Phones Plus, Inc.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Protecting Your Company Against Deadly Online Threats is Mission Critical Is Your Technology Provider Advising You on What to Do?


While the US economy is still reeling from the recent financial turmoil, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are driving the economic recovery. In today’s marketplace, the Internet is their gas pedal. Everything, ranging from website marketing, to online transactions, to web-based meetings, to industry research is taking place online. While the Internet has presented businesses with access to an unstinted array of resources, it also brings several dangers. We are all familiar with many of the standard security threats – viruses, SPAM, malware, spyware, etc. – but as technology continues to evolve, business owners face an entirely new set of issues. What are my employees actually doing with their time? Are my employees putting my business at risk? How can I protect my business from internal risks, external risks and risks I haven’t even heard of yet?

Many business owners are able to monitor employee web usage. One of the most prevalent issues facing business owners is the decrease in productivity due to the proliferation of social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace. When you walk by in the hallway and see your employees working diligently at their computers, they could very well be flipping through the pictures of their friend’s most recent Vegas trip, or chatting online with other friends. Web monitoring software is an easy fix to this type of problem.

Inappropriate sites, such as non-business related sites, and even adult sites pose an alternate risk in that they can be a reservoir for viruses, phishing, spyware and other malicious software. Internet filtering is a quick way to eliminate these risks, yet many businesses are unaware of the preventative steps one can take.

Phishing is the illegal capture of personal data for criminal use, and many times this can result in the accidental dissemination of sensitive information. The legal risks associated with sharing private information can be detrimental to an organization’s health and can be prevented through tools such as Web Defense Plans or Network Security.

Maintaining an adequate amount of Internet bandwidth for legitimate business use is also critical because different technologies require larger amounts of data to travel through a finite space. There is a myriad of different safeguards available, yet each technology demands different applications, which are why many SMBs are partnering with Technology Advisors and leveraging their expertise.

While many businesses are looking for ways to eliminate overhead, one fix is by increasing the number of virtual workers at their organization. Oftentimes there is a substantial difference between the amount of security at the office as compared to the security of a home office network.

These threats are dynamic. As long as hackers and criminals are in existence, new threats will follow. This is why many SMBs are taking a long term view of technology and aligning themselves with Technology Advisors through strategic partnerships. This allows business owners to alleviate their concerns with technology, delegate the management of their technology to a trusted partner, who can protect their organization proactively. In today’s global marketplace, leveraging outside resources are keeping SMBs on track and profitable.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Phones Plus Educates Customers on Mobile VoIP Technology

Small to Mid-Sized Companies to Benefit

from Latest Advancements in Mobile

Communications Technology


October 28, 2010 — Phones Plus,

Inc., an industry leader in Unified

Communications, announced today

that recent statistics by the

industry’s leading research firms

are showing that mobile Voice over

Internet Protocol (VoIP) is poised

to revolutionize the

communications industry. This

technological advancement is

increasing profitability and

providing substantial benefits to

small to medium sized businesses

(SMB) across the globe.

Juniper Research, who

specializes in appraising high

growth opportunities for the mobile

markets, “expects the total number

of mobile VoIP users to exceed 100

million by 2012.” Paired with

InStat’s prediction of “288 million

mobile VoIP users by 2013” it’s

easy to see that mobile VoIP is

making its way to the forefront of

communications. Thomas

Sodemann, Vice President of

Phones Plus, Inc. states, “As our

customer’s trusted technology

advisor, we feel obligated to

educate our customers about the

business benefits of mobile VoIP

and how it can enhance the way

they communicate. It’s up to us to

understand where the

communications industry is headed,

but more importantly it’s absolutely

vital that we find the technologies

that make our customers more


Traditional VoIP has been

around since the 90s, but until

recently the Internet has not been

able to adequately support VoIP.

Past developments have stabilized

VoIP’s performance and this

explains the dramatic increase in

demand for the technology,

especially among SMBs. VoIP’s

primary appeal lies in its sizable

cost savings for end users and in a

struggling economy, VoIP was the

blatantly obvious choice for most

business owners. However, for the

past several years SMBs were

limited to only using VoIP at the

office and at home, which deterred

a large section of the population

from deriving the technology’s

benefits. Mobile VoIP “cuts the

cord” and allows users to enjoy all

of the benefits of VoIP technology

from their cell phone. Mobile VoIP

enhances integrations with

applications such as Presence

Management, Find Me Follow Me

and Unified Messaging.

As smart phones, like Apple’s

iPhone and Motorola’s Droid,

continue to grow in popularity, so

does the market for mobile VoIP.

SMB’s are being educated on the

value of mobile VoIP and as a

result, demand for this technology

is accelerating.


Since 1981, Phones Plus has

committed to establishing lasting

business relationships with our

clients. Phones Plus offers

innovative voice, video, and data

networking solutions that increase

our clients’ profitability and gives

them a competitive advantage in

their marketplace.

Phones Plus recognizes the

critical need for a communications

company that combines leading

technology with top-quality service

and support.

Our mission is to provide

exceptional value through managed

services that eliminate

technological obsolescence, ensure

a fixed cost for our business

partners, and maximize the profits,

productivity, image, and

competitive advantage of those

partners. Highly trained and

motivated professionals give you

measurable results.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

5 Reasons Hosted VoIP is Experiencing Explosive Growth


September 28, 2010 - Hosted VoIP is quickly
expanding its footprint in the small to mid-sized business (SMB)
marketplace because it dramatically improves an organization’s
profitability, reduces its risk and adds an unmatched level of
flexibility to its current operations. In layman’s terms, hosted VoIP is a
solution which enables businesses to utilize their Internet bandwidth
to handle their communications needs, rather than forcing businesses to rely on traditional
solutions, such as PBX hardware TDM switch that reside on site.
According to a report by AMI  Partners, “Hosted VoIP in the
North American SMB market is projected to expand from 2%
market penetration to over 30% by 2014.” Adoption rates are keeping
pace with these aggressive growth projections and these can be
explained by five key reasons:

