Author Archives: Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is a technical writer and editor at Phone.com, where she creates simple instructions for our soon-to-be-released API. Sue likes fluid words like superfluous, isthmus and flibbertigibbet, and her favorite flavor of ice cream is pistachio.

The Robots are Coming! Video Conferencing in the Twenty-first Century

by Sue Walsh

 

I_Robot_-_RunaroundAs we move towards the year 2020, I’m wondering: Where are those time-saving robots that sci-fi writers and cartoonists promised us in the 1950s? Robots are running our production lines and powering our data centers, yet I’m still mowing the lawn and folding laundry!

Isaac Asimov dreamed of a world where bots not only did the menial tasks we disdain, but were capable of discernment and independent action, being governed by the Three Laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Earlier this year, iRobot and Cisco teamed to release the kind of robot Asimov may have seen in his mind’s eye. The Ava 500 Video Collaboration Robot is an roving bot that can take your place at meeting. Your physical place that is—you’ll still need to attend by video conference, displayed on Ava’s screen.

The Ava 500 is a highly evolved VOIP-based video-conferencing unit, one that can move to a specified meeting point and give you a physical presence at the boardroom table, even when you’re 500 or a thousand miles away. You control Ava 500 via an app on your iPad or iPhone. Take a look!

Note how Ava uses visual sensors to move around, avoiding bumping into walls, furniture and, yes, human beings! Ava 500, in fact, does an outstanding job of adhering to Asimov’s Three Laws—not injuring others, following orders, and protecting its own … being?

What we love about the Ava 500 is how close it comes to fulfilling the kind of intelligent function that Asimov and others imagined. That and the fact that it means we don’t have to drive or fly to attend far-away meetings. Fewer on-site meetings? Less travel? I’ll take that over wanting a robot to fold my laundry any day!

Streamline Communications with Our Killer Mobile App!

by Sue Walsh


defense_researchDefense consultant Edward Tj Gerety III communicates daily with clients and partners in the international community. A Co-Founder of Defensive Research, Gerety was looking for a business phone solution that would allow him to communicate efficiently wherever he found himself.

“Phone.com’s mobile app lets me communicate flawlessly with clients on all of my devices,” says Gerety. “Not only can I use a single identifying number across those devices, but if I’m busy with a client I can instantly redirect other VIP clients calling to another partner with just a tap of an icon on the app.”

Phone.com’s free Mobile Office app let’s you:

  • Place and receive calls from your Phone.com number
  • Hear, view and manage voicemail messages and faxes
  • View call logs for your account
  • Send and receive SMS messages
  • Host conference calls from your mobile devices

Gerety notes that these and other Phone.com features come at a huge cost benefit. “I’m saving, on average, $45 a month compared to my previous VOIP service,” he says, “and they offered only a tenth of the options, along with a fraction of Phone.com’s excellent customer service.”

Flexible mobile management, great features, cost savings and exceptional customer support—what’s not to love about Phone.com? We love making business easier for our clients!

AFAR: At the End of the Line for Animal Rights

by Sue Walsh



Phone.com Customer Service Pooch

Customer Service pup Wino, enjoying the green grass at Phone.com’s Poway offices.

Customer Advocates for Animal Rights (AFAR) came to Phone.com through our affiliation with Grassroots.org, a partnership that gives non-profits one year of free phone service.

Based in Michigan, AFAR’s goal is to advocate on animal-rights issues, educate the public on spaying and neutering, and celebrate the special bond between animals and the people who care for them. Their phone line is used to raise funds and gather support to provide no-kill temporary housing and care for strays.

Director David Farr says Phone.com has definitely helped move AFAR’s work forward. “As we grow, Phone.com is there, meeting our needs, often even before we know we need something.”

AFAR uses a Phone.com customized toll-free number. This feature lets customers pick a number that is easy for callers to remember and dial because it uses letters associated with the organization. For example, AFAR’s donation and support line is 1-866-224-AFAR.

