Exclusive Interview: SimulScribe CEO, James Siminoff, On Voicemail-To-Text Transcription

James Siminoff is Co-founder and CEO of PhoneTag. He is also CSO of Ditech Networks

James Siminoff is Co-founder and CEO of PhoneTag. He is also CSO of Ditech Networks

Never again do you have to worry about shuffling through tons of voicemails. PhoneTag (SimulScribe) has made it simple for users through its voice-to-text platform.

The leading provider of voicemail-to-text (VTT) applications to service providers and enterprises in the United States, SimulScribe offers retail subscribers various service options through its award-winning PhoneTag VTT service. Co-founded by James Siminoff, who serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), SimulScribe, on September 10, 2009 signed a $17 million partnership agreement with Ditech Networks, a global leader in voice processing software applications.

Sept. 28, 2009, Siminoff, now Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Ditech Networks, spoke exclusively to Ibdabo.com about his company’s services, the partnership deal with Ditech Networks, and plans for the future.

IBRAHIM DABO: The names PhoneTag and SimulScribe are sometimes used interchangeably. Is there really a difference between the two?

JAMES SIMINOFF: SimulScribe is actually the company that we started and PhoneTag is just the retail brand that we ended up changing for the retail customers because SimulScribe was a… tough name or really sort of a crappy name for people to remember.

IBRAHIM DABO: You are Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of PhoneTag. How did the company come about?

JAMES SIMINOFF: Really it came through the voicemail. So it was sitting around and sort of thinking about voicemail and I said I think and I can fix it, which over the time, we decided why don’t we try. So basically it was just one of those on the whelm sort of, you know, if you could read your voicemail that was text, that will sort of fix the pain of trying to access voicemail. And right from there… It’s pretty simple.

IBRAHIM DABO: The company is already a major player in the speech-to-text transcription service in the U.S. How effective is the transcription?

JAMES SIMINOFF: We have a couple of different models. Our overall transcriptions are 97 percent accurate.

IBRAHIM DABO: Okay, and what are the different models?

JAMES SIMINOFF: We have a fully automated, we have script-to-computer and then we have a model where we have humans that basically touchup where the automation doesn’t work.

IBRAHIM DABO: Let’s talk a little more about the services you offer. What are some of the options available to a potential subscriber?

JAMES SIMINOFF: For the potential subscriber, we always sell, we have it basically as unlimited for $30. We have it – if you have forty messages it’s $9.95 a month, and we also have an a la carte which is $0.35 per message.

IBRAHIM DABO: All these services you describe are applicable to home, office and cell phone voicemail systems, correct?

JAMES SIMINOFF: Correct! Yeah, we unify all the voicemails.

IBRAHIM DABO: Alright. Now, there is an online interface to which users can upload the contents of their phonebook. What are some of the benefits of this user interface?

JAMES SIMINOFF: Well, it’s sort of – just the fact that you can go and you can view your voicemail online; listening to it online makes it very easier, especially when people are traveling. The Contact Book, the reason that we do that is because if you upload your Contact Book, when you get a call from someone in your Contact Book that you have an email address for, we actually send the transcription from that person’s email address. So all you have to do is reply to that e-mail. So, for example, if you are in my address book and you called me and left a message, as soon as… hit reply and it just goes back to you. So really it’s sort of turning a voicemail into an email conversation is the whole idea.

IBRAHIM DABO: What are some of the names of carriers integrated with PhoneTag?

JAMES SIMINOFF: The main carriers that are integrated for the retail customer are AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

IBRAHIM DABO: Where would potential subscribers find information about pricing and how they could utilize this service?

JAMES SIMINOFF: Visit www.phonetag.com

IBRAHIM DABO: PhoneTag’s services extend beyond the U.S. borders, correct?

JAMES SIMINOFF: Yes, they do. We do at Canada right now and a few Latin America countries.

IBRAHIM DABO: On September 10th, SimulScribe signed a $17 million partnership agreement with Ditect Networks…


IBRAHIM DABO: What are some of the key terms involved?

JAMES SIMINOFF: Well the key terms involved is that basically Ditech Networks acquired the right to our wholesale business. So Ditech Network sells equipment and services to carriers, and now they are going to include this [VTT] as one of their services to sell to carriers.

IBRAHIM DABO: Now Chief Strategy Officer of Ditech, what does the future hold for both companies?

JAMES SIMINOFF: The future is basically that Ditech will be enabling carriers all around the world for voicemail detect and other speech detect services and that SimulScribe will continue to innovate those services, basically supplying those to Ditech to then be sold.

IBRAHIM DABO: Many thanks, Jamie, for your time.

JAMES SIMINOFF: Oh! Thank you!

Related Links:
· PhoneTag
· Ditech Networks
· Ross: We Need To View Security As An Investment In Our Mission’s Success
· IT Security Automation Conference Reinforces The Need For Better Security Measures
· IT Security Automation Conference Highlights New Security Strategies

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Ib Dabo, founder and executive editor of Ib Talk Online, is a writer, journalist, photographer, and communications and IT leader whose mission is to inspire and work with people to make a difference in our world. Visit his official website - www.IbDabo.com - to learn more. Follow @IbDabo on Twitter and also @IbTalkOnline on Twitter.