HulloMail has arrived for smartphone users across Ireland, which, according to its founder Andy Munarriz, aims to vastly improve on the archaic method of receiving voicemail.
“A lot of consumers don’t realise how bad voicemail is until they actually use a product like ours,” said Andy Munarriz, founder and CEO of HulloMail.
“Then they realise ‘Oh my God, how have I been doing this for 15 years?’
“The reality of it is that the technology has been there to do something much more flexible for quite a while, it’s just that the delivery mechanism hasn’t been there,” said Munarriz.
The mechanism has now been seen in the shape of the smartphone. The service is provided through an app, available for Android devices, BlackBerry devices and the iPhone, which gives users a new approach to accessing, managing and sending voice messages.
It’s a cloud-based service which replaces the users’ operator voicemail. When a message is left on the phone, HulloMail pushes it to the app and email address, if users so wish, letting the message be listed and played as an MP3 attachment or from HulloMail’s online portal.
Users can also send a short voice message called a ‘Hullo’ to friends and family without having to call them. HulloMail also recently introduced Facebook Share for Android devices and the iPhone to let users share voice messages on Facebook.
While Munarriz pointed out that it’s difficult to portray the benefits of such a service because voicemail “isn’t sexy,” he did note how vital voicemail services are on any phone, which inspired him to make it more efficient.
“Voicemail should be as accessible as any email, as any text,” he said.
The current method of offering apps directly to consumers online proved to be an opportune way of getting this technology going in order to attract the attention of mobile operators.
“(Initially,) we became really frustrated, because we had developed something from the ground up which we called next-generation voicemail, but mobile operators weren’t deploying what we had under the covers,” said Munarriz.
“We decided to change the way we do business and launch a consumer service to demonstrate to carriers what can be done with a different approach to voicemail.
“What it allowed us to do as a technology business is to prove that what we have is really useful for people.
“We’ve marketed it, we know what people want and we have a one-to-one relationship with the consumer for our product, which I think has huge value for mobile operators,” he said.
The service has received more than 200,000 downloads. It has attracted the carriers’ attention and Munarriz said they are working on some level with all major operators.
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