Welcome!

XML Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Ignacio M. Llorente, David Dossot, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Web 2.0, XML, SOA & WOA, .NET, AJAX & REA, Open Web

Web 2.0: Blog Post

Voxeet Natural Conferencing Takes the Stress out of Conference Calls

Interview with Voxeet CEO Stephane Giraudie

Hi Stephane, please tell us, what is Voxeet all about and what do you do?

Stephane Giraudie, CEO of Voxeet: Voxeet is an improvement to conference calls so radical that it's hard to imagine going back to archaic audio bridges or spotty P2P services. Despite the fact that conference calls can be an awful experience, there has been little or no innovation over the past decade.

Those days are over. Voxeet solves those daily frustrations and enables teams to have crystal clear, relaxed and more productive conversations, and feel like they are talking around a table. We call this Natural Conferencing, and once you've tried Voxeet, you'll never go back.

What business or technology could yours disrupt?

Giraudie: Existing audio conferencing is still in the Dark Ages, relying on the same old technology invented over a century ago by Alexander Graham Bell - even with over 100 billion minutes used each year on traditional audio-only teleconferences. This is a huge market that is poised for disruption!

Voxeet's radical improvements for group voice conferencing are designed to displace free audio conferencing solutions and provide a high-quality, lower-cost alternative to Web conferencing and deliver business-quality and reliability not available in today's VoIP solutions. Once you've tried Voxeet, you'll never go back.

So how is your conference call solution different from audio bridges and peer-to-peer solutions?

Voxeet is unique and distinct from anything else in the market in three ways:

  • One, high-definition audio and sound algorithms reduce background noise and echo, eliminate over-talk and boost quality, making your conference calls crystal-clear. It's so immersive and so good that you'll forget you're on the phone and focus on the conversation.
  • Two, high speaker recognition with immersive 3D sound and visual cues always identifies who's talking. Speakers' voices with visual cues follow their avatars around your screen so you always know who's talking.
  • Finally, high mobility lets you transfer calls from your computer to your mobile with a single click. You can also initiate conference calls as easily.

What are you launching now?

Giraudie: We are launching Voxeet mobile apps for iPhone and Android. These killer business and social productivity apps offer natural group communication and the same crystal-clear, 3D-immersive sound and one-click transfer that won us a DemoGod Award.

We've also added "wow" functionalities like our new "whisper mode" for having private conversations during conference calls and Facebook integration to make it super-easy to import contacts.

Who is your target audience and how do you intend to reach them?

Giraudie:  Voxeet is the ideal solution for people who regularly conduct conference calls.

What are you general thoughts on conferencing market trends?

Giraudie: This is a huge market where, every year, 100 billion minutes are spent on traditional audio-only teleconferences. However, they can be a terrible experience. This will impact the rising number of distributed team and increasingly mobile and remotely working team collaboration. An important market trends are also new possibilities that the expansion of 4G networks and VoLTE offer.

What is the viral aspect of your product?

Giraudie: Our product is viral in its essence. Users need to share the application with their contacts in order to use it. Our Facebook and phonebook integration will ease this process. In addition, we are adding some fun by introducing a referral program where users can redeem gifts like headsets as they invite contacts.

How will you make money? What's the business model?

Giraudie: In the first half of next year, we will offer a premium service for users interested in additional features, such as collaborative tools, increased security and additional usage.

Who are your competitors?

Giraudie: Our competitors include Skype and other peer-to-peer solutions, free audio conferencing, expensive Web conferencing services and archaic audio bridges with codes and pins and other hassles.

How do you differentiate from Skype? Would Skype be able to offer a business service like yours to their vast user base?

Giraudie: Skype relies on a peer-to-peer architecture that makes call quality very unreliable, making it difficult to use for business. The quality of 3D sound is not going to be possible on a peer-to-peer architecture. In fact, only a fraction of Skype users are businesses.

Voxeet's technology was designed from the ground up and optimized for business-quality conference calls. Skype mashes together simultaneous sounds, making it impossible to have a conversation with multiple participants. Our technology reproduces the way the brain analyzes sound, making it as natural as a face-to-face conversation.

How can you compete with free offers like Freeconference.com?

Giraudie: Our Discovery version is free as well, but our value proposition is crystal-clear, 3D-immersive sound for better calls and increased productivity.

