I have been using Vonage for several years now and they offer features like forwarding, voice mail transcribing and unlimited calling from within the US and to several countries for a competitive price. Yet there are a few features, like SMS forwarding, that have never been incorporated into the service. Tonight I finally received my invite to Google Voice and I think the marriage of the two makes for unified communications as it should be with no additional cost beyond my already present Vonage service.

Many companies license and run Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office Communication Server which have the ability to do everything Google Mail, Voice and Talk can. I am not sure if this is a bandwidth issue or just a general cost issue, but very often those companies turn off those features that would make lives for their employees so much easier. It amazes me that Google is able to provide these services to the general public, for free (provided you can live with the targeted ads)!
Many employees travel frequently and sometimes are in places where cell phone coverage just isn’t that good. Being able to add a forwarding number with a few clicks of a mouse is a convenience that needs to be there. Let us not forget the many folks who are now working from home and are “required” to provide their own home networks, phone lines and mobile devices out of pocket. Then add in the fact that many folks have endured multiple income, health benefit and retirement reductions in the past year. Any cheaper alternative to paid long distance is a welcome perk.

Okay, so where I am going with all this. It has been well known that Google “uses” the content in email to render targeted ads. I can only imagine they will be doing something similar with voicemail transcriptions. The one concern that must be realized is that Google Voice will take over as your voice mail provider when you use their number. Anyone can realize that there “could” be potential security implications here if you have insider information being spouted out onto your voicemail. However, when employees have to pay for their own communication networks do corporations have the right to govern the activity? I am very curious to see how this technology will disrupt the status quo of communications in the corporate world.

Copyright © Scott P. Rudy 2009 All Rights Reserved
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