Telcos Should be an OTT Partner, Not Enemy
— This text was originally posted on the VoxOx Blog on July 22, 2014 —
You’ve heard the phrase if you can’t beat them, join them. Well, telcos are taking this literally as many are shifting their focus from battling OTT services to partnering with them. In fact, an interest in providing OTT-type services is on the rise, with 36% of mobile operators partnering with OTT providers last year.
So, just why are telcos uniting with OTT services? Because competing with the features and competitive prices of OTT apps is nearly impossible for operators, but a partnership can prove to benefit their bottom line, as well as offer a few awesome perks to the people who keep them in business — the consumer!
First, let’s talk about the different types of partnerships and why those might be beneficial:
Much like the co-branded app Voxox is collaborating on with VTC Intecom, operators can partner with OTT services to create an app that promotes both businesses. Co-branded apps are a great option as they can offer the benefits of an expanded network for users and providers. For example, a co-branded app may allow users the ability to sign in with credentials from their telco, OTT service or social media accounts, or search a wider net of contacts.
White Label Partnership
If a co-branded app isn’t quite right for either the OTT service or the operator, a white labeled application is another partnership solution. Not only will consumers reap the benefits of a feature-rich app, but operators will also be able to design and launch apps quickly – saving both time and money!
Next, let’s touch on the benefits that an OTT partnership can yield for all parties involved:
Enhanced User Experience
When it comes to creating a successful product, user experience is key, which is why telcos and OTT services are joining forces to bring users the best of both worlds. Ease of sign-in, expanded contact list, free and low-cost calling and texting, and loads of features like a virtual assistant, call forwarding, language translation, and custom hold music (just to name a few!) are a winning combination for users.
Service & Innovation Combo
What’s the easiest way for a telco and an OTT app to create service innovation? By taking the best bits of both and rolling them into one. Telcos offer steady service and an expansive network, while OTT services offer unique features and competitive rates; put them together and you have a feature-rich ultra-reliable service at your fingertips!
Reduced Operation Cost
With lost revenue and bandwidth expenditure being the big issues behind the telco-OTT services war, operators can rest in peace knowing that a rev-share partnership will boost their bottom line. By joining forces with an OTT service, operators are reclaiming lost revenue and reducing their operation costs by leveraging the strengths of OTT services.
Customer Retention & Growth
Many consumers turn to OTT services for their messaging and calling needs because traditional mobile plans are generally more expensive, and sometimes out of their budget. For those who rely on OTT services to stay in touch, an OTT partner is the only way telcos can grow users and add revenue from a demographic that may not subscribe to more expensive data plans.
By offering richer services and expanding their customer base through collaborative projects, it’s no doubt telcos and OTT services will see an increase in profits when they team up together – a win-win for both parties!
As more and more major players in mobile telecommunications begin to recognize the benefits of an OTT partner, we continue to see an increase in OTT and telco partnerships and expect more innovation and technologies to reach our mobile devices in the near future.
Do you think your business could benefit from an OTT partner, whether it’s a co-branded or a white-labeled application? Are you a consumer excited for mobile phone and messaging services innovation? Sound off in the comments below or connect with us on social media – Facebook and Twitter.
6 Funky Gadgets That Charge Your iPhone On the Go
— This text was originally posted on the VoxOx Blog on July 19, 2012. —
Leaving the house without a full iPhone battery is unimaginable for some of us, but sitting around waiting for a charge isn’t always possible. If the thought of being off the grid due to a dead smartphone gives you an anxiety attack, maybe it’s time to harness your body’s own energy to power your devices!
These wearable, portable and otherwise innovative gadgets that store energy generated from your body for use when you need it most: when you’re on the go, away from a wall outlet, with a dead cell or favorite device.
Sweaty feet are what you’re after when walking, hiking or dancing around in these thermoelectric boots. The Orange Power Wellies harness the heat generated by your feet (the hotter your feet, the quicker you build up the electrical current) to charge your smartphone, MP3 player and much, much more. Just 12 hours of walking will recharge your phone for an hour or so.
This hand crank generator from K-Tor works just as you’d expect, simply wind it up to charge iOS and Android devices, tablets, digital cameras, GPS devices and even standard rechargeable batteries. At just one pound, it’s super light and gives off up to 10 watts of electricity at 120 volts!
Staying in shape while putting in long hours at the office has never been easier thanks to the We-Bike. This pedal-powered desk not only helps you stay in shape, but also makes use of kinetic energy to harness usable electric power. So go grab your co-workers and start peddling to generate enough power to charge all the mobile devices you need to get through a hard days work. Pedal hard enough and you can even charge the bike’s built-in table lamp!
Compatible with 90% of hand-held electronic devices, the nPower PEG is the world’s first non-wearable charger that uses the energy generated while walking, running, or biking to charge your favorite gadgets. It’s about the size of a banana, weighs 11 ounces and is so easy to use — simply put it in your bag and let it harvest your kinetic energy. For every minute you walk, you get one minute of playback time on your iPod or iPhone… go get your walk on!
