QuickFuse: An Intuitive Cloud Telephony Service to create Smarter Voice Applications

Source: voip-buzz.com

QuickFuse (http://quickfuseapps.com/) a one-of-a-kind interactive voice response (IVR) editor and platform that’s controlled from a web browser, puts APIs in the background and brings visual call flows to the foreground, allowing anyone to participate in the creation of dialogs that communicate with consumers, utilizing the most advanced speech technologies.

QuickFuse eliminates the complexity of using disparate technologies to build voice applications by offering a self-contained cloud service that has all the features of an enterprise voice platform, at a fraction of the cost. The QuickFuse editor enables visual modeling of call logic and call flows by “snapping together” components from a library of application models that cover all of the requirements of IVR, messaging, telephony applications and data management.

Voice applications often derive their sophistication and utility from integration with corporate data; QuickFuse facilitates integration with external databases and business logic via ready-to-go web service modules. QuickFuse also caters to rapid development by incorporating a self-contained cloud database with every QuickFuse account.

QuickFuse’s features are designed to make the platform accessible to any business, and with a simple pay-as-you-go price model, it’s the most cost-effective, feature-rich platform on the market. Features include:

  • Powerful Outbound Calling: Launch outbound call campaigns in minutes. There’s no need to program outbound call mechanisms or voice scripts. Simply use the QuickFuse call queue to place calls and create automated caller dialogs with the QuickFuse editor.
  • Operates on Real Data: QuickFuse’s easy-to-use database stores business data for use in any voice applications or use REST APIs to integrate with external databases.
  • Visual Interface: To build voice applications, developers and business administrators don’t need a programmer’s reference manual, a server in a data center or technical expertise. All applications are created in a web browser and stored in the cloud.
  • Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech: Choose from three TTS engines and nearly 40 voices in a variety of languages. Speech recognition and TTS are supported to let developers create more sophisticated applications.

Companies are already using QuickFuse to build:

  • Virtual receptionists
  • Notification systems
  • Order-taking hotlines
  • Automated surveys
  • Bill pay systems and more

In the 30 days immediately following its commercial release, more than 10,000 developers and business users created voice applications on the (QuickFuse) cloud telephony platform.

The applications created on the QuickFuse platform range from simple call routing systems to complex programs that integrate with back-office data while utilizing speech recognition and text-to-speech.  A survey of users indicates the value of the QuickFuse platform lies in the ability to visually map call flow and business logic as well as rapidly iterate voice applications using the platform’s versioning, cloning, and sharing capabilities.

QuickFuse was designed to reduce the cost of developing and supporting voice applications by empowering non-technical personnel with the ability to administer software that will automate any phone call through a web browser.  Data shows that QuickFuse has attracted a user base mostly comprised of businesses that want to minimize the diversion of important technical resources to the tasks associated with creating and managing telephony systems

In the months since its launch, QuickFuse has integrated functionality that enables developers to build applications using SMS, Twitter, and Email.   QuickFuse is becoming a multimodal application that ensures accessibility on virtually every communications platform possible.  In the future, Plum intends to make QuickFuse both HIPPA and PCI compliant so that companies looking to implement an enterprise solution can utilize the QuickFuse platform for their service level business needs.


Published on March 18th, 2011 under , , ,

Vocalocity’s New Partner Program Offers Added Development Tools And Expanded Revenue Opportunities

Source: voip-buzz.com

Vocalocity, the leading cloud-based phone service for small business, today announces a more comprehensive reseller program for solution providers and channel partners. The program was designed to enable partners to grow their consultative business and build new revenue opportunities. A new integration toolkit gives developers and resellers an easy way to customizing applications they can monetize.

Vocalocity is turning to solution providers and partners — the trusted advisors to thousands of small businesses — to help their customers get the most out of current and future enhancements in cloud based communications services.

“We are counting on our channel partners to help us sustain our rapid year-over-year growth,” says Wain Kellum, CEO of Vocalocity. “The new program allows tremendous flexibility from partners who simply send us leads, or those that actually manage sales cycles, and up to ones creating sophisticated plug-ins adding tremendous value to our core service offering.”

Since 2005, Vocalocity has continued to grow at an accelerated rate, recently making Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies” based upon its investment in technology, quality and customer service.

According to Vocalocity partner James Snodgrass at Phoenix PC Networking, the enhancements compliment an already successful offering. “Vocalocity’s program is the most lucrative out there – margins have been outrageously good,” says Snodgrass. “We are a computer company and we do the whole hosted thing. Vocalocity is the most flawless.”

