Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

BY Craig Walker, CEO

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 Fast forward to 2014, rotary phones have been replaced by dialpads, and connections are made without switchboards, but the phone on your desk has remained essentially unchanged.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.