Hack 8. Access Next-Gen Voice Features
Broadband VoIP providers like Vonage don't just provide phone service. If you know where to find the features, they integrate with other applications on your desktopand with your digital life.
When you subscribed to your amazing new VoIP telephone service, you might have missed the fact that, along with your new Internet calling, money-saving VoIP service, you also picked up some nifty desktop telephony enhancements. Most of the broadband VoIP phone service providers give you some cool extras that you'd never get with a traditional phone companystuff like web-based account management, voicemail-to-email integration, and even softphone calling from your desktop. Did you know…?
2.2.1. Vonage Users Can Call Any Outlook Contact with One Click?
Vonage lets you place calls to your Outlook contacts with a special piece of software, an add-in called Click-2-Call, which comes on the Vonage software CD. Install it and launch Outlook. You'll notice that your Outlook contacts now have a Click-2-Call option in their Actions menu. Clicking this option dials the contact's phone number via your Vonage analog telephone adapter (ATA) and then connects the call with your phone. Pick it up; you should hear your call ringing in the handset, waiting for your contact to answer.
2.2.2. BroadVoice Users Can Use a Web-Based Tool to Place and Manipulate Calls?
If you're a BroadVoice subscriber, you've got some really cool web-based call-management tools at your disposal. Thanks to BroadVoice Call Manager, a web-based tool that BroadVoice gives you access to when you sign up, you can use a web page to control your voicemail, enable and disable call forwarding, and even tell BroadVoice how to handle your incoming calls based on their caller IDsmaybe you want to forward certain callers to one number, while allowing your BroadVoice voicemail to handle other callers. Nifty, eh?
2.2.3. You Can Automatically Dump Unwanted Girlfriends and Boyfriends Using a VoIP-Based Service?
Sad, but true. Hey, if you can get a date using the Web, why not dump people the Internet way, too? VoicePulse, a broadband VoIP carrier, provides the VoIP network framework for a service that will help you handle unwanted advances like a dating champ. You don't have to be a VoicePulse subscriber to use the service, though. Any phone userVoIP, traditional, or cellcan dump somebody the high-tech way.
Let's say you're at a party and some doofus asks you for your phone number. Give the doofus the local number you find at RejectionHotline.com (http://www.rejectionhotline.com/numbers_and_cities.php), rather than your real number. When the dork calls for a date, he or she will instead get a professional rejection courtesy of the Rejection Hotline.
Aside from being cruelly entertaining, the Rejection Hotline provides a great demonstration of a large-scale soft-based voice system. By the time you're done with this book, you'll probably have enough VoIP chops to start your own version of the Rejection Hotline.
2.2.4. Broadvox Direct Users Can Use Find-Me-Follow-Me so that They Can Be Reached Wherever There's a Phone?
You bet! When you subscribe to the Broadvox Direct VoIP service, you get a web-based toolset that lets you configure a find-me-follow-me call list. That way, when folks call your home phone, the service can attempt to track you down on your cell phone, at Mom's housewherever you might be.