Vocalocity officials say the program enhancements represent a ten-fold increase in their commitment to the channel with that investment trajectory expected next year too.

“As small businesses learn more about cloud computing and look for innovative ways to increase their productivity and reduce costs, they’ll turn to existing relationships for advice,” says Steve Byrd, VP of business development for Vocalocity. “We took great care in retooling our partner program so many different types of companies can now take advantage. It is not another ‘One size fits all’ approach which is prevalent in our industry. Our partners get to make decisions on where they’d like to invest in order to build their business with Vocalocity.”

The reseller program now includes:

  • Cooperative Marketing and Sales Programs
  • Extensive sales training,
  • Technical certification training for professional services and support
  • Technology and tools for acquiring customers, provisioning end users, management consoles, reporting and advanced application integration
  • Access to Vocalocity Technical resources via the Vocalocity Partner Portal

For more details on the program, go to http://www.vocalocity.com/partners/.
To learn more about the new program in person, simply drop by booth 1637 at Channel Expo 2011 in Las Vegas.

Published on March 10th, 2011 under

3Screens Has Moved -

Source: alanweinkrantz.typepad.com

 

3Screens has moved over to a Posterous Blog site. 

In time, I will forward this URL.

For now, mosey on over to 3Screens.posterous.com and see what’s up.

Published on May 29th, 2010 under ,

Google TV is way cool, but it ain’t middleware – yet.

Source: alanweinkrantz.typepad.com

Before we all jump up and down for joy over Google TV, let’s take a quick reality check here.  

There is more to bringing true IPTV from AT&T into the home than having a Google browser and a keyboard.   There’s a ton of plumbing and smarts that goes into the middleware that runs the home network and provides for compelling features such as Whole Home DVR.  

I don’t want to speculate on what’s coming, and I’m all for innovation, but before you call your service provider to cancel your satellite, cable or telephony based TV service, stand by until we see what OEMs will be bringing into the home and if the same or better experience of true HD, 5.1 audio and true wired home networking has been thought through and brought to market.

Published on May 22nd, 2010 under , , , , ,

Comcast shows prototype – making the iPad a way cool Remote Control

Source: alanweinkrantz.typepad.com

This is a great application of integrating the iPad as a remote.  Mind you, it’s a prototype, and illustrates where this could go…They are calling i the Xfinity Remote

The application is simple, easy-to-use and makes it easy to discover content and even chat with friends and share recommendations – making it a truly “social remote,” integrated with existing social networks. 

Read more on the Comcast blog here.



Published on May 13th, 2010 under , , , ,

No, I have not gone away…. here’s what’s next

Source: alanweinkrantz.typepad.com

I have been absent from 3Screens for a while. 

No excuses here – but some reasoning:

1.  Most of my focus has been on U-verse.  It was very compelling when it was first launched because AT&T was the first operator in the U.S. to do real IPTV.  

Without being a fan boy, I think they have done a great job in executing.  Sure, along the way there have been hick-ups, but anytime there was a problem, their customer support on the phone and when they showed up in person was first rate.  So way to go, AT&T.

I also thought it was interesting that AT&T was in the process of reinventing itself.

Other than making slight improvements there was not much more to write about, so I purposely scaled back coverage. 

2.  The other reason for not posting is that aside from my day job, I have also been populating another blog, Everywire, where I am writing about the vision of the wired home network – specifically, the new ITU standard, G.hn.

Moving forward, I am trying to look at what’s ahead, particularly for U-verse.  Here’s a preview from my Everywire blog.  Microsoft provides AT&T with the "middleware" the stuff that makes the interface pretty, let’s you go through the menu, etc.  Think of it as being the Operating System for your IPTV.  The "Contoso" name you see is a made up brand.  AT&T and other operators around the world can take all or just selected feature sets from Microsoft’s Media Room offering.  

Published on February 4th, 2010 under ,

Now in San Antonio – 40 MBPS (But not from AT&T)

Source: alanweinkrantz.typepad.com

Regional broadband provider, GVTC Communications has just announced that it will now be offering 40 Mbps Internet service,
the fastest broadband speed available in South Texas.

While they are not on the size or scale of AT&T, (they have about 31,000
residential and businesses lots connected to GVTC’s all-fiber network) it’s compelling to see and ask why AT&T did not step things up a bit when they just announced 24 MBPS service in my area. 