And here are a couple of concepts in the works…
Tiny carbon nanotubes cover this new fabric called Power Felt that can convert body heat into an electric charge. Changes in temperature — like sitting on it with your hot butt or holding it in your warm palm — creates an electrical charge that can power your favorite gadgets. Another cool use researchers say Power Felt may come in handy for? Lining car seats to give your car a battery boost!
An entrepreneur in Kenya is working on his latest intention — a ultra-thin crystal chip that is to be inserted into the soles of your shoes to produces energy when pressure is applied. Once this chip hits the market, walking, running, party rocking, etc. is all you’ll need to charge your phone either while on the move or once you’ve reached your destination!
Have you ever tried any of these funky chargers or do you have another way to keep your gadgets running when you’re away from power outlets?
Comment here or tweet me how you stay connected on the go!
Techy vs. Tacky: Camping Gadgets
— This text was originally posted on the VoxOx Blog on June 29, 2012. —
Like ice cream and sun tans, camping is a summertime staple. As a kid you were probably stoked to get out the tent and leave your Nintendo and Walkman behind in exchange for a lumpy sleeping bag and mysterious night crawlers, but with today’s technology the meaning of camping has changed a little bit and iPods, iPhones and other gadgets are normal campsite companions.
A day in the woods can go from enjoying the great outdoors to dreading the great outdoors pretty quickly if we’re away from our routine for too long. So, for those of us who like to be one with nature, but also need the comforts of home at the campsite, there’s probably a gadget for that, but how techy is too techy for a day in the woods?
Take a look at this summer’s all new camping gadgets and decide if they’re techy or just plain tacky!
1. BioLite CampStove: Not all of us are Boy Scouts by nature and might need a little help from the the tech gods when it comes to cooking up a dinner in the woods, so it’s BioLite CampStove to the rescue. Not only is it a safe, clean and easy option if a traditional campfire just isn’t your scene, it also comes with an incredible perk – it collects escaping heat and converts it to electricity that can be used to charge your iPhone or iPod so you’re never without your favorite apps!
2. iBottle Opener: This is a new kind of multi-purpose tool. It doesn’t have a blade for gutting fish or a fold-out pair of pliers, but it can protect your iPhone from gentle damage and pop the top of an ice-cold brew. Oh, and did we mention you can customize your case with a company logo or favorite college sports team?
3. Otterbox Defender Series iPhone Case: If the iBottle opener wasn’t hardcore enough for your camping style, this case should do the trick… it isn’t called the Defender for nothing! The Otterbox Defender Series provides heavy duty protection from even the worst environments. With triple-layer protection from dust, drops, water and anything else you may encounter on your next camping trip, you’re sure to head home with at least your phone fully intact!
4. UMI USHI Solar Charging System: This charging dock can suction to your car window or be placed in direct sunlight to charge smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles or anything else you can plug into a USB cord. Use the light of day to fuel your gadgets — it will come in handy for looking up your favorite campfire sing-a-long lyrics!
5. MiFi Dongle: This is more than a mobile hotspot, the Mifi dongle is an Internet addicts dream! With just the click of a button you can send a wifi signal out for a 3 mile radius. Beware, campers in the area may offer up gifts of thanks in the form of hot cocoa and smores.
Whether you’re a firm believer in traditional camping or a techy on the go, there’s no denying gadgets are making their way into the woods! Do you own any of these or other fancy camping gadgets? Would you take these on your next outing or is technology best left at home?
3 Cases When You Should Fax, Not Email
— This text was originally posted on the VoxOx Blog on June 22, 2012. —
Every day, people use VoxOx for a variety of reasons and take advantage of unique features that makes their daily communications easier. From the foreign exchange student studying abroad in the United States who wants to stay in touch with her family without spending a fortune, to the super-connected social media-ite who likes to keep all her contacts in one place, to the businessman who wants the support of a personal assistant without well… actually having a personal assistant. There’s something for every kind of user.
However popular some of VoxOx’s features are, like personal assistant, dead-end calling and text translation, people often ask about our built-in faxing capabilities — “Why fax when I can just email?” So, to put an end to this burning question, we have found three reasons why you may prefer to fax instead of email:
- Emails can be blocked or lost in spam… but not faxes! Most company networks and individuals have filters that scan and reroute messages directly to the junk mailbox. If you send an attachment that’s too large, poorly named or from an unknown email address, it could be lost in the interwebs forever without you nor the recipient being the wiser. With fax, there’s no SPAM box to eat messages; in fact, documents are automatically printed for review.
- Email attachments can harbor viruses — faxes don’t. These can seriously harm your computer! Online security researchers have found that most common email attachment file formats – Adobe PDFs and even Word and Excel documents — are susceptible to viruses. With attachment sending becoming more common, people often aren’t careful and infect their computers before they know it. Fax machines, on the other hand, can’t read these messages so no hardware is at risk.
