VoiceIQ phone system that uses artificial intelligence
Please introduce yourself and your startup VoiceIQ to our readers!
My name is Muj Choudhury and I am the CEO and founder of UK-based AI startup, VoiceIQ. VoiceIQ is a completely frictionless phone system that uses artificial intelligence to deliver a telephony experience that is unrecognisably better than anything on the market today. We use deep learning to increase call connect rates, we use natural language processing to advise callers in realtime and we seamlessly integrate with the world’s leading CRM systems.
Prior to founding VoiceIQ, I attained over two decades of international software experience having started my career as a research scientist at IBM’s Silicon Valley Labs in California where I helped to build the very technologies that power the internet as we know it today.
I then moved into international sales roles and have since conducted business in over 30 countries, across most continents. In addition to leading top sales teams at Oracle and salesforce.com, I have helped to grow and sell two software start-ups – the first sold to Israeli telecom giant Comverse, while the second sold to enterprise giant, Oracle. Throughout all of my entrepreneurial experiences, my passion remains in the transformational impact of technology and the global impact of the good that can be brought from AI.
How did you get the idea of VoiceIQ?
During my time at Salesforce, my team and I would regularly deal with large enterprises looking for a telephony solution that would integrate seamlessly with their Salesforce implementation. However, there was no obvious choice for a telephony provider that could facilitate this or provide a comprehensive solution for all voice channels; be that the contact centre, field sales reps, marketing teams or internal team communication.
Additionally, these telephony companies were neglecting the transformative power of AI, particularly in how it could transform voice communication, something which has remained relatively unchanged since the inception of the phone.
VoiceIQ was thus born out of a real need for a voice solution that could seamlessly integrate with CRM solutions, provide an end-to-end solution, and harness the power of AI.
What is the vision behind VoiceIQ?
The vision we have for VoiceIQ is for it to become the cloud based telephony solution of choice for business around the world and of any size.
We strive for the AI we have created and continue to create, to have a transformative impact on the way people and businesses communicate through voice based channels. Ultimately using the power of AI as a force for good to protect business and people.
How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?
For VoiceIQ, the main challenge we faced when starting out was getting the attention of large enterprises. As a software solution initially created for established businesses with large calling operations, we faced a considerable amount of push back from our first customer prospects who were cautious to trust a small, relatively unknown startup.
However, by drawing on my considerable network and with persistence and clearly communicated ROIs, we are now thrilled to boast some of the largest companies from the Financial Services, Utilities and Premise Management industries as our customers.
Who is your target audience?
As an enterprise software product, the target audience for VoiceIQ is multi-faceted. One of our primary audiences are the end users of the platform, the personnel who use VoiceIQ as a communication tool throughout their working day. These could be field sales reps, customer service agents, telemarketers or even users in back office roles who use VoiceIQ for more transactional communication.
Another target audience for VoiceIQ are the departmental managers and team leaders who want to implement a system like VoiceIQ to improve their teams’ efficiency and ultimately revenue generation. At the same time they are seeking greater transparency over their team’s communication so that they can intervene or reward where required.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the C Suite of organisations is a primary target audience for VoiceIQ. VoiceIQ allows peace of mind for the C Suite as it takes care of driving revenue, improving customer satisfaction, reducing process complexity and ensuring automated compliance in several areas including GDPR, PCI and Financial Conduct.
What is the USP of your startup?
No other phone system offers the power of VoiceIQ, at this price point and which can be up and running in a day. We offer a complete, end-to-end solution including omni-channel communication, live transcription, call recording, CRM integration, topic detection, automated actions, voice analytics and much more. VoiceIQ stands unique as the only provider to offer all this functionality, in one, simple application available on desktop, mobile and tablet. Furthermore, VoiceIQ is the only voice analytics solution that is able to analyse, detect and take action in real-time, helping companies regain lost hours spent on sales, service and compliance administration.
Can you describe your typical workday ?
For me, there is no typical workday. Being a CEO and founder of a startup first and foremost means you often end up wearing several different hats, and often at the same time.
Whilst I have been fortunate enough to find senior managers to take care of our technical, product and marketing teams, a lot of the decisions still fall at my feet. So a large portion of my day is spent responding to questions from every department, most of which require instant answers.
A lot of work also falls directly at my feet, so a typical day for me also involves dealing with HR, Finance and general company admin. As non-revenue generating tasks, I try to be strict with myself about how long I can spend on these types of tasks per week.
As a startup, we are partially reliant on investor funds, so a great deal of time in the day is spent dealing with investor relations or indeed preparing for subsequent investment rounds.
Finally, and most rewarding for me, large portions of my day are spent speaking to new and existing customers. Customers are the lifeblood of VoiceIQ, they feed our roadmap, our marketing efforts and ultimately are responsible for the company’s success.
Where do you see yourself and your startup VoiceIQ in five years?
In the extremely fast-paced world of SaaS and AI, it’s very hard to pinpoint where I see myself and VoiceIQ in five years, however, there are certainly a few milestones I and the company hope to have achieved.
For VoiceIQ, in five years we are aiming to have increased our customer base to 10’000’s of companies worldwide supported by significant investment rounds. Additionally, we are aiming to become the recognised leader of voice AI globally, ultimately leading to the provision of our voice AI on an API model.
As VoiceIQ’s founder, I see myself remaining as the company’s CEO for the next five years, guiding the company to an acquisition or IPO event. Additionally, I aim to use my position and VoiceIQ’s technology to pursue the VoiceIQ Foundation, VoiceIQ’s philanthropic arm which I have set up to use AI as a force for good across the world.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
Being a company founder is an incredibly rewarding yet frustrating and often painful experience. Through my experience of startups and being a founder my top three tips for any budding founders would be as follows:
Firstly, I would encourage any founder to listen to their customers and prospective customers. It’s very easy to make assumptions about your service or product but until you talk to customers, you never really know what they want and need.
Secondly, when you have reached a point where you are ready to expand your team, my advice is to hire senior positions first. Whilst it may be tempting to hire junior first for cost savings, you will end up spending a considerable amount in training and continual guidance. If you hire senior departmental heads first, a good hire will embed your desired culture and operational processes, ready for junior hires when the time is right.
Finally, I would advise founders to never stop worrying about your company’s finances. As we’ve seen this year with Covid-19, there is no such thing as guaranteed financial security. Scrutinise your finances and always ensure you have at least 12 month’s runway should the worse happen and revenue dries up. Additionally, if your early revenue is gained solely from investment, never assume the tap will keep running, it could stop at any time!
More information you will find here
Thank you Muj Choudhury for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.