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Enterprise dialing

Adding a Personal Dialling Assistant to Your Enterprise PBX: An Interview with Eyal Zach

Revolutionizing enterprise dialing

Enterprise dialing

I’m an enthusiastic user of VocaNOM so I figured it is time to get Eyal Zach, our VP Business Development for Mobility and VocaNOM answer some questions and tell our readers about the latest advancements and plans for the application.

Eyal, tell us about VocaNOM and the target market?

VocaNOM allows employees to dial using their voice to request the destination rather than looking up the name of the requested contact-person in the company address book. This makes dialling ast and easy, and increases security while driving!

We are leveraging AudioCodes GW & SBC technologies to connect to any PBX (any vendor and any type of PBX – even to analog devices.).

VocaNOM is now available in the cloud. We are very excited to be the first company to provide a public cloud-based voice recognition service aimed specifically at enterprises. The service is already deployed with over one hundred customers from different business segments (universities, hospitals, high-tech and low-tech companies, municipalities and others). Since the service is specific per language, we are currently offering it in English (U.S.), Spanish, German and Hebrew. We are working on expanding the service to include additional languages.

You can read more about VocaNOM and watch our video clip.

VocaNOM was previously an on-premises product that was moved to the cloud. Can you provide more information about the motivation for this change?

We started offering the service in Israel a few years ago and mostly approached large-scale enterprises (1000+ employees). We did not approach smaller companies because of the cost of installation and management of an on-premises architecture. Once we started to get queries from smaller enterprises wanting to enjoy the same technology and benefits that VocaNOM offers, we started looking for ways to simplify the installation and configuration and reduce the time it takes to get a customer up and running. Now that the system runs as a hosted service in the cloud, we can offer it to a larger audience and easily scale on-the-go as required.

What are the benefits for the end customer in preferring the cloud service over the on-premises option?

The move to the cloud allows us to provide more options to our customers while lowering the barriers for adoption of the service by almost any enterprise.

From a customer perspective, using this service in the cloud instead of on-premises results in simplified management and maintenance while benefiting from a pay-as-you-go type of pricing model instead of a higher one-time fee. Additionally, since it runs in the cloud, the customer is freed from the need to handle version upgrades.

What is next for VocaNOM?

We recently launched a new mobile applications that support our customers’ private address book in addition to their corporate address book. We are working on other features that will be announced later this year that will extend the capabilities of that app beyond just dialling. We are receiving great feedback and ideas from our growing customer base and we are working hard to enhance and improve the product. We have also recently launched an online self-registration tool, allowing potential customers to try VocaNOM in less than a few minutes.

What are the key milestones for VocaNOM in the near future?

With the ongoing development of our enterprise service, including our mobile app and our online self-registration platform, we are excited to show these new features at the upcoming Mobile World Congress expo (MWC 2016).

We’re attending MWC16 to meet with European service providers and to expand our business offering across multiple countries, with a special focus on Germany and Spain.

Anyone who might be interested in meeting with us can drop me a line to schedule a short talk.

Can I bring my iPhone to work today

Hey boss! Can I bring my iPhone to work today?

As smartphone usage is getting more intense and our device becomes essentially a body part, it’s no wonder why ‘Bring Your Own Device’ has become a living nightmare for the enterprise.

Remember that time when your workplace was the first to deploy innovative technology? Computers, monitors, office phones, voicemails, car phones, you name it – all of these were initially adopted by enterprises wishing to make their employee’s work more productive. New technology was taken as a professional perk, and employees were happily adopting it to their own benefit as well as that of the company.

C-level managers loved it… Why? Well, not only because they could easily hand-out new technology to employees who adored them in return, but mainly since they had full control over their employees’ communication. Your boss could make sure you weren’t saving confidential material where you really shouldn’t; Your IT manager could keep track of how many calls you were having with your wife. But then came the iPhone.

Can I bring my iPhone to work today

When work gets tough, the tough get to work

We live in a world where sending a WhatsApp message to a potential customer or investor can be better than an email. We have our colleagues’ numbers and emails stored on our smartphones. And gods forbid, some of us even have Dropbox access to our office files and folders. New technology now arrives at the consumer’s front door way before a workplace even thinks about taking it seriously. People want to use their devices to their full extent, even more so while working. The result? Absolute chaos.

