RALEIGH, N.C. - Verizon is making life easier for busy North Carolinians by putting a home phone "control panel" right on the screen of their personal computers. It's iobi Home (pronounced eye-OH'-bee), the new, industry-leading service that lets consumers be in two places at once.
For example, what if: You're at work and your child's school calls your home to tell you that you forgot to send in the signed permission slip for a class field trip. How nice to have a message pop up on your office computer or a text message sent to your wireless phone that the school called; then, on your computer, be able to play with a single click the voice message leaving the school fax number.
Or, what if: You're at home, on the phone with a neighbor. A pop-up on your computer screen says your doctor's office is calling. How easy to click on the notice and take the call or instantly forward it to your wireless handset on the table beside you.
It's not fantasy any more; it's reality. And it's available throughout the state now.
The iobi integrated communications manager was unveiled in January 2004 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In September, iobi Home was offered for the first time anywhere to Verizon customers in New England and expanded to New York City in October.
Now iobi Home is available to Verizon residential customers in North Carolina for $7.95 per month. The service also is being introduced today in Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and Oregon, and will be available almost everywhere by next year
By linking the Internet, the public telephone network and the personal computer, iobi Home gives "point-and-click" control over home phone calls, home voice mail, call lists, directories and calendars. Iobi Home includes outgoing e-mail and SMS text-messaging, and it can even pull up a map of where a new call is coming from.
"Today is the day everything changes for North Carolinians who want and need to be as connected as possible -- by telephone, wireless, e-mail, text-messaging, voice mail and the Internet," said Bob Ingalls, president of Verizon's Retail Markets Group. "Iobi Home provides a control panel for all their communications. Given the complexity of modern communications, it's actually more like a control panel for their lives.
The easy-to-use iobi Home communications system can be accessed in any one of three ways - through the iobi Home client software on a personal computer connected to the Internet; through the iobi Web site, which can be accessed on the Internet from any computer; or by telephone using a voice-recognition portal.
The computer-based software provides the most robust functionality of iobi Home - including on-screen caller ID, online real-time call direction and logging of calls and voice messages. Just by clicking their mouse, consumers can answer, forward or send an incoming call to voice mail in real time; find out where the caller is on a pop-up map; store the number in an address book; play a voice message; and forward voice messages as sound files via e-mail.
- Know when they are getting a call on their home phone in real time when using the desktop software. While the phone is still ringing, consumers can intercept the call and forward it to another number, send it to voice mail, or play a preset message the consumer selects.
- Schedule their calls to forward to different numbers by day and time, automatically.
- Get a text message on their cell phone whenever they have a new call or voice mail.
- "Click-and-add" phone numbers from the consumers' call log to their address book, which is available online wherever they are.
- Access most iobi features using a toll-free voice portal, equipped with voice recognition technology, so consumers can manage their iobi Home features even if they are nowhere near a personal computer.
Iobi Home gives consumers more control over their communications than they have ever had. With iobi Home, they can:
In addition to these features, iobi Home offers a call log, address book, calendar, text messaging, e-mail messaging, SuperPages and personal directory number lookup, always-on weather display, and access to calling-party maps. Broadband service is not required; iobi Home works with dial-up access on regular phone lines, making the most advanced call-management features available to everyone.
In February, an enhanced version of the Internet-based service - iobi Professional - was introduced to businesses in New York City and the Northeast; and last month Verizon launched iobi Enterprise, with additional features designed to support the needs of the largest businesses from Maine to Virginia.
Iobi Home is now available in New York City and 11 states: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Vermont and Washington. For more information, interested consumers can go to www.verizon.com/iobi or call their local business office at the number on their Verizon bill.
Verizon Home Voice Mail is recommended for full product functionality. Iobi Home is provided by Verizon Long Distance to Verizon customers in the company's serving area.
An online press kit including high-resolution video, a flash demo and a features list is available at http://newscenter2.verizon.com/kit/iobi/.
With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 210,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.