ReachUC On iOS Is the Mobile Worker’s Dream

BY JASON HARRISREVIEWS EDITOR

The wired phone that sits on your desk is a thing of the past, right? No! Not in business! We use deskphones to call colleagues down the hall, the front desk or to ring co-workers anywhere around the globe.

However, with more of the workforce going ‘mobile’, either working from home part-time, out of other offices or co-working spaces, the deskphone is rapidly being replaced by mobile phones. While this is a handy solution, and really can meet mobile worker’s basic needs – let’s face it, it’s a chore to carry around multiple mobile phones, one for personal and the other for work. Add to it that not everyone wants to divulge a personal mobile number to co-workers, clients or similar, and you have a problem in need of a solution.

In response, there is a solution. It’s the ‘softphone’ – which is an app that you install on your iPhone. The softphone enables you to dial extensions, listen to voicemail and use your work number – just as if you’re in the office talking into a regular deskphone. 

In recent weeks, I’ve been testing SkySwitch’s recommended ReachUC app on my iPhone.

ReachUC Overview

Getting started with ReachUC is quite easy – simply download the app from the App Store. Login by using your username and password obtained from your IS or IT group. Your login will be similar to the following: 4444@yourcompanyname.

After you log-in and launch ReachUC, you’ll be presented with the simple, easy-to-use user experience.

With ReachUC, it’s simple to:

  • Place calls to extensions and regular phone numbers. Your caller ID will appear to your callers as coming from your work extension, presenting the same number.
  • Receive calls – they’ll appear on your iPhone screen just like a regular phone call
  • Enable in-call actions such as adding a third person, transferring the call, putting the call on hold, etc
  • Message using text-messaging (SMS) exchanges directly in the app – which is perfect for quick notes, reminders, etc.
  • Make video calls if the person you call is on a video-capable device – and make distributed team members feel not-so-far away

If you’re in a place with spotty cellular data or crummy WiFi, such as a hotel or conference room floor, ReachUC has a fantastic option: the ‘callback’ and ‘GSM Call’ will force the outgoing call to use your mobile carrier (not using IP to route the call). 

Call and ReachUC Performance

Sure – ReachUC has features, but how does it perform as a calling app?

To put this to the test, I was using the app on an older iOS handset – an iPhone 6s and I witnessed outstanding app performance and user experience. I used the app to call SkySwitch colleagues at their desk on Grandstream handsets, traditional phones in Singapore, the UK and the US and mobile phones in the US and Canada. Each time I used ReachUC paired with SkySwitch – the calls were crystal clear. I experienced no call dropouts, muted callers or other annoyances.

The in-call controls let me mute calls, transfer to other colleagues and conduct three-way calls. The app’s performance was solid and predictable.

Are you concerned with your iPhone’s battery life? Me too. Much like the ReachUC Android app, ReachUC on iOS uses push notifications to alert you to new calls and messages, which means the app doesn’t maintain a constant connection to your company’s servers, draining your battery at the same time.

Tips for the best experience

ReachUC is built to be very user-friendly, even for those not so tech savvy. Here are some tips I’d offer to ensure an easy getting going experience:

  • Ensure you can get ahold of your IT/support team in case you can’t get signed in to ReachUC after you first install it and run it for the first time. 
    • You’ll likely just need your username and password and will be all set after this – but, just in case, have IT available via phone call or in-person.
  • Set ReachUC as an application on your phone’s home screen for easy access. There’s nothing more annoying than having to hunt for an application you’re going to be using on a routine basis during your workday.
  • Have younger folks that you work with (you know – those under 40?). Be sure to use ReachUC’s messaging capability. If you have a quick question or need to ping your colleague – send them a short note rather than calling and leaving a voicemail. 😂

So – now go download ReachUC for iOS and enjoy your deskphone on your trusty iPhone!

