Internet Call Manager (ICM) from
(Bedford, NS, Canada - 902-832-1014) is a cute service that lets you manage incoming calls while youre on a dialup Net connection, and gives you web-based voicemail, to boot.
InfoInteractive works as the service provider the service is available in most parts of the U.S. and Canada by signing up on their
. They also partner with telcos, resellers, and
ISPs, including a deal recently inked with Bell Atlantic.
To get started, you download a small (1MB) Windows client. The client looks over your shoulder when you dial up your ISP, grabs your IP address, and registers it on ICMs server. Now the server knows youre online, and can send you messages.
Next, you order some form of call forwarding from your telco (there are various types, ranging from about $2 to $5/month), and activate it when you go online vectoring calls to a unique
800-number obtained from ICM. When a call comes in, call forwarding bounces it over to ICM. Their server pulls DNIS (and ANI), figures out the call is for you, grabs your IP address, and sends the ANI to your client. The client pops up caller name/number on your PC screen. Depending on who is calling, you can play them one of up to six recorded greetings, or send the call to voicemail.
In the iteration I tested, the voicemail is only available across the Net: You access messages through the ICM client, and
listen to them as WAV files. Versions supported by carriers/resellers (hence better-integrated with carrier services) come in more practical variations. A premium version lets you answer the call (the caller is notified and put on hold while the Net connection is terminated, and then the call is routed back to your phone line) or transfer calls to any of four phone numbers. The next logical step would seem to be adding the option to remain online and take the call via H.323, though the company has not yet
announced any official plans to fulfill this wish.
I took advantage of the free trial period for the test, which lets you receive twelve free incoming calls before having to pay for the service. After that it costs $5 per month, or $4.17 per month for a six-month subscription.