|Musings of an Internet Marketing Consultant|
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Catching Up: Mobivox - Launching Voice-Enabled Conversations.
About three weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview Mobivox's new CEO Peter Diedrich, a telecom industry veteran who brings both telecom executive and VC-funded startup experience to the table. Mobivox has traditionally provided a low cost worldwide calling service, including free calls to Skype contacts. Key features included (i) no client downloads, (ii) launch a voice call from any telephone handset and (iii) access via over 340 points-of-presence in 40 countries. However, unpublicized has been that they also provide a platform for voice enabling the user interface to many other potential communications service partners.
Historically, Peter sums up Mobivox as having proven they can provide and host a simple service with a voice-enabled user interface; their primary challenge is to determine what should be free. The gems he sees in the current platform include:
Given the challenges of generating a worldwide user base, going forward Mobivox plans to continue the current service but also look for opportunities to find service provider partners who can take advantage of their voice-enabling platform. To have a more complete offering they are also looking to include API's that go beyond "call control in the cloud" to include support for call completion, backend billing, CRM interface and fraud management.Their final challenge is to improve monetization; reversing a pre-appointment decision to make all but calls to Skype contacts chargeable, Peter sees the need to develop both a retail and partner customer base.
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