What’s On The Menu

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While I write about the business of technology for a living, for fun I blog about cooking. Thus if someone asks me “what’s on the menu,” the chances are good my answer will be something like “non-dairy creamy potato leek soup,” a recipe I’m busy developing and testing the same day that I’m writing this blog.

Now, if you’re specific about what you mean by the term “menu,” I could tell you about what’s on the menu that’s attached to my Phone.com Virtual Office account. More relevant, I’d tell you about how surprised I was at the ease with which I could set up a menu, one that sounds the same as you might find when calling a billion dollar company.

Now my company right now has just one employee – me – working as a consultant. But as I’ve written before, I’m using the Virtual Office business phone service as a family service as well. That creates a situation where it’s as if I have a headquarters, branches in two U.S. cities, and two overseas branches.

What I wanted, and got, was a system where a caller gets a menu that allows them to choose between calling one of my kids homes, calling another on her cell phone (she’s pure wireless, and doesn’t have a landline), or calling my home office phone. Oh, and for fun there’s an option that rings multiple phones, and the caller takes pot luck on who answers (not something I’m recommending for businesses, of course).

My menu also includes the obligatory choice to replay the menu, and the ability to dial the extension during the menu message. And its proven so easy to add the various features, that I’m planning to add things such as rules to control calls that might ring in the middle of the night.

It does remain true that for someone who wants no more than home phone service, Phone.com’s Home Phone Plus is one of the most cost effective ways to go. But with features such as the menu capability included at no extra charge, it’s almost a no-brainer that both for advanced home use and for small business phone service, including a home office business, you need something both powerful and cost effective like Virtual Office.

(Oh, and for my growing ‘business,’ I may soon add another “office,” – a virtual extension – at no more than the cost of another VoIP adapter.)