Giving Thanks for the Powers of the Amazing, Expanding Phone

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Giving Thanks for the Powers of the Amazing, Expanding Phone


So the White House is ready to pardon another lucky turkey just as everyone is fixing to sit down with family and friends and chow down on an unlucky yet delicious turkey and  — give our appropriate thanks!  The holiday season begins officially with the carving of that turkey leg and the clink of Thanksgiving wine glasses as well as the seasonal communication with relatives and friends in far away places.   Today we have so many ways to communicate that there is never an excuse not to, and the good news is that these options are now easier and less costly than ever before.  Of course, this extends to business.  

Here, a partial list of the many amazing things we have to be thankful for in the way of telephony and Unified Communications starting with the most obvious!

  • We no longer have to use telegrams or rely on a Pony Express or smoke signals or yelling into our neighbor’s yards to get our message across!
  • Long distance calls across the country and into Canada and beyond no longer cost an arm and a leg.
  • We no longer have party lines as many did up to the middle of the last century.  Imagine sharing your phone service with an entire town!
  • We don’t need to search for a phone booth when we are out and about, especially when calling for a cab in the dark, or the cold, or after the party.
  • We  can message our friends, family and acquaintances easily instead of actually having to speak to them, which is sometimes quite convenient.
  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response) solutions can help us navigate companies and government agencies easily and conveniently without waiting for a live agent.
  • Of course, these same live agents can be trained using superior technologies like speech analytics and call recording. Agents can be assisted on those live customer service calls with Screen Pop Ups that display customer information anticipating customer concerns based on their previous calls or purchase histories.
  • At work, we can create group collaborations with UC clients and collaborate across vast distances.
  • We can take photos and videos with small phones that we carry around with us. We can delete the photos we hate instantly and no one will ever know.
  • We can share photos without ever having to drop anything in the mailbox.
  • ITR solutions (Interactive Text Response) allow us to retrieve important information about events, discounts, and orders, communicating interactively with wine clubs, our doctors, car dealers, and many other types of businesses.
  • We can shop on our phones, even when stores are closed — shopping discreetly and no one can stop us.
  • They were always there, dependable yet rather staid — now they appear to be omniscient secret agents…  Business desk phones not only make calls now, they often are now capable of taking videos, providing security with hidden cameras and recording searchable conversations, all while appearing to be only-a-desk-phone.
  • You can make a call from your computer with a soft phone. Meaning a virtual phone.
  • Remote working empowered by Unified Communications enables companies to tap into talent across the country or across the globe.   You can work on a beach or in a cafe, accessing all the information you need to be productive.
  • We can also navigate a huge percentage of the world’s knowledge from our smart mobile phones or on many smart business desk phones by just doing a search.   We probably see more information in one week now than most people eighty years ago saw in six months.
  • We have apps that can help us get our laundry done, order a movie, buy tickets to a show, or order dinner or — beer, and these also reside on our phone.
  • Intelligent agents “live” inside our phones now and can do many things for us including make calls, send a text, look up a number, help us find a Chinese or Mexican restaurant, or give us directions.
  • We can order transportation services with an app on our phones and usually at half the cost of a traditional taxicab.
  • We can also submit reviews of companies and have these sent around the world immediately.  We can shop for services using the reviews of others.
  • We can take classes on our phones from Shakespeare to Chinese to Quantum Physics.  And, read or listen to books and  — of course, there’s music…
  • We can create small businesses and buy and sell items from our phones, whether we live in the Yukon, the Congo, South Dakota or New York City.

And, that’s just the beginning!

Indeed the once humble if useful telephone has morphed and become a ubiquitous and powerful instrument,  Its original purpose is not even always its most important.  I mean of course — talking.  These days, since texting and taking photos and videos appear to be more important than speaking on the phone, many predict that phones may go the way of the mimeograph machine or the telegraph.  Yet if anything phones threaten to subsume laptops and tablets as they become larger and more capable.

Now actually, I think that all these machines will always have a place, and as a writer, there’s nothing like having a keyboard so I am not giving up my laptop any time soon.  So most likely all will co-exist.  In fact, as technology becomes more powerful, possibilities and choices multiply instead of contract.

In this spirit of giving thanks for expanding possibilities, ATI Connect wants to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!