The secret war between you and your boss

Striving to keep up with the extraordinary pace of new devices and services, companies are becoming quite desperate. In some cases, a workplace is intelligent enough to respect the need for mobile access and provide mobile VPN access, or transfer corporate emails to the cloud. But at the same time, IT departments are forced to obsessively block websites and online services throughout the organization, just to keep everyone focused at work. There is a battle going on between you and your workplace, and we already know the winner…

Deloitte tmt predictions

Source: Deloitte TMT Predictions 2015 @ Deloitte Canada, SlideShare

Enterprise mobile apps make peace

What if I told you about a mobile app that allows you to call your co-workers without even having their numbers stored on your phone? And what if I told your C-level management they could still have analytics of corporate phone calls, even when their employees are making phone calls from their smartphone, like they want to?

VocaNOM powered by AudioCodes is a brand new speech driven mobile app for the enterprise. It allows employees to call coworkers by simply saying their name. Corporate contacts are securely stored on the cloud for easy access, and call analytics are automatically generated. Your employee’s Siri just got a whole lot better. Bring your own device? Our pleasure! 

 

AudioCodes will be showcasing the VocaNOM mobile app at the Mobile World Congress, 2015 in Barcelona.

To schedule a short meeting, visit our website or feel free to drop me a line!

Mozilla MWC 2014

Here’s Why MWC 2015 will be so much better than 2014

As I started packing for MWC 2015, which will take place next week in Barcelona, it got me thinking about what will be the main trends at the show this year.

Mozilla MWC 2014

A year ago, MWC 2014 was really amazing. A lot of attention was focused on Facebook following their keynote address and announcements on their “Internet for Everyone” concept, which plans to connect 5 billion people to the web by through their Internet.org project. Their early discussions on WhatsApp voice support (first real competition to Skype?) also drew interest. Most of the major consumer brands announced their new wearable and IoT devices (from a connected toothbrush to smartwatch!). Huge Tablets, five-inch screen mobiles on the one hand and very cheap smartphones on the other, were widely discussed (huge potential in emerging markets). And mobile advertisements (mostly in the App Planet hall) were not neglected.

What should we expect to see and hear in MWC 2015? Many questions are still open… we will need to wait until end of next week..

Will we learn of new mobile devices? Of course we will. We expect to hear announcements from Samsung (Galaxy S6), HTC (One M9?) and LG (G4 – too soon?). What about Sony?

Smart watches? (Samsung code name “Orbis”? LG G watch? Something new from Motorola? Will we see HTC entering this hot market as well?)

What do you think will be the hottest announcement in MWC 2015? I promise to post soon after the event with my observations.

One thing is for sure, though. AudioCodes will be making some very interesting announcements concerning its VocaNOM solution. Designed to make enterprise contacts always live and accessible, VocaNOM is an innovative cloud-driven mobile app that allows simple voice dialing by just saying the name of the contact. Whether at office, while driving or even abroad, VocaNOM improves productivity and makes phone communication easy like never before!

Are you going to be at MWC 2015? If so, I’d love to meet you. Enjoy the show!

Click here to schedule a meeting with us.

VocaNOM in Amazon AWS Cloud

How Amazon AWS Scaled Up Our Business

For several years we have been in the process of enhancing our products to allow them to live in the cloud, a good example of this is the virtual SBC. In this context we have taken VocaNOM one step further and changed it from being a product to a cloud service running on Amazon AWS.

The Amazon team was pretty excited about this and conducted an interview with our VocaNOM Product Manager Yacov Tzadikov. More about the magic of VocaNOM below the clip.

VocaNOM in a nutshell

We all know what personal assistants are, Siri being one good example. Less common are personal assistants at the enterprise level. As an employee in an enterprise, not all of the enterprise information is stored on your mobile device and synced.

VocaNOM comes to solve a few fundamental issues:

  • How do I find contact details of a colleague who is not in my contacts?
  • How do I call this contact easily without starting to search my contacts when not really free to do so? (e.g. while driving)
  • How do I make sure my enterprise contacts are always in sync?

The scenario using VocaNOM is as follows:

  • You press a quick dial on your mobile or desk phone
  • You state the name of the person you are looking for and on which device to call him/her
  • The call is connected

This is as close to hands free/hassle free as it can get (that is until we have brain-controlled systems where you only need to think about the person you want to call).

No long search in the corporate directory or phone contact list and no driving while typing the name of a person (which is dangerous and rightfully illegal in many countries).

The idea behind VocaNOM is simple but can be realized only when you have a technological and product heritage as available at AudioCodes. The ingredients required to achieve this included:

  • Great and accurate speech recognition technology fully controlled by the company so we can modify and adapt the technology to run in any environment
  • An SBC that connects to any existing PBX and UC environment

All this was combined into a product that was installed on premise at enterprises. But we wanted more… We wanted to make the on-boarding of new customers as simple as possible. We wanted to make their buying decision risk free. We wanted to let people try it out instantly. The answer to this was to move VocaNOM to the cloud and offer it as a service.

