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May - 2014 - issue > siTech20 2014
Kirusa: Helping People Connect With The Only Text And Voice Messaging App
Durgesh Prakash
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The adoption of voice messaging in global markets such as the US is at a rate of 80 percent and in Europe it is at 60 percent. In contrast,in emerging markets such as India and Africa, the reach of voicemail is less than 2 percent. Rather, there is a widespread use of 'missed calls' to communicate, and people in the emerging markets do not like to pay for a call if they do not talk or leave a voice message. Post the advent of novel technologies like WhatsApp and WeChat, which offer the easiest of chatting and communicating mediums, the usage of voicemail,even in developed markets,has been on a decline and people are increasingly drifting towards newer chatting services.

Acting as a bridge between the first wave of communication channels such as SMS, MMS, and voicemail, and the second wave of OTT such as WhatsApp,is a company which invented Voice SMS and revolutionized the mobile voice messaging space - Kirusa. Founded in year 2001, by Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick, Barinderpal Singh Mumick, Sandeep Sibal, and Louis Golm, Kirusa is the leading global developer of Voice SMS based mobile messaging and social media apps; connecting family and friends, fans and celebrities, enterprises and customers. Kirusa is building mobile apps for consumers in emerging markets and helping to maximize the value they derive from their cell phones. Kirusa's solutions include the highly successful Kirusa Voice SMS and Celeb Connect, which are offered in partnership with more than thirty-five carriers around the world in Africa, India, LatAm, and Middle East. The firm services more than 80 million mobile subscribers every month, generating over 1.3 billion transactions.

The Challenges to Address

Dr.Inderpal believes that the firm is poised to solve the major pain points concerning mobile messaging. The adoption of voice messaging in the emerging markets, incompatibility of various chatting services with voicemails and missed calls, and the desire of the people in the market to connect with celebrities, have all been challenges to look up to. "Whenever you use chatting services, you can view what you have sent out; whereas with voicemail, one does not have the privilege to do so. There is an unmet customer need here", says the CEO.

The enterprises always had a challenge of connecting to people - text messages have become the preferred mode of communication, given the widespread infrastructure for SMS;but had there been anything planned for the voice messaging service, it would have been a seamless journey for people to connect with enterprise by voice as well.

Kirusa's products and services run on Kirusa Open Multi modal Platform (KOMP), integrated into the telecom carriers' network, working in sync with the Kirusa Vobolo platform deployed in the cloud. The Kirusa platforms run on carrier-grade equipment, are standard compliant, and are built on top of enterprise-class open source software components such as 64-bit Enterprise Linux, and 64-bit Java (J2EE).The platforms are highly scalable and supports processing of more than a billion transactions per month. The key to Kirusa's unique service offerings is a hybrid architecture consisting of the platform in the cloud, coupled with the platforms deployed inside the telecom infrastructure of carriers. This architecture leverages the strengths of a cloud deployment by offering a reliable and consistent experience to all users worldwide. At the same time, the KOMP deployments are closely integrated with carrier's network and enable Kirusa to do carrier billing and offer services that pure OTT players cannot offer.

Voice SMS and InstaVoice® - Bringing The Worlds Closer

Kirusa's VoiceSMS allows voicemail to work together with missed calls, enabling voicemail to be offered in markets where missed calls are commonplace. A caller can leave a Voice SMS whenever the called party is not reachable, without disconnecting the call. The caller can also do a missed call, without any charge. The called party could be unreachable for any reason such as getting a busy tone, the phone not being answered or rejected by a recipient, out of coverage, or a network congestion message etc. Once the caller leaves a Voice SMS, the recipient immediately gets an SMS notification of the Voice SMS message. Alternatively, the message arrives into the InstaVoice app on an Android or iOS phone. Kirusa's solutions are used by mobile subscribers tens of millions of times daily. Today,the Kirusa Open Multi modal Platform is deployed in over 100 locations around the world in 20 different countries.

Dancing with the Stars

Kirusa's unique Celeb Connect service lets celebrities - movie stars, musicians, religious leaders, sports stars, politicians - connect and engage with their fans and followers. Celebs send 'voice tweets' in their own voice, which are delivered instantly to their fans, creating a 'Voice Twitter' experience. For fans, it is all about realizing their dreams, as they engage with celebs in multiple ways; in one-on-one calls, attending their events, getting their merchandise, meeting them in person. This service has connected over 90 eminent personalities, with more than 2.5 million fans.

Answering the Third Generation Messaging Woes

Kirusa solutions are built on its patented and patent pending technology and are highly reliable and scalable. The company scores way above its competitors in the fields of Networking & Architecture, Capability Extensions, User Interfaces, Administration, Billing and Message Delivery, Subscriber Self Administration, Message Creation and Message Receiving & Management.Post the first wave of messaging like SMS, MMS, Voicemail, and missed calls, the second wave of messaging emerged through texting, pictures, videos, and forming groups. Companies adopting the second wave were OTT (Over the Top) players like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Tango.Through the third wave of messaging, represented by the InstaVoice app,Kirusa is presently looking to reinvent and transform the mobile messaging space by integrating voicemail and missed calls with texting, voicing, pictures, and groups, an experience made possible by bringing OTT and telecom services together into one. With the spoken world becoming increasingly powerful, whether it is family and friends, celebrity and fans, government and citizens, people are being enabled to have their own voice at the core irrespective of whether they have a smart phone or a plain feature phone.

Capturing the Global Market

Kirusa has envisioned an expansion plan for the future as it looks to expand its business in greater parts of Africa, Latin America, India, and also South East Asia. Today, the firm is active in North America through its InstaVoice messaging app,delivered purely via a cloud deployment. Kirusa has a widespread partner base. In India they have found partners in the top network carriers like Idea, Vodafone, Aircel, Tata and Loop Mobile. Globally, Kirusa's services are extended widely across the world in partnerships withClaro, MTN, Vodafone, Vodacom, Airtel, Etisalat, Moov, Tigo, Glo Mobile, Zantel, Visafone, Uganda Telecom, Viva, Zong, and the Perform Group.

According to Dr. Inderpal Singh Mumick, Kirusa aspires to be the leading mobile Voice Messaging and Social Media app provider globally, and to enable subscribers to Have a Voice!, and reach out to their family and friends with a varied portfolio of mobile services.

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