I’m clairvoyant! SpinVox have, predictably, declined MIR’s offer to produce a video of their upcoming demonstrations for the media (mostly taking place tomorrow).
Here is the response via their PR representative at Porter Novelli:
I have checked with SpinVox and unfortunately there is absolutely no way that we can allow any filming in the office for security reasons.
Which, of course, is a bollocks response. If you recall, we even offered them full editorial vetom. Some would say we extended too much, but I was keen to ensure that, for any right-minded security professional, our offer of filming their video demonstration was entirely fair, appropriate and possible. We wouldn’t film anything that wasn’t specifically approved. We’d give them full editing rights/veto. We’d produce the video ON site, we’d leave the raw content/tapes with them and so on.
It’s my view that me simply experiencing how their system works won’t tell you much at all. I think you need to see me and/or Alex or one of the MIR team (or even a representative from another publication) playing with and testing out the system. We need to visualise the process and simultaneously look into the whites of the SpinVox team eyes. We don’t need to have close-ups of the user interface. We don’t even need to film equipment. But what we do need is authenticity.
I think the MIR audience requires this.
A glowing piece of text from me, as a result of experiencing their UI and call centre systems under test conditions, isn’t, I don’t think, what a lot of people are looking for.
But I think such a video would have gone a long way to remove/quell the concerns of the majority of people, wondering about the company’s technology.
We still wouldn’t have got that percentage answer to the question of how many voicemail messages are referred to humans. We still wouldn’t have got a look into the company’s call centres. Are they sweatshops? Are they air-conditioned palaces filled with bright-eyed, happy-to-help, delighted-to-have-a-job agents? Are we talking dark, dingy, 5-people-to-a-2ft-wide-desk hot, uncomfortable working conditions? Who knows. One hopes for the best.
And what, then, of the company’s financial position? That’s the next issue that, of course, we’d have had to skip past whilst attending the company’s demo.
This said, I’ll be watching with
baitedbated breath to see how impressed the media representatives are. They’re all descending upon SpinVox HQ tomorrow so we should have some updates later tomorrow for you.
I’ll prejudge them for you right now though.
I predict reasonably good responses from most. I think the SpinVox chaps will do a good job of demonstrating the utter arse that is voicemail transcription. Yes the system can understand ‘call me’ and ‘hello’. No the system can’t automatically transcribe your grandmother’s rambling message accurately. I suspect most will come away with a new-found appreciation of the intricacies of the technology process.
Will it answer the overriding issues that people are still calling me about daily? No.
To those going to the HQ tomorrow: Have fun!
Update: Michael, thank you for pointing out the embarrassing bating vs baiting gramerrrr error