This month I am running a trial use of the Jabra Go 6470. Looking at the jump you can see that it is a slick looking product with multiple input sources (desk phone, mobile phone, PC/Laptop). So far the product has performed well but I'm not going to use this space to layout an evaluation. The reason I bring it up is because it has changed my own telecom workflow quite a bit. My setup is the following:
• Mobile = iPhone 4
• Desk = DECT cordless desk phone (classic analog)
• Main number = Google Voice as my main single reach number with Web Based Dialer
I hardly ever use my desk phone keypad anymore. With the web based Google Voice plug-in, I simply cut and paste phone numbers to dial or I use my keypad on the keyboard. I have a complete focus on my laptop and it has allowed me to push back the old desk phone and create more desk space. Which, if you have ever seen pictures of a tornado aftermath, then you have an idea of what my desk looks like. So the extra room is quite a luxury. The calls come into Google Voice and since the headset is portable and Bluetooth enabled I can answer it from my mobile, my laptop or my desk phone
Today I was watching a WebEx presentation of the new Cisco Jabberclients. They recently released an iPhone and iPad version of a Jabber client and claim they will have a Windows version in Q1 of 2012. (So let's assume that will happen for the sake of this discussion.) What struck me most was how the client uses this idea of "escalation". This is the function of starting an IM with a person then deciding to add audio and then video. Think of all those IM sessions that ended after a dozen messages with "hey, can I just call you?"
Bringing these two items together now gives me one audio device that can talk to my PC, my phone, my iPhone, and an iPad at any time through either Google Voice or the Jabber client. The Jabber client allows me to take the PC, iPhone, iPad and start IM sessions then voice sessions and video sessions. If I can do all that with they everything except my physical desk phone and I can call out to anyone I want and they see the same number from Google voice then why exactly do I need my desk phone? I'm finding it less useful every day and it is a device that only cost me $100 at Best Buy (since I have a home office). Now let's say I am a Telecom manager and I am looking at spending $300-$600 for a desk phone per employee. Granted I can't use Google Voice but this is basically a Single Number Reach solution that most major UC vendors already have offered for several years.
So why is deploying a physical phone still the standard instead of the one-off option?
I'm proud to be a techie with a liberal arts degree and miss those late 90's parties where all the techies had liberal arts degrees because the computer programmers didn't know how the internet worked. I started in network sales then tech support, and now delivery for Unified Communications.