Today’s guest bloggers are Brian Peterson and John Rector, co-founders of Switch Communications, a San Francisco-based voice communications startup. When companies first started using business phones, work was a place you went; today, work is a thing you do, whether you’re at your desk or in transit. Yet the business phone hasn’t evolved to work the way that you do. With today’s mobile worker in mind, we created Switch.co, a business phone system built in the cloud, from the ground up. With Switch.co, you can receive calls on any device, whether it’s your desktop through the Chrome app, on mobile with the Android or iOS apps, or even your old desk phone (if you really, really want to). You can even switch seamlessly between devices, so if you start a call on your cell in your car, you can transfer it to your desk when you get into the office without having to hang up then dial back in.
On top of that, Switch.co is designed specifically for Google Apps for Work users: given its rich set of APIs, Google Apps is deeply integrated into the app, allowing users to view recent Gmail messages, see upcoming Calendar events, and access recently shared Docs while in the context of a conversation. You can even launch a Hangout directly from a call. We know Google Apps admins expect setup and management to be easy, so we’ve ensured you can get started with Switch.co over your lunch break.
We built Switch.co for Google Apps users because we’re such heavy Google users ourselves: Switch.co runs on Google App Engine and our team relies on Google Apps internally to keep business running smoothly and efficiently. Because many of our employees work remotely, it’s vital that we can access information at any time and on any device, then collaborate in real-time, no matter where we are. With single sign-on, we can access all the Google products we need with just one log-in; with Google Drive, we can store and share all of our files in one place; and with Google Sheets and Google Docs, we can work together on projects without worrying about out of date attachments.
Drive is particularly powerful in enabling our design and engineering teams to easily share and centralize the many assets required to take a idea from a concept to launch. We deal with a ton of huge files – hi-res graphics, professional grade videos, Adobe Illustrator files — and the ability to store and share them from Drive makes working together so much more seamless. Not only are these files too big for email, but they’d also otherwise splinter into countless versions distributed throughout our employees’ individual hard drives. Plus, the files are backed up by Google so we know they won’t get lost, and they’re centralized in one system, so we don’t have to worry about sensitive data leaving our company’s domain. And given that Google got its start as a search company, being able to search by document name or the copy within a file makes finding what you need easy and fast.
We rely on Google Sheets for our highly collaborative projects, like launch planning. Our entire calendar for the development and promotion of Switch.co, for example, was created and constantly updated in a Google spreadsheet. That way, our marketing and PR teams can access the latest version of the go-to-market plan whenever they need it.
We couldn’t have launched Switch.co without the power of Google Apps for Work enabling us to collaborate and work with the flexibility that a fast-paced startup needs. Google Apps for Work does for Switch Communications what Switch.co does for callers everywhere — it enables you to be agile, connected, and always on the go.