Cost Structure

In today’s unforgiving economic environment, business
owners are being forced to reexamine their expenses to see
what can be eliminated, minimized, or streamlined. The fundamental
reason that businesses are adopting hosted VoIP technology is because
of the profound effects it has on the bottom line. Since, hosted VoIP is
able to “piggyback” phone usage on top of Internet bandwidth,
SMBs are able to enjoy substantial upfront cost savings, as well as
recurring savings when they implement hosted VoIP. The
reason for this is because businesses don’t need to buy
expensive systems or hardware anymore, instead they’re just
purchasing individual VoIP handsets. Instead of purchasing
hardware products, (PBX systems, desk phones, new cables, etc.)
businesses are receiving softwarecentric value (Connectivity, Call
Tracking and Reporting, Voice-totext transcription, softphones, etc.).
This means that a new phone system is no longer a capital
expenditure, but it’s simply a lower level operating expense. Plus, the
ongoing costs associated with hosted VoIP fluctuates as a
function of demand. It Puts Your Communications on
Auto-Pilot… For an SMB, resources are
scarce. Businesses don’t have the time, nor the resources to spend
dozens of hours training or supporting employees with new
technology. Instead of learning how to program button commands
or memorizing extensions, hosted VoIP requires the most minimal
levels of supervision possible and can be remotely handled by the
unified communications partner. Since it’s run off a simple web
interface, businesses don’t need extra IT staff to manage their
communications. With most providers it takes about five
minutes for someone to explain how you use the interface, and
you’ll probably end up figuring it out for yourself before they even
finish talking. One person can manage all the features, add users
and subtract users, so the IT department can focus on fulfilling
its other duties. Not only does hosted VoIP free-up labor hours,
but since it’s web-based, it can update itself and keep pace with the
ever-changing demands of today’s business environment.

Business Continuity

Power outages and natural disasters are threats facing all
businesses but hosted VoIP provides a way for organizations to
minimize the negative impacts associated with these occurrence.
Businesses are attracted to hosted VoIP’s ability to handle these
situations smoothly. The box that runs an SMB’s communications
system is off-premise in a secure location, and is backed up several
times over. What this ultimately means for organizations is that in
the event of a disaster, the business can continue to operate just as if
nothing had happened.


In today’s world, business owners are expected to know
what’s around every corner and they can’t afford to be locked into
inflexible technology. Hosted VoIP enables businesses to
neutralize the risk of the volatile economy. Where traditional phone
systems are affixed to a certain number of employees, hosted VoIP
can provide organizations with the flexibility they need to survive.
Whether scaling up, or scaling down, the costs of adjusting your
communications infrastructure to
meet your needs are miniscule.


Emergent businesses in the SMB marketplace are using remote
applications to enhance their productivity, whether they’re in the
office or not. Technology such as softphones enable organizations to
work from any location, at any time and still preserve the same levels of
professionalism exhibited by the largest companies in the market.
Hosted VoIP is an absolutely powerful technology that is driving
profitability and improving employee productivity, while
providing companies with a unique competitive advantage. In today’s
rapidly changing business environment, organizations need to
be agile and they cannot afford to be held hostage by static, on
premise technology. Hosted VoIP gives business owners the freedom
to adopt the latest in communications technology and
the peace of mind that it automatically happens.

Since 1981, Phones Plus has committed to establishing lasting
business relationships with our clients. Phones Plus offers
innovative voice, video, and data networking solutions that increase
our clients’ profitability and gives them a competitive advantage in
their marketplace. Phones Plus recognizes the
critical need for a communications company that combines leading
technology with top-quality service and support.
Our mission is to provide exceptional value through managed
services that eliminate technological obsolescence, ensure
a fixed cost for our business partners, and maximize the profits,
productivity, image, and competitive advantage of those
partners. Highly trained and motivated professionals give you
measurable results.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

If You’re Dialing a 1 or a 9 Before You Make a Phone Call, Something’s Wrong…

Thomas Sodemann of Phones Plus Explains How SIP is Sweeping

the Industry Off Its Feet…

NEW BERLIN, WI – August 31, 2010 – Recent developments in technology have rapidly changed the way companies are communicating to their employees, customers and business partners. How can you tell? Try dialing an outside line beginning with the area code or the number first. Those calls that go through are utilizing today’s voice and data transport of choice, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). If you have to dial a 1 or a 9 before you make a phone call, you might as well be using smoke signals to communicate. Now ready for prime time, SIP has opened the floodgates for small to mid-sized businesses to benefit from greater business applications, reduced costs, and enhanced efficiency.

SIP is an Internet-based protocol that is enabling an unseen level of flexibility to end-users. Similar to the way Apple’s iPhone redefined what we expect from our cell phone’s functionality, SIP is on the leading edge of Unified Communications. The convergence of voice and data onto the same network has forced the demand in the marketplace for a single solution. SIP is the “missing link” required to connect these two networks and the cost justifications are supporting this transition.

What makes SIP so special?

In simple terms, SIP supports any form of real-time communication regardless of whether the content is voice, video, instant messaging, or a collaboration application. Additionally, SIP enables users to inform others of their status, their availability, and how they can be contacted before communication is even initiated. Due to the nature of IP communications, these benefits often cost justify and provide business owners the return on investment they need to run their businesses efficiently and effectively.

SIP grows up…

SIP is no longer in its infancy. According to Frost & Sullivan, SIP trunks will increase from 950,000 in 2006 to about 14.52 million in 2012. The early majority is beginning to see SIP’s value and adoption is increasing at an accelerating rate. The core reason SIP is here to stay is because it’s simple. Rather than having to track, analyze and spend money managing several different streams of communication, SIP gives businesses a single transport to focus on. A few years ago the market didn’t have the capability to properly support SIP, but technology has evolved.

For most companies, the transition to SIP will come with all new technology including a phone system containing all of the latest applications that drive profitability, employee productivity and competitive advantages. By eliminating traditional phone lines and turning to SIP, the ROI for new equipment comes in a matter of months rather than years. With the recent AT&T statement advising the federal government to move away from "plain-old telephone service", known in the industry as POTS and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), SIP is eventually inevitable for all businesses. So the question becomes why not benefit from SIP now and gain a leg up on the competition, instead of waiting for the train to pass you by later. The SIP train is here… all aboard.


