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Google Voice Integration??

New Member
Posts: 9
Country: United States

Google Voice Integration??

I am quickly becoming a fan of Google Voice. Since this is a somewhat new service I will explain the services and then ask my question.

Google voice is a virtual telephone number, from which you can forward inbound calls to any/all of your physical phones. But more relevant to my question, you can also make outbound calls from the online Google voice interface. To do this, you can select a user from your Google contacts or type in any phone number you wish to call. You then select the phone from which you wish to call them from. For instance, when I am at my home office, I would choose "client XYZ" and then I will be prompted for which phone to use. Once I make my selection, my chosen phone will ring. When I answer that line, it will then start ringing at the recipient's end. This model works well and all of my calling activity is logged. I could also record a call for later playback, but more on that later.

Google has also now added "Google voice extensions", which is a browser plugin for the Google chrome browser, which allows me to simply select any phone number on a web page and click dial, as well as adding some other quick access buttons in the browser for calling features.

So, why am I rambling about all this? Because I like to track all of my calling activity and I think we are very close to workflow nirvana. What I am looking for is a way to initiate my outbound calls from ACT! using Google voice. On top of that I would love for the call activity to be automatically logged, or least launch the new call history window for me to enter the call results.

Does anybody have any experience with any of this and comments on it's feasibility?

Personally I see a few ways to handle this, as follows
1. (The most elegant solution) A software plugin for ACT which adds a "call" button next to each phone number entry in the contact screen. This call button would integrate with Google voice and allow Google voice to handle the rest of the outbound calling. Additionally, pressing the call button could launch the new call history window too. Even more elegant would be for the plugin to access the right click menu so you could initiate calls from a right click.

2. Use a Web Interface to view my ACT database and then just use the existing Google voice extensions in the browser to initiate calls. Does Act Premium have a web interface? This would be a passable solution until something more elegant is available. This would permit a single ACT lookup and all my calls could occur from there.

3. Copy the phone # from ACT! and paste in into the Google interface. This works now, but is obviously tedious, especially when making lots of calls. It would only require a lookup in one application but would require lots of toggling back and forth.

4. synchronize my ACT DB with my Google contacts, which can also be done now, but this would require me to do 2 lookups. One in Google voice to find my target client, and one in ACT to record the call results.

I forgot to mention that Google Voice is free. You can use the service with your existing phone number or get a new one from Google. You can even choose the area code you want your new # to reside in. There are a ton of other cool features in Google voice, such as FREE SMS texting and granular controls over where your calls get routed (ie, clients go to mobile phone and Mom goes to voice mail, not that I condone dodging your mom's calls). It also has a full voice mail system, which you can use different greetings for different callers and have your voice mails transcribed to your email. It is definitely something I suggest looking into.

Anyway, back to my request... Any thoughts on this? All comments welcome!
New Member
Posts: 9
Country: United States

Re: Google Voice Integration??

Wow, lots of views and no replies? I guess I'm in over my head.

 

I've done some more exploring and ACT! does indeed have this feature built-in, though it is not on the toolbar by default. It does exactly what I want. It launches a dialer, dials the target number and opens a window to record the call history. This is all great, Except this does not integrate with google voice. :-(

 

However, it does make use of all the communications options that are available on the PC, so if/when google makes a plugin for the windows OS hopefully this feature may work. 

Bronze Contributor
Posts: 930
Country: USA

Re: Google Voice Integration??

Adam,

 

I'm not familiar with Google Voice, or I should say I don't have an account, and I've just requested an invite.  I'm interested in seeing whether you could add a simple URL link to the Web Info Tab in ACT! 2010 (prior versions did not have the Web Info Tab) that would launch a web dialer to dial the number from the contact record.

 

You're probably aware of this, but you can add your own Links to the Web Info Tab along with the ones that are included - I've added jigsaw, piple, yelp and Manta links - it's easy and it's fun AND it's productive.

 

 

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New Member
Posts: 9
Country: United States

Re: Google Voice Integration??

I'm not sure if that would work, but I'd be willing to take a look at it. I'm not sure where I would point the link to?

 

As you've already found out, Google voice is invitation-only at this time. I could issue you an invitation if you need it.

 

 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 21
Country: United States

Re: Google Voice Integration??

[ Edited ]

Adam,

 

We currently offer a similar solution which integrates with Skype, and hosted business phone systems.  I looked at Google Voice in the past, but thier Terms of Service state:

 

"GRANT OF RIGHTS TO USE SERVICES. Effective upon acceptance of this Agreement, Google Voice hereby grants to Subscriber a personal, nonexclusive, nontransferable, revocable license to access and use the Services (as defined below), for Subscriber's non-commercial use."

