hosted VoIP is eliminating the need for nuts-and-bolts hardware, you may want to keep one good ol' fashioned landline around just for this occasion.


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