Spinning Out a UC Service

Known mostly for its speech-to-text services SpinVox announced today its entrance into the unified communications sector with the release of Spinvox CallMail for Call Centers and Spinvox Enterprise Voicemail for medium and large businesses. Both services leverage Spinvox’s core Voice Message Conversion System (VMCS), which converts voice messages to text and delivers them via email to a PC, PDA, or as an SMS.

Both CallMail and Voicemail are part of SpinVox’s Unified Communications services portfolio. Voicemail, created for the enterprise, consolidates all voice messages from landlines, mobile phones, and softphones into text messages siphoned to either an SMS inbox or email program.    

CallMail is a call center-specific application designed to accommodate fluctuating call volumes. Callers unable to reach an agent are invited to leave a voice mail that will be converted to text. The textual message, along with an audio file, will be sent to a specified email address, where they will be prioritized and routed for response to the proper team. In improving response rates, enterprises require fewer staff to handle calls at peak times.

According to Datamonitor technology analyst Aphrodite Brinsmead, SpinVox’s entrance into the unified communications sector underscores the increased adoption of the service within small to medium-sized businesses. She believes much of the excitement enterprises have for UC derives from the release of Microsoft Unified Communications 2007. "I don’t think the adoption will go up dramatically but I do think unified communications will become more popular, partly because of the publicity surrounding it and partly because of the maturing of these legacy and telephony systems," says Brinsmead, who anticipated the uptake in her February 7 report "Trends to Watch 2008: Unified Communications."  "Employers are looking to support flexible working, and unified communications can help with that."

A SpinVox spokesperson defines voice as the "killer app" in the UC space and believes that speech-to-text will form the core of the next generation of UC service. Consequently, he anticipates providers will construct services around SpinVox’s offering.

However, SpinVox’s involvement in providing a UC solution so far seems limited to unified messaging, which Brinsmead believes is merely an aspect of an entire unified communications package. "Enterprises may well look to other vendors that offer an all encompassing UC solution with additional features such as presence, integrated directories, click-to-call functionality and web conferencing," says Brinsmead. "Many of its competitors, including Microsoft and Cisco, have the advantage of brand strength and are already well established as unified communications vendors. However, if SpinVox can market its solutions from a unique angle, such as speed and cost of deployment or the ease of use with mobility, it should succeed."

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