So Google Voice thinks it’s ready for the big time. Today, Fortune writer Seth Weintraub saw that his Google Voice account was linked to his Google apps (s goog)and surmised the feature would soon be available to all, taking Google Voice into the realm of corporate VoIP. Weintraub offers the giddy prediction that frugal businesses, “can now forgo the purchase of a phone entirely, instead relying on Google Voice through Gmail during business hours.”
Google Voice is indeed a wonderful service that allows folks to consolidate numbers, send texts from Gmail, etc. Because it’s VoIP, instead of an extra phone line. you only need data; but Weintraub may be forgetting a key selling point of Google Voice that could undermine a business faster than hitting that iceberg sunk the Titanic — its voicemail transcriptions. Weintraub writes:
I’m also hearing murmurs that Google will soon support number-porting so that users can pull business lines/personal lines into Google Voice as well, if you desire. For those who want to keep their line with their telco, Google offers a voicemail and routing service which effectively has much of the same functionality as Google Voice.
For those who are unaware, Google’s voicemails can be delivered as an audio file and played online, or they can be transcribed using Google’s speech-to-text capabilities. Those transcriptions are often so terrible they become absurd, and are the subject of mocking blog posts. To illustrate what businesses might be in for, we pulled some business-related messages from the GigaOM staff — partly for laughs and partly as a service to any businesses who might want to attempt frugality for a while. Frugality comes at a cost:
Received Jan. 2010:
Hello, this is the Holocaust is. I’m assuming that Fairfield University in Connecticut, and I’m contacting you about the report that your role 2 or 3 years ago … I’m only email is Howard’s Hazel. W Hey, R. D. Call soon seeing you. I have a s. He has the AT hotmail dot com. So Holocaust of AT hotmail dot com…
Received Dec. 2009:
Hey Celeste, Hi, it’s kill Fred, tantra logic. XXX. XXX. XXX Oak at the office (XXX) XXX-XXXX on sell. It was great to see you last week he wants. I’m at 8. I’d appreciate it, our conversation intrigued with the possibility of doing some work together. Gimme a call please when you can, what’s up talk some more. Thanks. Bye.
Received Nov. 2010:
Hi Stacey, This is well with them. So if I was calling Nixon positions and I are Atlas and he came and I would think that they’re missing you know. If you can give me a call back. My number is, XXXXXXXX. Thanks. Bye.
Received Nov. 2010:
Hi Nicole, This is Suncrest I’m calling to see if I can follow up with you on the seat. Regarding this Email said if you could. And if you and recover the eyeball of the most of the I wanted to get elected. That. On the site time to get together. I am. This is for real, you can help pasta figured out that night….
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