Ooma is Spreading Holiday Cheer with Free Calls to Santa!

This holiday season instead of writing a letter to Santa, you can give him a call! Ooma is spreading good cheer by offering free calls to the North Pole, directly to Santa’s line! Now through December 24th, children of all ages can call Santa and leave a message by dialing 1-844-544-OOMA (1-844-544-6662). You’ll be connected directly to Santa’s voicemail at his workshop. After a very special greeting from Santa, make sure to let him know what presents are on your wish list this year. Santa and his elves listen to all his messages, so if you’ve been good this year he may grant your wishes!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Ooma!

Gotta Fax? Then You’ve Gotta Check Out SureFax From Ooma Office

ooma_surefax_cloud_1The fax machine. Reports of its ultimate extinction in the workplace have circulated for years. However, as long as there are law firms, CPAs, banks and healthcare companies, there will continue to be fax machines. They play a vital part in the secure transmission of legal documents, medical records, mortgage documents, invoices, sales orders and many other key pieces of business material. In fact, for many companies the fax may be the only means of verifying a document has been received and an authentic signature has been produced.

It’s true that the number of physical (or “analog”) fax machines are getting fewer and fewer. More businesses are moving towards digital faxing to save money buying and maintaining hardware. Digital faxing also allows you to send and receive faxes from any computer or mobile device and archive them in the cloud.

So having the flexibility of making analog versus digital faxing in your office has never been more important. At Ooma we’ve been hard at work to let you fax whichever way you want, using our powerful VoIP solution.

So we’re very excited to share that we’re rolling out our new SureFax feature to our Ooma Office customers. What exactly does SureFax do? In a nutshell, it takes your analog faxes and translates them into “VoIP language.” This makes it possible to send and receive faxes over pretty much any high-speed Internet connection.

Ooma Office is now packing more punch – and not just on the faxing front. Have you been stuck in the administrator role fielding requests from employees for basics like call forwarding? We think your time is best spent on the truly administrative tasks like setting up extensions (and we’re willing to bet you do too). Now each phone user can customize their phone experience through our new Ooma Office Manager user portal. To make life easier for users as well, the user portal has a handy click-to-call feature so you can return missed calls by simply clicking the number in your call log.

Today we also added support for toll-free numbers. Whether you want to add a toll-free number for your business or port over an existing one, it’s as easy and affordable as adding any new line to your system.

If you currently have an Ooma Office business phone system, these new features are all available today as part of your existing subscription. Enjoy and let us know what you think! To read the full press release, click here.

Starting a Small Business? Ooma Can Help

When starting a small business, you face many questions and decisions – the location of your office, what kind of computers should you use, what should your logo look like, what kind of phone system should to adopt – and the list goes on and on.

Well, Ooma can help you answer one of those questions.

The goal of our Ooma Office business phone system has always been to give small business owners big business functionality at a fraction of the cost, saving valuable time and money without sacrificing quality and value. We are constantly developing new features not available from any other VoIP providers, without compromising quality for our customers.

That’s why we were recently featured by Software Advice, a leading provider of detailed reviews, comparisons and research for software buyers, in its blog post Our Favorite On-Premise IP-PBX Systems.

Daniel Harris, VoIP and telecom researcher at Software Advice, understands this value completely, writing how “Ooma Office includes the core functionality that a very small business needs from a phone system. Very small businesses don’t end up paying for call center functionality that they don’t need, while they get popular and sophisticated features (e.g. auto attendants, ring groups and conferencing) at an incredibly competitive price.”

So as you start to ponder the many questions surrounding starting your small business, don’t worry about your phone system – leave that up to us at Ooma!

Software Advice is the leading provider of detailed reviews, comparisons, and research for software buyers.


The Ooma Wearable Safety Phone is Here!

Remember those commercials with the elderly lady who fell, couldn’t get up and began shouting loudly for help?  She was wearing an alert pendant, which required her to be close to a base station to communicate. So despite her distress, she lay on the floor shouting for emergency responders who may or may not have been able to understand a word she said.

It’s about time alert devices got more sophisticated. That’s why we’re excited to announce our new Ooma Safety Phone is now available on ooma.com.

Ooma Safety Phone is a wearable pendant that allows you or your loved ones to call for help in an emergency. Since the phone has two call buttons, you can configure them for multiple emergency scenarios.  For example, you might want to program one button to call 911 in an emergency and the second number so a neighbor can help you as well. It also works as a speakerphone so you can have a live conversation with the emergency responder – no shouting required.

