Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Antique On My Desk

Well..... maybe it is not an antique but it sure feels like it sometimes. It's a beige Nortel Meridian M2616 telephone manufactured in 1999. It's multi-line with a built in speaker phone and has a small optional LCD display that shows some basic information (date, time, caller ID, time on call, etc). It's got 16 programmable keys that can be expanded to 60 with something called a key expansion module.

Do I use it? Occasionally. It's actually got a very nice handset with great sound quality.  When I've got long calls scheduled it is much more physically comfortable and easier on my ears than my cell phone. It's also nice for conference calls. I don't use any of the programmable keys. What does it lack? Lots of features I've come to depend on from services like Google Voice or Skype, including:
  • Voice messages going directly to my email inbox.
  • Voice message transcriptions - which are searchable.
  • Sharing voice messages via email.
  • Being able to archive and backup a voice message as an audio file and save it in a folder.
  • Blocking specific callers.
  • One number for all of my phones and number porting. For example, I can make my mobile number my Google Voice number.
  • The ability to use my computer as my phone any where, any place, any time.
I can't do any of these with my desk phone but can do all of them using an Internet connection and my MacBook Air or any other connected computer. In my Microsoft/Skype post yesterday I questioned why we still have both a computer and phone (separate independent devices) on most of our desks. Still wondering. Desk phones sure look like antiquated voice only devices.

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