How can I set up a virtual office in India?

raj kapoor October 7, 2010
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I am a small Soho in India. I want to setup a virtual office. I want to use my laptop and wireless modem as a replacement to mobile phone. How can I achieve it?

How can I set my laptop to make and receive calls to and from telephone numbers for free or cheap? If I buy a sim with free sms pack, how can I use it with my PC without using a cell phone? Can I directly send and receive sms on my PC?

How do I set up GPS tracking on my laptop? How can I set up a free answering machine on my laptop? How can I set up a toll free number such that all calls are diverted to a predesigned number? Please guide.

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  1. Param
    November 2, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    thank you guys for sharing the details.
    I had a similar dilema, I wanted to setup a virtual office from home and would like to do business based on VOIP as its more cost effective. But my ISP AIRTEL has blocked VOIP.
    Why does the government make it so tough for people to do business in India?
    All they care about is filing pockets of big companies as they have already greased their palms.

  2. KrishnaChaitanya Ch
    October 15, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Unfortunately Telecom Regulations in India do not allow mobile/pstn calls to VOIP and vice versa and so there no such services available in India to replace mobile with VOIP/PC calls. we can only have PC-PC calls and can not make or receive call on PC to/from Mobile or landline. Only option is use services like phonebooth.com to get a virtual US phone number to be used on your PC/Laptop with internet conncetion but this does not make sense if your customers are in India.

  3. SoHo
    October 13, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Skype is ok for personal use, but there are other VoIP solutions better suited to business users.

    I work for an IT firm in the US, we use FreedomVoice Hosted PBX for our phones in the office and our cell phones. It is a VoIP system, so you can use it anywhere you have internet access. It works extremely well (great reliability & clarity), and has many features that appeal to business owners.

    For instance, you can integrate with Microsoft Outlook, record and monitor every call that comes in, set up one or more dedicated voicemail lines, forward calls to other phones, customizable call reports, email delivery of messages, online faxing, multiple voicemail boxes, etc. It is fully scalable -- you can run everything from a Soho to a call center with it -- and it is all controlled over the web.

    Good luck with your SoHo!

  4. Ryan
    October 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    You could use voice over IP (VOIP) which just means you would use an Internet connection as a phone line. Skype (http://www.skype.com) is a popular software solution here in the USA that is like a chat messenger but also allows you to make Internet phone calls for either free, or pretty cheap.

    Skype also has an option (you have to pay monthly for) to have voicemail which is like an answering machine where people can leave messages.

    Skype I believe will also give you a number if you pay for the service so that you can give your "skype" number out to potential clients.

    As far as GPS I don't know the exact reason you would want it. There are a few free software solutions that can use your laptops wireless Internet to try and get a pretty close approximation of where the laptop is located by using its internet connect. Prey (http://preyproject.com) is a cool free version that was already mentioned by MakeUseOf.com (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/track-down-recover-stolen-laptop-the-thief-with-prey/)

    Thats about all I can recommend. There might be better solutions in India that I'm not aware of.

    • Helpdesk
      October 9, 2010 at 6:57 am

      hey thanks for the tips ill just try and let you kno the feedback. Was interested in gps tracking to find out distances as i need to travel a lot

      had read about some setup on pc to set gps tracking.so was just wanting to experience that