Since 1981, Phones Plus has committed to establishing lasting business relationships with our clients. Phones Plus offers innovative voice, video, and data networking solutions that increase our clients’ profitability and gives them a competitive advantage in their marketplace.

Phones Plus recognizes the critical need for a communications company that combines leading technology with top-quality service and support.

Our mission is to provide exceptional value through managed services that eliminate technological obsolescence, ensure a fixed cost for our business partners, and maximize the profits, productivity, image, and competitive advantage of those partners. Highly trained and motivated professionals give you measurable results.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Webinar Series

Hi again everyone.  I wanted to write something today to give all of our current and potential future customers some information on upcoming events here at Phones Plus. 
First of all, we are coming up with a monthly webinar series which will start some time this fall when all of the hustle and bustle of summer calms down a bit for us all.  These webinars will focus on the very important offerings of our partners.  We will most likely start with Do IT Smarter, our partner who provides on and off site data backup and recovery.  They provide solutions that range from simple on site back up to a version with a year of data retention and a full virtual server for minimal down time if your network should happen to fail.  We feel it is very important to supply you with information on this valuable service because of the research included in our press release on the topic which says that 70% of businesses that suffer serious data loss are out of business within the next 2 years.  We are going the extra mile to expand our offerings so we can provide a more global approach to business, allowing our customers to come to us for help with a wide range of needs.
Other partners that will be included in this webinar series will be a conferencing service, our VoIP provider, disaster recovery for if your phones go down along with others as we see a need to provide further information on new technology.  If there is something you would like to learn more about, please do not hesitate to let us know what you would like us to cover and we will do our best to provide that information. 
In other Phones Plus news, our most recent addition to the Phones Plus family, Bryn, our new trainer is working on revamping all of our training materials to make them more user friendly.  She has just been through some intensive Zultys training so she is well versed on not only features, but the administrative side of those products as well.  She is also working on developing a web series of her own which will be called Feature Friday.  As we get closer to deploying this series, I will be sure to give you some more information on what is going to be covered.
This is a busy time for us here at Phones Plus and we are thrilled to be helping so many people find great solutions to their telecommunications needs.  If you have any questions about our products, our partners, or any service we provide, please feel free to contact us any time.  We are here to help!  Thanks so much for checking in and have a great week everyone.

Phones Plus, Inc.
2745 S Calhoun Rd
New Berlin, WI 53151

Monday, August 16, 2010

Customer Advocate

Happy Monday everyone!  Todaqy I am blogging about the addition of a new position at Phones Plus...  We have moved someone into the Customer Advocate position to better serve our customers here at Phones Plus.  The idea behind a Customer Advocate is to help our existing customer base optimize their communication to make their business more profitable and productive.  The ways this is accomplished is through taking a global approach to looking at business.  That means if you are seeing your customer advocate, they should be collecting your phone, cellular and internet bills so he or she can optimize every part of your telecommunications.
A Customer Advocate is important to your business because they are meant to keep your technology on the right track as well as keeping you educated on what is happening in the world of telecommunications technology.  If there is a new technology available that would benefit your business, it is your Customer Advocate's duty to make sure you are aware of that technology so you can decide if now is the time to look into it or not. 
A customer Advocate can help you with moves, adds or changes to your system - meaning that if you need to move a phone from one desk to another or add a phone or some new technology or make changes to call flow, etc.  Your Customer Advocate can help ensure that you do not recieve any invoices from Phones Plus other than for new equipment (and you get a discount on that!) by showing you our Partnership Plan and explaining to you how it works.
The most important thing for you to remember is that your Customer Advocate is meant to help you keep your competetive edge in business, so take advantage of the help and knowledge your Advocate is ready to offer you.  If you have any questions regarding Customer Advocacy or would like to speak to a Customer Advocate at Phones Plus, please call 262-784-2311.  Thanks for taking the time to read the post today and have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Value of Call Recording

Want to Streamline Your Business and Provide a Better Customer Experience?

Using the Right Communications Technology Will Help You Do Just That

Phones Plus Explains the Value of Call Recording and Why Businesses Should Care

NEW BERLIN, WI – July 30, 2010 - When a business owner is looking to set up the phones within his company, he can’t help but be overwhelmed with complex terms like VoIP, SIP, Hosted VoIP, PBX Systems, Managed Services, and Unified Communications. In today’s world, a business owner is expected to understand the relevance and significance of every single feature that their Unified Communications provider offers. However, many business owners don’t receive the proper explanation as to how that feature can be applied to benefit their organization. Some of the usages of the Call Recording feature make it one of the top features a business owner should take into consideration when examining their communications needs.

The most obvious application of Call Recording is in situations that deal with liability. Professionals who deal with the dissemination of sensitive information should be using Call Recording at all times, it is the easiest way to ensure compliance to procedures and reduce the risk of litigation. Call Recording is indispensible to both the Medical and Legal fields and it would be reckless for an organization to continue to run itself without implementing this technology.

One of the other usages of Call Recording, which is often overlooked, is as a training tool for a sales team. When a salesperson is given the opportunity to record his or her calls, they can review their recordings to improve their skills and understand how they really sound when they’re communicating with prospects. This easy to use tool helps managers coach salespeople in a constructive manner and improve the overall health of the company. Customer service representatives are also well suited to take advantage of this type of function when working with customers. When a conversation takes a turn and needs to be recorded, contemporary Call Recording technology provides users with a way to record a conversation even after a call has been initiated. Users can then add their own comments and send that recording as an attachment in an email. This simple, but necessary technology, is allowing professionals to collaborate, create accountability and improve their businesses like never before.

From my experiences, most companies would be shocked by what their employees are saying, how they’re saying it, and what message they’re communicating to the outside world. I couldn’t imagine running a sales force without giving our salespeople the ability to listen to their own recordings. This tool is as valuable as it is practical, and it has provided our organization with a much-needed competitive advantage even in today’s markets.