 

The non-commercial use part leads me to assume you can't wrap a service around it and offer it commercially.  Also, since Google voice formerly Grand Central, a different company which also stated:

 

"The GrandCentral Services are for personal, non-commercial usage. GrandCentral reserves the right to immediately disconnect or modify a Subscriber's Service if GrandCentral determines, in its sole discretion, that Subscriber's use of the Service is, or at any time was, inconsistent with normal personal, non-commercial usage patterns."

 

Also, Google Voice currently doesn't offer a developer's API which could be used to leverage the service..  Most cutting edge services like this need some time to evolve and mature before they can become commerically viable.  There has been a big fight over making Google Voice work on an iPhone for example: http://www.thestandard.com/news/2009/07/28/google-voice-apps-removed-and-rejected-app-store  The FCC is currently invloved: http://techcrunch.com/2009/07/31/fcc-takes-on-apple-and-att-over-google-voice-rejection/

 

Google has since bypassed Apple by making it work with a browser: http://www.ciol.com/Developer/News-Reports/Google-bypasses-Apple-with-Voice-for-iPhone/27110130536/0...

 

All that being said, it's rumored Google may release an official API as part of Google Apps sometime this year

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Messaging-and-Collaboration/Google-to-Push-Google-Voice-Google-Wave-to-Busi...

 

Once that happens, it may be easier to integrate this stuff with ACT!  and we'll definately be the first addon developer to do it..

 

[Edit: third-party links removed from body of post]

Message Edited by ghollister on 02-18-2010 11:06 AM
Gavin Stevens – CTO - MCPS, MCSD, MCAD, MCNPS, MCTS
gavin@calloncrm.com
CRM Integration Systems, LLC.
(480) 385-2512 office (888) 90-CRMIS toll free
Do you Call On CRM!?
http://www.CallOnCRM.com
"Seamless integration of ACT! by Sage with BroadSoft "hosted PBX" VoIP platform & Skype!"
New Member
Posts: 9
Country: United States

Re: Google Voice Integration??

Thanks Gavin, I appreciate your reply. I've pretty familiar with traditional and VOIP technologies and understand how your offering works today. I also understand the EULA restrictions and can see why anyone would hesitate to invest in coding with no available API and potential a closed business model from the googlites. I currently initiate calls from my blackberry and understand that this is also available on windows mobile. I naturally assumed this was available for the desktop OS as well. I suppose now that I found the native ACT! dialer, all one would need is a "google modem" defined as a communication option within the OS. Then Act could send dialing instructions to via the dialer and the google modem would be able to handle all the rest. I know I've over simplified that but it is what it is.

 

Anyway, for the short term I have ordered a little USB modem to add to my workstation. My understanding is that with the modem installed the ACT dialer will commandeer the line via the modem to initiate a call, and then I can just take the receiver off-hook and join the call?  Since I work from home, if this works, it'll suffice for now. and I'll get my faxing abilities back too ;-)

 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 21
Country: United States

Re: Google Voice Integration??

[ Edited ]

Adam,

 

The google modem approach would work, in essence you need a TAPI based driver that could interface with the phone provider.  While this would provide you with the ability to dial you would lose alot in the translation.  TAPI (the interface modem drivers use) is an old technology, it was introduced in 1993 long before VoIP existed. 

 

Using SIP and VoIP you gain alot in the interaction.  Using these technologies adds in conferencing, multi-line support through SIP trunking, presence technologies built into the SIP stack and more.  Skype and any of our hosted phone system carriers utilize these newer technologies and allow many more features to be built into ACT! than just dialing a contact.

 

Our Skype app for example allows:

 

  • Caller ID which allows you to match to your ACT contact record. 
  • Full call control (hold, transfer, multi-lines, conferencing)
  • View contact's presence status on Skype
  • Team Collaboration - We tie into ACT! premiums team feature and allow you to Chat, Call and see your team members presence directly in ACT!
  • Interact with contacts with Skype-Skype functionality (IM (Chat), SMS (Text messaging), File Transfers, Skype to Skype calling)
  • Call Recording, (with a additional Skype Addon), with this you can automatically record your calls and record them as ACT! histories

 

and more..  sorry for the feature list, but comparing to TAPI you get (dial, hangup, caller id)  quite the difference..

Message Edited by CallOnCRM on 02-17-2010 07:40 PM
Gavin Stevens – CTO - MCPS, MCSD, MCAD, MCNPS, MCTS
gavin@calloncrm.com
CRM Integration Systems, LLC.
(480) 385-2512 office (888) 90-CRMIS toll free
Do you Call On CRM!?
http://www.CallOnCRM.com
"Seamless integration of ACT! by Sage with BroadSoft "hosted PBX" VoIP platform & Skype!"
Copper Contributor
Posts: 21
Country: USA

Re: Google Voice Integration??

Thank you both for this info and ideas.  Great stuff!

Copper Contributor
Posts: 44
Country: USA

Re: Google Voice Integration??

look up call on crm,,, its great for me..