Moving to Amazon AWS

The new architecture of VocaNOM as a service in the cloud can be viewed in the diagram below.

VocaNOM in Amazon AWS Cloud

In the Amazon cloud we have all the components required to run the VocaNOM service. These include the IVR and the Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) SW as well as the web management interface. The VocaNOM system synchronizes with the company directory and stores contact information on Amazon RDS (data base).

Additionally, the AudioCodes cloud SBC takes care of passing the speech from the user to the ASR system for recognition and later to send the SIP instruction for connecting the call between the two users.

Since enterprise PBX environments vary including VoIP and TDM systems and since there is a need for a secured communication between the enterprise and the cloud in order to avoid fraud, there is a small enterprise SBC that the enterprise’s IT installs within minutes in order to make this VocaNOM magic work securely and in any environment.

Since this service is sold today both directly to enterprises and through service providers to their business customers, VocaNOM comes with a 3 level multi-tenancy management system to allow service providers to easily manage their customers.

By making VocaNOM a service in the cloud, we managed to significantly shorten the on-boarding process, making it a simple, risk free IT decision to try out the product. Since VocaNOM is addictive, making this service easily accessible created great momentum in the growth of this business and the number of customers using the product.

Although VocaNOM is great to use as it is today, the development team has a few cool rabbits in their hat soon to be pulled out, which will add more fun features to the service.

All this probably sounds great but you don’t need to believe me, try VocaNOM for free today and experience it yourself.

VocaNOM People

Mobilize Your Users or Stay Behind

[Post is better viewed on the blog Website]

With very few players providing mobile communication services before the smartphone era, it felt like heaven for some major mobile service providers. But then mobile OTT apps kicked in! And ruined the party.

Oh, the Good Old Days

What was it like to be the CEO of a mobile carrier back in the days? Having a huge user dependency on cellular infrastructure and running in a playground where the smartphone is yet to be on-shelf, data revenues were booming and profits seemed well assured.

But in today’s mobile reality, OTT mobile apps are posing a huge threat for all service providers and carriers alike. Data revenues are continuously dropping. Being a CEO of a mobile service provider today means you’re in a war that you’re probably not too familiar with; Not a war between giants, but between viral mobile startups who are able to take the market within a year, to slow-moving, monopoly-DNA’ed creatures who now realize the urgent need for a decent battle.

Alongside mobile carriers who are struggling to cope with the booming OTT mobile market, the enterprise sector stays stuck in the middle. IT departments have to be impossibly flexible when they need to provide an organizational infrastructure that’s as easy as WhatsApp but well secured and comprehensively managed like Microsoft Lync.

VocaNOM People

No sweat, No Sweets

Building a solid mobile application arsenal for the OTT battle is not only fruitful, but also crucial for a service provider to stay in the game. AudioCodes is constantly aiming to enable mobile carriers and enterprises to cope with the modern OTT challenge in telecom. MobilityPLUS, an OTT mobile application for service providers and carriers, makes a classic 1-stop solution with its all round voice, messaging, video and social features. For a mobile carrier, the ability to distribute HQ mobile VoIP user-clients to its subscribers, freely branded and thoroughly integrated makes it an ultimate weapon for its OTT war. Roaming, a well-known incentive for users to go OTT, can finally be untangled and brought back to the service provider playground not just for data but for native voice communication as well at competitive costs and top-tier service quality.

A Foot on the Gas for the Enterprise

VocaNOM, a cloud-driven voice communication app for businesses and organizations, is a good example of how the enterprise market can also start making its way forward in the mobile app plot. Organizational and business contacts are always a mess to handle when you have an organizational phone directory that has zero-connectivity with a user’s smartphone.  For an enterprise, being able to manage all organizational contacts on the cloud, providing easy access and dialling for its users using voice recognition, is simply great if it wishes to stay up-to-speed and serve its organizational users with top-notch communication tools.

AudioCodes at SMW C2014

Time to Take Mobile Communication Forward

These are only few examples of how holding off the OTT turbulence is more than possible for service providers and enterprise, given the right tools and applications. At CTIA 2014 Super Mobility Week, we will be meeting up with service providers and enterprises to talk about what AudioCodes can do for them to mobilize organizational and commercial users all at once. I feel like whether you’re a service provider or an enterprise IT manager, there’s a lot we can do for you to empower your user-base.

See you in Vegas!

To schedule a meeting with AudioCodes at CTIA 2014 Super Mobility Week, visit:

http://www.audiocodes.com/events/ctia-2014