It’s pretty obvious that bandwidth hungry consumers use broadband connections for
high-bandwidth applications like accessing HD video, playing online games and
working remotely from home. Many connect multiple home computers and media
devices to a single network connection, sharing it between users.

With GVTC’s new 40 Mbps service, customers will be able to
download a standard-definition movie (2 GB) in less than a minute. The
service’s 10 Mbps upload speed will let users share large media files, from
digital photo albums to complex business presentations, in just seconds.

There is a consumer offering starting at $89.95 monthly as part of a bundled package and a business offering – $209.95 monthly as part of a bundle with
a term contract.  I suspect many home based businesses who are in GVTC’s service area will jump on this.  And for gamers and solo developers, this is a speed dream come true – and a sign of things to come.

In the company’s press release, they also take a swipe at AT&T –  by citing "rival communications providers utilize older copper wires
for the “last mile” of their networks, choking their ability to offer comparable
speeds. Many also have a shared network infrastructure, meaning users’ speeds
slow as additional people in their neighborhood log on."

This sounds good in PR speak but the realities are that not everyone is going to be able to have fiber to the home.  

Regardless, it’s good to see innovation continuing and not always coming from the original phone company.  Kudos to GVTC for stepping things up a bit.

 

I


Published on December 15th, 2009 under ,

A collective $700,000,000 savings (not a misprint) by following what I do on my AT&T bill.

Source: alanweinkrantz.typepad.com

Yes, you can get a discount from AT&T (and from other service providers) if you just ask, and manage your account by making sure that when your offers expire, you call them back to re-new or re-negotiate new offers.  

Doing this was documented last January when I was onGood Morning America demonstrating how this is done.

On December 8, one of my U-Verse discounts expired, so I called the phone company again to re-new.  So now I am good until June 13, 2010.  This will go in my calendar and I will call them yet again on the 14th of June, 2010 and do the same dance.

On January 6, 2010 another one of my discounts expires, so I will call them back on the 7th of January to see what they will do to work with me.

I really like AT&T as a company and I love U-verse.   

No, I don’t want to switch to cable or satellite, or for that matter to Hulu mostly because I really do like the experience of watching live TV and doing so in HD on a nice home theater system.

$10 x 2 = $20 = $260 per year in savings.  Add in another 33% to gross up for taxes and that’s another $85.  Add it all up and that comes to $350 just for picking up the phone, spending 5 minutes 4 times a year and doing this dance.

$10 per month may not be a big deal to one person, but if you had 2,000,000 customers (AT&T has more than 2,000,000 U-verse customers) that comes to a $700,000,000 savings in gross dollars.

Even if you don’t need or miss the $10 per month, do something good with the money. 

Manage this savings and give the $350.00 to someone in need – maybe a charity that was obliterated by Madoff.  Maybe someone less fortunate than you.  Maybe your local PBS station, your church, mosque, or synagogue.

Or, if you are not in the giving mood, take someone you love out for an amazing dinner, a night or two in a nice hotel. 

It’s the little things that add up, and just by calling the phone company, you can save like I do.

Published on December 14th, 2009 under , , , ,

How to Save Money on Your AT&T (or Verizon, Comcast, DirectTV, TimeWarner Cable) Bill

Source: alanweinkrantz.typepad.com

Yes, you can save money on your AT&T bill.  If you do what I do, you can do likewise and I believe the same principles apply for other service providers like Verizon, Comcast, DirectTV, TimeWarner, etc.

1.  Call AT&T and ask them to review your bill and tell them that you need to save money.  Depending on your service area and depending on the day you call, there will generally be some type of  special offering.

2. Ask for something for free to keep you as a customer.  Do your homework.  I just got 3 free months of HBO, just for asking.  Shop around with offers from competitors and tell the person at the other end that you have a competing offer.  Make sure it’s true and make sure it’s comparable and / or better than AT&T’s offering.

3.  Have a set goal of 20%.  Assume you are spending $100 per month on your service, a $20 savings may not seems like a lot, but when you add it up, it comes to $240 per year.  When you calculate what it takes you “earn” $240, based on your tax bracket, it could be a gross amount of $300 per year or more.

4. As a rule, AT&T’s offerings expire – and expire automatically every six months.  AT&T is not going to call you to remind you to renew your offering.  Remember, they expire.  So, put your expiration date in your calendar and call them the day after your offer expires and tell them you want to renew, or get another savings offering that is equal to or better than your present offer.

