VoiceHub, a small startup based in Birmingham, Ala., is launching a new cloud-based service that lets small and midsized businesses instantly establish a business phone service to answer calls. The service answers incoming calls with a preset greeting and then, using speech recognition that interprets the caller's request, it can connect the call to one or more mobile phone or VoIP devices.
"We've taken phone service, removed the pain and expense, added speech recognition, and made it all easy to use. In just minutes you can go fast and look good using our new service," says Bill Kervaski, founder and CEO of VoiceHub.
The new VoiceHub service, which is set to launch in January, also offers voice prompts, call recording, call routing, voicemail, voicemail-to email transcription, fax, and custom greetings. Pricing will start at $25 a month for up to 1,000 minutes and an unlimited number of users and extensions. A 10,000-minute plan starts at $199 a month.
In less than three minutes, VoiceHub can make a business look bigger and sound more professional, all without complicated phone systems and expensive phone service, according to Kevaski. "You don't have to worry about complicated infrastructure or even need an existing phone service. VoiceHub exists entirely in the cloud and will work with your existing mobile phones or VoIP devices," he says. "We can even port your existing numbers."
The VoiceHub service is an offshoot of IronVoice.com, a broadband phone service and virtual phone system that Kevaski started a few years ago for small and mid-sized businesses. It is positioned on Amazon's EC2 cloud platform.
"Our service is a powerful communications tool that is super simple and easy to use, with some very cool technologies," Kervaski explains. "Speech recognition is our killer feature."
The service puts speech recognition within the reach of even the smallest companies. "Normal speech recognition is out of the price range for many smaller firms. Just to handle a few calls, we're talking about thousands of dollars in licensing fees," Kevaski adds.
Though the service hasn't even launched yet, Kevaski says interest has been huge. "A lot of people are interested in a low-price alternative in one package that they do not have to monkey with at all."