With all this talk about the value of speech-enabled apps and programs, devices with conversational attributes and the ever-elusive but ‘seamless’ engagement with ‘all of the things’ in our connected world, one particular area has remained under the radar. Solutions that transcribe speech into text, specifically, services for voicemail and voice messaging are essential in some circles, and though they are in their nascent stages for the broader mobile operator industry, they are rapidly growing. These services are becoming more popular around the world — and, especially, in markets where the infrastructure for traditional voicemail has been lacking.
As things stand today though, there is little support (if any) for voicemail systems in markets where voicemail is a somewhat new or even undesirable phenomenon. Further, the cost, time and energy that would be required for updating and/or installing the types of systems necessary for traditional voicemail to be successful has proven to be a significant undertaking for carriers. Even if it were successful in the near term, how much of a future does such a service have when faced with the highly flexible cloud-based services of tomorrow?
Despite these challenges, it’s clear that consumers are continually seeking solutions that allow them to choose when and how they receive their messages. In a consumer attitudes survey, 62% of respondents said that they would likely switch from a traditional voicemail system to one that converts voicemails into text-based messages. From the same survey, 27% of respondents said they feel burdened by having to listen to a voicemail and 19% expressed frustration or annoyance after getting a voicemail. Unlike traditional methods, voicemail-to-text services make it possible to turn a call or voice message into a text message or email so that, regardless of where someone is or what they are doing, they can quickly and easily see who has called and what they have said. It is even possible to speak a text message to a recipient even if they do not have a voicemail service, turning a missed call into a convenient, readable message..
Simply put, voicemail-to-text messaging is on the rise. Due to its cloud-based nature, it is possible to distribute today’s voicemail-to-text services globally and in many languages. A recent deployment in Vietnam is just one example of the service being embraced in places where flexible solutions are needed. For carriers and operators, having a cloud-based solution circumvents the need for creating and managing the sort of physical infrastructure that has traditionally been required for voicemail systems while better addressing consumer needs. In turn, consumers of such services have the benefit of conveniently receiving their messages without having to make a phone call or go through the rigmarole of navigating an audio-only menu. Similar to how text-based messaging has now become the standard among the millennial generation, emerging markets across the globe are seeking alternative solutions to better accommodate rapidly shifting needs of their customers.
Though dictating to one’s phone to perform a search or quickly send a text message has become commonplace, not many think about the possibilities that voice messaging solutions can offer in areas such as voicemail. Some may not yet be familiar with the concept of voicemail-to-text, but soon it very well could be the default option for millions of people.