How do you differentiate from mobile VoIP Services?

Giraudie: Most of the mVoIPs are consumer focused and for one-to-one conversations. Voxeet is focused on business and group conferencing, where high quality is a must.

How does your technology differ from the competition and can you elaborate on the different technology deployed?

Giraudie: Voxeet is built around a hybrid model knowing not everything can be handled through a browser just yet. We have and are building rich native clients (PC, Android, iPhone and Mac coming) that are allowing us to provide a much better user experience along with premium sound quality for conference call participants mixed with a powerful and scalable cloud architecture on EC2 that handles conferences, users, and more.

Who founded the company, and when? What can you tell me about the story of the company's founding?

Giraudie: The co-founders are Larry Fornallaz, CTO, Benoit Sénard, VP of Product Management and I am the CEO. In our previous work lives, we all worked with international team and conference call were a constant. We found that experience awful and knew there had to be a better way. We founded Voxeet in 2009. Voxeet is an international company with teams in both Silicon Valley and Bordeaux, France.

We launched Voxeet for PCs at DEMO Spring 2012, where we won a DEMOgod award and were named Forbes & PC Magazine favorites. That was very encouraging.

What is your distribution model? Where to buy your product?

Giraudie: The "discovery" edition is available for free on our website and the iPhone and Android versions are available on app markets for free. The PRO edition, which will be based both on usage and premium functionalities, will be available in the first half of next year for a nominal fee.

What's next on your product roadmap?

Giraudie: With our PC version available, Android and iPhone apps just released, and Mac version in development, Voxeet is about to become a true cross-platform application. We are also working on our PRO edition that will offer more collaboration tools, added security and more wow functionalities.

Voxeet just won the grand prize of theAppIngniter challenge by Bandwidth's inetwork. Please tell us what the USD600K in services signify for Voxeet.

Giraudie: Winning the Voice App Igniter Challenge will help extend our technology to support dial-up from landlines and cell phones, making it possible to completely replace old-style audio conferencing with Voxeet. Imagine the possibilities when you have the power and simplicity of Natural Conferencing to make your team collaboration and customer conferences as clear and productive as face-to-face meetings. Having access to up to one million free phone numbers will propel Voxeet to another level and make Voxeet ubiquitous, while helping millions of people enjoy natural conversations, dramatically improving their collaboration experience.

You are also active on KickStarter? How much money is being sought, what is it going to be used for?

Giraudie: We are in the process of starting a campaign there and would like to raise funds to help us develop and launch our Mac version. With a Mac version, we'll be a  true cross-platform application, we want to make Voxeet universal so that anybody can call in and participate in a Voxeet conference call.

Are you also targeting a first VC round? If yes, when, and what will you use the funds for? How much money is being sought?

Giraudie: We are raising a seed round to continue funding our development efforts and help us accelerate customer acquisition.

What about security?

Giraudie: As we are targeting business users and businesses in particular, security is very important to us. Voxeet is already secure as, unlike other solutions, we keep separate tracks for each participant's voice, making it hard to capture the whole conversation. We are planning to add full encryption to our PRO edition.

What is your take on the WebRTC initiatives?

Giraudie: We following the WebRTC initiatives very closely. We are already using some of the WebRTC components.

What else would you like to add?

Giraudie: We are really excited to make Voxeet available on mobile devices. Once you experience Voxeet, it's hard to imagine going back, and now mobile workers and teams should enjoy:

  • High Quality - The voice quality is crystal-clear
  • High Speaker Recognition - You always know who's speaking
  • High Mobility - One click transfers to your cell phone

Everyone can download Voxeet:

Apple Store : https://itunes.apple.com/app/voxeet/id583902336?mt=8

PC : http://download.voxeet.com/download/VoxeetSetup.exe

For more information about Voxeet, please visit http://www.voxeet.com. Here's a link to the award winning DEMO Spring 2012 presentation with the 3D immersive sound. Please use a headset and share your product review on the respective app stores.

 

# # #

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel, Tech blogger and SVP of Transform PR/San Francisco- Mountain View. She mainly writes about B2B solutions, social media and open source software. Transform Public Relations is a full-service PR agency, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. The agency is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. Buy her a coffee if you like her article: http://xeniar.tip.me

@ThingsExpo Stories
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.