The VOIP and Unified communications are coming to the next steps. Days are gone when you needed collaboration tools from your service provider. Your Virtual service providers can do it all for you, and that too at a negligible or No cost. The best examplee to quote is Google Voice.
Google Voice started from GrandCentral, will eventually conquer large part of US and the world. Google last week started sending out invitations for Google Voice, its new VoIP service built on technology it acquired in 2007. Google Voice will be rolled out slowly, according to Google, but as of last Thursday, the service is now available to anyone who had requested to try the beta version.
What is Google Voice Hype All about?
Google Voice provides users with a universal phone number to cover all their phone communications – work, home, mobile – but more important are Google Voice’s bells and whistles, which include a transcription service for voicemails, the searchable cataloging of text messages and lots of different routing and forwarding options
Why it could pose a threat to Skype?
As a a consumer-grade VoIP service, Google Voice is Ready for a showdown with VOIP leader Skype. Here are the reasons why Skype, despite its enormous popularity, will need new things to compete:
1. Routing & forwarding Re-Defined: Google Voice allows users to customize the call routing. As per the need, Incoming call can be routed to certain phone number, ring certain tones and all this on any number of phones. Talking about customized preferences: The service offers the ability to direct your calls automatically to whichever phone (personal calls automatically to home phone, for example) as well as send calls automatically to voicemail.
2. A new definition of “Call Screening”: Call screening generally means throwing a glance at the incoming call number or caller ID screen and deciding whether to answer. According to Google however, when a call is made through Google Voice, the user gets to see the name plus four options: Answer it, answer it and record, send it to voicemail or send it to voicemail while listening to the caller leaving the voicemail, just like you did on landline answering machines 🙂 . Google Voice can also apparently ask for a caller’s name if it isn’t in a user’s saved Google contacts and get that name to the user before he or she picks up the call.
3. On the Fly Switching: No matter which channel a call comes in through Google Voice, you can switch the phone midway through the call and pick up again without dropping it. Everything is done on the Fly without any disruptions.
4. Read your calls: When you send a Google Voice call straight to voicemail, you can listen live to what the caller is recording, and also answer the call part way through that recording. Not only that, but you can listen to your saved voicemails online (via Gmail-like interface) as well as forward them, and for a small fee, receive transcriptions of your voicemails as well. using internal voice recognition system.
5. The Google God: Skype has enjoyed a long period of dominance. When its to fight with Google, I haven’t seen any survivors so far (don’t argue about Android, its a success in its own stream).
Google has previous records to start with a base service, and eventually make it one of the most feature-full products in the market. Just like the Gmail, which once came just as an email client. And now its a boom with all integrated GTalk, plugins, Gadgets, Docs, Google Apps for corporates, to name a few. I foresee integration of all these with Google Voice. It will be fun to see how you could call Google Voice and check your meetings, prepare docs and send it out to all without opening the mail. commercial POTS will vanish, Possibilities are endless. And then someone will have privacy concerns over Google Voice just like they did over search, Gmail 😉
Unified communications was once initiated by Cisco, Verizon, and now Google will Raise the bar.