ReachUC Is An Ideal Business Cloud Voice Softphone

BY JASON HARRIS, REVIEWS EDITOR

Many ‘modern’ businesses have begun eliminating the desk phone. You know, the one that sits in your office/cubicle and enables you to dial extensions to reach co-workers, departments and colleagues? As the workforce has become increasingly mobile with co-working and work-from-home arrangements in the last decade or two, business phones on the desk are becoming a thing of the past. 

Instead, 21st-century workers use mobile phones, either their own, or one provided by their company.

The convenience of being mobile sounds fantastic, but there are downsides. Some employees either don’t always feel comfortable divulging a personal mobile phone number to colleagues and co-workers as their work number due to privacy or confidentiality reasons, or they simply don’t like carrying around two mobile phones.

Enter the ‘softphone’ – or, a phone line/number that works as an app on your Android mobile or iPhone that enables you to dial extensions and use your work number presented to caller ID – just as if you’re in the office ‘chained’ to your regular desk phone.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been testing SkySwitch’s recommended ReachUC application on my Samsung Galaxy S9+. 

ReachUC Overview

Installing ReachUC is easy – download the app from the Play Store and log in using your credentials which can be obtained from your IT department. Your login will be something that looks like this: 1234@yourcompany.com

Then, authorize the ReachUC app to use permissions such as call management and more. These are necessary for the app to function properly on the mobile phone.

Once you install the app, you’ll see the straight-forward, easy-to-use user interface.

With ReachUC, you can:

  • Make calls as if you’re in the office at your desk phone. They’ll appear to your callers as coming from your work extension, presenting the same number.
  • Receive calls – they’ll appear on your Android’s screen just like a regular call
  • Message using text-messaging like exchanges directly in the app
  • Make video calls if the person you call is on a video-capable device
  • Conduct in-call actions such as adding a third person, transferring the call, putting the call on hold, etc

One stand-out feature of ReachUC for me is the ‘callback’ or ‘GSM call’ option. If you’re on spotty Wi-Fi or in an area with a bad data connection, you can use these options to place the call through your mobile carrier, (not an IP or VoIP) when you’re trying to reach a colleague’s extension or dial out. For those who have used Google Voice to make calls, you’ll see the similarity.

Call and ReachUC App Performance

I used ReachUC over the past few weeks to call SkySwitch colleagues via their desk phones and also called them while they’ve used the ReachUC app on their mobile phones. I’ve made international calls to landlines and mobile numbers in the UK, Singapore and all over the United States. Every time I used ReachUC, the calls were crystal clear with no dropouts, no muted callers or anything of the sort.

I put the in-call controls to use by muting calls, placing the call on hold and transferring calls – the app performed flawlessly each time.

My favorite aspect of ReachUC, however, is the amazing fact that this app uses minimal battery life. Because it is built to use push notifications and not maintain an always-on data connection to your company’s PBX (the server that handles call management), ReachUC doesn’t drain your battery like most Internet calling applications. This feature alone makes ReachUC stand out in the competitive landscape and adds so much convenience for ReachUC users worldwide.

Tips to Pass On

Using ReachUC is super easy, even for non-tech savvy office phone users. 

However, here are a few tips to make your ReachUC experience top-notch.

  • Approve all the permissions ReachUC requests upon your first app launch. These include mic access and the ability to make calls. Don’t worry – the app isn’t nefarious – it needs mic access to enable you to talk and be heard during a phone call. 😀
  • Have IT as a resource in case you can’t get signed in to ReachUC after you first install it and run it for the first time. You’ll likely just need your username and password and will be all set after this – but, just in case, have IT available via phone call or in-person.
  • Set ReachUC as an application on your phone’s home screen for easy access. There’s nothing more annoying than having to hunt for an application you’re going to be using on a routine basis during your workday.
  • In ReachUC you can take advantage of much needed mobile compatible SMS, and one more great addition in ReachUC. Faxing. While you don’t fax as much today as in the past, and fax machines are becoming a dying breed like the desk phone, the addition of it in ReachUC is a big, added plus.

Now – go install ReachUC for your Android or iPhone and enjoy your desk phone on your mobile!

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