As the world continues to flatten, more companies are entering existing markets, while even more competitors are extending their reach into new markets. The added pressure of the financial crisis is pushing businesses harder than ever to find new ways to differentiate themselves. In order to stay competitive, businesses need to leverage technologies in order to create competitive advantages for themselves. Call Recording is one the simplest and most cost-effective ways to accomplish this, so it’s only a matter of time before this becomes an industry standard. In sum, if you haven’t started using Call Recording … you will.


Since 1981, Phones Plus has committed to establishing lasting business relationships with our clients. Phones Plus offers innovative voice, video, and data networking solutions that increase our clients’ profitability and gives them a competitive advantage in their marketplace.

Phones Plus recognizes the critical need for a communications company that combines leading technology with top-quality service and support.

Our mission is to provide exceptional value through managed services that eliminate technological obsolescence, ensure a fixed cost for our business partners, and maximize the profits, productivity, image, and competitive advantage of those partners. Highly trained and motivated professionals give you measurable results.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Training Information for Business Telecommunication System – Helpful or Horrifying?

Anyone who has worked in a business with a professional telecommunication system knows that these systems occasionally experience technical issues. From having to program the phone for the first time to reprogramming the phones for new staff to general troubleshooting, I think most people who have had to deal with those issues would agree… Telecommunication system manufacturers’ handbooks and training materials can be pretty scary.

As an example, I met an office manager whose office has an old Merlin system or something (it was a system that I had never heard of at the time I was speaking to her) and she was talking about how frustrating it is to have small issues with that Merlin system arise. The reason was that whenever something small and seemingly easy to troubleshoot happened, she would go to the admin phone and follow the directions in the manual to get her desired result. She said that it appeared as if something different happened each time she performed the same function on that admin phone and eventually, she would just give up and call in the IT person.

There is no good reason why it should work that way… Training materials and manuals should be straightforward tools that help you get the job done without having to call your IT person to come out (and charge you for the visit) for basic functions on your system. Good news! Here at Phones Plus, our training department is coming up with innovative (and best of all simple!) training tools and quick reference guides to help our Toshiba and Zultys customers through the basic functions of their telecommunication system. I have seen the material myself and I think it is going to change the way our customers view their telecommunication systems – they will no longer be this huge challenge to manage and work with. Instead, there will be understandable material that showcases how easy making simple changes to your phones can really be. Don’t get me wrong, for the big stuff it is still a good idea to have an IT person on standby, however there is a lot that you can do for yourself too.

So, what does one do if they are not our customer, or do not have a Toshiba or Zultys system in their office? Well, jump on the bandwagon friends! These are great phones, great platforms and if you already have a Toshiba or Zultys system in place, you can make us your authorized retailer and you will get the training materials along with access to great Partnership Programs to protect your investment. For more information on anything in this blog, please contact Phones Plus, Inc. at 262-784-2311 today and we will be happy to help you out with all of your business telecommunication needs!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Data Backup and Recovery

You can never be too careful when dealing with data that needs to stay safe and secure, but also at your fingertips in the office. What happens if your computers crash or if someone breaks in and steals equipment from your office? Where is that data going to end up in the long run? In the hands of some hacker that is going to find every way in the book to use that information to not only steal from you, but from your loyal customer base as well? It has been published that 70% of businesses that suffer a serious data loss are out of business within just 2 years… You don’t want that to be you, right?

So, what can you do to protect this ever important data from being lost or stolen from your office? You can certainly handle it yourself… Taking care of data backup the “old school” way – using tapes that need to be changed out sometimes several times in a day. You have to assign someone to handle the upkeep of the tapes so you are sure that you aren’t losing any data along the way. Then, there is the storage issue. Where do you keep them? Offsite - so they are perhaps safer, but then it will take longer to retrieve the data if your system goes down. You could keep them onsite, but that kind of defeats the purpose in terms of safety if there is a break in.

I would propose that you find a solution that would store all of the data for you both onsite and offsite. It should be an automatic storage system so you don’t have to worry about changing tapes. There should be ample storage and you should have the option of longer term data retention – maybe even up to a year? This should all be affordable and should provide you with a minimum amount of time that you have to live without critical information in your office.

Great news! Just such a solution exists! Phones Plus has recently partnered with Do IT Smarter, a company that specializes in data backup and recovery with several options that can limit your downtime to just minutes by using a virtual server. They will manage your data backup for you and you can store your data for up to a year using this solution. I have attached the specs for their different solutions and for more information you should contact Phones Plus at 262-784-2311. Thank you and have a great week!

Sorry, the excel sheet doesn't lend itself to a blog post - for a better copy, please get in touch and I will be happy to e-mail it to you so it makes more sense.

Aurora Series

A150 A500 A1000 A2000 A3000 A5000 A10000

Storage Capacity 150GB 500GB 1TB 2TB 3TB 5TB 10TB

Storage Configuration 1x 500 GB HD 1x 1TB HD 2x 1 TB RAID 1, 1 TB OS Drive 3x 1 TB RAID 5, 1 TB OS Drive 6x 1 TB RAID 10, 1 TB OS Drive 10x 1 TB RAID 10, 1 TB OS Drive 12x 1 TB RAID 6, 1 TB RAID 1 OS Drive

Processor 2.8 Ghz 64 Bit, AMD Dual Core 2.8 Ghz 64 Bit, AMD Dual Core 2.8 Ghz 64 Bit, AMD Quad Core 2.8 Ghz 64 Bit, Intel Quad Core 2.8 Ghz 64 Bit, Intel Quad Core 2 X 2.6 Ghz 64 Bit, Intel Quad Core 2 X 2.6 Ghz 64 Bit, Intel Quad Core

Memory 4GB 8GB 8GB 12GB 16GB 24GB 36GB

Gigabit Ethernet 1 2 2 2 4 4 4

Form Factor MicroATX Tower MicroATX Tower MicroATX Tower 2U Rack Mount 2U Rack Mount 3U Rack Mount 3U Rack Mount

