Launching today is Y Combinator-backed company TellFi, a cloud-based virtual phone system that is specifically tailored to enterprise needs. In building Tellfi, founders Jason Corwin and Conor Lee asked customers what their most desired features were in a calling system, and came up with voicemail transcription, multiphone forwarding, individual extensions for each user, toll-free numbers and support access.
TellFi is in the same space as Grasshopper and Google Voice, but unlike Google Voice TellFi is not free, so you get what you pay for in a sense. Says Corwin, “One of the ways we differentiated ourselves was that the other [enterprise] products were bulky to use … And Google Voice [doesn't] really have a lot of the business class features. Connection quality is really important to people, as is lack of support. People looking for robust business class features as they dug into it found that TellFi was a better alternative.”
The tiered plans that are $70 a month, $24 a month and $10 a month add extra numbers and additional minutes as the plans increase in price, but the features remain essentially the same. TellFi prides itself in having better call quality and fewer dropped calls than competitors and robust analytics like call logs across all plans.
TellFi also prides itself on its simplicity. All you need to do to set up a business phone system is visit the website and set up an account from an interface that’s designed for non-techie users, “It allows people to jump in, and do what they want and jump out” says Lee.
TellFi now has over 50 clients and hopes to add even more features like conference calling and more in depth analytics for users, rolling out a new feature every two weeks. TellFi is also offering the first 50 interested TechCrunch readers one month of the starter plan free when they sign up for an account, by using the access code “TCReaders.”
One great thing about big corporations are all the rules. AOL has a twenty nine page Standars of Business Conduct policy that all applies to all employees. The document covers things like harassment, safe work environments, privacy, conflicts of interest and gifts. The best part is near the end when it gets into bribery and corruption.
“AOL strictly prohibits…bribery of government officials,” is an example of the rules that we are forced to live by. As you can imagine, it’s mostly common sense, and has been a subject of great amusement around the office for the last several months.
AOL is also very strict about alcohol in the office, and I’ve heard people complaining that HR won’t let them bring in a few beers to celebrate a new product launch. The only real question I had was why in the world they asked permission in the first place.
Our Company prohibits the abuse of alcohol or prescription drugs while performing your job drugs while performing your job duties or while on our premises.
Anyway, the no alcohol policy is one which we have violated each and every day since we were acquired. See, for example, the TechCrunch kegerator.
I guess it all depends on how to define “abuse” though.
Which is why we’re confused by AOL’s weekly drinking binges, called Accelerator Thursdays. We get a deluge of emails urging us to participate in this weekly program, which as far as we can tell consists of very heavy drinking, and lots of drinking games, in all of the AOL’s offices.
From the Dulles office:
In Dulles we will be enjoying beverages from the The Refueling Station (our bar). Beverages will include melted snow (white wine), quick start (red wine) and brew icicles (beer).
Our ice luge drink is fast track (blue caracau, vodka, lemonade).
In Detroit we are kicking off the Luge with White Russians & Margarettia’s! We encouraged everyone to bring forward ideas for future Accelerator events.
Baltimore was less energetic:
We are kicking our AT off with a beer cart.
The last thing I want to do is put a stop to all this. But the next time someone in HR starts bugging me about bribing a government official to get the inside scoop on a story, I’m just pointing to the picture above of that poor AOL employee being forced to drink blue caracau, vodka, lemonade luges from the ice track. :-)
If you’ve ever thought “I’d get so much more geo-location done in my day if it could all just be done from my watch,” the folks at inPulse smart watch have an app for you.
This hack allows inPulse smart watch users to check into Facebook Places and Foursquare with a tap of their watch button. It’s pretty kludgey right now because it requires a Bluetooth connection to an Android smartphone to work but, as an extension to the standard check-in APIs used on phones, it could prove useful.
The watch polls the smartphone for nearby places to use for check in and then connects to the check-in service to complete the process.
The code is all here and it requires you to register a new app with Facebook, but I think we all can agree that adding this feature to your watch is a great leap forward in human-computer interaction. Or something.
You can get an inPulse watch right here and start getting notifications right on your wrist.
Forbes reports that Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi apparently had a meeting with Apple COO Tim Cook, CFO Peter Oppenheimer and VP of Internet Services Eddy Cue last week.
The analyst reports that Appleâ€™s COO suggested that it is “likely to develop lower priced offerings” to expand the iPhone market.
The analyst says Cook â€œappeared to reaffirm the notion that Apple is likely to develop lower priced offeringsâ€ to expand the market for the iPhone. Cook said the company is planning â€œclever thingsâ€ to address the prepaid market, and that Apple did not want its products to be â€œjust for the rich,â€ and that the company is â€œnot ceding any market.â€
Weâ€™ve heard rumors that Apple is working on a cheaper and smaller iPhone model, which could be priced at $200 without requiring a contract. However, New York Times reported that although Apple is exploring ways to reduce the price of the iPhone to make it affordable to a wider audience by changing internal components of the device, it is not working on a smaller iPhone.
The analyst also reports that Cook believes that the tablet market will be much bigger than the PC market. He wrote:
Cook indicated that the tablet market would be much bigger than the PC market. Sacconaghi concludes that if so, it could eventually be a $60 billion to $100 billion business for Apple alone. Cook also said he expected intense competition in tablets, more so than in smart phones, with all PC and smart phone vendors likely to participate, but he added that Apple has a strong head start, and that it has interesting new things in the pipeline.
What do you think? Should Apple launch a cheaper iPhone model? Please share your views in the comments section below.
I’m not at this week’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco for various reasons (the main one being that I’ve been covering events non-stop for nearly two months and my body is falling apart), but we’re keeping a pretty close eye on things just in case. We’re hearing that things just got a little dramatic in the “ANGRY BIRDS – An Entertainment Franchise in the Making” panel headed by Rovio’s “Might Eagle” (read: head honcho) Peter Vesterbacka.
You learned long ago not to leave your computer unprotected against the elements of the Internet. You would never think of accessing the Internet without anti-virus software (hush, you Mac folks), so why would you leave one of your most important online presences – your Facebook Page – unprotected?
Defensio breaks down security for your page into three basic categories: Spam, malicious content and profanity. For each category, you can set the app to either alert you, quarantine the item, or automatically delete it.
Beyond these three basic categories and settings, the app also allows you to select a number of different website types to block from being posted on your page.
Defensio isn’t the first of its kind, however. Last October, we wrote about a similar app by BitDefender, which performed a similar task. BitDefender’s app, however, was directed more at the average user, helping to prevent oversharing and privacy infringing activities, in addition to malicious links. Defensio also has a full moderation panel that allows the Facebook Page’s owner to look through quarantined items and decide to either allow or disallow them.
Defensio looks to be more directed at small businesses and those of you with a brand Facebook Page. Would you want to stop your friends from swearing on your personal Facebook page? Maybe not. Your brand’s Facebook Page, however, is a different thing all together.
Angel investor and fight picker Jason Calacanis on February 10, 2010:
Facebook lost half its value today.
Google Buzz 1.0 is a better product than the seven-year old Facebook. Look at Scoble’s post from TED… he never left GMAIL and he instantly has tons of comments… and they are more intelligent than the ones on Facebook.
Facebook has stolen everyone’s ideas for six years and today they just got a taste of their own medicine. Google has ripped off their interface and done it 10x better.
Game over… Facebook is the new MySpace.