Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Google Phone Services

If Goog411 and the talk of a GPhone were not enough, now comes GrandCentral. GrandCentral is a company who’s purpose is to create a single contact point for people to get in touch with you. When you subscribe to GrandCentral, you will be issued a phone number. This phone number becomes your single contact point.

Here’s how it works…
You keep all of the phone numbers you have, like your home, office, and cell. You tell GrandCentral which phone you are at; for example, you are at the office. When people call your GrandCentral-Issued phone number, the call is redirected to your office phone. Before you leave work, you tell GrandCentral calls should go to your cell phone. Now, when people call your GrandCentral number, calls are directed to your cell phone.

But there is more…
You can set up your account to screen callers, or identify certain calls to be redirected to specific phones. You can even switch calls right in the middle of a call (have the call go from your office phone to your cell phone). The list of features is quite impressive and offers individuals the ability to manage how their phones are used. A very nice feature is that all of your voice mail can be accessed from your web browser; which means it is easy to access from anywhere.

Earlier this year, Google acquired GrandCentral; so, now this is yet another telephone service being offered by Google. How this play into the grand scheme is still to be determined. One thing is for sure, Google is very interested in voice communications.

There is currently a waiting list to receive a GrandCentral account. If interested, you may wish to sign up now, so you are on the waiting list.



Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Google Phone service coming soon?

The New York Times published an article about the possibilities of Google entering the wireless phone market. The angle they chose to take was about Google’s GPhone and Apple’s IPhone. While there may be enough speculation to warrant several paragraphs of news, I think the NYT completely missed the target.

I believe Google has very little interest in Apple’s IPhone, other than partnering with them to insure Google’s applications run on the device. I think Google’s eyes are on a much bigger picture, affording them another huge source for advertising revenue. My theory is based on several things Google has been taking an interest in. The first one, other than the GPhone itself, is Google’s interest in the 700MHz band being auctioned off by the FCC. With this in mind, I have very little doubt the GPhone will work in this area of the spectrum.

There are some other things Google has been doing help to bring this all home. For example, have you tried Goog411? If not, visit Http:// Why would Google be so interested in a telephone 411 application? Well, if you have a mobile phone which can receive Google Maps, Google Information, and (of course) Google Advertisements, then you have a potentially profitable revenue stream.

Taking this to the next level, Google has always had a very strong interest in providing free WiFi to metropolitan areas. While this has proven to be less-than practical to implement, I think Google still would like to see some form of wireless communications which is free to access by the masses. Don’t forget, Google is sitting on a very large network of unused fiber optics. If Google wins the 700MHz spectrum, establishes access points linked by their fiber network, and provides mobile communications with the GPhone, Google will be in a position to collect HUGE truck-loads of money from advertisers.

Scenario :
You use GPhone and Goog411 to call a hardware store. Google sends you a map (to your GPhone via Google Maps). On the map, other advertisers have their stores listed along the route AND Google is sending you additional advertisements related to hardware. Over time, the GPhone will have accumulated certain trends, based on the calls you make, and custom advertisements are sent to your phone – maybe even GPhone-Only coupons to be used at participating retailers.

The question becomes…will people use a GPhone if the service is free, yet requires you to be blasted with advertisements?


New York Times Story about the GPhone

(BTW: If you are a Skype user, you can dial Goog411 (for free) and be connected to the business via Google. This is a way to get free Skype-Out calls. At the moment, it only works for calling out to businesses.)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Welcome to Yellowville

This morning I moved into my new cubicale, which is in a different building from where I used to sit. The accomodations here are less than desireable and provides me with a reminder of the down-sides of being a consultant. As a consultant, you are affored all the anemeties a full-time-emplyee would not want. In my case, I am in Yellowville because most employeess would rather not have a cubical in such poor conditions.

Yellowville is what I call it because everything here is yellow. From the florecent fixtures, to the carpiting, to the walls and desktops; everything has a yellow hue. I suspect everything here was brand-spanking-new, back in 1965. The bathroom facilities here are yellow, too, and look worse than a highschool locker room. Yellow is the predominate color and places me in a yellow mood.

Of the ironic things which can be found in Yellowville, there are a few which have immediately stuck out. As a tea drinker, the only flavor being stocked is green tea (blue and YELLOW make green).

Yellow Everywhere.