Recently, It seem that every time it is my week to contribute to this blog something crazy happens. The first time it was our email server going down. This time it was our phone system. On Monday, my office started the transition to a hosted VOIP phone system. We were expecting the phones to be unavailable for an hour or two. Turns out, it is more like a week.
While the phones were down, if you called the Technology or EC department you heard a message that the numbers had been disconnected. I didn’t like that, so I had the numbers forwarded to our Central Office. Our Central Office gets a ton of calls already, and our calls were slamming them. I had to figure out a different solution.
At this point I remembered I had a Google Voice account that I had never used. If anyone was with me when this happened, I think they would have been able to see a light bulb turn on above my head. I actually signed up for the service when it was called Grand Central. With a Google Voice account, you get a new local phone number, then you set that number to forward to a variety of numbers. For example, if I were to use Google Voice for my personal number when someone called it, Google Voice would ring my cell phone, home phone, and work phone. You can even customized what it will ring based on the caller id. If my mom called it would ring all of my numbers. If my mother in-law called it would go straight to voicemail.
Straight to voicemail is the feature I used this week. I had the EC and Technology numbers forwarded to my Google Voice account. I sent up a voicemail message explaining our phone situation and invited the caller to leave a message. Any they did. Every time a voicemail was left, I received an email with the option to listen to the message. I would listen to the message long enough to figure out who it was from and forward the email on. It worked perfectly.