# of machines that can be backud up 1 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

Simultanious VMs 1 2-3 2-3 3-6 4-8 8-12 8-12

Server Licenses included 1 2 2 2 4 6 6

G & Z Series

G/Z 250 Z 500 GR/ZR 500 Z 1000 GR / ZR 1000

Storage Capacity 250 GB 500 GB 500 GB 1TB 1TB

Storage Configuration 1x 250GB 1x 500GB 2x 500GB RAID 1 1x 1TB 2x 1TB RAID 1

Processor 1.5 Ghz VIA 1.5 Ghz VIA 1.5 Ghz VIA 1.5 Ghz VIA 1.5 Ghz VIA

Memory 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB

Gigabit Ethernet 2 Ports 2 Ports 2 Ports 2 Ports 2 Ports

Form Factor Mini ITX Mini ITX Mini ITX Mini ITX Mini ITX

GX Series

GX2000 GX3000 GX4000 GX5000

Storage Capacity 2TB 3TB 4TB 5TB

Storage Configuration 3x 1TB RAID 5 4x 1TB RAID 5 5x 1TB RAID 5 6x 1TB RAID 5

Processor Dual 2.6 Ghz Dual 2.6 Ghz Dual 2.6 Ghz Dual 2.6 Ghz

Memory 2GB 2GB 4GB 4GB

Gigabit Ethernet 3 Ports 3 Ports 4 Ports 4 Ports

Form Factor 2U Rack Mount 2U Rack Mount 2U Rack Mount 2U Rack Mount

Product Comparison

G Series GX Series Z Series Aurora Series

On-Site Backup √ √ √ √

Off-Site Backup √ √ √ √

Windows Domain Support √ √ √ √

Free US Based Technical Support √ √ √ √

3 Year Hardware Warranty √ √ √ √

No Incidental Fees √ √ √ √

No Recovery Fees √ √ √ √

FTP Access to Off-Site Data √ √ √ √

Centralized Management Console √ √ √ √

Free Roundtrip Seed Drive √ √ √ √

Free Data Recovery Service √ √ √ √

Point to Point Replication Optional Optional Optional Optional

1 Year Off-Site Daily Data Archiving √ √

Bare Metal Restore Capable Optional Optional Optional √

Installation Service Optional Optional Optional Optional

Daily Monitoring and Management Optional Optional Optional √

Secure Linux Based OS √ √ √

On-Site Virtualization Capabilities √

Off-Site Virtualization Capabilities √

Instant Virtualization √

Exchange Message Level Recovery √

Data Deduplication √

Granular Sharepoint Recovery √

Advanced Off-Site Image Verification √

Unattended Virtualization √

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why the holdup?????

Hey there everyone...  You may be wondering why we are stalling on posting any new information lately.  The answer is simple - we are currently working on a "for dummies" series of posts.  These will be posts that deal with decoding some of the tech-talk you have probably heard and perhaps don't understand.  This is not so much a "for dummies" as it will be a "for the rest of us" series and we hope you will find it helpful!
So, please be patient while we are working on translating things into a format that is easily understood and we will be back in the phone booth again before you know it!  Thanks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Phones Plus, Inc. Offers Innovative Data Backup Solutions to Protect Their Customers' Critical Information

Region’s Leading Unified Communications Provider Supports Business Continuity Planning While Enhancing Peace of Mind Among Small to Mid-sized Companies

NEW BERLIN, WI — June 24, 2010 — Phones Plus, Inc., an industry leader in unified communications, announced today that the company is offering innovative, off-site, data back up solutions to protect their customers’ critical information. In an effort to enhance business continuity planning among the region’s small to mid-sized companies, Phones Plus, Inc. provides owners with the peace of mind, knowing that their valuable information is continually backed up in the event of a natural disaster, power outage, or virus attack.

More than ever before, today’s market is pressing owners to reexamine the threats that could cause business interruption. According to an information security breaches survey conducted by DTI/PriceWaterhouse, 70% of businesses that suffer a serious data loss are out of business in 2 years. Many risks are unavoidable but technological advances have created a way for businesses to continue to run smoothly, even in the midst of uncertainty.

Organizations of all sizes are generating and depending on larger amounts of data that must be readily available and easily accessible. Consequently, companies have to effectively manage more infrastructure resources, including servers, networks, and storage, to ensure data is protected in a timely manner while at the same time providing adequate performance and capacity and securing data for access when needed. Unfortunately, the archaic data backup method for most companies is to backup vital information on a data tape and let an employee such as an IT manager take it home for safe keeping. Today’s latest technology enables the backup of information to take place on the “cloud” instead of servers on-site. Therefore, if an event should occur the business can keep running as if nothing happened.

“The concept of business continuity is experiencing a growth in popularity, and experts are attributing this primarily to its simplicity,” Thomas Sodemann, Vice President of Phones Plus. “As a business owner, operating without a data backup solution in place is simply a risk I would not be willing to take. The pace of today’s business environment is faster than it has ever been, and business owners cannot afford to lose their valuable data. In my opinion, it’s like driving over 100mph without wearing a seatbelt,” commented Sodemann.

All businesses face a certain degree of risk, but most intelligent business owners are looking to eliminate unnecessary risks as well as uncertainty. Disaster recovery solutions provide business owners with a safety net that enables organizations to get back up and running before anyone notices that there was a slip-up. Whether a natural disaster, virus attack or power outage, remote data backup provides businesses with the assurance that they will be able to compete in today’s markets.


Since 1981, Phones Plus has committed to establishing lasting business relationships with our clients. Phones Plus offers innovative voice, video, and data networking solutions that increase our clients’ profitability and gives them a competitive advantage in their marketplace.

Phones Plus recognizes the critical need for a communications company that combines leading technology with top-quality service and support.

