Larry Lisser
Larry Lisser is a seasoned startup leader with a passion for commercializing emerging communications companies. Larry helps voice and collaboration...
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Larry Lisser | June 03, 2010 |


All Hail the Mobile PBX

All Hail the Mobile PBX The smart phone and (for lack of a better term) the PBX are headed towards a very long-term relationship.

The smart phone and (for lack of a better term) the PBX are headed towards a very long-term relationship.

For as intuitive as the term "Mobile PBX" is, few companies have chosen to make it front and center in their marketing efforts. Sure, to hang with the cool kids these days we use terms like unified or cloud communications, but PBX still says phone system to most (even if they can't tell you what the acronym stands for). And when you stick the word "mobile" out in front, you get an instant visual of a phone system with nothing but mobile phones hanging off of it. No?A long-since acquired company called Ascendant Systems (sold to RIM) used the term at one time, as does a company called OnRelay--but they operate primarily in Europe. So it was with a smile that I read a post over at Ringio that referred to just this--the mobile pbx. Call it like it is, I say, and they will come.

To be clear, Ringio's not expecting you to have desk phone. The focus of their innovation is to drive context into phone conversations, leveraging the information we already store about a given inbound caller (ie. when they called last, who they spoke to, what they bought last, when they were last served, and so on).

Ringio is one amongst many moving quickly to bring far more context, than simply Caller ID, to a phone call. To do so, Ringio needs a screen on which to pop information. Hence the "no desk phone" policy; instead Ringio will deliver calls and context to any desktop and now to any Android phone.

And if you're Google all the way and use it to run your business, you can sync Contacts with Ringio and get at these just announced features (as described to me by Ringio co-founder Michael Zirngibl):

...if one of the contacts stored in GMail calls your Ringio number, the system would:

* Recognize and greet him/her by name * Display the contact information along with additional data in a screen pop

...the additional data displayed includes: * all recent interactions (when they called, who they spoke with, when they left a voicemail) * shared notes entered by any employee and associated with this account

If you're truly mobile--as so many of the Fortune 5,000,000 are these days--this represents a very powerful upgrade to your standard VirtualPBX. Knowing something about your customers, or better having a system greet them by name can go a long way towards making them feel wanted.

The smart phone and (for lack of a better term) the PBX are headed towards a very long-term relationship. Ringio's mobile pbx offering is a great sneak peek at what's coming.The smart phone and (for lack of a better term) the PBX are headed towards a very long-term relationship.


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