Wednesday, July 18, 2007

GrandCentral Rocks

Google recently acquired GrandCentral, a voice communications company that allows you to pick one phone number and have it automatically forward calls to multiple phone numbers. Your GrandCentral phone number stays the same even if you move or change phone numbers. GrandCentral provides call forwarding and screening, as well as free voice mail that is also accessible from the web. I recently signed up for a beta test of GrandCentral and I'm very excited about this new service!

Some really cool GrandCentral features that I like are the ability to record phone calls and switch phones mid-call. No more, "Let me call you back from my land line." You can also listen in on voice mail and join the call at any time while someone is leaving you a message. There is no software to install as everything is setup and managed through the easy-to-use web interface. There is a slick address book into which you can import contacts from a handful of sources.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about GrandCentral is the fact that I can choose a phone number in the metro area that is not long distance for most callers in my area. I happen to live in an area that is long distance for most callers (a different exchange). I pay my phone company extra for an extended metro line. With GrandCentral, I may be able to ditch the extended metro line and save a significant chunk of cash each month. I am still testing to see if this is possible.

As if these features weren't enough to get you stoked about GrandCentral, you can also embed a WebCall button that you can place on your website or blog that allows people to contact you securely (see my Contact page for an example). Check out Invite Share to get a GrandCentral beta invitation.

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