Om was working when I was sleeping, so he beat me to the posting about pals Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet's new venture, Grand Central Communications on Monday.
On Sunday around 11 AM Vincent and Craig gave me access to what I had seen back at VON under the cloak of darkness in a deserted alley. Over the past 56 hours or so I've been a regular user of GrandCentral for managing my inbound calls.
To put it bluntly. It rocks.
I've been a user for years of Webley/CommuniKate, and the last two years of AT&T's CallVantage as well. In a nutshell Craig and Vincent have taken the best of both, and come up with a very slick Ajax interface that makes managing Grand Central a breeze. What's more the functionality out of the box from day one is powerful as anything, and about the only thing it lacks which Webley has is the speech recognition engine from Nuance.
What I like about GrandCentral is the *8 code. That their quick key for making telemarketer calls the same as SPAM and sending them to your SPAM folder at GrandCentral. The other aspect I like is how easy it is to use. Set up was a snap and it works as advertised.
Om thinks that GrandCentral intrudes on Jangl and iotum. In my view iotum would be a compliment to GrandCentral, not a competitor, and with Jangl, there's no comparison. While Jangl wants you to create a new form of ID and then assign numbers based on the relationship (and may be good for the no life or I need a date crowd), GrandCentral is for people who want what the promise of unified messaging has always offered, and before now, was only available to those who knew where to find it with the likes of Webley/CommuniKate. This is far better than uReach or the long forgotten WildFire and given the free offers they have to get people to test drive, you have to give GrandCentral a spin.
The features like record a call, unlimited voice mail, customize ringtones and more are all alluring. I'm a convert already and I think after you try the service out you'll see why both Om and I think this one is a winner.