Simplify with Voice APIs

August 4, 2008

The first week in August is often referred to as “Simplify Your Life Week.” While not a recognized holiday, it is appropriate that every so often we are reminded to take a step back & evaluate ways to simplify & streamline our lives & businesses. This notion of simplifying isn’t meant to suggest that we get rid of all of our worldly possessions either. Simplifying can be explained as having enough without having too much. I began to think more about our business & not only how we could simplify things around here but how our services & technologies enable other businesses to simplify.

I’ve recently been thinking of NetworkIP’s services as similar to those of a power company. A power company provides power to millions of businesses & homes. Businesses for example don’t purchase generators, boilers, compressors, steam traps, etc. to get power to their systems. They plug what they need into wall outlets & the power company delivers however much power that business needs through that interface. This is very similar to what NetworkIP & more specifically Jaduka offers to the enterprise. If your applications require access to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) you need not purchase telephony switches, arrange & manage complicated carrier connections, workout signaling anomalies, plan for capacity, etc. Rather, you can simplify things by connecting to one of our many Voice APIs offered through the web. Jaduka’s Voice APIs will provide your business with direct access & use of the PSTN which is by far the most reliable & scalable voice network on the planet.
 
Business processes are another area that we could all focus on simplifying. As a business grows its processes often become bloated & require too many manual processes. There are a million different ways that businesses could improve existing business processes by including automated communications into the process. Take for example a simple business process that involves consumer credit protection. Today, if a user’s credit card is used for a purchase that exceeds a predefined limit an automated notification is sent to a representative of the credit card company that will in turn make a manual phone call to the consumer to confirm whether the purchase was valid or not. Rather than involving the representative from the credit card company so early in the process you can automate this process with communication technologies offered through Jaduka’s Voice APIs. When the predefined limit is exceeded, an automated system can dial the user’s phone number & through use of an IVR the user can be prompted to confirm whether the transaction is valid or invalid (press “1” if charge is valid, press “2” if charge is invalid). If the user reports the transaction as invalid (pressed 2) s/he can then be automatically connected to a customer support representative to discuss the matter in more detail. With just a small tweak to the existing processes, Jaduka’s Voice API provides a much simpler, efficient, & cost saving process for the credit card company.

As you kick off this first full week in August consider ways to simplify your business & if you need some help reach out to us.

You can learn more about Jaduka’s Credit Card Fraud Protection Service online.

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Technology Can Save Your Business Too

July 28, 2008

I commented last week on how many businesses are turning to innovative telephony services such as conferencing to avoid the high costs associated with employee travel. Today while reading about Netflix’s second-quarter net income, which climbed 3.8%, I thought to myself “How did they do it?”

In the middle of googling for other reports about Netflix it hit me – technology is saving their business!

As the price of gas continues to rise, so do the cost of going to the movies. As a result, more consumers are staying at home to watch movies & many of them are renting those movies through Netflix. Unfortunately for Netflix, higher fuel prices are also driving up the costs to deliver movies to the consumer’s mailbox. Netflix’s margin is already pretty thin & those margins can be completely eaten up if you have a consumer base that is exchanging movies almost as fast as they get them. Netflix’s subscritpion model allows their users to exchange as many movies as he/she wants per month & their subscription fee stays the same. This model works very well for the consumer & until recently worked for Netflix too.

Rather than drastically changer their model & risk loosing existing subscribers, Netflix responded with an innovative solution using technology to their advantage. This new solution actually provides more to the consumer & cleverly works in Netflix’s advantage too!

First Netflix began offering a “Watch Instantly” option from their website. Users were allowed a certain amount of hours per month to watch streaming movies to their PC for free. Netflix realized very quickly that this feature resulted in the shipment of less movies to their consumers because they were watching more movies on-line. The costs for Netflix to offer live streaming videos versus mailing movies was significantly less & they quickly removed any maximum on the amount of viewing hours they offered to their users in hopes that the number of shipments required would continue to drop while usership would continue to rise.

Netflix also just announced a deal with Microsoft to stream movies directly to a user’s Xbox 360 game console. It obvious that Netflix is looking to offer their consumers as many options as possible to view movies as long as it doesn’t involve shipping that movie to the consumer. Again, the rationale being that as more users view their movies on-line, the less likely they are to order their movies through the mail & the net result is higher margins & ultimately more profits for Netflix.

Each day I imagine more things that companies can do with technologies to save their company time, money, & resources. One of my greatest pleasures at work is seeing so many companies actively taking advantages of the technologies that we & Jaduka have developed to save money & improve their business processes with communications.