Category Archives: Prizes

InfoVision Awards : The Interview

Last post about Broadband World Forum Infovision Awards, we promise! As part of the awards process, Dial2Do CTO (Sean O Sullivan), did an interview with the Informa folks, and here it is.

Could you briefly describe what the product/service does?

The HandsFreeAssistant from Dial2Do is a phone service that targets drivers who would like to get more done, safely, while driving. From a consumer perspective, the service is simple: dial a local number, and speak to get things done.

Say “Text” to send a text message, “Email” to send an email, “listen to email” to hear your email, and so on. There are over forty services in Dial2Do, including twitter, reminders, google calendar, remember the milk, and more. Users love the fact that it lets them safely get more from their time in the car.

Behind the scenes of course, Dial2Do offers a voice platform that enables partners to rapidly voice-enable whatever they want – in effect to offer “voice as a service”. Our initial focus has been to partner with the manufacturers of Bluetooth / Handsfree hardware: Bluetooth headsets and car kits. They bundle the service directly with the hardware and offer the end user a fully “joined up” experience – out of the box.

To date, Dial2Do has announced partnerships with many of the world’s leading handsfree equipment brands, including Plantronics, Aliph/Jawbone, Jabra, EnusTech, and others. We’re also voice-enabling fantastic online services such as Evernote, enabling them to rapidly offer voice interaction to their 3M+ users. The platform is hosted, multilingual and extensible – so partners can choose the set of services they wish to offer, the branding and style they wish to use, and even the voice style and interface for user interactions.

What wider market trends do you hope to address with this product/service?

There are a few trends that are driving demand for the service.

  • Lots of people spending lots of time in the car: in many countries, including the US where we launched Dial2Do, there are a lot of people who commute regularly for 30-60 minutes per day, and would like to get more from their “driving time” than talk radio and phone calls.
  • Speech with everything: it’s becoming more common to see speech used as a core interface with many things, from iPod Nano’s to cars. People are more open to the idea of talking to your favourite web service now to get things done, whether it’s productivity stuff like email, calendars and reminders, or “fun” stuff like listening to twitter or your favourite news feeds as you drive.
  • Handsfree legislation: we’re seeing legislation roll out worldwide making it illegal to text or hold a phone while driving. As consumers go looking for handsfree solutions that enable them to comply with the new laws, they are looking for “value add. The HandsFreeAssistant from Dial2Do addresses a burgeoning consumer need to stay safely in touch with your favourite services while driving.
  • Everyone’s looking for value-add: in consumer electronics, such as in the Bluetooth headset and hands-free equipment market, many of the players are looking to engage in a deeper way with the end user. One of the great ways to do this is to offer compelling cloud-based services that “wrap around” the consumer electronics offering (think for example of how backup has become a kay value-add service for netbook and laptop providers). The HandsFreeAssistant gives Dial2Do partners a great own-brand way to create longer term engagement with the end user, who is often totally unknown to the manufacturer of these devices.

Why do you think your product/service was shortlisted by the judges?

One of the things that may have stuck out was our route to market. We’ve taken a voice service with a lot of functionality, and simplified it so that anyone can use it, and bundled it with consumer electronics from our headset and hands-free partners. It’s a genuine win-win for us, for the equipment partner and for the consumer, and is a little bit innovative in the market today.

In addition, perhaps they liked our roadmap of where we see things headed with voice: as you get more intelligence in both the phones and even the headsets. there is great potential to really orchestrate all the moving parts end to end to offer the end user a beautiful, Apple-like experience, beyond what they get today.

Finally, we’ve seen great feedback from users with the service to date, and we encouraged the judges to try it for themselves (there’s one month free trial when you register at http://www.dial2do.com). So who knows – maybe they tried it and liked it!

What major developments do you expect to witness in the broadband technology market over the five years?

The most obvious is the continued growth in mobile broadband, whether via dongles, “pucks” such as those announced by Clearwire recently in the US, or even via handsets-as-hotspots such as we’ve seen with Google and Android. Aside form that: bandwidth and increasingly, embedded broadband in everyday devices, including cars.

You can read all the nomination interviews here.

Advertisements

InfoVision Awards

Collecting the award for Best New Service….

And all the happy winners….

