Connecting Ooma with Amazon Alexa
Using the Ooma skill with Alexa, the voice assistant on your Amazon Echo, allows you to tap into your home telephone or cell phone with voice commands. Anyone can use this skill to make calls, and Ooma customers can even listen to voicemails using voice commands. Oome Smart Security customers can even use the Ooma skill to control certain aspects of their home security setup.
- What is Alexa?
- What is the Ooma Skill for Alexa?
- How do I enable the Ooma Skill with Alexa?
- Can I use the Ooma skill if I do not have an Ooma Telo Base Station?
- Are there any limits to how much I can call if I don’t have an Ooma Telo Base Station?
- How do I dial by number?
- How do I dial contacts by name?
- How can I manage my nicknames?
- Alexa doesn’t recognize some of my contacts’ names. What can I do?
- When I try to use voice commands to dial, my phone’s caller ID sometimes shows “11111111.” Why?
- Can I check my Ooma voicemail using Alexa?
- What happens to a voicemail when Alexa has played it?
- Can I use Alexa to call international numbers?
- Can I use Alexa to interact with my Ooma Smart Security setup?
- Can I use the Ooma skill if I’m in Canada?
- What if I started using Alexa without an Ooma account but now I want to use it with an Ooma account?
- How can I cancel the Ooma skill?
What is Alexa?
Alexa is the name of the voice assistant for the Amazon Echo. Since Alexa is always listening when you are within range of your Amazon Echo, she can offer hands-free functionality, or “skills,” such as playing a Pandora radio station or providing news from NPR.
What is the Ooma Skill for Alexa?
Ooma has created a skill for Alexa that lets you control several aspects of your Ooma setup handsfree. You can easily dial your phone using voice commands by saying something like, “Alexa, ask Ooma to call 650-555-1234”, and we’ll connect the call using the phone you have linked with your Amazon Echo.
In this example, your phone will ring first and will show the caller ID of outgoing phone number that you are dialing. When you answer the phone, you will hear the other party’s phone ringing just as it would if you had dialed the number manually. The person you call will see the call coming from your phone number.
The Ooma skill can help you do the following:
- Make phone calls: “Alexa, ask Ooma to call 650-555-1234” or “Alexa, ask Ooma to call Mom”
- Assign nicknames to contacts: Follow the voice prompts after dialing a phone number directly without using a nickname (650-555-1234 instead of Mom)
- Check your voicemail: “Alexa, ask Ooma to check my voicemail”
- Turn off your Ooma Siren alarm (note that you may be asked to provide your PIN): “Alexa, ask Ooma to turn off the Siren”
- Get the status of your Ooma Smart Security setup: “Alexa, ask Ooma to check status”
How do I enable the Ooma Skill with Alexa?
You can connect the Ooma Skill with Amazon Alexa by following these instructions:
- Go to the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone and log in if necessary.
- Choose the “Skills” section.
- Search for Ooma and choose “Enable.”
- Your next step will depend on whether or not you are an Ooma customer:
- If you have an Ooma account, choose “Login with an Ooma account” and then enter your login information and follow the instructions to complete your setup.
- If you do not have an Ooma account, you can still use the Ooma skill on Alexa. Choose the “Register a free account on Ooma” option and follow the instructions to enter and confirm your telephone number to complete your setup.
Can I use the Ooma skill if I do not have an Ooma Telo Base Station?
You can still use the Ooma skill on Alexa even if you do not have an Ooma account. Once you have gotten the Ooma skill set up, you will be able to take advantage of many features such as making calls and saving nicknames for frequently-used numbers.
Some features, like international calling and listening to voicemail, require an Ooma Telo Base Station. To learn more about Ooma or to purchase a Telo Base Station, visit http://ooma.com.
Are there any limits to how much I can call if I don’t have an Ooma Telo Base Station?
Non-Ooma users may use the Ooma skill to enjoy 300 minutes per month of complimentary calling, up to a 1,500-minute lifetime maximum. At that time, you will need to purchase an Ooma Telo Base Station to continue to enjoy free calling.
How do I dial by number?
You can dial by number by saying something like, “Alexa, ask Ooma to call 1-650-555-1234.” You will be asked whether you would like to assign a nickname to the number.
Note: Customers using an Amazon Echo Connect device do not need to say, “Ask Ooma” to make phone calls.
How do I dial contacts by name?
Once your contacts are set up, you can activate the dial by name functionality by saying something like, “Alexa, ask Ooma to call John.” You can set up contacts to be dialed by name by following these directions:
If you have an Ooma account
If you would like to dial contacts by name, you must first add your contacts to your Ooma account. You can do this by following the instructions in our Contact List FAQ.