Pressing either button can trigger text or email alerts to be sent to your family or friends, so they are immediately aware of your situation. Using the My Ooma Web Portal you can easily program two speed dial numbers to tell it whom to alert when you make a call. And it also works as a hands-free device in every day situations, so you can be in the garden and take a call with the push of the button.

Want to have peace of mind knowing help is never more than the push of a button away? You can get Ooma Safety Phone at ooma.com for $49.99. It comes complete with a charging cradle, AC adapter, wearable lanyard and guide to walk you through the simple setup. Please note that Ooma Safety Phone needs a few key things to work:  a high-speed Internet connection, Ooma Telo and an Ooma Premier subscription.


Ooma Voted No. 1 as Best Business VoIP Service by PCMag

Posted with permission from Ziff Davis, Inc.  

We’re proud to report Ooma has been selected as PCMag’s 2014 VoIP Business Choice winner for small businesses of less than 25 employees. Receiving an overall score of 9.4 out of 10, Ooma beat out competitors such as Shoretel, Avaya, Cisco and RingCentral. Ooma was also rated No. 1 in categories of Reliability, Technical Support, Least Likely to Need Tech Support (ease of use), and Likelihood to Recommend.

Ooma Office launched to the U.S. market in 2013 and has since expanded to Canada. Since launch, we’ve been hard at work updating feature capabilities while still ensuring the product remains affordable. While most U.S. microbusinesses using traditional phone lines spend around $300 on a month on their phone bills, Ooma Office customers – who include start-ups, law firms, accountants and non-profits – have cut down their bills considerably.

The PCMag results further reinforce Ooma Office’s increasing name recognition as a go-to phone service for allowing small businesses look and sound like big businesses. And we’re not stopping here; we’re constantly finding ways to give our customers the best experience possible. Be on the lookout for more (positive) changes as we move into the summer months.

In case you’re curious, the VoIP Business Choice survey was limited to PCMag.com community members and available at SurveyMonkey.com from March 12 to April 21, 2014. Users were asked about overall satisfaction with the service and technical support within the past 12 months.

PCMag is a popular news publication offering consumer and business technology news and reviews. Its parent, Ziff Davis, LLC, is the world’s largest digital media and technology company and reaches over 100 million viewers per month.

Take Ooma’s Pledge to #CallMomFree this Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, Ooma is doing our part to make sure that every mom gets the phone call she wants and deserves. To ensure this happens, Ooma is offering all Ooma users free international calling on Sunday, May 11, along with our always free nationwide calling – so there’s no excuse not to make that call. Whether your mom is near or far, she’s always just a (free) phone call away with Ooma!

Take the pledge to call your mom at CallMomFree.com and be entered to win a $1,000 (which you will use to buy a fabulous gift for your mom, of course). When you take the pledge we will also send you a nice reminder on Mother’s Day, it’s really a fool proof plan.

Tell us on Twitter (@Ooma) why you are going to #CallMomFree this Mother’s Day.

Ooma Small Business Customers Provide Savings Tips for Tax Day

According to the National Small Business Association, small business owners spend 40 hours (a full workweek!) and more than $5,000 to complete their taxes. Ooma Office enables small businesses to function and multitask like big businesses at a fraction of the cost, saving crucial time and money. In the spirit of Tax Day, Ooma’s small business customers offer up their unique insights to get a head start on this year’s savings. Looking for ways to avoid wasteful spending in 2014? Check out the tips below to see how these small business owners cut down costs, so you can start saving those dollars!

• Automate, automate, automate: “It may be easier to just go with the flow and do your job, but taking the time while you are working to make your templates better and make your job more efficient is worth multiples in time, money and happiness.” (Nadeem N. Vaidya, M.D., Retina OC)

• Prioritize your business: “Rather than establishing a hard-line network, I use a cloud service … I jumped on board with Ooma Office as soon as it became available … The initial hardware purchase was reasonable and does not require any special telephone equipment, which is a bonus.” (Christine Swenson, Swenson Law Office, PC)

• Have as little overhead as possible: “Really ask yourself if you need whatever it is you’re considering purchasing. If it’s a clear need or investment in your business, make sure you can afford it and it won’t affect your cash flow or savings.” (Jason Unger, Junger Media)

• Keep things simple: “As the owner of a business, you have the ‘privilege’ of working long hours for little pay in the beginning. Focus on your core business, do not try to do too many things at the beginning.” (John McKernan, Chapel Hats)

Ooma Office saves customers up to 90% on their monthly phone bills. If you’re interested in learning more about Ooma Office’s capabilities, check out our savings calculator to find out how much you could save over the course of three years by making the switch.

