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.

Friendship and Feasting! Happy Holidays from Phone.com

by Sue Walsh

Diwali candle, Phone.com international holiday potluck

With our Phone.com team hailing from every corner of the globe, our international holiday potluck last Friday was truly spectacular. Sweet plantains from Nigeria, Chutney fish in banana leaves from India, scrumptious Swedish meat balls and traditional English mince pies to name just a few. Needless to say, we did not go hungry!

Food at the Phone.com international holiday potluck

My plate was laden with latkes and blintzes, lumpia and barfis, and they were all delicious! We dimmed the lights and lit candles, wished each other cheers, l’chaim and salud, and spent the afternoon celebrating a year of hard work and friendship.Phone.com team enjoy the holiday potluck

As the year draws to a close, we wish our customers a very happy holiday season, and a peaceful, successful year in 2015.

This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!

— American peace activist D.M. Dellinger

Why Generation Y Won’t Answer Your Voice Messages

by Sue Walsh



Why Gen Y'ers won't answer your voice messagesDo you dislike leaving voice messages for friends and colleagues?

You’re not alone, especially if you’re between the ages of 18 and 34. Research shows that millennials, also known as Generation Y, shy away from leaving voicemail, in favor of texting or using services like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat.

Recent articles in the New York Times and on NPR’s All Things Considered suggest that twenty-somethings, raised in a text-friendly culture with unlimited phone access to their friends, just don’t like waiting for the robotic voice instructions to end or that annoying beep. On average, Gen Yers send up to 60 text messages a day. They find texting more immediate and satisfying, and trust it more.

While millennials have been dubbed the “Me” generation, when it comes to messaging it seems more a matter of pragmatism than entitlement. Texting is simply faster and easier than leaving a message. A “Call me!” text will likely be answered more quickly than a voice message buried on your phone or in your Inbox. And millennials will often call the number that appears on a voicemail notification before listening to the full message. Again, they like to save time.

Growing up with caller ID, millennials may also assume that if a workmate sees their caller name and chooses not to pick up, they do not want to answer. Not answering can seem like a rejection, and having to leave a voice message can feel, to use a Gen Y-ism, lame.

Finally, admit it, you might teach or sell or coach for a living, but we all feel a bit tongue-tied when we leave a voice message. A text message is easily edited.

All in favor of scrapping voicemail shout “yeah!” Unfortunately, most of us work in businesses that span at least a couple generations of workers. And our parents and grandparents still love the sound of our voices on their answering services. Voicemail may one day go the way of the telegram, but until then, we’ll still need to leave a message after the beep from time to time.

A few tips for leaving your voice message? Sit up tall and take a deep breath before beginning. Then say who is calling and leave a short, detailed and friendly message with a smile.

Finally, if you just don’t want to have to log in and listen to all those messages sequentially, use a service like Phone.com’s voicemail-to-text, which sends voice messages to your email or phone to read over a latte!

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!