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Business VoIP Feature Article


October 16, 2008
Business VoIP and the 2008 Election
Business VoIP
By Michelle Robart, TMCnet Editor
 
With the U.S. presidential election only a few weeks away, the race is heating up and technology is playing a huge role in how consumers are tuning in and staying up-to-date on the current campaigns.
 
As a provider of communication services for small- and medium-sized businesses, Nextiva is at the forefront of technology innovations. With its award-winning line of VoIP phone solutions powered by its state-of-the-art platform, Nextiva has helped thousands of businesses run professional phone systems at low flat-rates. Nextiva has also become famous for the speed and effectiveness of its customer support.
 
Nextiva took some time to reflect on technology’s impact on the 2008 presidential campaigns, and shares some of the new ways it has seen presidential candidates use business VoIP.
 
TMCnet: For readers who are not familiar, can you give a brief overview of Nextiva — what type of products/services are offered, who your customers are, and current market strategy?
 
Nextiva: Nextiva is a hosted-pbx business VoIP service provider with users located throughout the United States. At Nextiva, we are committed to providing SMB’s with big business features at a small business price. Our goal is simple: to make owning and running your small business easier, less costly and more profitable. Each product and service we offer was engineered to give small business owners advantages previously only available only to large enterprises. We are committed to building lifelong relationships with our customers by delivering affordable and reliable products and services.
 
TMCnet: What are some of the creative, real-world applications you’re seeing customers using business VoIP (hosted PBX (News - Alert)) for?
 
Nextiva: Nextiva’s solutions are hosted. This means that all of the software is located on secure servers at our data centers. By offering a hosted PBX service we are able to deliver valuable products and services at low prices. Our hosted PBX service includes features like an automated attendant, music on hold, hunt groups, extension dialing, and more.
 
With the smartphone market growing at a rapid pace and more people remaining connected at all times, Nextiva offers voicemail to e-mail at no additional charge. The voicemail to e-mail feature converts your Nextiva voicemails to a WAV file and sends them to you via e-mail. Businesses continue to use Nextiva’s features in a creative way on a daily basis; voicemail to e-mail will surely become more popular as the smartphone market grows.
 
TMCnet: What are some of the more creative ways you see candidates in the 2008 U.S. presidential race using technology this election season?
 
Nextiva: The Internet now serves as a great way for presidential candidates to reach out to voters. More than ever, we are finding that John McCain and Barak Obama, as well as their respective parties, are advertising and reaching out to Web sites in order to spread their messages. Both candidates have a Web site, blog, and maintain online advertising campaigns.
 
Comparing this election with previous races, we are noticing that both candidates are showing their own creative sides by using Web 2.0 portals like YouTube, Facebook and MySpace (News - Alert) to capture votes.
 
TMCnet: More specifically, what are some of the ways business VoIP can be used by political candidates/campaigns?
 
Nextiva: The cost and quality benefits of VoIP are clear. Considering the advantages of VoIP along with the importance of phone banks in any election, we find that both candidates/campaigns can use VoIP in order to gain an advantage in cost as well as efficiency.
 
TMCnet: Anything else you think people should know about the impact of technology on political campaigns?
 
Nextiva: Technology, particularly the Internet, has come a long way in impacting political campaigns. Based on the latest trends it is clear that the influence of technology on politics will grow. We are finding that the number of tech-savvy Americans continues to rise and therefore political parties will surely target the Internet as well as the technology arena as a whole in order to educate and gain votes. The traditional methods of campaigning may not be as effective as they once were, meaning that the future of political campaigning will be quite interesting.
 
 
 

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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