Two continents, 35 employees, 24 hours, one app.

hackathonWhat happens when Vonage employees in New Jersey, Atlanta and Israel participate in an action-filled 24 hour hackathon to design, develop, test and release a brand new app? With just seven minutes left on the clock, the team officially released a new app for Android, meeting the one day deadline. LystYT, a social sharing music app can be found on Google Play, and more information can be found on the Vonage Garage.

While much of what our development team focuses on directly enhances Vonage’s products and services for consumers and businesses, one of Vonage’s core values is to innovate relentlessly. Outcomes like the LystYT app may not tie directly to our current offerings, but they allow us to dig deep into emerging trends and technologies to see where our customers are working – and playing.

The Vonage Garage is a window into the Company’s research and innovation activities and demonstrates our commitment to relentless innovation. It’s where Vonage seeks to balance the benefits of exploring new technologies with quick speed to market. The Garage allows us to test new technologies with the public and get their input – good or bad – before developing further for implementation. Through the Garage, Vonage collaborates directly with customers – or potential customers -to get their feedback on the benefits of features, the readiness of technologies, and the ease of experience, potentially helping to shape future products and services. In this way, we can feature projects we’re beta testing with the public, some that are demos and others will just remain cool concepts for future initiatives. It’s where new ideas and products are born and exciting technologies are put to the test.

Want a behind-the-scene look at the Vonage Hackathon? Click here.

Market Leaders in UCaaS for the Enterprise Customer

EC_logo-4c (1)The future of Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) was top of mind for those attending Enterprise Connect 2016 on Tuesday, March 8 in Orlando. With so many providers and vendors demonstrating the latest innovations in the industry on the Expo show floor, attendees were left to wonder how this market – disruptive in and of itself – will continue to evolve and shape the way their companies do business.

The Market Leaders Theater Stage at the annual event was set up for that very reason – to give exhibitors the opportunity to present what they are doing and how they plan to lead the way for emerging technologies in the UCaaS space. Jeff Savage, VP of Enterprise for Vonage, presented his thoughts on the subject during Tuesday’s Expo hours to lend perspective on how Vonage has quickly positioned itself as a leader in the UCaaS market, and how its offering will continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of businesses.

There is a demand for cloud services among enterprise customers, which Jeff attributed to the efficiencies, flexibility, scalability and increased productivity that enterprises are realizing by moving their communications to the cloud. By serving the full spectrum of business communications needs, Vonage is able to meet the growing enterprise business need for mobility, video and software integration using voice as a platform. Complementary cloud services that are continuing to shape the enterprise customers’ use of unified communications including collaboration tools like videoconferencing, instant messaging and Virtual Desktop; mobility enabling features such as workflow integration, mobile apps, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and presence management; Quality of Service and business continuity enhancements such as SD-WAN technology; and white glove delivery, provisioning and customer support.

“We have dedicated Enterprise support teams with a maniacal approach to customer satisfaction,” said Jeff.

Unified communications delivered via the cloud can help companies save money and work more efficiently by boosting productivity with enhanced functionality, mobility and scalability. From proprietary cloud and private network capabilities, to workflow integration with CRM and other business applications, to a mobile-centric, robust product suite and dedicated service delivery team, a UCaaS solution serves companies of all sizes, from single-person companies to those with hundreds – even thousands – of employees spread across multiple locations.

Seeking Beta Participants

Interpreter betaVonage is committed to innovating relentlessly, finding and testing new technologies that make communication easier – anytime and anywhere in the world. Vonage today opened beta testing for a new interpreter/translation technology. The Company is looking for iPhone users to test the quality and reliability of the translation in 10 different languages. One of the biggest barriers in communication is that different people speak different languages. This beta utilizes translation technology to bridge the language barrier and improves communication.

Qualified beta applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have an iPhone (4S or above)
  • Have a need to communicate with someone who natively speaks one of the 10 test languages (English, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Hebrew)
  • Be willing to dedicate 20-30 minutes per week to the testing
  • Be willing to report their feedback on the data weekly

If you meet these criteria and are interested in being considered for this beta test, please visit http://garage.vonage.com/projects/interpreter/ and complete the online form. If you are selected to participate, you will receive an email from the beta team with additional details.

Vonage Partners with Inc. Magazine to host The Rules of Disruption Networking Events

Vonage Partners with Inc. Magazine to host The Rules of Disruption Networking Events

The Rules of Disruption

The Rules of Disruption

Vonage was built on a foundation of innovation and disruption. From its early days as a pioneer in the consumer VoIP space to its current status as a leader in the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market for business, the Company has always sought ways to challenge the status quo.

With its broad portfolio of cloud communications solutions designed to meet the vast needs of businesses of all sizes, Vonage is not only changing the way companies communicate, but the way they work. Providing the tools, products and services to unify a company’s communications so they can be more flexible, more nimble, more productive and, ultimately, more profitable, Vonage helps customers do business BETTER.