Our mission is to provide exceptional value through managed services that eliminate technological obsolescence, ensure a fixed cost for our business partners, and maximize the profits, productivity, image, and competitive advantage of those partners. Highly trained and motivated professionals give you measurable results.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Disaster Recovery

Even with all of the new technology made available to businesses in this day and age, there is nothing that can prevent phones from occasionally going down and not working.  Every business owner knows that every minute that goes by with no phones working not only feels like an eternity, but equals the loss of business.  So, as we in Wisconsin enter into the season of storms and flooding and tornadoes, what do you do when the inevitable happens and your phones go down?
You could turn off your system, reboot and hope for the best.  You could call a technician that just got about 100 other frantic calls at the same moment, because, let's face it - the chances of you being the only one with phones down is just slim.  You could try to reach your service provider to see if they know anything about this and how to fix it.  Truth is, all of those are things that people who aren't fully prepared have to do.  You are far wiser than that though, so you got yourself a disaster recovery provider and your phones will experience minimal down time and your customers (or potential customers) will have no idea that your system is even down.
The way it works is very simple...  You get yourself a provider of disaster recovery services who will let you knwo how to set up your main voicemail box and everyone's private voicemail box.  From there, you set everything up in house so that when phones go down your customers will get the previously set up system when they call in.  There is an Automated Attendant in place that offers them the option to be connected to anyone with whom they need to speak.  Once they make that selection of who to speak to, the call gets forwarded to that person's pre determined number at which they can be reached (this is usually a cell phone number).
All it takes to activate the disaster recovery system is to call your phone service provider and ask them to forward all of your calls to the designated number that the automated attendant is connectied to.  It is just that simple and the disruption to the flow of calls and business as usual is very minimal so you don't have to lose business over the loss of your phone service in your office.
For more information on disaster recovery please contact Phones Plus at 262-784-2311 and speak to one of our sales representatives to answer any questions you may have.  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hosted IP PBX

Taking advantage of a hosted environment will not only give you the benefit of utilizing new internet telephony technology, but it will offer you a host of valuable features. You can take advantage of such features as “under one roof” functionality which makes multiple locations appear to be all under one roof with extension dialing, call transfer between locations and several other features. Another great feature of a hosted system is the built in disaster recovery which is automatic with a hosted system because of the way it is put together.

Some additional benefits of a good provider of a hosted system are that your monthly phone bills can go down by about 40-70% per month. That means that if you wanted to get a whole new phone system with a hosted provider, the system will be paid for out of your monthly savings in no time flat! There are also bundled calling plans to fit every business’ needs including plans for international calling that include 34 destinations now and that are growing all the time. Perhaps the best part of having a hosted solution with a Phones Plus partner is the fact that their customer service is based in the US. No more calling and talking to someone who isn’t even in the country – we all know how frustrating that can be!

Since this is still a relatively new technology in telephony (even our partner for hosted systems has only been working with them since 2001) lots of people have concerns about call quality. It is amazing what can happen in just 9 short years. This technology started out as a great idea that needed a lot of tweaking, but has become a very reliable source of great call quality with very few interruptions to your service.

Some other important features of a hosted system are Internet faxing and conferencing capabilities, making it even easier to communicate with customers, other offices or prospects. All of the features I have spoken about can be scaled up or down to fit the needs of an office with 2 people to an office with 2,000 people. This is a great solution that is easy to use, quick to set up and offers a great variety of features to users. For additional information on hosted systems please contact Phones Plus at 262-784-2311 or check out our website at

Friday, June 4, 2010

Why hosted VoIP is a good choice for small to mid sized companies

Advancements in Technology & Cost Reduction Is Driving Demand for Popular Business Communications System

NEW BERLIN, WI — May 27, 2010 — Phones Plus, an industry leader in unified communications, announced today that hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is experiencing tremendous adoption by small to mid-sized businesses. A number of distinct benefits such as superior quality of service, reduction of cost, flexibility, built in business continuity and advanced applications are driving the demand for hosted VoIP technology.

Unlike a traditional phone system, hosted VoIP requires no on-site PBX hardware. Instead the technology uses VoIP service to place and receive calls using the Internet. This service is frequently hosted remotely by a 3rd party VoIP provider. As a result, an end user’s communication via VoIP service is handled by redundant enterprise servers offsite. In addition to the profound upfront cost savings this presents, hosted VoIP technology enables one’s phone system to be completely scalable and flexible. An organization can add or remove phones on a hosted system any time.

Hosted VoIP serves the needs of entrepreneurs and enterprises alike, by delivering powerful features such as improved call quality, valuable disaster recovery tools, and applications designed specifically for telecommuters and remote workers. Included in the system are advanced features such as unified messaging, automatic call distribution, auto attendant, call recording, call flow reporting as well as traditional PBX features.

The U.S. business hosted IP voice services market is expected to grow from 828,350 seats in 2008 to 4,910,499 seats in 2013, a CAGR of 42.8%, according to Interactive Data Corporation (IDC), a market research firm specifically focused on the IT segment. “The SMB marketplace has started to really embrace hosted VoIP because it dramatically increases their profitability and gives them a competitive advantage,” said Thomas Sodemann, Vice President of Phones Plus. “For many customers off premise communications technology is preferable. In a hosted environment, companies can take advantage of flexible technology knowing that if a disaster occurs, whether a power outage or natural, the system will remain up without interruption.”

“After we understand our customers’ strategic business objectives we recommend the right technology to support all of their needs and in many cases that means a hosted solution,” added Mr. Sodemann. “Hosted VoIP is quickly becoming more than an acronym, it’s raising the bar for Unified Communications providers, while giving businesses the edge they need to compete in today’s marketplace.”


Since 1981, Phones Plus has committed to establishing lasting business relationships with our clients. Phones Plus offers innovative voice, video, and data networking solutions that increase our clients’ profitability and gives them a competitive advantage in their marketplace.

Phones Plus recognizes the critical need for a communications company that combines leading technology with top-quality service and support.

Our mission is to provide exceptional value through managed services that eliminate technological obsolescence, ensure a fixed cost for our business partners, and maximize the profits, productivity, image, and competitive advantage of those partners. Highly trained and motivated professionals give you measurable results.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An Update

Just to keep everyone up to date, I wanted to let you know that we have unfortunately had to cancel our SIP trunking lunch and learn.  We plan on rescheduling it, we just aren't totally positive when that will be just yet.  So, keep on checking out our social media pages and we will be sure to keep you posted on what is happening with that event. 
Thanks very much and have a great day!

