Our old phone system was a two-line landline system from AT&T with voicemail. Many times on different days of the week with two-to-three volunteers working in the office we would have both lines continually busy such that calls to MUFON HQ went directly to voicemail without ever being answered on the first or second ring by a live support person. To be honest, I was the biggest offender using one of the two lines for numerous conference calls all in the pursuit of finding answers to the UFO question. Well the good news is that this has all been solved! We have upgraded to four phone lines at headquarters using the latest Cloud-based Voice over IP technology (VOIP) through a service called RingCentral, all for about the same cost as our previous AT&T service. You can check them out at ringcentral.com I know you’ll be suitably impressed. In fact, you might even decide to use this innovative service for your own small business or commercial enterprise. The nice thing about RingCentral is that it allows us to have an infinite number of virtual lines, so much so that we can put the entire MUFON FI team on the service, up to 1,000 people, all with their own unique extensions. It also has a number of great collaboration tools built in including telephone and video conference calling, instant messaging, calendaring and other cool productivity tools. It will be a while before we are fully integrated and using all the new capabilities this new system affords us. The good news is we are now positioned to grow for the future.
Well, computers and phones aren’t much good without a purpose, and an application to run on them, and NeonCRM (Neon Customer Relationship Management) may just be that future. It is a Cloud-based membership system that will replace our aging GiftWorks system. NeonCRM.com according to their website is a group of nonprofit nerds committed to furthering an organization’s impact through technology. They provide the tools to help a nonprofit like MUFON grow its mission, inspire our members and followers, and scale our organization for success, and the time couldn’t be more right for this to happen. In short, it’s a database designed to focus on people, not transactions, engaging donors, planning events, managing membership and tracking volunteers – all with the most robust Cloud-based software made specifically for nonprofits. If all goes well, we’ll be implementing this in the fourth quarter of 2016 with a go live date of January 1, 2017. One of the many benefits to you as a member is that you will be able to access your own membership records and even update your information as needed all by using the power of the Internet and your smartphone, tablet or computer. I’m very excited about our future, and based on these much needed upgrades to our non-profit capabilities, I hope you are too! Next month we’ll talk about some of the exciting things we’ll be doing with this newly acquired capability to grow and expand the organization in pursuit of our vital mission the Scientific Study of UFOs for the Benefit of Humanity. Thank you for your generous support of this most important pursuit! Your passion is what keeps us going here at MUFON headquarters.