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New ooma VoIP Service Features to Integrate with Google Voice

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March 18, 2009

New ooma VoIP Service Features to Integrate with Google Voice

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

Seizing on a chance to integrate its flagship offering with a new, free speech recognition service form the Internet’s search and ad leader, a Palo Alto (News - Alert)-based residential VoIP provider today announced a new set of features planned for a summertime release.

Officials at ooma, Inc. say their so-called “Premier Google (News - Alert) Voice Extensions” are designed to help consumers take advantage of both offerings, regardless of what type of phone they have or where they’re located.
According to Rich Buchanan, chief marketing officer at ooma (News - Alert), when consumers combine Google Voice with ooma in the home, they “realize superior voice communication functionality with the greatest cost savings of any personal unified communications system available today.
“We look forward to enhancing the features of Google Voice for our current and future ooma Premier customers,” Buchanan said.
Specifically, the new features will do things like help ooma users display Google Voice caller ID on outbound calls, display Google Voice text messages on home handsets and allow a call sent to an ooma home phone to be forwarded directly to a Google Voice number, just as if the call were originally directed to that number.
It isn’t clear how long ooma and Google collaborated on the new set of features, but the Internet search leader just introduced its IVR function last week.
As TMCnet reported, the speech recognition service gives users one number for all their phones and then transcribes voice messages into text.
Currently available for users of GrandCentral, a service the company acquired in July 2007, Google Voice will be open to new users soon.
According to three of Google’s voice product managers – Craig Walker, Vincent Paquet, and Wesley Chan – users will get transcripts of their voicemails and will be able to archive and search all of the SMS text messages you send and receive.
Officials at ooma say that in households where multiple Google Voice accounts exist, ooma Premier Google Voice Extensions can allow for different accounts to forward calls directly to specific handsets in a home.
The VoIP provider’s so-called “GVE Call Announce” feature also will voice an announcement of who in the household the call is intended based on which Google Voice account originated the call. Two other ooma features – “GVE Listen In” and “GVE One Touch Voice Mail” – will allow home users to monitor and intercept a voicemail as it is being left without dialing any additional call prompts, and to access their Google Voice mailbox with a single touch of a button on an ooma Hub, Scout, or Telo handset, respectively.
All together, ooma’s system consists of a hub connected to a broadband connection and an existing home phone. The ooma Scout device extends the benefits of the ooma system to additional phone jacks in the home. Together, those cost $249.99 – for a hardware bundle that includes an ooma Hub and ooma Scout.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

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