Note: The Ooma skill can only handle contacts with one phone number at this time. If you intend to dial a contact by name with Alexa, then please make sure that you do not assign multiple numbers to that contact.
If you do not have an Ooma account
Non-Ooma customers can save nicknames for numbers after they have been dialed. When you have used voice commands to dial by phone number, you will be prompted to save an optional nickname for that number.
How can I manage my nicknames?
If you find that Alexa is having trouble recognizing a nickname, you can save a different nickname. You can manage the nicknames assigned to your saved contacts by following these directions:
If you have an Ooma account
Ooma customers can update a contact’s nickname and telephone number by changing the contact’s information in My Ooma. You can learn more about updating a contact’s information by visiting our Contact List FAQ.
If you do not have an Ooma account
There is no interface to visualize your contacts with your Amazon Echo, but you can manage them verbally. You can reassign a nickname by using voice commands to dial a phone number that has already been assigned to a nickname. You will be prompted to enter a new nickname.
To assign a new phone number for an existing nickname, use voice commands to dial the new number. When you are prompted to enter a nickname, say the desired nickname. This will overwrite the previous entry for that nickname with the new phone number.
Alexa doesn’t recognize some of my contacts’ names. What can I do?
While Alexa does a great job at recognizing common words, phrases, and names, it occasionally struggles at identifying unusual names. If you want to improve recognition, try using simple names or labeling your contacts with relationship names such as “Mom” or “Grandpa.”
When I try to use voice commands to dial, my phone’s caller ID sometimes shows “11111111.” Why?
When your telephone shows “11111111” as the incoming caller ID, it means that the number you tried to dial is not valid. Please try dialing again.
Can I check my Ooma voicemail using Alexa?
Ooma customers can listen to Ooma voicemail messages with Alexa. To activate this feature, try saying, “Alexa, use Ooma to check my messages” or, “Alexa, use Ooma to play my voicemail.”
If you try to use this feature and are told you must have an Ooma account, you need to disable the skill and re-enable it. Make sure to log in with your Ooma account when you re-enable the skill.
What happens to a voicemail when Alexa has played it?
Once Alexa has played a voicemail message, it will be marked as heard. You can listen to the message again or manage the message’s status by visiting the Voicemail tab in My Ooma.
Can I use Alexa to call international numbers?
Anyone can use the Ooma skill to dial numbers in the US.
Alexa can only call international phone numbers for Ooma customers. Any Ooma customer can use Alexa to dial numbers in the US and Canada, but only those customers who have set up their prepaid account or opted into an international calling plan can use Alexa to dial numbers in other countries. You can learn more about setting up your prepaid account by visiting our FAQ here, and you can learn more about international calling plans and how to set them up by visiting our FAQ here.
Note: Alexa recognition is optimized for 10-digit US and Canadian numbers. Although you can say longer international numbers, the most reliable way to dial an international number is to add the number to your Contacts and then dial by name.
Can I use Alexa to interact with my Ooma Smart Security setup?
The Ooma skill can now be used to control certain elements of your Ooma Smart Security setup. You can ask Alexa to turn off an alarm that has been sounded by your Ooma Siren by saying, “Alexa, ask Ooma to turn off the Siren.” You may be asked to give your PIN, which is 0000 by default and which can be updated in the Ooma Smart Security app.
The Ooma skill can also let you check your Smart Security status. To get started, say “Alexa, ask Ooma to check status.” Alexa will tell you the mode your Smart Security system is currently operating under and will let you know if any of your Smart Security sensors are reporting an abnormal status.
Can I use the Ooma skill if I’m in Canada?
The Ooma skill is available to customers with a Canadian Ooma account. If you don’t have an Ooma account, then you will need a US phone number to sign up for the Ooma skill.
What if I started using Alexa without an Ooma account but now I want to use it with an Ooma account?
If you have decided to purchase an Ooma Telo Base Station after setting up the Ooma skill on Alexa without an Ooma account, you can update your setup by disabling the Ooma skill and then re-enabling it.
You can disable and re-enable the Ooma skill by following these instructions:
- Use your smartphone to open the Alexa app.
- Search for the Ooma skill.
- Press “Disable,” and then press “Enable.”
- When you re-enable the Ooma skill, be sure to use the “Login with an Ooma account” option.
How can I cancel the Ooma skill?
If you need to quit out of the Ooma skill, simply say, “Alexa, quit.” You will return to Alexa’s main menu.