PhoneGnome Links with Grand Central
I previously poo-pooed GrandCentral, but when I had read in PhoneGnome’s blog that PhoneGnome could interface with GrandCentral, I figured I’d give it a try. It sort of eliminated the excuse I had: one more phone number.
On the PhoneGnome side, they do a couple of things: turn your “Find-me, Follow-me” feature into a simple web-based Call Forwarding–something PhoneGnome should expose as a feature anyway. Second, you get a second SIP URL that does not get call forwarded–something PhoneGnome could also easily expose as a feature. The third thing they do is take what looks like a number from IPKall and have it point at your “non-forwarded” SIP URL. They also provide you instructions for configuring Grand Central to use this new phone number.
I will say this, the PhoneGnome people really seem to get it. They will allow me to interface my PSTN line with anyone and everyone. For $100 or so for the PhoneGnome and some VoIP minutes from Voxee from time to time, I am definitely getting more than my money’s worth here.
One problem that GrandCentral has is that they currently only allow inward interfacing through the PSTN. This means that inbound calls to your PhoneGnome number will use VoIP minutes from your PhoneGnome-registered ITSP. It raises the cost of having GrandCentral in this configuration as a result.
One problem on the PhoneGnome side is that calls that come into my PSTN line and then are redirected to GrandCentral and “come back” to the landline handset are going back and forth over the Internet.
More on this topic a little later after I’ve had more time to play with it, but I think I can see why Andy and some others like it so much.