Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 .

This blog is contributed content from the Switch.co blog.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Fast forward to 2014, rotary phones have been replaced by dialpads, and connections are made without switchboards, but the phone on your desk has remained essentially unchanged. It’s clunky, it requires a user manual, and it doesn’t fit well with the the way you work best.

That’s why we made Switch.co. Created for today’s mobile workforce, and built specifically for Google Apps users, Switch.co is a cloud-based, business-grade phone system best suited for the anywhere work stye. It connects people, ideas and content across all of your devices. We’ve simplified the desk phone experience by integrating with Google Apps to pull up your latest Gmail messages and Drive documents, and letting you do things like switch between devices mid-conversation and set business hours for when you want them. Take a look at our other thoughtful features.

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When a bunch of us founded GrandCentral in 2005, the plan was to bring robust features to the end user. With the business user also in mind, we started to think about all the ways the web could make office phones that much more powerful.

Nine years have passed since that original idea, and we’ve seen a lot of innovation in business tools and services — but for some reason the antiquated desk phone has remained at the center of the enterprise voice world.

It sits there, on your desk, collecting dust and is used only when you absolutely have to use it. Even then, it’s hard for you to figure out how to transfer a call successfully or get rid of the red blinking voicemail light. Or, if you’re a startup like us, you don’t have a desk phone at all. It’s much easier for everyone to operate on their own mobile devices than be tied to their desks. But that’s not a real solution. We need a number for our business, we need to easily communicate with each other seamlessly, and all of us using our personal phones just doesn’t cut it. Why does it have to be this way?

Think about how complex email used to be for your business. You used to be forced to delete your emails after a few weeks to keep the storage from getting “too large.” Google fixed that by putting email in the cloud with Google Apps. Salesforce made our lives easier by making CRM simple and available to even the smallest businesses, and Zendesk continued this with customer support. The list goes on and on, but for some reason awesome, end-user focused enterprise telephony has been left untouched.

Believing that a phone call is still the highest quality form of communication, we saw an opportunity to make a business phone system as easy to deploy and manage as setting your company up with Gmail.

In 2012, we launched UberConference to tackle some of the obvious problems with audio conferencing. Just two years later, it’s supporting nearly a billion minutes a year with customers from The Weather Company, to Blue Bottle Coffee, to Dropbox using it every day.

Thanks to UberConference, our telephony infrastructure has now been tried and tested, and we’ve proven our ability to innovate and delight with enterprise communications. We’re now ready to bring Switch.co to life. Switch.co is a phone system for the modern worker, who is more likely to be taking a business call on his cell phone while at Starbucks than he would from the phone on his desk at work, and today, it’s launching to Google Apps users in private beta. You can sign up to get on the list here.

And to prove how much we believe in our own product, our CEO, VP Product, and many other team members ported their long time Google Voice numbers over to Switch.co a long time ago. We’re taking our business phones where they haven’t been before, right alongside our beta testers. With the help of your feedback, we’ll continue to work hard to make Switch.co better than anything you’ve seen before out of a business phone system.

We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

The Switch.co team

 

Follow @switch_co on Twitter for updates.

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 .

Jeanne DeWitt

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Chief Revenue Officer, Jeanne DeWitt. Jeanne comes to our team with extensive enterprise sales experience as the former Director of Google Apps SMB Sales for North & Latin America. At UberConference, Jeanne will oversee the marketing and sales departments, developing the overall go-to-market plan and growth strategy.

DeWitt joins UberConference following more than ten years with Google where she ran new business acquisition sales teams, as well as direct and channel sales in both the North & Latin America and the Japan & Asia Pacific regions.

DeWitt’s post in the Harvard Business Review today is especially pertinent entitled “5 Tips for New Team Leaders”. Her five tips summarized:

Over-communicate. Be as open and transparent about what you’re thinking as quickly as possible.

Ask questions. Being genuinely excited about the opportunity to learn and understand what’s going on within the company builds credibility, and generally makes you more approachable.

Figure out what people really want to do. It’s often the case that the role the individual is in today isn’t necessarily fully utilizing their skills or motivating them to be their absolute best.

Get your hands dirty. Spend time doing the work that your team actually does.

Be decisive. Once you have a good lay of the land, explicitly lay out your vision and then plan to start moving toward it.

To read the full piece, visit today’s Harvard Business Review. We are very excited to welcome Jeanne to this pivotal role at UberConference!

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 .

At UberConference, we’re constantly looking for ways to integrate with the way you work. One of our most popular requests has been to provide a tool for our customers who use Microsoft Office for their primary work communication.

Our team is pleased to announce the brand new Add-In for Outlook. Adding to our existing suite of integrations, now Microsoft Outlook users are able to organize, schedule and create calls from within the Outlook application.

“UberConference for Outlook Add-In has made organizing meetings a breeze with the new one click to add option. This simple frictionless user experience makes a huge difference when scheduling multiple conference calls in a week,” says Ken Snyder, Practice Lead-Collaboration at CDW. “It just works — and that makes all the difference.”

Simply download the Outlook plugin, login to UberConference from within Outlook, and easily set up your conferences.  Structure and organize your calls from the calendar, a new email, or the UberConference client.

This integration works with Outlook for Windows 7+, 2013, or 2010.

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Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 .

 

UberConference has received top honors at two prestigious awards this week. Our team is very grateful for the recognition and quality feedback from our users. We received a Bronze Award in the category of Best Everyday Utility at the User Experience Awards and Silver at the American Business Awards – Telecommunication Company of the Year.

The Stevie American Business Awards are the world’s premier business awards, created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. More than 3,300 entries were submitted to The 2014 American Business Awards and more than 240 executives nationwide participated in judging to determine this year’s Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners.

The UXies are the premier awards for exceptional experience and inspire all technologists to create elegant, human-centered products that solve real customer problems by showcasing next-generation digital products, honoring and celebrating with the most talented UX innovators and highlighting exceptional UX best practices. Our very own Jerome Tave explains the design theory that went into creating UberConference:

This adds to the growing list of awards our team has been fortunate to receive this year. We are excited for what lies ahead and appreciate the kind recognition. Congratulations to all winners and nominees!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 .

CanadianNumber

We are always looking for new ways to enhance the calling experience for our international customers. We’re pleased today to announce the award-winning experience we offer in the US is now available in our second largest international market, Canada.

“Canadian customers have a fully featured conferencing tool, complete with screen sharing and document sharing, and can look that much more professional with Canadian area codes attached to their designated UberConference lines”, said our CEO and co-founder, Craig Walker.

When you sign up for an UberConference Pro account, you’ll now see Canadian area codes available to set for your local number. Stay tuned, there’s even more cities to come:

City Area Code
Toronto 647
Montreal 438
Calgary 587
Edmonton 587
Ottawa 613
Winnipeg 204
Vancouver 604
Quebec 581
Hamilton 289
Waterdown 289
Brampton 289
Waterloo 226
Pont-Viau 450
London 226
Victoria 778

“There is no other service here in Canada that even approximates what UberConference does,” said Elise Aymer of EN Consulting in Toronto. “Other conference call services are prohibitively expensive especially for small business and communication groups. I am very pleased with the service so far.”

As always, you can dial-in to join an UberConference call from over 40 countries. Anyone around the world, in any country, can also join an UberConference call through their Chrome browser for free. Test to see if your computer can accept calls here.