Hoiio aims to be a game changer in the telecom space

Hoiio was founded in 2007 to provide consumers with affordable IDD call services in an era where VOIP solutions were not yet commonly available. In the last five years, however, its business model has evolved and the company is now focused on providing business communication solutions in the form of apps that are hosted on the cloud.

Using Hoiio, a new business can set up their office phone system in a few minutes. “We incorporate the concepts of simplicity and flexibility when we build our products, so setting Hoiio up is very fast,” said Chief Product Officer Mr Ong Jun Da.

The company leverages the Internet to make its solutions easy to use, said Mr Ong, citing the example of Hoiio’s Main Line app for businesses.  With a few clicks and a few minutes on the Hoiiowebsite, customers can select an auspicious phone number for their business, and then set up an advanced IVR system to greet their callers, for example, “Welcome to ABC Private Limited. For sales, please press 1...” 

“Unlike traditional telcos, it takes only five minutes to set up an office phone system; not to mention Hoiio is much more cost effective, and feature-rich with our variety of communication apps,” said Mr Ong. “An IVR system is common when you call a bank or a big enterprise, but we make it (financially) possible for anyone. “

While Hoiio delivers a strong value proposition to businesses, bringing a new product to market was still a challenge, said Mr Ong. “While we have a skilled engineering team, we had to learn to market our products from scratch. It took us a bit more effort to convince traditional businesses to adopt new technology.  We had to prepare more materials to help them understand the cost and benefits easily, sometimes down to specific cases for their industry.”

As Hoiio gains traction, an important emphasis for the company is to keep innovating so that its products can only get better with time.“The foundation for the product was established over the years. We have the platform and the APIs that allow even third-party developers to create apps on Hoiio.”

The Hoiio API, a Cloud Communication API, topped the Cloud category of the 2012 SiTF Awards. The product, which was officially launched in March 2012, enables developers to create and integrate powerful communication technologies into their products with simple web development skills. It also won the Demo Asia 2012 People's Choice Award.

The flexibility of the Hoiio platform and the APIs have allowed the company to create distinctive apps for each vertical market and to address distinctive communication needs.

For example, Hoiio is currently developing an app that supports Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act and the Do Not Call Registry which takes effect from 2 January 2014. Under the PDPA, organisations have to check the DNC Registry before conducting telemarketing activities and cannot send unsolicited telemarketing messages to telephone numbers listed with the DNC Registry. The solution will provide a seamless process to check against the national registry (when a mobile call, SMS or fax is made) while allowing the company to maintain its own shared blacklist or do-not-call information.

Mr Ong believes that opportunities for Hoiio will continue to grow as more and more companies look for technologies to boost their productivity. “There are many companies that have been using the same telecommunication systems in the last 20 years. Hoiio is a game changer and I believe we can disrupt traditional practices,” he said.