Looks like someone missed a memo re: dress code 🙂

Press Pack for the Awards here.

Kudos and Thanks : We won!

So – we won! Against formidable competition – the “SuperTankers of the Telecom World”  – we picked up the “Best New Service” award at the InfoVision Awards last night. And man, are we delighted! 🙂

An initial reaction – three things:

  1. We were honoured to have been nominated, and now are over the moon to have won. We really appreciate the fact that an industry panel judged us worthy. It means a lot to us, our customers and partners.
  2. The crew at Dial2Do have had a hectic year. We launched “for real” at CES in January. We quickly signed partners. We added features, billing, territories, languages. And more. So this award is (cliché alert) very much an acknowledgement of the team effort: massive Pats-on-Backs to all – “top job!”
  3. For anyone here at our Blog for the first time because you saw us at the awards and on the BBWF material, or heard about us on the innernet – welcome! We’re proud of the service – go to http://www.dial2do.com right now and try it out – for free – and let us know what you think! Follow us on twitter here or drop us a line.

The official release is here. The Eiffel Tower even put its sparkly dress on to congratulate us.

Wish Us Luck at InfoVision Awards Tonight!

Oui – c’est vrai! Dial2Do was nominated for a prestigious InfoVision Award at the BroadBand World Forum Conference that kicked off today in beautiful Paris. Well – tonight is awards ceremony night and Dial2Do will be at the event and hoping for the best. Of course, we’re already thrilled to be nominated in the Best New Service category – especially considering the other nominees in that category. And of course, since our nomination, we also announced the launch of Plantronics Savor M1100 with Vocalyst.

The awards take place on a boat – no less! Apparently hors d’oeuvres and a tipple (and much much more by the sounds of it) will be served while we hear the names of the lucky winners announced. A dirty job, but someone’s got to do it 🙂

Anyway – win or lose – the conference looks set to be a great event, and we’ll update here with any interesting news that catches our eye. We’re on not one, but two panels about developers, APIs and ecosystem on Thursday at the show, with Alan Quayle, and will be on the conference floor and at the sessions for the duration. For an example of Alan’s continued excellent work to motivate the telecom Industry – see this recent post from his blog.

Anyway – we’re here all week (longer – depending on the planned industrial action) so do drop a line if you fancy meeting up. Meanwhile: À tout à l’heure !

Dial2Do shortlisted for InfoVision award for Best New Service

Dial2Do’s HandsFreeAssistant was shortlisted yesterday for an InfoVision Award at the Broadband World Forum Conference to be held in Paris in October this year. We’re in the “Best New Service” category , and it would be fair to say that we’re thrilled skinny. Mind you, the competition is a little intimidating – the shortlist includes us and one or two Telco Brands you may have heard of:

  • Dial2Do – HandsFreeAssistant
  • Ericsson Inc. – Dynamic Open Access Solution
  • Huawei – Launching the Convergent Conferencing Service
  • Motorola – TD-LTE Shanghai
  • Saudi Telecom Company – Broadband Jood Plus
  • So yes – we have our work cut out to win the prize! 🙂

    Our first time at the Broadband World Forum conference was last year, when we took part in a panel moderated by Alan Quayle. Depsite the “Broadband” word in the title – it’s actually a broad conference covering key topics in wireless, mobile and broadband, and includes many of he key movers and shakers worldwide. Keynotes are from the CEOs or CTOs of the world’s top operators and vendors, so it’s great for “taking a temperture” for where things are at in the industry.

    Alan works with Operators and other Telecom vendors around the world, and has long been both advocate of how operators can change to take advantage of their strengths in the changing Telecom landscape, and thorn in their side when he explains where he thinks they’re going wrong. A nice example is his recent piece on Developer Communities in his blog, in which he helps categorise the different Operator Developer and Content Communities.

    Alan is moderating several sessions at the World Forum Conference – one on Service Delivery Platform (SDP) Evolution and one on Developer Communities. We’ll be taking part in the panel discussion for the latter session, which will have presentations from Orange, Verizon and KPN about their development community initiatives, as well as  some opening comments and stewardship from Alan himself. It’s always interesting to get together with the operators and talk frankly about what works and what doesn’t – and I’d expect this session to be no exception 🙂

    You can get a feel for our Point of View from our presentation at ICIN 2009:

    Great conference, and we’re delighted to be nominated in illustrious company. Hope to see you there!

