Networking

Google close to gobbling phone call management firm GrandCentral


For $50 million, the GrandCentral deal (Forbes.com) does not immediately seem an extension to Google's mainstay search engine. The firm provides virtual calling service to its users with the option of using a single virtual number, which can be used to route calls to any or all of the user's phones or a voice mail account. This is a great concept, since switching and changing numbers and then conveying the new information to all of your contacts is such a pain.

So, where does GrandCentral figure in Google's grand plans? For one, it seems like a more active move into mobile space. Google hasn't made a major acquisition (financially) in the mobile space, unlike Microsoft that acquired TellMe, a voice recognition start-up. Also, with an ever expanding swath of Web applications, Google could easily integrate the service into its mail or chat offering (TechCrunch).

Also, being owned by Google implies that users can expect lower prices for the service. As for Google, the avenues for monetizing have never been bleak (ads, more ads... here, there, everywhere). It seems more like Google's gearing up for taking upon Skype, Microsoft, and many more in the telecom domain. Do you agree? Comment here.

6 comments
BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Google is computers on the Internet.The Internet is pulses of DC on the Telephone lines.The above stuff is/was just a software program in Google.(50 million dollars)

nentech
nentech

Isn?t it? Try telling the truth for a change

iainwrig
iainwrig

Thanks for that...

Pringles86
Pringles86

His posts are sometimes quite fun to read.

RexWorld
RexWorld

Whatever happens, it seems Halsey Minor has managed to squeeze something out of the GrandCentral / 12 Entrepreneuring debacle. He's the guy who founded CNET, the publishers of this Web site. In the late 90's he had a pretty good track-record of building up something to the point where somebody else would pay handsomely to take it off his hands (licensed the original CNET Web publishing engine to Vignette, sold Snap.com to MSNBC, partnered with E! to build eonline.com and then sold CNET's share to E!). But then after leaving CNET his venture-capital work didn't go quite as well. Great deal of acrimony in the rapid rise and collapse of his 12 Entrpreneuring incubator: http://news.com.com/2011-1088_3-277846.html One of the incubated companies was GrandCentral, but that previous incarnation was very different than the company just sold to Google. As I recall the original GrandCentral was trying to create building-management tools (i.e., software and systems to simplify managing lighting, environmental controls, etc.). That collapsed along with 12 Entrepreneuring but apparently Minor funded this new company under the same name. And now he has managed to sell it to Google. Not quite a windfall on the scale of what the YouTube founders got. But an achievment nonetheless to take the ashes of the old GrandCentral and create this new company that seems to have found a decent exit strategy.

pr.arun
pr.arun

Do you feel the acquisition of GrandCentral is more in tunes with going head-on towards Skype and the like?