Call Routing, Voicemail & Recording
When I discovered Onebox, I found that it offers the same call routing functionality, with the same simultaneous ringing or in sequence. If I don't answer, Onebox plays a custom or system message and records the caller's message. Though I've only been using the service for a few days, I've tested it multiple times, and the routing and messaging work great. I was able to port over my local number, but I could have selected a toll free number instead. Setup was done in less than a half an hour.
As far as call recording, Onebox allows it with the press of a key for either inbound or outbound calls. It's better than Google Voice in another way as well. Google Voice is a VOIP service, meaning Voice Over Internet Protocol. Thus the call is coming over the Web and my Wifi. This introduces a delay that causes people to talk over each other, and also can have gaps and noise that hurts recording quality. Onebox isn't VOIP, so those drawbacks are not present.
Notifications and Voice Transcription
One of the most valuable features of Google Voice for me was supposed to be the delivery of voicemail message text transcriptions to my email and cell phone. That way I should have been able to just read the text instead of calling in to hear the call for most messages. The voice file was however attached to the email to be played on the computer. The only problem was that Google Voice's voice transcription was REALLY BAD! Accuracy for even simple words was low.
I have found the Onebox voice transcription to be much more accurate, actually as useful as I envisioned it should be. A message is left, and I get an email and text message transcription that is easy to quickly read and make a decision about a call back or other action.
Onebox allows you to attach most any kind of file to a fax message and send from their online interface. When you receive a fax, and that's at the same number as your regular calls, the system will forward it to your email address of choice. So, I was able to offset some of the cost of the Onebox service by cancelling Myfax. You also receive email and/or SMS text message notification of faxes received.
Other Services, Pricing & My Recommendations
- Tasking - There is a task system which I haven't tried yet, but it will notify you of due dates, meetings and other deadlines.
- Calendar - Right now the calendar function is labeled "Coming Soon."
- Email - There is a full email system as part of the service, though I'm not using it. It will sync with other email accounts. Distribution lists are available as well.
- Contacts and Address Book
The base Executive Service is priced at $19.95/month, and most Real Estate professionals will do well with that, but it's around $5.99 more per month for 40 transcribed voicemails. Overall, I'm thinking that once I get fully involved with this service, it will be well worth the cost for me.