Takes a Simpler Approach to Voice-enablement

Kevin Newcomb

Updated · Oct 06, 2003

Most software companies look at a problem and see a technology solution. has taken a different approach this week by partnering with Metro One Telecommunications to bring Metro One's Infone enhanced directory and personal assistant service to's 100,000 subscribers.

“It was a very interesting angle from our perspective,” Mike Kreaden,'s Director of Product Alliances, told ASPnews. “Metro One approached us and had this idea for the service, and immediately it made sense. A lot of our constituency are sales executives. These are people that are on the phone while in the car on the way to sales opportunities they're supposed to be closing. They have an opportunity to type into a phone or type into a device and get additional information.”

The features of “My Infone” allow subscribers to upload their calendars and contacts to Infone. Using's Microsoft Outlook synchronization features, Infone users can then access their contact information via any phone. A friendly personal assistant provides the access and may also provide hotel and restaurant reservations, flight information, directions, and other tools useful to business and sales professionals.

“The interesting thing about this is that, through web services, in terms of what we're doing with sforce, this information is available to the customer through many different means. It took a company like Metro One to put two and two together in order to be able to offer a service like this,” Kreaden said. “It's one of those elegant simple solutions to what has tended to be in the past a very complex problem.”

Kreaden said that has been working on, and will continue to explore — voice enablement options with other companies. “There are going to be technology solutions that will come into play. This is just one angle to be able to interface our system.”

Under the agreement, Metro One has been named a “premier” partner, a designation awarded to companies with products that complement and add value to the service. Those products have been validated by and carry the “ Ready” insignia.

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