- Faxes can keep sensitive information private and offline. Without the added security of encryption, most email isn’t protected from the prying eyes of anyone with a knack for computers – hackers or even your company’s IT department! However, since faxing is inherently encrypted, it’s impossible to hack and decode your fax message.
For everyday correspondence, email is probably still your preferred communication, but faxing is a fantastic alternative when information security and computer safety are a concern. Remember to keep the above reasons in mind when sharing sensitive documents!
If you didn’t know that your VoxOx phone number doubles as a fax number, you’ll have to try it out. Faxing with VoxOx is very inexpensive (and free for inbound!) and there’s no fax machine required! Plus, the VoxOx Call iPhone app just launched last year — fully equipped with a free fax viewer / ability to receive faxes as well as outbound faxing capabilities!
5 Must-Have Summertime Gadgets
— This text was originally posted on the VoxOx Blog on June 8, 2012. —
With the arrival of summer comes backyard BBQs, trips to the lake and days spent enjoying the great outdoors. Back in the day, a Walkman and a few speakers may have impressed your friends on these outings, but this is 2012 — so with a little help from Mashable, we tracked down the hottest gadgets to help you make the most of your days in the sun.
No matter what type of activity you’re into — work, play or maybe a little bit of both, we’ve got something here for you. Check out these must-have goodies:
1. Make an Office Out of Any Room!
All work and no play? Not on our watch! We believe that working shouldn’t slow down your sun-seeking travels, so here’s a stylish and compact tool that lets you make an office out of any room. If you have a Bluetooth-enabled laptop or phone you can hook up to the Jawbone Jambox for wireless, portable audio and speakerphone calls.
2. Project Movies, Video Games, etc. from Your Smartphone or Tablet
Who needs a cramped theater and overpriced popcorn when you’ve got movies streaming in your backyard? The WowWee Cinamin Slice Pico Projector hooks up to your smartphone, computer or tablet and projects movies, video games and photos onto your walls, ceilings or even the side of your house!
3. Blast Tunes Straight from Your Phone
Eton Rukus Solar is a wireless boombox that plays tunes straight from your phone. Since it runs off the power of the sun, as long as you can get a tan, you can rock out. Adios, batteries. Hello, Dougie!
4. Access Your Favorite Fitness Apps From Your Watch!
This watch is still in production, but that hasn’t stopped smartphone users (the kind who love to bike, run, swim and basically sweat) from sending it to back order! The Pebble Watch is the first watch to sync with iPhone and Android devices, allowing access to fitness apps — making the perfect outdoor accessory for any physically active techy who doesn’t want to risk ruining their smartphone during a workout!
5. Stay Connected While on the Go with VoxOx Call for iPhone
So how do you stay in touch when you’re on the go this summer? VoxOx of course! With VoxOx Call on your iPhone you can call, text and even fax for super cheap. Forward your work number to your VoxOx account and you could make your next work-from-home-day a day at the beach without anyone being the wiser!
There you have it folks, a list of the most-desired gadgets for summer 2012. Do you already own one of these fancy gadgets or are you do you have another tech must-have in mind?
New Study Reveals People are More Honest When They Text
— This text was originally posted on the VoxOx Blog on June 1, 2012. —
Do you ever find yourself mid-phone conversation without a clue what you’re saying uh huh to? Do you give vague answers or shy from the truth when a conversation turns awkward? Do you fib or embellish a little to make your conversations more exciting? If you answered yes to any of these, you’re not alone!
With all the ways we interact and share information in this digital era, we have developed unwritten etiquette for varying types of social interaction. Norms on one social site may be taboo on another and face-to-face interaction can provoke different emotions than less personal communication like email, but did you ever think one outlet could make you more or less honest than the next? As crazy as it sounds, a recent study from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research shows that this is in fact the case.
So, what makes us spill the beans? A few years ago we might have agreed that a few too many glasses of Pinot Noir would do the trick, but now-a-days it’s something more common than happy hour — it’s texting.
According to the study, in which researchers compared respondents’ answers to questions texted to them versus those asked to them in a phone interview, people are more likely to disclose sensitive information via text message.
“This is sort of surprising,” Fred Conrad, leading cognitive psychologist in the study says. “Many people thought that texting would decrease the likelihood of disclosing sensitive information because it creates a persistent, visual record of questions and answers that others might see on your phone and in the cloud.”
Not only were people more likely to tell the truth via text, they were also found to give more precise answers. Researchers believed this is because with texting, people are not under pressure to give an answer — there is no one standing in front of them or waiting on the line for a response — giving them more time to arrive at more accurate answers.
“We’re in the early stages of analyzing our findings,” says Michael Schober, a professor of psychology involved in the study. “But so far it seems that texting may reduce some respondents’ tendency to shade the truth or to present themselves in the best possible light in an interview.”
What questions did the study’s respondents answer more honestly via text than speech? Here they are for your reading and answering pleasure:
Image source: Mashable.com