January 23rd, 2008
I recently received an invitation to participate in the beta test of a new telephony service called GrandCentral which is very powerful.
GrandCentral is a web-based service which allows users to select a regular ten digit telephone number from their local area which can be used as the single number that can reach them anywhere. The way this works is when a user signs up with GrandCentral, they enter the numbers of their telephones- all of which will ring when someone calls their GrandCentral number.
For instance, I have registered the number at my desk at work, my home phone, and my cell phone numbers on my GrandCentral account. When someone calls my GrandCentral number, all three of these phones ring. When I answer one of them, I am speaking to the person that called my GrandCentral number.
This means two things. First, no more missed calls. If every phone number you use regularly would ring when someone called a single number, you would be much more reachable and your friends and loved ones wouldn’t need to cycle through all your possible numbers. Secondly, your telephone contact information never needs to change again. You can change the numbers you have registered in your GrandCentral account at any time. If you change jobs and get a new work number, there’s no need to tell all your contacts to update the number they have for you if they’re using your GrandCentral number. Just add the new work number to your GrandCentral account and you’re all set.
If that was all GrandCentral did it would be a great service, but that’s not all they do.
GrandCentral also provides free voicemail on your GrandCentral number with many amazing features. If there is no answer when someone calls your GrandCentral number, the caller can leave a voicemail on GrandCentral. This voicemail is then available when you log in to your GrandCentral account as an mp3 file you can download or stream from your inbox page.
Once again, if this was all GrandCentral did it would be a great service, but there’s more.
GrandCentral allows you to screen calls. You can direct certain numbers directly to voicemail, or you can even listen in as a caller is leaving a voicemail and click on if you decide to talk to them. GrandCentral allows you to save contacts and categorize them in groups. You can then configure custom greetings for those groups or even individual callers.
GrandCentral is currently in private beta and is currently totally free.
I have a few invites left. Leave a comment below if you are interested in trying GrandCentral.