VOIEE is a unique service that allows users to send voice messages to their friends & relatives without access to computer & internet. To know more about VOIEE visit WATBlog. Here’s a transcript of e-mail interview with Deepak Samaga. Deepak talks about the key features of VOIEE & its future plans.
a.) Which key problem does VOIEE address?
There are a couple issues we are trying to address:
1. We are trying to make it easy for people to be able to communicate with others. In a sense we are trying to bridge the gap between the digital have & have-not cost effectively. Today email may be a very popular and effective tool of communication but there is still a large segment of people who do not have easy access to these tools (Internet) or are not very comfortable using them. This is where our product/service comes into play.One might argue that with the ever falling costs of handsets, phone calls etc. it might be easy for people to make calls instead of using a service like ours. But there are several advantages when you use our service:
No hassles of trying to figure out the best call plans which work for your calls and voice messages
You don’t have to worry about the various time-zones etc. when calling to leave a message for others
Our service is non-intrusive which means there is no hassles of your phone ringing and interrupting your work, yet it is comforting to know that you will not miss any messages
Easy anytime-anywhere access to your messages ( all you need is a computer and internet access)
Do not have to worry about the walled garden approach that most of the service providers have when offering you their voice mail services
Visual voice mail which means you can access any message randomly without having to listen to all of them linearly
People who do not have access to computer, email etc. can still have an easy , cost effective way of leaving messages for you
2. We would like to seamlessly integrate audio (voice) into www universe. Today there are not many creative ways in which you accomplish this. Imagine if a internet property publisher (websites, blogs, opinion engines, social networks etc.) could interact with audiences using this medium.
b.) Does a person get message notifications in his e-mail/via sms? There are services like iCall (they’re primarily for worldwide calling but they also have the voicemail concept) which sends e-mail notifications to its users.
Yes they do get notifcation on the email address they signed up with. Also in some cases they do get sms on their mobiles (though technically we are still not using sms gateway, but making use of the email services that the mobile companies provide to their subscribers. We will be integrating with a sms gateway eventually.
c.) Typically, old adults in India are slow in communicating messages keeping that in mind don’t you think duration/space for messages is little less?
We have increased the space to 50 MB, we will eventually ramp it up as the service grows. We are still accumulating feedback from the users and constantly tweaking it. Also we would be introducing premium plans in which one of the features would be bigger storage space.
d.) The marketing/promotion campaign has been word-of-mouth so far?
Yes so far it’s only been through word of mouth & blogs.
e.) Are there any similar concepts in India/US?
Can’t think of any such services in India. In the US there are a couple of them like Call wave, Supcast, Evoca etc. and probably a few more under stealth development. The many difference is almost all of them cater mainly to web- web & VOIP, we are trying to combine the best of both the worlds PSTN & VOIP. Also we are currently more focused on India other other similar country market where the penetration of mobiles and telephones are much faster than the computer and Internet.
f.) When can users expect VOIEE to cover other Indian cities?
Like I mentioned in my blog toll free number and universal numbers in India still do not work across all service providers, so we are looking at other options and alternatives. Our immediate plan is to look at providing local numbers.
g.) What is the revenue model of VOIEE?
Multiple streams: subscriptions, customized enterprise solutions & of course ads
h.) What is the future of VOIEE?
We are very excited & optimistic about Voiee’s future. We would like to see it become a default platform for lot of voice based services. There are several application avatars we are currently working on and would be releasing in near future. We just released a voice comment widget recently, which is an indication of things to come.