AT&T is a terrific company with a great service offering, but I think they are dumb for not reaching out to customers when service offerings expire.  It would be a real PR coup for them, but someone inside AT&T who makes the decisions to do otherwise.

Give it a try and remember that your milage may vary.  Be diligent and be prepared to cut them off and move elsewhere if they don’t save you money.  The cost of replacing you as a customer is high.  It’s called customer acquisition.

If you get a call center agent who does not budge, ask for customer retention and try this approach.  Let me know how it goes with a comment on this blog or an email to:  alan at weinkrantz dot com.

 

Published on December 6th, 2009 under , , , , , , ,

Google Voice invitations for Blue Star Families

Source: googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com

Military families face dozens of challenges every day. The life of a military spouse and a military family is never easy. It’s a life of sacrifice and patience, but it’s also one of pride and patriotism.

To help families better stay in touch with their loved ones, this Veterans Day we’re partnering with Blue Star Families to give priority Google Voice invitations to the families of U.S. service members involved in the organization. Blue Star Families is a group of military spouses from all over the country who work hard to educate civilian communities and leaders about the hardships faced by military families.

Military families encounter unique challenges and frequent separations, so staying in touch is vitally important. With one Google Voice number, families won’t have to worry about missing calls from service members abroad.

Google Voice can make communication one less worry for these families, and hopefully bring them a little bit closer to their loved ones.

Posted by Jason Toff, Associate Product Marketing Manager

Published on November 10th, 2009 under

Google Voice with your existing number

Source: googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com

Google Voice is all about enabling choice: which phone you pick up your calls on, where to review your voicemail messages, how to send and reply to text messages, etc.  So when it comes to your phone number, it was logical for us to also offer a choice of which number to use with Google Voice.

Previously, when you created a Google Voice account, we asked you to select a new Google phone number. This allowed us to offer features like call forwarding, screening, and recording.  But we know not everyone wants to start using a new phone number, so we’ve been working on another option for people who are willing to trade some features for the ability to keep their existing number.

We’re excited to announce that you now can get Google Voice with a Google number OR with your existing mobile phone number. If you choose to use Google Voice with your existing number, you won’t get some features (like call screening and recording), but you’ll still get many others — including Google voicemail:

More specifically, if you sign up for Google Voice with your existing number, you’ll get:

  • Online, searchable voicemail
  • Free automated voicemail transcription
  • Custom voicemail greetings for different callers
  • Email and SMS notifications
  • Low-priced international calling

If you decide to also get a new Google number, you’ll get all of the above PLUS:

  • One number that reaches you on all your phones
  • SMS via email
  • Call screening
  • Listen In
  • Call recording
  • Conference calling
  • Call blocking

If you already have a Google number, this new feature should also help with the transition to your new number, as you can now forward unanswered calls to your mobile phone to your Google Voice account.  This way, people who still call your old number will reach the same voicemail as people who call your Google Voice number.

If you already use Google Voice, you can add Google voicemail to any mobile phone you’ve linked to your account.  If you’re not using Google Voice yet, you can request an invitation or ask someone with a Google Voice account to invite you.  When you receive the invitation to sign-up, you decide whether you’d like to use Google Voice with your existing number or get a Google number.

Posted by Pierre Lebeau, Product Manager

Published on October 27th, 2009 under

Google Voice for Newbies: Voicemail Transcriptions

Source: googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com

Voicemail transcription is, in my opinion, one of Google Voice’s coolest features.  That’s why I’ve saved it for my last Google Voice tip.  When someone leaves you a voicemail, Google Voice transcribes the message and gives you a variety of ways to access it.  The transcription process is fully automated, so sometimes the text isn’t perfect, but it’s usually enough to give you the basic idea of the message.

If you’re a Gmail user, you can enable a voicemail player to show up underneath each voicemail notification you receive in Gmail by turning on the Google Voice player in mail lab. You can also set up your Google Voice account to send SMS notifications of the transcriptions to your mobile phone.

1.jpeg
You might notice that some of the words in transcriptions are grayed out. This is an indication that we’re not as confident about these particular words.

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Heather and I hope that these "newbie" posts have helped some of you get your feet wet with Google Voice.  Even though this is the last in our series, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to share feature suggestions and interesting use cases.  Share your Voice insights in the Google Voice Help Forum, and remember, the Google Voice Help Center is packed with useful information.  Happy calling!

Posted by Carol and Heather, Googlers

Published on October 23rd, 2009 under

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