Zultys MXIE Demo

This week, we are trying to really focus on learning all we can about Zultys products.  It was fairly recently that we became a Zultys authorized dealer and we want to make sure that we are experts on their products as we start selling more of them.  These products are designed to be very advanced and cutting edge - they are designed from SIP up.  Also, these systems are designed to give you as many features as possible with minimal licensing so that once you buy the phones and all of the equipment you will not have to make a huge investment to get the features that you want. 
You can pretty much get any number of users on a single system - these systems will get really big if you need that, or you can get a small system for a business that has plans for growth.  The MXIE is the Unified Communications solution offered by Zultys - it would be the Zultys equivalent of Toshiba's Strata Call Manager (NetPhone) and it is extremely easy to use once you get the hang of it.  Check out the video above and you will see how MXIE can increase productivity by offering a very simple format for call handling and voicemail options.
If you have any questions regarding MXIE or any other Zultys product, please feel free to contact Phones Plus at 262-784-2311 and we will be happy to answer whatever questions you may have.  Have a great week everyone!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Transparency – Just a darn cool tool

I am sure that there are a fair few people out there who have no clue what network transparency means or how it can be used to make life much easier in businesses with multiple offices. What transparency does is make many physical locations appear to outside callers to be under one roof, rather than spread about in different towns, cities, or even states.

Transparency is a great tool because it makes life easier in offices that work closely together even if they are not geographically close together. Say we have a building in Milwaukee and another one in Chicago where management has to work together on a deal. When they need to ask questions of one another, the manager in the Milwaukee office can simply dial the extension of the manager in Chicago to whom he wishes to speak and they are connected. No call had to be placed, no secretary had to pick up or transfer the call – it was all done as an interoffice page.

The same holds true with transferring calls and conferencing in additional people who need to consult on what is being discussed. An example is that a call comes into the Chicago office but the person actually needs to talk to someone in the Milwaukee office. Rather than having that customer hang up and call the other office, Chicago can just transfer the call to Milwaukee with no disruption to the call. It makes the flow of business very smooth and seamless. Another example is now that the caller is talking to the right person in the Milwaukee office, they need to ask some questions of someone in the Chicago office. The person in the Chicago office can easily be conferenced in to the call so everyone who needs to be in on the conversation is there and contributing.

Having this tool makes life easier for everyone – especially your customers. Just think of how frustrated you get when you call to try and get something taken care of and you are told to hang up and call this other number for another department. It is frustrating and in this day and age, totally unnecessary for businesses to have to function that way. Transparency is a tool for not only making your life easier as an employee, but makes life easier for the people you need to survive in business… Your customers. That is really the key to the whole thing - giving your customers the easiest solution to communicating with the people they need to reach in your company. It will make your business much more productive and your customers happy that they don’t get the runaround when just trying to get things accomplished.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Understanding Your Phone Bills

It seems that these days, service providers make our bills as confusing as possible so we won’t keep a close watch on what we are being charged and why. It is very true that a lot of people look at their phone bill, get frustrated with the way it is laid out, and give up on trying to figure out what all of those charges are. This is how people end up with third party billing charges and unnecessary service charges for insurance among other things.

The best way to stay on top of your phone bills whether they are your own personal bills or the ones at work is to occasionally call your service provider and talk to them. It is hard to get through and frustrating to spend what feels like a month on hold every time you call, but it is well worth the time it takes when you see your bill not getting out of control. I will usually call from work when I need to talk to a service provider because I know it will be a quick conversation to just touch base with them and I can put the call on speakerphone while I am on hold so I can do something else while I wait.

Once I (finally) get a real, live person on the phone, I will ask them any questions I have about my bill and make sure that I am getting the lowest rate for my service plan. Surprisingly, if you haven’t spoken to them in a while, usually the person will tell you right away where savings are available without you even having to ask. Taking the time to call and speak to a person at the phone company will give you the chance to make sure that you know what you are actually getting charged and what those charges are for.

Some phone companies will try to sell insurance on your cabling in your building which is generally pretty unnecessary. If you feel better knowing you have it, go ahead and pay for it, but it won’t help you if you have a problem – the phone company will send someone out who will tell you there is a problem and leave without doing anything to fix it. Then, there is the third party billing. You can generally tell when this is taking place because you will be looking through your bills and suddenly the logo at the top of the page will change. That is because all of the charges on that page are coming from a third party and really have nothing to do with your service. These are easy enough to cancel and usually you can even get a refund for the entire time you were being charged for that bogus service. Just hang onto those bills so you can prove when it actually started.

If you are willing to invest some of your valuable time into making sure you look over your service provider bills carefully each month, you can save a lot of money in the long run. It is very important to let your service provider know that you would like slamming insurance and protection against third party billing. These are free account guards that will protect you from getting charged for bogus services that do nothing for you. You also need to make sure that your service provider knows that you look carefully at your bills and that you will call them about anything that looks different or strange. Quite often, the tactic is to call later in the afternoon or evening to catch a part time employee who doesn’t know any better and get them to authorize adding unnecessary service to your account.

If you are smart and proactive about your service provider bills, you can have great success in saving money and time both at home and at work, so make that call and start saving!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Phones Plus :: RSVP

Phones Plus :: RSVP

Here is a link for you to sign up for our SIP trunking lunch and learn. Sign up soon - space is limited and this is going to fill up fast! Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 10, 2010

How emergency mailboxes can increase productivity while saving money

Many businesses today are worried about how their customers or patients are going to reach them after normal business hours in case of an emergency. Many times the solution ends up being the sleepy, detached voice of a nighttime answering service or receptionist. The problem is that they are not a part of the day to day activities in your office – that nighttime answering service has no idea that customer A has been experiencing problems all day and needs to be handled delicately to avoid further frustration. In letting someone so detached from what goes on in the office all day be the voice of your business at night, you are potentially opening yourself up to a host of issues.

The solution to all of this is using a feature already built into several voicemail systems. Emergency mailboxes put your customer/patient in rapid contact with someone who knows what is going on with them and is aware of what they are looking for. They also allow the employee to hear the tone of the customer’s voice so they know if this is a serious issue that they had better have some solutions for, or if it is a simple question. The advantages of this direct contact are immeasurable because employees get direct contact with customers even after hours and customers feel comforted to know that they are reaching someone who knows them and their situation.

