The Silicon Review
“We built our entire technology on very high performing, elastic cloud infrastructure.”
Artificial Intelligence is rapidly changing our world. The enhancement in speech recognition, natural language understanding and deep discovery has opened the door to a new world.
Voice is taking over. Smart speakers are already entering our lives, allowing businesses to engage with their customers in new ways.
In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present speak2web.
speak2web is taking voice to the next level; helping companies building an integrated Web/Voice experience, turning their web site into a virtual shop with sales clerk on duty 24x7.
The company is helping businesses of all sizes to embrace AI and to create a completely new way to engage with their customers on the web and on mobile apps.
Through the integration of a small component, every web page and the business app can be turned into an intelligent sales tool, allowing for the free-flowing dialog to navigate the eCommerce store and assisting customers in a completely new way.
speak2web works with companies to create their own, customized voice experience.
The company was incorporated in 2018 and is headquartered in Minnesota. It has additional offices located in Ohio and Pune (India).
Walter Angerer, speak2web Founder/CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
The absence of voice support for online portals is becoming an increasing issue for the industry. Most everything has adopted voice, from cars to watches to TV remotes, but for some reason, the web has been excluded from the trend. Speak2web has taken on the task to add voice to the web. Interacting with online portals via voice is a much superior experience and addresses a number of issues. Navigating online portals on mobile devices is very difficult, some part of the population is challenged with the technology in general and navigating the web with a mouse and keyboard can be difficult and so is the game of ‘guess the keyword’.
We at speak2web have made it our mission to enable web developers to add a real live voice dialog and navigation to their online portals within minutes. With this new technology, we hope to quickly increase the adoption of voice across the web and simplify the way we interact with online portals.
Q. How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience.
Our company started off building custom solutions for large enterprise clients. Those solutions have been built to specification; to address the need for multi-billion dollar eCommerce companies.
The experience was a game changer for our client. With the AI technology in place, we managed to go away from a keyword search and click navigation, and have opened the door to a natural language dialog with the customer. Fully understanding the user’s intent allows us to drive product search and navigation in a way that previously was impossible.
Our recent move into the lower end of the business with our turn-key ‘Do It Yourself ’ plugin and service has brought this technology now to a much broader audience. Our customers love the simplicity and power the solution brings to their online portals. WordPress users can add real voice dialogs and voice navigation to their site within minutes for very little money.
Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years?
The biggest challenge at the beginning was to explain to customers how voice can be used in this context. We all are used to smart speakers and voice commands on devices like TV remotes. How to leverage voice on a web portal was more difficult to picture. To make it easier for clients to experience and learn how to engage voice, we decided to release the WordPress plugin that can be setup and used within minutes and customers can sign up for a ‘pay as you go’ plan. With that in place out clients can self-serve and experience voice within minutes without any major financial commitment.
Moreover, we built our entire technology on very high performing, elastic cloud infrastructure. A focus on solid architecture and infrastructure from the beginning is very important. It is very difficult to change or migrate once customers are live on the platform. Thinking about performance, scalability and reliability from the very beginning is very important. We also found it very important to choose the right technology partners. We decided to go with IBM and AWS regardless of the cost. Building the solution on proven enterprise-class technology allows us to provide superior solutions to our clients; small and large.
Q. “Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
We believe that a passion for quality and customer support is needed to be successful. In our company, we put the client first. Customer satisfaction is our highest goal. We frequently go the extra mile to ensure that we serve our customers well.
Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched?
We just released the WordPress self-serve plugin. Our next focus will be to proliferate the plugin to other web technologies. Later in the year, we plan to release a voice-driven online market called Simon’s Market. Simon’s Market will be 100 percent voice-driven virtual shopping mall where consumers and customers can interact with virtual assistants via voice to find what they are looking for.
Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We want to continue our effort to help all companies adopt AI technology. We have made our focus to embrace relevant AI technology and make it easy to consume for everyone.AI should not be limited to large companies with scientists on staff. We believe we can continue to innovate and find ways to help businesses of all sizes and skills to leverage AI.
Walter Angerer: An Entrepreneur at Heart
Walter Angerer has been working with AI since 1997. Prior to founding speak2web, he has been leading several companies as CEO and worked as a Venture Partner at Toba Capital. After bringing his focus back to AI in 2017, Mr. Angerer decided to take on the mission to bring voice support to online portals.