By Alok Saboo on November 29th, 2010
Most VoIP providers take a cookie cutter approach to developing their offerings. Other than some minor differences, they all look and feel the same. Given this, I was pleasantly surprised to see Anveo, a VoIP provider packed with many cool features that will surely appeal to both retail and enterprise consumers. There are so many wonderful features that Anveo offers that it will take us a few posts to go over them in detail. So, for this post, we will focus on Anveo for Consumers and highlight the key aspects of the offering.
The key technology behind Anveo’s offering is the visual IVR Call Flow technology. This offers significant flexibility to configure and manage features for the phone number. Visual Call Flow designer is very cool as you can easily define how to handle calls using a simple Drag and Drop. I have played with those little blocks and all I can say is that Anveo Visual Call Flow is an amazing technology.
The key components of Anveo’s consumer offering that utilize or support the call flow technology are:
Virtual Phone Numbers (DID): Anveo offers virtual numbers in over 48 countries. Phone numbers in Canada, UK and United States are actually virtual mobile numbers capable of receiving incoming SMS text messages. Phone numbers in Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Spain, UK and United States are capable of receiving incoming faxes. Anveo DIDs are powered by the Call Flow Engine that provides significant benefits relative to some other virtual number (DID) providers that we have seen earlier. Read here for a list of features. Anveo currently has a promotion going on where you can get a USA DID for only $0.99 per month and a DID in Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Netherlands, and UK for $2.22 per month.
Disposable Phone Numbers: You can also get temporary numbers that you can use online and dispose when you do not require them. Phone numbers with extension are FREE. You can have the number forwarded anywhere at Anveo’s calling rates and an additional 5¢ per minute.
Web Calls: This feature allows you to initiate calls directly from your web browser. You can enter your number as well as the destination number and Anveo will connect both the parties. This is very similar to other call back services like Miglu or even Google Voice. However, in addition to the basic call back service, you can record your conversations, schedule a call for the future, automatically redial if destination is busy, and even change your voice to have some fun. You can try the Web Call feature here.
SMS: We all know that texting is an important part of our lives. With Anveo SMS offering you can send international text messages (SMS) for cheap. But there is more than just sending SMS messages, with Anveo you can also receive SMS replies! Those who will start playing with Anveo Visual Call Flow will also notice that SMS messages can also be sent from the call flow. That is quite nice feature if you would like to be notified using SMS alerts about missed calls or a new Voicemail message.
ContactME (Click 2 Call widgets): Anveo provides flexible (HTML and Flash based) click to call buttons and widgets that can be embedded in your website, blog, social networking, online auction page or email signature. You can personalize the widget, specify the when people can call you. There are no additional charges for the widget; you only pay for the actual minutes used. This is similar in nature to the Zingaya Click-to-Call website widget that we reviewed earlier. You can significantly improve the power of your widgets by utilizing the Anveo Call Flow engine.
Online Fax: Anveo allows you to send and receive fax for no additional monthly charges. You can fax any document directly from your computer at an additional cost of only 2 US cents (in addition to the calling rates to your destination). The additional charges are only 1 US cent for Professional and Business plans. You can also receive fax on your Anveo number and have it sent to your email. Overall, Anveo’s online Fax feature is very economical since it takes about 1 minute to send a fax. Incoming Fax is also very attractive option since it is only 4 US cent per FAX (not per page).
Conference Calls: Unlike traditional conference calling providers where you need to dial a phone number to join the conference call Anveo provides dial-out conference calling. Very handy feature if you need to join participant from different countries. Your participants do not have to make any calls; Anveo will dial the participants and connect them to the conference. Anveo provides some advance features, including scheduling a conference call, call recording, and managing participants. In addition to the low calling charges, you only need to pay 3¢ a minute to use the conference bridge.
As you would have noticed, most of these offerings are not unique to Anveo; several other providers offer some of these features. The key, in my mind, is how Anveo combines these elements into a powerful yet fairly simple and easy to use system for the end user. Further, utilizing its call flow technology, Anveo has been able to significantly enhance the power and benefits of even the most basic feature.
You can start using Anveo for NO COST. There are no charges for the Pay-as-you-Go plan. In fact, you will get 60 minutes of FREE talk time to explore the service. So feel free to explore Anveo, I am sure you will be very excited to upgrade your communications to Voice 2.0 with Anveo!!