The sequence of the emergency mailbox function is as follows… A customer calls your main office number at night and selects the emergency mailbox prompt from the auto attendant. The customer is either given a directory of mailboxes or leaves a message in the general emergency mailbox. From the point that the customer hangs up after leaving the voicemail the mailbox will call the person assigned to that mailbox at a designated number and let them know that they have a message waiting. Now the employee can either listen to the message via a keystroke on their cellular phone or they can call the office to listen to the message. Now the employee knows how urgent the situation is and can deal with it accordingly. If the employee would not listen to the message, the mailbox could be set to hunt to another designated number until someone listens to the message or repeat call the same employee until that person listens to the message.

As you can see, this is a very effective tool to help your customers reach the correct person to deal with the issue when they need help, even if it is a night. The system ensures that someone is going to hear the message as quickly as possible and that the customer gets to be the one delivering the message. This will eliminate the need for a night receptionist or a costly answering service to try to handle your very important customer’s needs.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

SIP Trunking Lunch and Learn

Phones Plus, Inc. is hosting another lunch and learn on the topic of SIP Trunking.  The event is going to take place on Thursday, June 10th at the Doubletree Hotel in Brookfield from 11:45am to 1:00pm.  We have 3 delicious lunch options - A french dip sandwich with fries, a cobb salad with a dinner roll or a grilled chicken caprese sandwich with fries.
Keep an eye on our website because the sign up form should be up there within the next couple of days.  We look forward to seeing you there!  Our last lunch and learn on this topic was an amazing success and very informative for a lot of people.

Have a great weekend all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FreedomVOICE® and Phones Plus, Inc. Announce Strategic Partnership

Companies Join Forces to Raise Awareness for the FreedomIQ Hosted VoIP PBX

NEW BERLIN, WI - April 29, 2010 – FreedomVOICE®, creators of the industry leading FreedomIQ® Hosted VoIP PBX, and Phones Plus, Inc., today announced the formation of a strategic partnership. The companies have aligned in order to distribute and promote the popular FreedomIQ Hosted VoIP PBX.

“We couldn’t be happier with the new partnership,” said Eric Thomas, CEO of FreedomVOICE. Phones Plus, Inc. understands the true value of the FreedomIQ Hosted VoIP PBX. They’ve demonstrated that they are a qualified, mature company and we are looking forward to working with them.”

As a unified communications provider, Phones Plus, Inc. has many years of experience and has built a solid reputation as the region’s leading technology organization. Now an authorized dealer for the FreedomIQ product, Phones Plus, Inc. will be responsible for business development and representing FreedomIQ in the community.

“We’ve been interested in the FreedomIQ hosted VoIP PBX since day one,” says Mr. Thomas Sodemann, Vice President of Phones Plus, Inc.. “Hosted VoIP phone systems are being adopted by business owners at an increasing rate, and FreedomIQ is a top product option for this segment.”

With powerful features designed to serve entrepreneurs and enterprises alike, FreedomIQ offers industry leading call quality, impressive cost savings, valuable disaster recovery tools, and has become priceless to telecommuters and remote workers.

FreedomIQ was named by Unified Communications magazine as a recipient of the 2008 Product of the Year Award and by TMC’s Communications Solutions as the 2007 Communications Solutions Product of the Year.

Find out more about the FreedomIQ Hosted VoIP PBX by visiting or by calling (262) 784-2311.


Since 1981, Phones Plus has committed to establishing lasting business relationships with our clients. Phones Plus offers innovative voice, video, and data networking solutions that increase our clients’ profitability and gives them a competitive advantage in their marketplace.

Phones Plus recognizes the critical need for a communications company that combines leading technology with top-quality service and support.

Our mission is to provide exceptional value through managed services that eliminate technological obsolescence, ensure a fixed cost for our business partners, and maximize the profits, productivity, image, and competitive advantage of those partners. Highly trained and motivated professionals give you measurable results.


Founded in 1996, FreedomVOICE® develops and markets FreedomIQ®, a hosted VoIP PBX service allowing businesses and professional offices to interact more effectively with their customers, clients, patients and associates. FreedomVOICE® also offers a comprehensive slate of integrated virtual office solutions, enabling business owners to enhance company image, communicate seamlessly with customers, track marketing effectiveness, and increase profitability.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Something I learned today...

So today, we went out on an appointment and I discovered something interesting about AT&T.  They allow charges to be put onto your phone bill that are totally bogus.  It is like the spam in your e-mail inbox...  Except that you have to pay for it.  A word to the wise, check your bill closely for charges that don't make sense and if there is anything there, call the number and get them dropped asap.  No reasaon to pay for something totally useless, is there?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Learning all kinds of things

I don't know if anyone noticed the cool sharing widget added to our blog just a few minutes ago (I don't think anyone knows about the blog yet, but my guess is that it hasn't been noticed yet)...  I was directed to the coolest site for making sharing via social networking sites so much more accessible.  It is called and I highly recommend it to people who are working toward utilizing somial media to it's fullest.  This is a great tool and I wanted to let our friends and fellow bloggers know that it is out there and it is a free service.

Getting Started on Utilizing Social Media Tools

Here we go!  Entering into a new time where social media is going to become a more prominent part of our business to help us share more easily and seamlessly with existing customers and future prospects.  Today finds us with a new Linkedin business page, a Twitter account and hopefully (if the confirmation e-mail ever shows up) a Facebook page as well.
This is the result of a lot of good intentions to start using social media for a while.  Everyone seemed too busy to actually devote the time to getting it all started for real, so when I attended a seminar about how to best use social media I decided the time had come.  This is going to be an interesting journey and I look forward to not only a creative outlet, but to hopefully putting a lot of very technical stuff into terms that even I can understand! 
Thanks for your interest in our blog and I promise that we will be posting as often as possible with upcoming events, news, and anything you need to know about innovations in telephony.  We also very much look forward to getting some feedback, so please comment and let us know of anything you would like to hear about or have questions on. 
Thank you and we will see you here again soon!