As an alternative to Google Voice, MySkypeOffice provides a phone-management calling system for small businesses that routes in-coming calls and transcribes voice mail, among other perks.
When Google launched
its Google Voice application to all users last June, there was some talk about
how the phone-management application might challenge the Skype voice over IP
service for PC calling.
Small irony, then,
that startup MySkypeOffice
created a phone-management application for desktop computers that lets small
and midsized businesses that use Skype as their phone system manage their
incoming Skype calls.
Users sign up for the
free beta service with their Skype user name and password. Just like Google
Voice, MySkypeOffice Desktop Call Manager lets users route calls to any number,
and ensures they never miss a call while away from their computer.
includes an automatic attendant that routes in-bound callers, including those
from Skype mobile, landline, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and faxes, by
recipient name or proper extension. The attendant can be set to prompt callers
to press 1 for sales, 2 for customer support, etc.
The service also
records calls and e-mails them to users after the calls are terminated,
provides voice mail to text transcription, offers the ability to listen to
voice mail in real time and routes faxes to users via e-mail. Callers placed on
hold will also hear music of the business owner's choosing.
"We think Skype
is a great thing," noted MySkypeOffice on its Website
. "We want to make it even
better for business users. So we've been very busy creating what we hope is a
set of very useful in-bound-calling features for you to use with your Skype
that the Google Voice comparisons are fair for MySkypeOffice because the
company that created it is a spinoff of Google Voice rival PhoneFusion, which
provides a white-label call-management system with similar features.
MySkypeOffice also mirrors functionality from VoxOx and BT's Ribbit calling
clearly providing a template for what Google Voice-like call management feels
like on Skype, which is still largely a consumer platform with more than 600
million registered users.
Skype, which filed
for an initial public offering
last August, has expressed a desire to cater to more business
customers. A service such as MySkypeOut, which provides a valuable
communications-management layer for businesses, could help in this endeavor.
Skype hasn't shown a
propensity for making acquisitions, but that could change if the right
companies come around.