Sancho, our Chief Happiness Officer

Sancho, our Chief Happiness Officer

David says AFAR staff are impressed by the friendly, helpful support they receive from Phone.com Customer Service. “They always go the extra mile, providing quality service.”

What David doesn’t know, is that at Phone.com, we love our dogs! From tiny Wino the Dachshund-Beagle pup pictured above to three-year-old Pit Bull Sancho, the hounds rule our Customer Service center.

We wish AFAR every success in protecting and advocating for our furry friends!

What Do You Need in a VOIP Phone Service?

by Sue Walsh

As a small business owner, are you satisfied with your phone service? Wonder where to find the reliability you need or how to scale your phone system to serve your growing enterprise?

You’re not alone. A recent report from Software Advice, a Texas-based service that matches businesses with best-in-class software solutions, suggests that nearly 60 percent of companies currently looking to upgrade their phone systems are looking for a sophisticated VOIP service, one that is both reliable and scalable.

Top Reasons for Considering VOIP

Reasons for choosing VOIP

The report highlights the top features, pain points and reasons that business owners are looking to VoIP.

What Do Smaller Businesses Need?

  • 77 percent are looking for a web-based, hosted PBX solution
  • Of the nearly 60 percent of respondents considering VoIP, one third were still using traditional landlines in their businesses
  • Only six percent of those who took the survey were IT specialists, which suggests that good technical support, easy setup, and service reliability will be key to buyers
  • 32 percent identified reliability and scalability as their top reasons for wanting to purchase a new VoIP system

Features were also key! Flexible voicemail options, caller ID, number portability and many others:

Top Requested Phone-Service Features

Top VOIP features

With a shift towards hosted, VOIP-based services, it becomes easier for small businesses to access sophisticated call, conferencing, voicemail and other services, using platforms that were once only available to larger enterprises. VOIP allows your five-person startup to function like an established player!

Getting the Whole Package

To wrap up, it’s clear that small businesses are making the shift from landline to VoIP solutions. Buyers are interested in solutions that are not only reliable, but can scale, allowing them to add users easily and economically as they grow. Also, small businesses may not have IT expertise in house, so they place great importance on easy setup, reliability and effective technical support.

What are you looking for in a phone system and can we help? Phone.com offers one of the most flexible, people-friendly, economical VOIP services available. Take a look!

American Family Crisis Ministry: Helping Families Get Back on Their Feet

by Sue Walsh

afcm_banner

Phone.com customer American Family Crisis Ministry is a faith-based organization in Pennsylvania that helps families in dire straits recover and move on.

“We receive calls from families who have nowhere else to turn for help,” says Bruce Norton, Chairman for the non-profit. “With Phone.com, we are able to route those calls directly to the people who are best able to help.”

In addition to helping callers with immediate financial needs, American Family Crisis Ministry volunteers, who range from money experts to personal and spiritual counsellors, then direct families to government and other partner agencies that can offer longterm help with personal skills, training or job opportunities.

Norton says that Phone.com services support their organization’s success in clear, measurable ways:

Flexible Call Routing

Not only can American Family Crisis Ministry route callers easily to volunteers who can help them, but our call-handling settings will scale as the ministry does. “As we grow,” says Norton, “we’ll rely on geographical routing, so someone who needs help can get it from a volunteer who is local to them.”

Accessibility and Privacy

Norton also loves the Phone.com mobile app because it lets him take calls wherever he is. “I can use my personal phone to call someone in need without disclosing my phone number. They see our organization’s main number on caller ID, which allows them to trust the person on the other end of the phone while preserving my privacy.

Deflecting Robocalls

Norton says volunteers have their phone lines set up to filter out telemarketers who are autodialing. These settings have completely eliminated the robocalls that would distract volunteers from their work.

Saving Time and Money

American Family Crisis Ministry has saved tens of thousands of dollars over the years using Phone.com. But Norton says that working with our Customer Service agents has also saved him time.

“When we were with another carrier, I knew that if I had a problem, it would take a day of my time to resolve issues with their agents. The Phone.com folks go out of their way to help—they are genuinely focused on finding solutions to help me and they are efficient.”