Is voicemail stuck in the stone ages? According to Jamie Siminoff, CEO of SimulScribe, the answer is "yes." In fact, Jamie claims that the average business user spends approximately three hours a month clicking though phone menu trees, entering passwords, saving, and deleting messages. Fortunately, with the help of SimulScribe, voicemail can become as efficient as e-mail.
SimulScribe, according to the Web site, http://simulscribe.com, is "the U.S. leader in voicemail-to-text services and visual voicemail applications." What this means is that SimulScribe converts your voice messages into words so that you can read it via e-mail and/or SMS. You'll also receive an audio file of the original message.
I had the chance to catch up with Jamie and find out a little bit about the SimulScribe service, when it began, and how it works. For this inside peek at SimulScribe, listen to the podcast.
There's quite a bit of positive buzz circulating about SimulScribe, including the fact that it's won several awards in 2007 and has a transcription accuracy of over 95 percent. However, none of that really matters unless you can perceive a real benefit from using the service. Fortunately, SimulScribe's CMO, David Gerzof, was able to field my question about how this type of voicemail transcription will appeal to IT professionals. Here are some of the benefits David highlighted:
- IT professionals are constantly tracking and troubleshooting information. SimulScribe gives you a log of all your messages that you can easily search by keywords. You can also easily manage all of your messages from the SimulScribe Web site.
- SimulScribe has unlimited voicemail storage. When end users call you and you're unable to answer your phone, they will never receive a message that says your mailbox is full, which happens with some voicemail systems.
- IT pros can quickly determine whether a missed call is important, because scanning text for relevant information is a lot faster than having to dial in and listen to a voice message, which often contains a lot of superfluous chatter. How much faster? According to David, a 60-second voicemail can be scanned with your eyes in about 5 seconds. If a user can't get his document to print, you know that you can probably finish your task at hand before switching gears. However, if there's a server meltdown, you better drop what you're doing and put out the fire. From some smartphones, you can even click the sender's phone number on the message and immediately return the call.
Perhaps the best way to appreciate SimulScribe is to see how it works for yourself. If you're interested in experiencing SimulScribe, sign up for the 30-day free trial.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.