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This wafer-thin, crazy-expensive smartphone in my pocket is both a technological masterpiece and a constant thorn in my side. It always rings at the most inconvenient times, like in the first half-hour of a critical customer meeting, when I finally get a lunch break, or when I’m about to walk into the dentist’s office.

Not only that, it completely ruined my all-time-favorite Taylor Swift song. After hearing it 50 times a day over the last month, I never want to hear Shake it Off again as long as I live. (Thank you, Android phone provider.)

And, then this happened.

Last Friday, I got a text message that said, “Freight charges were collect. Need your credit card ASAP!”

Only problem was, I had absolutely no idea who it was from. The number appeared on my phone, but no name.  Hmm. “Phishing scam,” I thought to myself, and deleted the message.

Five minutes later, the phone rang, and a very flustered loading-dock supervisor was on the other end of the line. He was upset I hadn’t gotten back from him, the delivery person had left and wouldn’t be back until Monday, and the weekend shift would not have the tools they had ordered, and he was answerable to the shift manager.

A Call from Beyond the Grave

A couple weeks ago, about 9 at night, my phone rang, and I almost had a heart attack. The caller ID showed Kenneth Smith, the name of our after-hours facility manager. Normally not a startling situation, except Ken had tragically passed away the month before in a car accident. My conscious mind knew that the caller wasn’t Ken Smith. But my subconscious mind was disturbed.

My voice wavered as I said hello.

“I just wanted to let you know that there’s a flood warning, and ask you if there’s anything specific I need to do in the server room,” came the female voice that definitely did not belong to Ken Smith.

“Oh, thanks,” I said, reaching into the cabinet above my stove for my emergency bottle of whiskey.

Obviously, the new facilities manager had been issued Ken’s old phone.

Moral of the Story: Caller ID Is Critical.

In each of the scenarios above, Caller ID could have saved both the company and me some pain. If I know who’s calling, I can decide whether it’s worth stepping out of the meeting to take the call. I’d know who desperately needed my credit card. And, no one would ever call me from beyond the grave.

The bottom line is—we need to know who is contacting us. We do so much business on our smartphones that we need the same functionality we have when we are sitting at our desks. Having the caller’s name appear on the screen when it rings is priority one.

Think of this as a cautionary tale. After all, it’s great to have all of your corporate contacts on your phone. But, it’s even better to know who is calling you.

For a contact-sync solution that totally nails Caller ID, check out CiraSync (our secure, Azure-based SaaS platform for Microsoft Office 365) or itrezzo (for on-premise Exchange).

NOTE: A quick tip to stop robocalls on your iPhone: 6 Simple Steps to Stop Robocalls with CiraSync.

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