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 Fast forward to 2014, rotary phones have been replaced by dialpads, and connections are made without switchboards, but the phone on your desk has remained essentially unchanged.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

Friday, November 15th, 2013 .

Dreamforce, Salesforce.com’s annual conference and celebration, is just around the corner.  We’re excited to be an official sponsor, previewingUberConference integration with Salesforce.Our Salesforce App, still in development, will make your meetings more productive, and save tons of time by allowing you to set up and manage conference calls from within Salesforce.Your team will be able to:

-Schedule conference calls with their Salesforce contacts
-See Salesforce and LinkedIn profile information within UberConference
-See a history of UberConference calls within Chatter, Contacts and Leads

Please stop by our booth (N2221) at Dreamforce. We’d love to meet you and show off our Salesforce integration.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 .

Let’s face it: sometimes our beloved customers, are a lot of trouble.  And every once while in a while we feel like this:

One of the most important decisions we made leading up to the launch of UberConference was to have live customer service.  If we had service problems (and there is no company on the planet that doesn’t have service problems), then we wanted to make sure that was a live person our customers could talk to.

Sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it?

Actually, for many American businesses, the decision to have live customer service is not obvious.   But it has been for us.   It is in customer support where we differ from other companies.

  • Most startups don’t do much with Customer Support. We have two offices to cover 5am to 6pm PST (both coasts) with live support during business hours.

  • Most companies think of Customer Support as a cost center. We think of it as a marketing opportunity to make our best customers, aka the ones using the product, the happiest.

  • Most companies dread support. We relish it.  Everybody in the company from the CEO to the newly hired intern, spends a week doing CSR and it rotates every week.

One of our company policies with new hires is that each employee at some point in their first month on the job must spend a week working in Customer Support. One week. Everyone. Each new employee working Customer Support has to go to either our San Jose or Raleigh office and spend a couple of days training with our CSRs there. Not only does this help build up the knowledge base about the product for our employees, it gives us all a better sense of what our customers are dealing with, in the field, on a daily basis.

With everybody sitting in a Customer Support Representative (CSR) seat, every employee gets a sense of what our customers are like: how they are using the product and what suggestions, problems and concerns they have. This experience creates a great insight to the product and empathy for our users. We have an entire company of fully trained CSR agents to help out.

We keep and track detailed data on our customer service requests and queries: what kinds of issues come up frequently? Why? What types of complaints do our customers have?

The other fascinating aspect of this system for us has been the number of product features, suggestions and improvements we have received through our customer support system.

Some of our best product insights come from listening to our customers’ requests, and having an attentive, responsive and respectful CSR team makes that a close loop of innovation.

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 .

We want to thank <re/code> for recently reviewing UberConference and making a great video highlighting how our product eliminates frustrations around conference calls. After walking through a play on our design, the team shared how UberConference can help make meetings run more efficiently.

“My favorite thing about UberConference is that it lets you see a visual representation of everyone on the call via its Web page or app. People are represented by tiles with names and images of themselves. This means you won’t have to ask things like, ‘Is Jessica still on the call, or did she hang up earlier?'” -Katherine Boheret

 

Friday, July 6th, 2012 .

We are excited about ÜberConference being in the Evernote DevCup competition for the best products that integrate with the Evernote API. DevCup brings together innovative ideas from all over the world and has over a hundred companies vying for more than $100,000 in prizes.

The ÜberConference Evernote integration was one of the first new features we wanted to add after our launch, and it lets you automatically save conference call summaries in the context of all your Evernote notes. Each note has summary information, who was on the call, and even a few fun features like who talked the most and least. Additionally, it will keep a record of any recordings or chat messages during the call.

Check out our new video on the Evernote integration.