Last week, the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) hosted the India Digital Summit, where more than 700 delegates from business, government, NGOs and academia gathered to exchange knowledge, explore solutions, and celebrate achievements. The conference is one of the most prestigious events in the digital space, highlighting expertise and innovation on topics such as broadband for the masses, Mobile VAS, digital marketing, e-commerce, and much more.
One panel that particularly caught our interest was themed “The connected home: Device and Service Revolution.” During this discussion, R Sivakumar, Managing Director of Intel South Asia, spoke about the transition of peoples’ relationship to digital technology over time. He noted that: “Today the times has changed. It has evolved from connected homes to connected life.…In today’s era our devices are no longer wired and one can easily move outside the periphery of the house… This truly supports the idea of connected life.”
Uniphore couldn’t agree more. Indeed, we see the ‘connected life’ as the perfect metaphor for the vision that we are trying to achieve through speech-based technology. A decade ago, digital devices were a fixed component of people’s homes – something they interacted with in a certain place, for a specific task, at a particular time of day. But today, innovation and expanded offerings enable people to weave the benefits of digital technologies into all facets of their lives. Speech-based mobile applications play a unique and important role in enabling an entire ecosystem of products and services to reach all customers at all times, regardless of their physical location, the language they speak, or their literacy level. The combined information and transaction capabilities of speech-based mobile applications in Banking, Agriculture, Retail, Healthcare, Education, and other industries can come together to facilitate a ‘connected life’ culture. This is the future in which Uniphore is certain to play an important part.
Interestingly, Sanjay Trehan, Head of MSN India, Microsoft agreed with Sivakumar, but added that the security capabilities for such a ‘connected life’ are still in their early stages and must be developed. Upon the inception of Uniphore in 2008, we recognized this same need. For this reason, we place enormous importance in coupling our Multilingual Speech Recognition capabilities with Speech Biometrics – ensuring that the digital information and transactions that occur on our platform are secure and private.
One inspiring example of this movement towards a ‘connected life’ was highlighted during the India Digital Awards Ceremony, which recognizes exceptional companies that are playing a major role in the development of online and mobile VAS in India. This year, there were a record 1072 nominations across 33 awards. Against this tough competition, Basix Sub-K iTransactions Ltd, one our major customers, won 2 important awards: ‘Best use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development’ and ‘Best Digital Financial Inclusion Project.’
Sub-K, which means less than 1,000, has a vision of offering accessible, affordable and comprehensive financial solutions across India. Through a network called Basic Convenience Outlets (BCO), the company provides residents of rural, urban and semi-urban areas with access to services like banking, NREGA, utility payments, prepaid mobile pop-ups and others.
Uniphore is thrilled for Sub-K, as we see ourselves as integrally tied to the growth and success of their business. Indeed, Amit Mehta, the ED & CEO of Sub-K says: “Uniphore was a true partner right from day one, when we conceptualized this. A lot of the credit from where we are today goes to Uniphore. They stood by us on the technology and the vagueries.”
Particularly, Mehta notes that Sub-K’s success to date in achieving their financial inclusion milestones is critically linked to Uniphore’s sophisticated offerings. “Uniphore is unique because they help us manage other languages, while others have trouble with that. Nobody else has that infrastructure to do that,” he says. Together, Uniphore and Sub-K play an important role in enabling a ‘connected life’ for Sub-K clients, allowing customers to manager their money in a constant, convenient, and secure manner.
About Uniphore: Uniphore Software Systems is the leader in Multi lingual speech-based software solutions. Uniphore’s solutions allow any machine to understand and respond to natural human speech, thus enabling humans to use the most natural of communication modes, speech, to engage and instruct machines. Uniphore operates from its corporate headquarters at IIT Madras Research Park, Chennai, India and has sales offices in Middle East (Dubai, UAE) as well as in Manila, Philippines.