Winning! Ooma Telo Back in the News

Once again, Consumer Reports has come out and made a splash about the Ooma Telo home phone system. We thought rather than talk ourselves up, we’d let you check out who’s already buzzing about it – and why Telo is a great solution for saving money around the home.

Here are some of our favorite stories:

CBS Pittsburgh: Ooma Telephone Service Earns High Marks

Consumer Reports: 3 ways to create your own Internet bundle for less

Consumer Reports: How to decode your cable bill and save money

KGO: Consumer Reports talks about Ooma phone service

WCPO: Consumer Reports: Internet service could eliminate your phone bill

Yahoo! Finance: Ooma home phone service: What you need to know

Know someone still deciding whether they want to cut the cord and switch to Ooma? Here’s where they can learn more.

Happy First Day of Spring from Ooma

Happy First Day of Spring! We’re in the spirit of spring cleaning here at Ooma and want to let you in on some of the simple and quick cleaning secrets that will save you money. We chatted with Erin Huffstetler, editor of My Frugal Home and frugal living expert for About.com, about the top tasks that people forget to put on their list of spring cleaning to-dos. Check out the tips below and be sure to tune in to Twitter today at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT to chat with Erin (@erinhuffstetler) and Ooma (@Ooma) live using the hashtag #askErin.

·         Clean Your Dryer Vent: The lint that gets caught in your dryer vent kills the efficiency of your machine and poses a serious fire hazard. Invest in a dryer lint removal kit, and use it to clean out your vent twice a year

·         Vacuum Your Refrigerator Condenser Coils:  Dusty condenser coils cause your refrigerator to work a lot harder than it should, resulting in higher energy bills and a shortened lifespan for your fridge. Take a few minutes twice a year to vacuum off the coils (unplug the fridge first), so your refrigerator continues to run at peak efficiency

·         Clean Your Dishwasher: Extend the life of your dishwasher by giving it a thorough cleaning each spring. Unplug it from the wall, and examine the sprayer arms to see if any of the nozzles are clogged (use a soft brush to remove any clogs that you find).  Then, clean out all of the food and debris from the drain or disposal at the bottom of the unit. This will help to eliminate odors and ensure that your dishwasher is draining properly. Finish by placing a cup of vinegar on the top rack and running your dishwasher on its hottest setting (for most units that’s the sanitize setting)

·         Sort Your Paper Piles:  While you’re sorting through all of those paper piles, take a look at your bills, and see if there are any places where you could make changes to save money. Switching your home phone to an Internet-based phone service, like Ooma, for example, could reduce your home phone bill to only $3-4 dollars a month – without sacrificing any of those must-have features

·         Automate Your Home: Home automation is a hot new trend, and it’s worth paying attention to. Look for ways to use technology in your home to simplify your life and save more money, such as a smart thermostat, water sensors for your alarm system, and smart power strips to save electricity


Calling vs. Texting: Survey confirms that the phone call is still king

Guest Post By: Laurie Davis

Dating has been rebooted. Technology and social media have had an enormous effect on the way people meet, date and start a relationship. As someone who helps singles find love online every day, I know this first hand! But just because courtship has evolved doesn’t mean that all the traditional rules should be deleted.

Based on a recent study conducted by Ooma, the majority of people prefer to receive a phone call post-date, as opposed to a text message. And this is definitely a trend I see with my clients. But the sexes operate differently – women tell me that they want their dates to call, but the survey shows that a quarter of men send a text message after a date. So guys, pick up the phone! You can still be a gentleman in the digital age.

On Valentine’s Day, here are a few tips for swoon-worthy post-date etiquette:
• Send a thank you text. Dropping your date a quick text to say thanks will show them that you really did have a good time. Go ahead and push send either that same night once you’re home or the next morning. The bonus is that this opens up communication again ensuring the date isn’t your final moment.
• Call to make plans. Give your date a ring a day or two after your thank you text to check-in and make plans for your next date. If he or she doesn’t pick up, it’s important to leave a message! Though call waiting is important, don’t take it for granted.
• Have plans when you ring. When you have something fun in mind for your next date before you call, it takes the pressure off … and removes the awkwardness of the “what should we do” conversation. Be flexible but have a back up plan.

Texting has its place in courtship today, but ultimately, it shouldn’t be something you rely on entirely. The personal touch of a phone call is priceless and one of the best ways to show genuine interest. Plus it will most likely get your match to say yes to another date! So next time you go on a date, don’t forget to ring them after.

Laurie Davis is the founder of eFlirt Expert, an online dating consultancy firm and the author of Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating. She helps singles navigate flirting and relationships via technology. Follow her on Twitter @eFlirtExpert.