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Switch Communications, Inc. is a communications company in San Francisco, CA. Known for their Google Business Phone app, they also make and maintain the UberConference platform. The company was formerly known as Firespotter Labs. Craig Walker, the company's figurehead, was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Google Ventures.
Firespotter Labs, now Switch Communications, was founded when Walker was in residence at Google Ventures. Walker has been CEO of several successful companies. Firespotter Labs is also known for developing several popular products.
Firespotter Labs rebranded as Switch Communications in 2011. Their product platform now includes a Google Business Phone app and UberConference.
One of the things to know is that UberConference is a conference-calling tool, not a video conference tool. With this in mind, there are some ways that you can make video sharing work with some of UberConference. We'll discuss this possibility later in the review.
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We felt like the UberConference had a very reasonable, scalable price for all possible customers. There is a free version, with some very limited features. Then there is the individual plan and business plan. For the individual plan, you pay $10 per month. With the business plan, your business is charged $10 times the number of users. The individual and business plans have all the same features, making it a scalable solution for small businesses.
Overall, we felt like UberConference offered some great features for business:
With UberConference, you have access to: (1) unlimited calling, (2) screen sharing, (3) international calling, (4) HD audio, (5) your own number, and (6) powerful conferencing tools.
We like that UberConference is customizable for all business needs. You can purchase an individual account and run it off a tablet to have a small business conference call. For the large business plan, you can invite over 100 callers and the platform is extendable to Google Hangouts (though you can't harness the voice chat of Google Voice).
UberConference does not contain an internal cloud system, but it does integrate with other clouds. We found that you can easily share and annotate documents with Google Drive, Drop Box, Box, and EverNote. Google Drive works very well with the UberConference integration with Google Hangouts, making it easy to annotate a document on the fly in Google Drive.
We also liked the app's integration with social media. If you are hiring someone, it is very easy to see their Linked In Profile and other social media so that you can see what their professional certifications are.
The individual plan can handle up to 25 callers, while the professional version can handle up to 100 callers. You can also get your own customizable phone number, which costs an additional $10 per month. While the platform doesn't have HD video, there is HD audio. We found that the HD audio with UberConference was one of the best in the web conferencing industry.
There are also powerful leadership controls. You can easily mute the person speaking and eject them from the conference. You can also record the conference easily, archiving it for later. The most powerful feature of UberConference's leadership setup is the ability to lock the conversation, to keep other people from joining.
The user interface is also really useful. Many people opt to use the Google Hangouts integration. It is very easy to invite people to a conference, record the conference, and lock your conference for security.
One of the things that we missed was the video sharing. While playing around with UberConference, we found that it was easy to share videos over Drop Box or Google Drive, but this process was slow and clunky. We would also like to see HD video conferencing. While Google Hangouts allows for video conferencing, UberConference does not make video conferencing a possibility
We did have some issues with UberConference. While it is a great conference tool, we fond that it lacks some core conferencing tools:
The lack of an integrated cloud can be a problem for some users. While the Google Drive, Drop Box, and other drop box technologies fit our needs, we wanted a more streamlined solution.
Finally, we didn't like the fact that UberConference lacks a robust annotation and whiteboard architecture. Other platforms have basic pens and arrows that enhance the conference experience. With UberConference, it is only possible to use box storage to edit a document.
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Simple and low-cost solution. I love that I get a dedicated url and phone number on the free version. I am able to do screen shares to show my clients what we do. I do wish they had the ability to hand off control to another person, so you could easily have clients show their screen. But for training and presentations, the free version is all I need. With a plugin you just click a button on Google Calendars and all of your information is automatically populated.
Good luck if you need help with customer service. You'll never get s live person on the phone and they'll keep sending you emails in "how to" that does not help.
HORRIBLE customer service. Representatives stop responding to questions when the issues remain unresolved.
The Customer Support woman is very rude and not helpful. She should not have a front line position dealing with clients. Her phone manner is awful. On more than one occasion I have called and she just ends the call with out saying goodbye. She simply hangs up after saying what she has to say with no regard or concern if your reason for calling was satisfied etc. I would not recommend this company for this very reason.