Alternative solutions to your phone
So you are a startup like DeepSky and doesn’t have too much budget for a fancy phone system for your office. What do you do? Two things. Google Voice and Skype. It has treated our little startup very well.
Google Voice is a free service (used to be Grand Central) offered by… yup you guessed it… Google to let users select a single US phone number and have it simultaneously ring any, all or none of the user’s configured phone.
So, for example, if you call our “office” number (see that big number on the top right corner? –>) – it rings the phone at our office in Irvine, my personal cell phone and one of our controller’s cell phone in Detroit – the first person who picks your call up – wins. This is how we manage our promise of picking up your calls 95% of the time. The other 5%? It goes straight to our Google Voice mailbox and I receive your voicemail transcript via text message as soon as you are done leaving me a message.
Skype, on the other hand, manages most of my calls while I am in the office or when I am talking to partners that are overseas or when I am having a video conference call or when I am screen sharing with a client to show them how to do something on their computer or when I am messaging my intern “you should get off Facebook now.” *whew* They started out sort of like a chat client with fantastic video conferencing available, then they added the ability to call a US landline, then oversea support came in and then they finally added a screen sharing feature.
Today, Skype manages almost 80% of all of our communication at DeepSky while we are in the office. In fact, Skype to Skype calls are free and extremely convenient if the other person uses it too. Just yesterday I was chatting with one of our partner from New Zealand on Skype, and it just made things so-much-more-convenient in this oh-so-complicated-modern-world.
So what do you think? What other fantastic ways/products are you doing/using for your startup in the telecommunication realm? Share it in the comments!