Virtual telephony isn’t just a simpler, more cost-effective alternative to traditional phone systems. In fact, they are now closer to multichannel communication platforms that unite virtually all manners of communication under one solution. Still, when it comes to handling company emails and chats, users are still required to rely on various different platforms and as such must give up on the convenience of a truly unified solution. Thankfully, VoIP companies like RingCentral have realized the importance of providing a unified interface for more streamlined communication between clients and employees. This is an approach that Grasshopper takes, too, with its Connect tool that allows for the handling of calls, business text messages, and emails all within the same platform.
An App Designed for Convenience
At first glance, Grasshopper Connect seems like nothing more than just a simpler version of the company’s existing app that every user is entitled to use when signing up for the VoIP service’s default package. In fact, when it comes to handling all the communications of the business – or, additionally, separating personal calls from business-related ones – the experience is almost the same in both applications.
However, there is one major difference between the two apps: Connect is capable of integrating with Gmail and G-Suite, meaning that you can actually import company emails into Grasshopper. This way there is no need to hop between different platforms – pun intended – since emails can be opened and even composed within the very application that VoIP-related activities are handled from.
The ability to manage virtually all of the most important communication channels within the same app is already a huge advantage, but Connect twists things even more. In this app the main screen isn’t occupied by the keypad of the softphone but a list of past conversations in chronological order instead. This means that your previous conversations will always be on the top of this list, while picking a contact will always display the last method through which you and that particular contact had communicated.
Is It Worth It?
There is no denying that even in its initial state Grasshopper Connect is quite an innovative solution, especially in a market where not too many service providers have figured out how to unify the different communication channels under a single platform. The problem is that creating a separate app just to be able to see email messages within Grasshopper doesn’t seem too logical, especially considering that this particular feature could’ve easily been added to the company’s default application.
Then there is the fact that the Android application is way behind its iOS counterpart where features like separating business contacts or blocking and holding incoming calls are concerned. And then there’s the lack of compatibility with other mailing apps beside those of Google’s, the need to port your existing phone number over to Grasshopper, and the base price of $35 a month – which is actually more than the basic VoIP plan offered by the same company. In short, the only reason to consider Grasshopper Connect worth it is for the option to see your emails from within your virtual phone system manager.
A Promising Start
It’s a bit of a shame, though, that Grasshopper Connect is so limited in many of its features, because the company has clearly showcased the potential that VoIP still has. In fact, Grasshopper’s solution is one of the rare instances where it isn’t the cloud phone system that’s integrated into another program but rather the other way around. This is proof that VoIP services have decided to take the most logical route possible, which is providing in-house solutions instead of leveraging third-party apps, therefore eliminating the need to jump between different programs all the time.
Granted, many of these additional services are in an initial state much like Grasshopper Connect, but it’s already easy to imagine a time where every single communication method will be performed from the same user interface.
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