    Dial2Do shortlisted for 2009 Mobile Excellence Awards!

    MEA

    Dial2Do has been shortlisted in the 2009 Mobile Excellence awards! We were shortlisted in the “international”category. Looks like a great lineup – we look forward to taking part.

    Drop a line if you’re going to be there in December.

    #mwc09 part 2

    Ok, part two of our round-up from last week’s Mobile World Congress. First off, I thought “The Social Phone” had a good show. By this I mean there was quite a bit of activity around new phone models that support or enhance social networking, about mobile social networking, and general continued buzz on that “space” as the analysts like to say.

    In the run-up to the show, we had some great stats emerge, like the fact that Facebook has 25 million mobile users per month now, up from 5 million at the start of 2008. MySpace is at 20 million a month. And Bebo? Well – it’s hard to tell as numbers seem to be thin on the ground. Given the growth rates however, it’s small wonder then that there’s buzz around trying to create a “joined up” experience for people accessing their favourite social sites from the phones. Motorola has openly declared that their new Android phones will have quite an emphasis on “social”, and witness also the success of apps like the Facebook app on the iPhone. While the iPhone as such, hasn’t gone hell for leather for social features built-in, look at the rang of apps that populate the store.

    AppStore SocNW.tiff

    You get the idea – phones are of course a brilliant tool with which to update and review your social network activity, because of their characteristics: they’re with you when you’re out and about, being social, they let you capture audio, video, text “at the point of inspiration” – when you have an idea, a thought, a feeling or just see, hear or notice something that you want to share with your mates. Increasingly, apart from vertical social networks, the idea of one without a strong mobile component, or even a mobile “centre of gravity” will seem odd.

    Anyway – in to this fray steps the INQ1, winner of the Phone of the Show award at MWC09.

    INQ Phone 2.JPG.jpg

    I have to say I think this was a well-deserved award. INQ1 have tried very hard to really stitch social networking, and especially Facebook, right in to the DNA of the INQ1. They’ve tried to help figure out things like connecting your address book (on the phone) to your contacts (in your social networks). And they’ve made a great start. It’s not perfect, but then few things are in this very-quickly changing area, and they are to be congratulated for what they’ve got right. Such as? Such as:

    • Yes – you can pull your contacts in to the address book – right from Facebook
    • Your address book as a result “comes alive”. So first, you don’t have to set photos for your contacts (duh, as Martin Geddes pointed out a long time ago) – those photos are pulled from profile pics on Facebook. Nice. In addition, you can see latest status updates from your contacts right in the address book, one of the places that it’s really useful (“um, better not call John, seems he’s in Oz and it’s 3am there….”)
    • Push updates on Facebook activity. Tricky to strike the balance here between “shut that goddamn phone up” and “why does no one update” – but I think they’ve done a nice job. It beeps with “stuff” you might want to know about every so often.

    And there’s more – you get the idea. Suffice to say though, I think the devil is in the detail. There’s lots of small things about the way the INQ1 does its business that takes a while to appreciate. They team show that they “get it” and may have actually used a social network site in anger at some point, as opposed to some implementations we can think of. Award well deserved imho. And yes, I plan to try and do a full, detailed review of the INQ1 in a future post.

    Back to the show. We were exhibiting on the Enteprise Ireland Stand at the show. They threw a party on-stand on Tuesday evening – and it was MOBBED!!!

    P1000277.jpg

    Seriously. Hundreds turned up to sup Guinness and mingle and munch canapes. And then we headed to the Irish Bar where the real trouble began 🙂 A very well-organised event, and kudos yet again to Enterprise Ireland, who consistently outclass other Country Pavilions at these events and punch way above their weight.

    Speaking of countries – there’s been some good chatter on the MoMo London newsgroup after MWC with a good debate about whether MWC09 was good (or indeed, whether it’s ever good!). It was kicked off by this blog post. And then the group has dived in either echoing these comments or in defense. Mostly in defence so far it has to be said. My favourite bits:

    It doesn’t matter how good your new handset is; the CBoss dancing girls in Hall1 are still the most photographed feature of MWC.

    And

    A dry ham baguette is not lunch.

    Ouch! More to follow….