TechCrunch has had running coverage of telephone management startup GrandCentral since their debut in September of last year. MobileCrunch covered the release of their mobile client recently. Today they’ve come out with a useful guide to the service. Here’s our summary:
GrandCentral is telephone management service that connects all your phones and adds some new features. To add GrandCentral to your phones, you don’t need to change the phones you already have, you just need to connect them to a new GrandCentral number. With all your phones connected to single GrandCentral number, you’ll have access to new features like central voicemail, call forwarding, call screening, custom greetings, call recording, and spam filtering whenever anyone calls your new number.
You can get a GrandCentral number by going to their site and entering an area code or state and choosing an available number from their list. Getting a number also sets up an online management account where you can tweak the individual features. To enable GrandCentral on your phones you’ll just have to enter your existing phone numbers into this account and get your contacts to call this new number.
From you management page you can control how your phone responds based on who calls. For instance, you can set up a business group that always rings through to your business line, or a friends group, that always rings all your phones. For each group or individual you can also control the ringtone an greeting they hear. When a call does go through, callers will be asked to state their name if they’re not already on your contact list.
Voicemail is one of GrandCentral’s strongest features. Whenever a call goes to voicemail, you can wait and listen to the message in real time before jumping in, or let it get logged onto your GrandCentral account. All voicemail is stored in a play list on your GrandCentral account, meaning you can access it from any computer. You can also embed messages onto a website. GrandCentral has said that they will soon be releasing a feature that automatically transcribes voicemails into text and will deliver them to you via email or SMS.
GrandCentral also has a mobile version that makes these features available on you mobile. GC also has a click to call button for your website and can forward calls to your Gizmo account.