As I sip coffee from my comfy new work desk, and by desk I mean couch, I’m going over in my head just how to start this blog. The message is serious and sincere but the initial thought is a funny one…

The image that keeps coming to mind, to help really drive my blog point across, is a hysterical scene from one of my favorite shows – The Office. I know I have referenced the show before but it’s simply such a good one! The scene I am thinking of is when Jim gets Dwight to climb all the way up a telephone pole outside their office…and I mean ALL THE WAY UP. Jim was always playing funny pranks on Dwight, getting him to do or say outlandish things. Then, of course, stopping to stare directly into the camera with that loveable Jim Halpert smile…gotta love Jim. Gotta love the pranks. Gotta love The Office!

The reason Dwight was climbing that telephone pole was to chase after a random red wire Jim had tapped all throughout the office and eventually outside up a pole. Though hysterical, that’s not really why I’m referring to the scene. It’s just a great and relatable imagine of how someone can literally tap into your phone lines and make international calls, all the while jacking up your phone bill – without your knowledge.

It’s true. Time and time again companies and/or homes with old analog lines can easily be tapped into and taken advantage of leaving them with an astronomically high phone bill. A way around it is to install a secret pin that only company employees or owners know which you enter prior to the internal number dialed out. We have had a company or two, who refuses to put an interdental pin on their phone lines, hacked and have suffered the consequences of a high phone bill. It’s frustrating and a huge inconvenience. We do have an alternative solution now. One that is more beneficial across the board and downright SMART. Upgrade your phone system to a VoIP one!

One of our fantastic and loyal companies of many years, Maril Products located just over in Tustin California, had this happen to them not once but twice. It was that second occurrence that new owner Christian Whitehair decided to upgrade to VoIP. What was the reason for this hacking? Well they were simply on old outdated analog lines! Sometimes, we just love the comfort of what we’ve always known. However, analog lines are so much easier to hack into and dial away to anywhere in the world. As a VoIP user, the entire Network needs to be hacked. Not just a single analog line. Who were these thieves’ calling? International countries of course! Family, friends, perhaps even doing business over someone else phones lines, at someone else’s’ expense! Bottom line, it wasn’t Maril! There were hundreds of international calls made during a short period of time, causing them to have thousands of dollars in international fees that were just piling up on their phone bill. Thankfully, our IT team spotted this hacking fairly quickly and shut it down. At that point we reached out and, with Mr. Whitehair’s permission, began the painless transition of upgrading them to a new VoIP system.

After a couple weeks of their transition, we followed up with Mr. Whitehair on his VoIP transition and he had this to say about their recent upgrade…

“The install was very smooth! No issues whatsoever, and I really enjoy the new VoIP phones. I know we were initially a bit unsure about making the transition, but going from analog to VoIP was very easy. The installation took about 15 minutes and then I received the instruction guide from Bubble on how to set up (our) voicemail and they had a FAQ’s page which was helpful for new features such as parking calls, setting up voicemail etc. It is much easier now to see what calls I have missed and the on-screen display is very easy to navigate in order to call them back. The quality of the connection is also significantly better and I don’t have calls dropped occasionally, like would happen with the analog. I feel like I am probably just scratching the surface on the features of the phone, but for a simple manufacturing/distribution business it fits our needs. I will eventually get another phone to set up the home office given that benefit of VoIP.”

Not only are their lines secure now but also they are enjoying all the additional benefits of a VoIP phone system. Once we were able to sit down with Mr. Whitehair, demo the phones and explain it’s convenience, it was really a no brainer for him to switch. Switching was especially crucial for him and his company during the crazy pandemic of COVID. Their companies’ production of widely disinfectants was at an all time high! They desperately needed their lines of communications running and running flawlessly.

Maril Products has been relevant to the worldly crisis at hand and trying to help through the production of their product – Control III http://www.controlthree.com/. Very similar formula/chemical compound, but this is specifically a hospital grade disinfectant, which is effective against HIV-1, E. Coli, Salmonella, etc. Some guidance has come out indicating that the active ingredients in these two products (Physan 20 and Control III) are effective against coronaviruses. They can’t say for sure yet against this strain (COVID-19), but they are in the process of getting that tested in a lab. They sell Control III products to regional and national adult and children’s hospitals, VA clinics, various sleep labs and dental facilities across the US, and to individuals who are disinfecting hard surfaces in their homes. They also sell Physan 20 to agriculture customers in Vietnam, Korea, New Zealand, Nigeria, and India. A little further background on Maril is they have been selling this product as a family business for almost 30 years now and have always been headquartered in Tustin, California.

It’s been such crazy times from the very start of 2020. I mean, people did relate this decade to histories “roaring 20’s” but I highly doubt anyone knew just how ‘roaring’ it would start off being. It’s been quite the ride so far but some good still can come out of this year. After all, Bubble Communications was able to secure Maril Products communication systems, which in turn have been producing disinfectants for thousands! The snowball effect continues.

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