The last decade has given a serious rise to the demand for solutions that would provide remote connectivity for a wide array of industries and organizations: from large-scale enterprises and corporations to clinics, schools, and more.
We chatted with SEVEN’s CEO & Founder, Adrian Bubela, discussing the ever-rising demand for communication tools, the challenges they solve, and more, uncovering the company’s expertise and valuable insights from the industry.
Why did you focus on Voice and Video communication tools, when there are such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc.?
That’s a good question. Despite the availability of these tools, we were periodically approached by clients seeking a solution for critical business needs that the existing platforms could not address. The brightest of these include:
- The need to protect the customer base from unfair competition by company/organization employees and prevent “customer poaching”, which is a frequent problem in businesses that require direct communication between an employee and a customer.
- The need for different ways of monetizing consulting services, such as pay-per-minute or pay-per-session options.
- The need to set different prices for consultations by specialists with different levels of qualification and specialization, and at different times, including working hours, weekends, or overtime.
- The need to ensure real-time payments in order to reduce accounts receivable.
- The need to integrate a remote consultation tool into the company’s activity management environment for the proper protection of corporate and confidential information, as well as quality control of the services provided.
- The need for centralized management of invoicing, etc.
These are the reasons for the formation of a market niche, in which we have been actively involved since 2013, and especially in recent years, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What industries require customized Voice and Video communication tools?
Consulting businesses with over 80 different areas, healthcare, and education require solutions for monetizing communication and industry-specific adapted voice/video tools.
I think the need for consulting businesses is quite understandable, but what is the essence of adapting voice/video tools, for example, for healthcare?
First of all, this relates to the specifics of telemedicine and the requirements of the healthcare industry for conducting scheduled and urgent remote consultations with patients and diagnosing various pathological conditions online.
Moreover, such tools require the following:
- specific integrations with centralized electronic health records (EHR) for obtaining/entering patient health information
- use of specific eForms for documenting chart notes during patient consultations
- Remote Treatment Tracking and much more
Also, a feature is a strict compliance with standards regarding protecting Protected Health Information (PHI), in addition to standard Personal Data Protection (PDP) and much more. Each country is guided by its acts, such as HIPAA/PIPEDA/GDPR and others.
Therefore, YES, healthcare solutions require not just some adaptation of voice/video tools.
Obviously, this became especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic and created new opportunities for startups in this field. Can you highlight any specific types of healthcare solutions that have found practical application?
Certainly, in the US, Canada, and European countries where there is a well-developed private practice among healthcare providers, and patients are served in numerous specialized private clinics, there has been a sharp increase in demand for:
- Voice/Video tools that can be integrated into existing Practice Management Software
- or Practice Management software with a built-in Voice/Video tool
That is why we had the opportunity to develop the following:
- a Saas platform for clinics that provides both Practice Management and a Voice/Video tool
- a Voice/Video tool that can be integrated into an existing Practice Management software of a clinic
- a comprehensive Saas platform for individual healthcare providers that also includes Private Practice Management with a Voice/Video tool
- a standalone application for individual healthcare providers to make paid Voice/Video calls
So, YES, the COVID-19 quarantine became a successful time for the emergence of such solutions.
Yes, and in the meantime, the COVID-19 quarantine forced all of us to experience something we had never experienced before. Everyone who could switch to remote work did so, and we all found ourselves unprepared for such a challenge.
I am sure we can all remember online work meetings during which unexpected participants were children, pets, and not only…
By the way, you mentioned earlier that education is an industry that also requires customized Voice and Video communication solutions, so what can you tell us about it?
The situation here is somewhat different. Compared to healthcare or consulting businesses, schools and universities started using video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc., since they don’t need to monetize their lessons.
However, remote learning in conditions where children/students were not in their usual learning environment significantly increased the demand for online learning content management systems and specialized tutoring platforms with adapted Voice/Video tools.
What is special about Voice/Video tools adapted for conducting lessons or tutoring platforms?
It’s that the typical many-to-many mode for group voice/video calls, which is often used in all well-known tools, is replaced by one-to-many mode + options for managing student surveys and quizzes, as well as various settings for video recordings, their storage, and many other features that are only necessary for teachers or tutors and not for the general user.
As a result, we immediately encountered the development of SaaS solutions for private schools and specialized schools, tutors, trainers, instructors, and other educators to conduct paid online classes and improve the effectiveness of learning.
Besides this, have you noticed any other trends here?
Yeah! In parallel with this, the development of SaaS solutions for learning management systems for various educational institutions has begun with the aim of:
- simplifying access to systematized educational materials
- improving current knowledge testing
- identifying problems with unlearned material
- preparing plans for online sessions with teachers
- and also improving the methodological preparation of students for admission to universities using AI technologies.
Okay, maybe you would like to talk about some unexpected examples of implementation of audio and video communication tools that you have encountered?
Why not? The most unexpected project was for a company providing home repair and plumbing services. It is now a product that is rapidly gaining its audience and has become an indispensable app for many homeowners and residents in emergency situations, seeking help from experienced tradespeople.
It’s strange that online video calls in this area were not monetized before.
What challenges did you encounter in developing and implementing your solutions? How did you overcome them?
As a company specializing in VOIP, SIP, WebRTC video and audio solutions based on both ready-made API services like Twilio, Vonage, Agora, and our own solutions based on low-level SIP and WebRTC libraries, we have faced numerous challenges and problems.
What was relevant 10 years ago is not relevant now, but overall it’s:
- Stability of connection and various methods of optimization and effective data transmission algorithms. We reduced delays and optimized bandwidth to support stable connection and connection recovery in case of its loss.
- High-resolution video transmission to ensure maximum data transmission quality and efficient use of system resources.
- Optimization of network planning, selection of optimal codecs, and use of data buffering.
- Reduction of infrastructure costs and resource usages such as bandwidth and disk space, and improvement of the efficiency of network protocols.
- Ensuring compatibility of our solution with different devices and platforms.
What are your future plans related to audio and video communication tools?
Considering that Voice and Video communication tools are our specialization, we constantly analyze and test different ready-to-use solutions for developing projects based on both API services and low-level libraries for SIP and WebRTC.
Also, we have developed and will continue to improve our solutions, which we use as a ready-to-use core for developing custom Voice and Video communication tools with industry-specific adaptations. This saves our clients time and money.
What can you recommend to your potential clients?
Keep up with technology and save your time and money with us.