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Let’s Start Talking: Umesh and Ravi Share their ‘Vocal’ Journey!

Shyamal Dave
7th Jun 2012
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A proactive measure to get an individual engaged in a dynamic conversation is, well, to get him to speak! Now, businesses will be able to engage with their employees and customers quickly and securely using voice applications on their mobile phones. A human-like interactive conversation is what the guys at Uniphore provide through their product, Voicenet. It uses Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Multilingual Speech Recognition, Voice Biometrics, and Text to Speech (TTS) giving birth to an ultimate voice communications platform that includes customizable profiles, transactions, information on demand (PULL), alarms (PUSH), interactive conversations, and voice recordings.

Based on a study of the interactions of people with their mobile phones, Uniphore concluded upon three things that any business would be able to relate to:

1. People would like to use their mobile phone in the same way that people today use the internet – as a medium for accessing information and services conveniently, and in a way that is personalized to their queries

2. People must be able to access such information in their own local languages

3. The lack of connectivity and literacy would prohibit many people from using GRPS applications alone to access these services. The only way that such information could be delivered to all people across the socioeconomic period is through voice - since this is a universal human asset.

An aggressive intellectual zeal for Voicenet resulted after Umesh Sachdev and Ravi Saraogi, both co-founders and first generation entrepreneurs, spent 12 months prototyping in the lab at IIT Madras’ Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI). They tied-up with the global leader in speech technologies, received guidance and validation from multiple academicians, seed level funding from an institutional investor, and hands-on mentoring by serial entrepreneurs.

The elegance in Voicenet is introduced by multilingual speech recognition and voice biometrics capabilities integrated with voice and data (GPRS, 3G) so as to effectively assist Financial Service Providers (mobile commerce & banking), FMCGs & NBFCs (sales force automation), Agriculture, Healthcare and Education (content delivery services). As an example of effort-based billing, each customer is charged a one-time customization and setup fee through a unique call-flow for Voicenet.

The application is delivered as a hosted model on the cloud, so they derive revenue through continual hosting and transactions charges, on a pay-as-you-go model. Since its inception in 2008, the company has grown at over 110% every year, and today, it supports nearly half a million transactions on its platform every month.

Uniphore’s partnership with BASIX Sub-K, a company providing residents of rural, urban and semi-urban areas with a mobile technology based transactional platform for access to digitized services, has been amongst the most rewarding solutions they have ever developed. The software requirements for banking solutions are very robust, and voice biometrics and speech recognition are made available in many languages and dialects so that the solution via Voicenet can be deployed pan-India.

An effective symphony between the telecom companies and the banking agents in the village is their prime necessity to make sure that they can provide a last mile reach.

Lend them an ear, here.

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