To illustrate its commitment to innovate relentlessly, Vonage recently partnered with Inc. Magazine, a premier print and online publication for entrepreneurs and business owners, to host a series of networking events for Vonage customers and business leaders to meet and share best practices on how to grow their companies in the current business landscape. The series, aptly titled The Rules of Disruption, took place in three key U.S. markets – New York, Dallas and Denver – highlighting local entrepreneurs who discussed how innovation and disruption in their fields helped them find success in the business world.

Mike Karnjanaprakorn, CEO of Skillshare, a New York-based online learning community, provided attendees at the downtown New York City event with unique insight into how he navigated the crowded education space. He shared the ups and downs of building a startup company and how he fostered his innovative idea to build Skillshare into one of today’s leading providers of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) education.

Known for its history as the center of the cotton industry, Dallas has its fair share of deep-rooted apparel companies. To crack that market, a business owner would need to rely on a unique approach to disrupt the traditional clothing landscape. When The Rules of Disruption hit Dallas, Veeral Rathod, co-founder of local clothing company, J. Hillburn, addressed the audience of local business leaders about the challenges and benefits of launching a startup company. He also gave insight into how his company found its footing – and success – in a hyper competitive marketplace “In order to continue to stay ahead, we have to understand what we do and how we will continue to differentiate ourselves,” noted Mr. Rathod. Since its founding in 2007, J. Hilburn has challenged the custom menswear market by removing the traditional brick-and-mortar retail model and employing a direct-to-consumer concept, enabling higher quality fabric and clothing at lower prices.

The third and final installment of The Rules of Disruption took place in Denver and featured Dr. Allen Lim, founder of performance food manufacturer Skratch Labs. Dr. Lim discussed how his company’s unique corporate culture and mission of changing the way people take care of themselves and their families helped to make his business successful. As Lim explained, “Every company has the opportunity to make its own rules. What has made my business successful is not only our ability to offer a unique product and market it well, but to foster a culture that inspires its employees to be a part of a community, a team.”

Vonage’s Rules of Disruption series of thought leadership events are aimed at highlighting innovation in the business world, mirroring Vonage’s innovative and disruptive approach to business communications. For more stories of business leaders who are using new technologies and strategies to disrupt their industries and grow their businesses, visit www.inc.com/vonage.

Vonage Mobile® Now Available for Apple Watch™

vonage-mobile-apple-watch-appThe wearable electronics business is projected to be $20 billion in 2015, and with the launch of the Apple Watch™, wearables are becoming increasingly integrated into everyday life. Vonage prides itself on addressing changing communications needs with innovative solutions, and the extension of Vonage Mobile® to Apple Watch™ is another example of our desire to be early to market as new device options become available to consumers.

Understanding that today’s consumers are always on-the-go, the Vonage Mobile App for Apple Watch means that users no longer need to pick up their iPhone® to respond to messages and calls. Whether stuck in a meeting or running through the airport to catch a plane, Vonage Mobile users can respond to incoming calls or text messages from other app users directly from the Apple Watch1 without fumbling through their bag or pockets to find their iPhone.

Adding to the ease of communication, Vonage Mobile for Apple Watch is one of the first wearable communications apps on the market that allows users to set personal reminders to return a phone call or message at a later time. This can be done directly from the watch’s incoming call screen, or by accessing recent calls/messages from the watch, so you never forget to return an important call or message!

Vonage Mobile users can also easily reject a call and send a pre-set “Can’t talk right now” message to the caller from the watch. In addition, they can respond to text messages with voice-to-text functionality or with one of five preset responses:

• I’m in!
• In a meeting, can’t talk right now
• Busy, ttyl?
• Running late, be there soon
• I’ll talk to you soon

Other Vonage Mobile features for Apple Watch include integration with the phone’s native contact list, call waiting and mirroring the iPhone’s notifications.

Vonage Mobile for Apple Watch is now available from the App Store for Apple Watch. A version for Android™ Wear is also available.

1Data rates apply.

New Feature: Simple, Easy Call Blocking from Vonage

selective-call-blockWe’ve all been there. Just as you’re sitting down to dinner, the phone rings. You look at the caller ID and it’s that number that has called at least three times earlier in the day. So you let it ring until it goes to voicemail.

Wouldn’t it be nice to block that number so you can enjoy dinner without constant calls from telemarketers? Today, Vonage customers can do just that with the introduction of selective call blocking.

Blocking a number with Vonage has never been easier. Set up is available exclusively through the Vonage® Extensions® app for iPhone® and Android™. Simply open the app, go to the “Recents” screen, find the number you want to block, swipe the number to the left and select “Block.” It’s that easy to block telemarketers, your ex, in-laws – whatever number you want!

Once blocked, that number will not ring on your Vonage home phone or any smartphone linked to your Vonage service. You can also enter a number to block, unblock a number and view all blocked numbers from the apps’ “Call Settings” screen.

What are you waiting for? Download (iPhone or Android) or update your Vonage Extensions app to start blocking unwanted calls today!